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Russia may be isolated from the artistic centers of
Paris, Rome, and London,
but the Hermitage has managed to acquire a spectacular collection of world art—more
than three million items—spanning the years from the Stone Age to the early 20th century.
The museum occupies six buildings along the Neva River, the leading structure being the confection-like Winter Palace.
This gloriously baroque, blue-and-white structure was finished in 1764
and over the next several centuries was the main residence of the czars. Catherine the Great
founded the museum that same year
when she purchased 255 paintings from Berlin.
The museum’s focal point is Western European art—120 rooms in four buildings ranging
from the Middle Ages to the present day. Rembrandt Van Rijn,
Peter Paul Rubens,
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo,
Vincent Van Gogh, and
Francisco Goya are all represented here.
For in-depth tours, contact Glories of the Hermitage.
The Treasure Gallery’s Gold Rooms showcase golden masterpieces from Eurasia,
the Black Sea Littoral in antiquity, and the Orient.
The museum also houses pieces from Nicholas II’s private collection, including paintings, drawings,
and medals created to commemorate his coronation.
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