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  • Museums | Italy
    Updated at Aug 8,2014

    Upper Floor:

    Raphael Rooms (Stanze di Rafaello):

    The four Raphael Rooms (Italian: Stanze di Raffaello) form a suite of reception rooms, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop. Together with Michelangelo's ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, they are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome.

    The Stanze, as they are commonly called, were originally intended as a suite of apartments for Pope Julius II. He commissioned Raphael, then a relatively young artist from Urbino, and his studio in 1508 or 1509 to redecorate the existing interiors of the rooms entirely. It was possibly Julius' intent to outshine the apartments of his predecessor (and rival) Pope Alexander VI, as the Stanze are directly above Alexander's Borgia Apartment. They are on the third floor, overlooking the south side of the Belvedere Courtyard. After the death of Julius II in 1513, with two rooms frescoed, Pope Leo X continued the program. Following Raphael's death in 1520, his assistants Gianfrancesco Penni, Giulio Romano and Raffaellino del Colle finished the project with the frescoes in the Sala di Costantino.

    Running from east to west, as a visitor would have entered the apartments:

    Sala di Costantino ("Hall of Constantine"):

    The room is dedicated to the victory of Christianity over paganism. Its frescoes represent this struggle from the life of the Roman Emperor Constantine, and are the work of Giulio Romano, Gianfrancesco Penni and Raffaellino del Colle. Because they are not by the master himself, the frescos are less famous than works in the neighboring rooms. Continuing a long tradition of flattery, Raphael's assistants gave the features of the current pontiff, Clement VII, to Pope Sylvester in the paintings.

    General view (I)

    General view (II)

    East Wall - Vision of the Cross: The fresco of The Vision of the Cross depicts the legendary story of a great cross appearing to Constantine as he marched to confront his rival Maxentius.

    South Wall - The Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Giulio Romano). The Battle of Milvian Bridge shows the battle that took place on October 28, 312, following Constantine's vision:

    West Wall - The Baptism of Constantine, was most likely painted by Gianfrancesco Penni, and shows the emperor being baptised by Pope Sylvester I in the Lateran Baptistery at Rome:

    North  Wall - The Donation of Constantine, records an event that supposedly took place shortly after Constantine's baptism, and was inspired by the famous forged documents, incorporated into Gratian's Decretum, granting the Papacy sovereignty over Rome's territorial dominions:

    Ceiling of the Room of Constantine - Triumph of Christian Religion - Tommaso Laureti:

    Stanza dell'Incendio del Borgo ("The Room of the Fire in the Borgo"):

    was named for the Fire in the Borgo fresco which depicts Pope Leo IV making the sign of the cross to extinguish a raging fire in the Borgo district of Rome near the Vatican. This room was prepared as a music room for Julius' successor, Leo X. The frescos depict events from the lives of Popes Leo III and Leo IV.

    General view (I):

    General view (II):

    East Wall - The Battle of Ostia was inspired by the naval victory of Leo IV over the Saracens at Ostia in 849:

    South Wall - The Fire in the Borgo shows an event that is documented in the Liber Pontificalis: a fire that broke out in the Borgo in Rome in 847. According to the Catholic Church, Pope Leo IV contained the fire with his benediction:

    West Wall - The Coronation of Charlemagne shows how Charlemagne was crowned Imperator Romanorum on Christmas Day, 800:

    North Wall - The Oath of Pope Leo III. On December 23, 800 AD, Pope Leo III took an oath of purgation concerning charges brought against him by the nephews of his predecessor Pope Hadrian I:

    Ceiling of the Stanza dell’Incendio del Borgo Perugino:

    Stanza di Eliodoro ("Room of Heliodorus"): Painted between 1511 and 1514, it takes its name from one of the paintings. The theme of this private chamber - probably an audience room - was the heavenly protection granted by Christ to the Church.

    General View I:

    General View II:

    East Wall - The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple. Raphael illustrated the biblical episode from II Maccabees about Heliodorus, who was sent to seize the treasure preserved in the Temple in Jerusalem, but was stopped when the prayer of the priest of the temple was answered by angels who flogged the intruder and an angelic rider who chased him from the temple:

    South Wall - Mass at Bolsena depicts the story of a Bohemian priest who in 1263 ceased to doubt the doctrine of Transubstantiation when he saw the bread begin to bleed during its consecration at Mass. The cloth that was stained by the blood was held as a relic at the nearby town of Orvieto; Julius II had visited Orvieto and prayed over the relic in 1506.[3] The Pope is portrayed as a participant in the Mass and a witness to the miracle; he kneels to the right of the altar, with members of the Curia (also portraits) standing behind him:

    West Wall - Meeting of Leo the Great and Attila depicts the storied parley between the Pope and the Hun conqueror, and includes the legendary images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the sky bearing swords:

    North Wall - The Deliverance of Saint Peter shows, in three episodes, how Saint Peter was liberated from prison by an angel, as described in Acts 12:

    Ceiling of the Stanza di Eliodoro - Date 1513-14 - Raphael:

    Stanza della Segnatura ("Room of the Signatura"):

    The Stanza della segnatura ("Room of the Signatura") was the first to be decorated by Raphael's frescoes. It was the study housing the library of Julius II, in which the Signatura of grace tribunal was originally located. The artist's concept brings into harmony the spirits of Antiquity and Christianity and reflects the contents of the pope's library with themes of theology, philosophy, jurisprudence, and the poetic arts. The theme of this room is worldly and spiritual wisdom and the harmony which Renaissance humanists perceived between Christian teaching and Greek philosophy.

    General View I:

    General View II:

    East Wall - The School of Athens, by Raphael, represents the degrees of knowledge or the truth acquired through reason:

    South Wall - Raphael (1483–1520), Cardinal and Theological Virtues:

    West Wall - The first composition Raphael executed in 1508 or 1509 was the Disputation of the Holy Sacrament, the traditional name for what is really an Adoration of the Sacrament. In the painting, Raphael created an image of the church, which is presented as spanning both heaven and earth:

    North Wall - Raphael began the third composition at the end of 1509 or the beginning of 1510. It represents The Parnassus, the dwelling place of the god Apollo and the Muses and the home of poetry, according to classical myth:

    Ceiling of the Stanza della Segnatura, Raphael (1483–1520), Date 1508-11:

    Adam and Eve, ceiling fresco from the Stanza della Segnatura:

    The Loggia of Raphaelon the second floor in the Palazzi Pontifici, 1518-1519 (closed):

    The loggia, or colonnaded porch, on the second story of the Apostolic Palace (almost never open to the public) is one of the Vatican’s most remarkable art treasures; its decoration, designed by Raphael (1483—1520) and executed by his workshop in 1517- 1519, epitomizes the spirit of the Italian Renaissance in its synthesis of Christian and classical themes. The thirteen square vaults of Raphael’s loggia each contain four frescoes of scenes from the Bible (see photos below), from the Creation to the Last Supper. While Raphael's Vatican frescos were admired in their time, they were ultimately overshadowed by the work of Michaelangelo until the Neoclassicists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries rediscovered the Renaissance, and Raphael earned his place as the era's greatest artist of them all. "Raphael is categorically the greatest painter of the last millennium, and the Loggia is his most significant legacy," says Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums and esteemed art historian. The long Loggia di Raffaello  has a beautiful view over Rome. Started by Bramante in 1513, and finished by Raphael and his assistants, it features 52 small paintings on biblical themes, and leads into the Sala dei Chiaroscuri (see below)  (Gregory XIII obliterated Raphael's frescoes here, but the magnificent ceiling remains). The adjacent Cappella di Niccolò V (Chapel of Nicholas V, usually open) (see below), has outstanding frescoes of scenes from the lives of saints Lawrence and Stephen by Fra Angelico (1448-50). Looking from Saint Peter's Square, it is in the second of the three glassed-in hallways across from the building in which the pope resides. When it was constructed, in the early part of the sixteenth century, it overlooked a garden. The thirteen arches of the Loggia frescoed by Raphael were not enclosed in glass until the nineteenth century. Originally, they were open to the luminous Roman sky, which made their colors even more brilliant. Although the Loggia is inaccessible to the general public, there is now a magnificent book that permits one to admire it in all its splendor, with original photography of rare beauty. The volume, available in multiple languages, is the second in the series "Monumenta Vaticana Selecta," which illustrates a part of the Vatican's artistic heritage each year. Its first volume "unveiled" the Sistine Chapel. The author of the new volume is Belgian art historian Nicole Dacos, who has dedicated forty years of study to this extraordinary masterpiece:

     

    The Separation of Land and Water 1518-19:

    The Creation of the Animals:

    Noah's Ark scene from the Vatican loggia:

    Moses Saved from the Water:

    The Judgment of Solomon:

    Jacob's Dream:

    Raphael's Engravings:

    Sala dei Chiaroscuri:

    After visiting the Raphael Rooms' Sala di Constantino, you pop out into the Sala dei Chiaroscuro, with a 16th-century wooden ceiling bearing the Medici arms and a little doorway in the corner many people miss and most tour groups skip. Their loss.

    Chapel of Nicholas V, Cappella Niccolina (1447–49)

    The adjacent Cappella di Niccolò V (Chapel of Nicholas V, usually NOT open, sometimes open only to guided tours). Perhaps one of the most important rooms in the Vatican Museums, this chapel was opened until 2006 when it began an extensive restoration that only completed in 2009. It has remained closed to the public ever since. Has outstanding frescoes of scenes from the lives of saints Lawrence and Stephen by Fra Angelico (1448-50). Sadly, for some reason authorities have recently begun putting a bar across the doorway so you can't actually enter the room. The best you can do is sort of lean over the bar and crane your neck for a peek at these glorious frescoes. Through this doorway is the Vatican's most gorgeous hidden corner, the closet-size Chapel of Nicholas V. The tiny chapel in the Tower of Innocent III was intended as a private place for Pope Nicholas V to pray. Colorfully frescoed floor-to-ceiling with gentle, early Renaissance Tuscan genius by that devout little monk of a painter, Fra' Angelico. It is especially notable for its fresco paintings by Fra Angelico (1447–1451) and his assistants, who may have executed much of the actual work. The name is derived from its patron, Pope Nicholas V, who had it built for use as his private chapel:

    St. Stephen depicted in the top half and St. Laurence the bottom half:

    From the Stanza dell'Incendio del Borgo ("The Room of the Fire in the Borgo") in Raphael Rooms a door leads into the Chapel of Urban VIII, whose ceiling was painted by Pietro da Cortona. According to existing documents, in 1624 the Barberini Pope decided to start the decoration of his private Chapel, which was going to be known as the Private Chapel of Urban VIII and of the nearby staircase (Scala Segreta, the Secret Staircase). The Pope first asked Simone Lagi to take care of the decoration of the walls and vault of the staircase. Soon after the works of the staircase were finished, Simone Lagi was commissioned to decorate the Chapel. But this time he was going to work with the highly praised Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669). This great Italian painter and architect was one of the leaders of the XVII Century high baroque style in Rome.

    Sala dell'Immacolata Concezione (Room of the Immaculate Conception), represents the dogma of the immaculate conception of the virgin. The artwork here is by the artist Francesco Podesti, and were painted in 1854:

    Ceiling of the Room of the Immaculate Conception:

    Sala Sobieski: The Sobieski Room, just off the apartments of Pope Pius V, is dominated by the great oil painting, completed in 1883 by Polish painter Jan Matejko (1838-93), of 'Sobieski pod Wiedniem', representing the victory of the King of Poland John III Sobieski against the Ottomans at Vienna in 1683.

    Victory of John III Sobieski King of Poland against the Turks at the Battle of Vienna - a famous picture in Sala Sobieski:

    At the end of the Galleria degli Arazzi (Gallery of Tapestries) lies the Apartment / Gallery of Pope Pius V (1566-1572), including his own chapel; this dome above it was intricately frescoed by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari.

    The treasures of the Sancta Sanctorum are displayed in the Chapel of St. Pius V at the start of the museum. Notable works include an enamel cross given by Pope Paschal I (817-24) depicting scenes from Christ's life and containing five pieces of the True Cross; a 9th-century gold filigree Greek cross, also containing a fragment of the Cross, decorated with precious stones and still bearing some of the balsams with which the pope anointed it every year:

    Comprising a gallery, two small rooms and a chapel, the apartment of Pius V was originally built for Pope Pius V (1566-1572). It also features several Flemish tapestry works dating from the 15th and 16th century. One of the two small rooms houses an assembly of medieval and Renaissance ceramics; the other features a collection of very small pieces of mosaic art, created in Rome during the period c.1790-1850.

    Tapestry in Pius V Gallery:

    Maps room/ Gallery (Galleria delle Carte): Spend lots of time in the Map room, the pictures are glorious. Pope Gregory XIII (who was responsible for introducing the Gregorian calendar) had a craze for astronomy, and was responsible for this 120m-long (394ft) gallery, with its Tower of the Winds observation point at the north end. Ignazio Danti of Perugia drew the maps, which were then frescoed (1580-83), and show each Italian region, city and island with extraordinary precision:

    Gallery of Tapestries, Galleria degli Arazzi - there are large canvases on both sides where stories from the Bible are told. The next stop would be the Galleria degli Arazzi (Gallery of Tapestries), a simple room with 27 tapestries which have been bought three times by a succession of Popes. Leo X commissioned the painter Raphael for the drawings in 1515. On completion of the cartoons, the Pope sent them to Pieter van Aelst, the famed tapestry weaver in Brussels. This was the first buy. During the sack of Rome in 1527, the tapestries were stolen, forcing Pope Julius III to negotiate their return. Again when Rome was overrun by France in 1798, the tapestries disappeared, yet again compelling Pope Pius VII to buy them back. It is a wonder these tapestries, woven in threads of gold, silk and wool, have survived at all.

    They were meant to hang in the Sistine Chapel. However, the ceiling of the Chapel was decorated by the fabled paintings of Michelangelo, the walls frescoes by such masters as Botticelli and Perugino. So the only place left for Pope Leo X to leave his mark for posterity was the walls. However, after the third buy, these tapestries have hung where you see them now.

    'The Resurrection of Our Lord', depicting the triumphant emerging of Christ after His crucifixion is one of the most arresting of the tapestries on display. Of special interest is the slab of stone at the feet of Jesus – as you walk past the tapestry the slab follows you. Equally intricate are the following: 'Adoration of the Shepherds', 'Adoration of the Magi' and 'The Massacre of the Innocents'. The last one in the photos above is a detail of one of the tapestries.

    Mother and Child:

    Massacre of the Innocents tapestry:

    Adoration of the Magi:

    The Resurrection tapestry:

    Last Supper, tapestry (detail):

    The Miraculous Draught of Fishes:

    Tapestries representing the life of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini who became later Pope Urban VIII (Barberini workshop, Rome 17C):

    Braccio Nuovo (New Wing):

    A 68 metre long gallery which is covered by a coffered ceiling with skylights. At the centre a hemicycle opens on one side, whilst on the other a flight of steps leads to the monumental portico which opens onto the Courtyard of the Pine Cone (Cortile della Pigna). Along the walls of the gallery are twenty-eight niches which hold larger-than-life-size statues portraying emperors and Roman replicas of famous Greek statues. The busts displayed on the corbels and half-columns represent a gallery of famous names from antiquity.

    the River Nile, God of Rivers. This colossal statue of the Nile was found in 1513 in Campo Marzio where it was probably part of the decoration of the Iseo Campense, dedicated to the Egyptian deities Isis and Serapis. The river is shown as a venerable old man stretched out on his side with a cornucopia of fruit in his left arm and ears of wheat in his right hand. Egypt is represented by the presence of a sphinx, on which the figure of the Nile supports himself, and by some exotic animals. The scene is enlivened by sixteen children who allude to the sixteen cubits of water by which the Nile rises for its annual flood. The base of the statue is decorated with a Nile landscape with pygmies, hippopotamus and crocodiles. The sculpture was probably inspired by a monumental statue of the Nile in black basalt, a masterpiece of Alexandrian Greek sculpture, which Pliny the Elder described as being within the Forum of Peace:

    Galleria dei Candelabri, Chandeliers Room:

    Further down is the Galleria dei Candelabri, so named after the eight magnificent candelabra made of white marble in the gallery. Commissioned and opened by Pope Pius VI in 1761, the Gallery of the Candelabra, is a long and narrow passage with innumerable artistic delights in the form of antique Roman sculptures. These sculptures and the jostling of the crowd, prevents one from truly enjoying the lavish paintings on the walls and on the ceiling done by Ludwig Seitz and Domenico Torti. They were commissioned by Pope Leo XIII and completed the project during the period 1883-87.

    In one of the frescoes in the ceiling, St. Thomas Aquinas is kneeling while making an offering of his treatise to the Church. In the foreground, Aristotle, representing Reason, is depicted, thereby endorsing the gesture of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Chariots Room, Sala della Biga:

    Beyond lies the Sala della Biga, another collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. There are too many beautiful objects d’art to enumerate here. Foremost is the light and stable racing chariot, unlike the normal ornate chariot used in triumphal processions in ancient Rome.

    The Etruscan Museum:

    Gregory XVI (1831-1846) founded the Etruscan Museum (1837) with archaeological finds discovered during excavations carried out from 1828 onwards in southern Etruria. Later, he established the Egyptian Museum (1839), which houses ancient artifacts from explorations in Egypt, together with other pieces already conserved in the Vatican and in the Museo Capitolino, and the Lateran Profane Museum (1844), with statues, bas-relief sculptures and mosaics of the Roman era, which could not be adequately placed in the Vatican Palace. The Lateran Profane Museum was expanded in 1854 under Pius IX (1846-1878) with the addition of the Pio Christian Museum. This museum is comprised of ancient sculptures (especially sarcophagi) and inscriptions with ancient Christian content. In 1910, under the pontificate of Saint Pius X (1903-1914), the Hebrew Lapidary was established. This section of the museum contains 137 inscriptions from ancient Hebrew cemeteries in Rome mostly from via Portuense and donated by the Marquisate Pellegrini-Quarantotti. These last collections (Gregorian Profane Museum, Pio Christian Museum and the Hebrew Lapidary) were transferred, under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963), from the Lateran Palace to their present building within the Vatican and inaugurated in 1970. After the Villa Giulia, this is the most important Etruscan collection in Rome. On April 4, 2013, the latest version of the Etruscanning 3D application was inaugurated in the Museo Gregoriano Etrusco in the Vatican Museums. The installation consists of a non-interactive film that is displayed in Room 2 where the Regolini-Galasssi objects are displayed.

    The Mars of Todi Statue, Bronze. 4th century B.C. Total height of statue - 1.69 m:

    Etruscan cinerary urn, Polychrome terracotta. First half of the 2nd century B.C:

    Sarcophagus from the “Tomb of the Sarcophagi”, from Cerveteri,

    Limestone. End of the 5th—beginning of the 4th century B.C.:

  • Museums | Russian Federation
    Updated at Aug 25,2015

    The following Attractions ( 1 day ) are divided into 5 tips:

    Tip 1. The Old State Tretyakov Gallery in Lavrushinsky Lane, Lavrushinsky Lane # 17 historical building.

    Tip 2. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Patriarchal Bridge (Patriarshiy most).

    Tip 3. Strelka Lectures and restaurant complex.

    Tip 4. Peter the Great Statue (Pamyatnik Petru I), Fallen Monuments Park, The Brusov Ship, Central House of Artists (CHA).

    Tip 5. Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure.

    Tipter recommendation: make this day's itinerary in reverse order. Start with Gorky Park and end with Tretyakov Gallery. In this case you start your day with Park Kultury (Парк культу́ры) Metro station in the Circular (Brown) line, line No. 5 and end it with one of the Metro stations near Tretyakov Gallery: “Tretyakovskaya” (orange line), “Novokuznetskaya” (Green Line) or “Polyanka” (Grey line). The most demanding section is the walk in Gorky Park - so, spend the morning along this park.

    Tip 1: The Old State Tretyakov Gallery, Lavrushinsky Lane, 10, Moscow:

    Transportaion: The nearest metro stations are “Tretyakovskaya” (orange line), “Novokuznetskaya” (Green Line) and “Polyanka” (Grey line).


    From Tretyakovskaya Metro station it is 100 m. to the museum. Head south on Lavrushinskiy per (Лаврушинский пер) toward Bolshoy Tolmachevskiy per. (пер. Большой Толмачевский/пер), 100 m. Turn right onto Bolshoy Tolmachevskiy per. The museum will be on the right.

    Tretyakov gallery - home to one of the largest collections of art by Russian artists. There are actually two Tretyakov museums now, the classic one and the 20th Century one. The classic one is where it has always been, the 20th Century one is in the Artist's House Cultural Center across from Gorky Park. They charge separate entry fees.

    • Old Tretyakov Gallery - Pre 20th Century Russian Art - Lavrushinsky Lane 10.
    • New  Tretyakov GalleryRussian art of the 20th century, modern art and temporary exhibitions - Krymsky Val.

    In brief: 19th-century building with vast Russian art from the 11th through the early 20th centuries. Huge site. Must see. You can say that the gallery is one of a few cultural pillars that support Moscow. The real Moscow starts in places like Tretyakov Gallery and Pushkin Museum of Fine arts. Those are the keepers of our city's past, and without past there is no future. You see amazing paintings of the Russian past, and you will probably realize the true depth of Moscow's history.

    Opening times: Mondays - closed. TUE-WED, SAT - SUN: 10.00 - 18.00. THU - FRI: 10.00 - 21.00. The museum has longer working hours on Thursday and Friday (when it closes at 9 pm), while on other days it closes at 6 pm. Come earlier to avoid crowd and lines. Waiting lines tend to be huge on weekends. Restaurant (English menu) outside, adjacent to the museum. Cafe - downstairs.

    Prices: Adults – 450 RUB (approx. 6 euros), Students – 250 RUB. Audio Guides are available for 360 rubles. Languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. One has to pay extra for photography !

    Duration: 4-6 hours.

    History: The gallery's history starts in 1856 when the Moscow merchant Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov acquired works by Russian artists of his period with the aim of creating a collection, which might later grow into a museum of national art. In 1892, Tretyakov donated his already famous collection of approximately 2,000 works to the Russian nation. After the 1917 revolution, the gallery was naturally acquired by the state. Not only did the Soviet government manage to save the collection, but it has also made sure the gallery was constantly growing. Today, it has more than 160,000 exhibits - more than you'll probably be able to see in a lifetime!

    Exterior: The façade of the gallery building was designed by the painter Viktor Vasnetsov in Russian fairy-tale style. It was built in 1902–04 to the south from the Moscow Kremlin. During the 20th century, the gallery expanded to several neighboring buildings, including the 17th-century church of St. Nicholas in Tolmachi:

    Recently opened Fountain of Arts near the gallery:

    Interior:

    Aleksandr Andreyevich Ivanov, Priam asking Achilles to return Hector’s body, 1824, Hall 10:

    Aleksandr Andreyevich Ivanov, Joseph Reveals his Identity to his Brothers, 1831-1833, Hall 10:

    Aleksandr Andreyevich Ivanov, Joseph’s Brothers Find the Silver Cup in Benjamin’s Sack, 1831-1833, Hall 10:

    Aleksandr Andreyevich Ivanov, The Apparition of Christ to the People (The Apparition of the Messiah), 1837–1857,  Hall 10:

    Aleksandr Andreyevich Ivanov, Head of a Pifferaro-Boy, 1st half of the 1830s, Hall 10:

    Vasily Vladimirovich Pukirev, The Unequal Marriage, 1862,  Hall 16. This painting depicts a wedding ceremony in an Orthodox church. The young,  bride is marrying an old official against her will. The image of the best man, shown behind the bride at the edge of the painting, with his arms across his chest, portrays the artist himself:

    Vasily Grigorievich Perov (1834–1882), Amateur painter, 1862, Hall 17. In the 1870s Perov’s genre painting acquires a new trend. The artist is fascinated by depicting people from all social backgrounds and portraying the small joys in every day life:

    Vasily Grigorievich Perov, Hunters Stop to Rest, 1871, Hall 17:

    Vasily Grigorievich Perov, Sleeping Children, 1870, Hall 17:

    Aleksey Kondratievich Savrasov, Rooks have Returned, 1871,  Hall 18. Savrasov used this work to affirm the idea that the simplest and most modest manifestation in nature, when inspired by the personal attention of the artist, can carry a full aesthetic content. The landscape appears as an open, unrestricted space, a small part of the universe where ordinary, clear and simple life goes on. The world of the painting is harmonious in its commonplace way, warmed by the heat of humanity – smoke from the chimney creates a touching atmosphere of comfort.

    Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy, Night in Capri, 1841, Hall 19:

    Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy, Seashore, 1840, Hall 19:

    Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy, Tower in Constantinople, 1848, Hall 19:

    Ivan Konstantinovich Ayvazovskiy, Rainbow in a storm, 1873, Hall 19:

    Ivan Nikolayevich Kramskoy, Moonlit Night, 1880, Hall 20:

    Ivan Nikolayevich Kramskoy, An Unknown Lady, 1883, Hall 20. The image of the woman still remains the artist’s secret. Critics have associated the image with Lev Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Nastasya Filipovna, and other famous women. Kramskoi left no references to the identity of the unknown woman in letters or journals. There is no doubt as to this painting’s setting: St. Petersburg’s Nevsky Prospekt, specifically the Anichkov Bridge.  In the Communist Soviet period, Kramskoi’s Portrait of an Unknown Woman became an iconic picture. It was hung in every respectable Russian home:

    Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, Rain in the Oak Wood, 1891,  Hall 25:

    Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, Oaks in Sunlight, 1890s, Hall 25:

    Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, In the Park, 1897, Hall 25:

    Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, Small Oak Trees, 1886, Hall 25:

    Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, Pine Wood. Ship Timber in Vyatka Province , 1872, Hall 25:

    Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, The Apotheosis of War, 1871, Hall 27. In 1901 he was nominated for the first Nobel Peace Prize. Famous for his series of battle paintings. His numerous world trips resulted in the creation of documentary ethnographic paintings. He also painted portraits and landscapes. In his later periods, the artist partially avoided detailed descriptions of bloody everyday combat scenes and created a number of works where descriptions were substituted by intense drama and almost symbolic images like the picture below:

    Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, They Celebrate, 1872, Hall 27. Vereshchagin traveled in Central Asia (Turkestan) during 1867–1868 and 1868–1870. His impressions of what he saw were set down in the series of paintings entitled The Barbarians. The painting depicts the main square in Samarkand, Registan ( “the place covered with sand”) in front of the Madrassah (religious Islamic school) Shir Dor  (“tiger bearing.)” In the centre of the painting we see pikes with the impaled heads of Russian soldiers:

    Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, Dervishes in Festive Dress. Tashkent, 1870, Hall 27:

    Vasily Ivanovich Surikov, Peter the Great’s suppression of the Streltsy uprising of 1698 in Moscow and the execution of the rebels, 1881, Hall 28:

    Vasily Ivanovich Surikov, Boyaryna Morozova (Feodosia's arrest by the Nikonians in 1671), 1884-7. This giant painting depicts a scene from the history of the 17th century Russian Orthodox Church. The painting is dedicated to Feodosia Prokopiyevna Morozova, an associate of the Old Believers. Around 1670 she secretly became a nun, in 1671 she was arrested, and in 1673 she was sent to the Pafnutevo-Borovski Monastery, where she was starved to death in an earthen prison. The painting displays an episode when the boyarynya (boyar’s wife) Morozova is transported through Moscow to the place of captivity. Next to Morozova is her sister Yevdokiya Urusova, who shared the dissenter’s fate:

    Vasily Ivanovich Surikov, The Taking of a Snow Fortress, 1891:

    Vasily Ivanovich Surikov, Winter in Moscow, 1884-1887,  Hall 28:

    Ilya Efimovich Repin, Weeping of the Prophet Jeremiah in the Ruins of Jerusalem, 1867, hall 29:

    Ilya Efimovich Repin, Preying Jew, 1875, hall 29:

    Ilya Efimovich Repin, Rest, 1882, Hall 29:

    Ilya Efimovich Repin, Cossacks Write a Letter to the Turkish Sultan, 1880-1890, Hall 30:

    Ilya Efimovich Repin, Unexpected return, 1884-1888, Hall 30. There are two versions of the painting Unexpected Return. The first of them was begun in 1888, and it depicted a student returning to her family. The second painting, painted in 1884-1888 (below), depicts the moment of the unexpected return home of a political exile:

    Ilya Efimovich Repin, Easter Procession in the Region of Kursk (Kurskaya korennaya):

    Ilya Efimovich Repin, Portrait of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, 1887, Hall 30:


    Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, Swan Czarevna, 1900, Hall 32:
    Swan Czarevna is the hero of A.S.Pushkin's poem the "Tales about Tzar Saltan". It is also an opera by N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov (1900). Vrubel designed the opera stage for its first production. His wife, Nadezhda Zabela-Vrubel was starring as Swan Czarevna. The subject of the famous painting is about supreme, heavenly beauty. about the secret of its manifestation in the world.The symbolism interprets Swan Czarevna as a creature of dual nature:  the dark, cold element of water, and the airy, heavenly beauty and grandor of the white bird:

    Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, Princess Swan, 1900, Hall 32:

    Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, The Swan, 1900, Hall 32:

    Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, The Rose, 1904:

    Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, Hamlet and Ophelia, 1888, Hall 32:

    Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel, Sitting Demon, 1890,  Hall 33:

    Vasily Dmitriyevich Polenov, Moscow patio, 1878, Hall 36:

    Vasily Dmitriyevich Polenov, Grandmother's garden, 1878, Hall 36:

    Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov (1865–1911), Girl with peaches. Portrait of V.S.Mamontova, 1887,  Hall 41:

    Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov, The rape of Europa, 1910, Hall 42. The rape of Europa is a popular theme in global art. The story is borrowed from Ancient Greek mythology. Europa is the daughter of Phoenician king Agenor. Having turned into a bull, the king of gods Zeus abducted beautiful Europa:

    Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiyev, A beauty, 1915, Hall 44. The painting was based on a model who was an actress of the Moscow Art Theater:

    Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiyev, Haymaking, 1917, Hall 44:

    Zinaida Yevgenyevna Serebryakova (1884–1967), At Breakfast, 1914, Hall 44. Zinaida Serebriakova's work is extraordinary in that the artist, despite what must have been difficult years of separation from two of her children, appears to concentrate on the beauty she was still able to find in life, in the people she came in contact with in her travels:

    Zinaida Yevgenyevna Serebryakova, At the dressing-table. Self-portrait, 1909, Hall 44. Her first painting to gain acclaim, probably still her most recognized one:

    If you walk further onto Lavrushinsky Lane - you'll see the building # 17 - chock-full of literary history. Just look at the list of people who were entered in the list to receive apartments a full year before construction on the building was complete in 1937: Boris Pasternak, Ilf and Petrov, Konstantin Paustovsky, Ilya Erenburg, Viktor Shklovsky, Agnia Barto, Vsevolod Vishnevsky, Mikhail Prishvin, Lev Kassil, Nikolai Pogodin. Other "Celebs" who lived here in later years and decades included Veniamin Kaverin, Valentin Kataev, Yury Olesha, the theater director Anatoly Efros, the singer Lidia Ruslanov and many more. This, for example, is the very place to which the scantily-clad Margarita flies and destroys a critic’s living quarters at the end of Mikhail Bulgakov’s "The Master and Margarita":

    Walking directions from The State Tretyakov Gallery to Cathedral of Christ Head west on Bolshoy Tolmachevskiy per. (пер. Большой Толмачевский) toward  Malyy Tolmachevskiy per.  (пер. Малый Толмачевский), 190 m. Turn right onto Staromonetnyy per.(пер. Старомонетный) and continue to follow Staromonetnyy per., 300 m. Turn left onto Kadashevskaya nab.(Кадашевская наб./Кадашёвская наб), 15 m. Continue onto Yakimanskaya nab (наб. Якиманская), 260 m. Turn right onto Patriarshiy most (Патриарший мост), 270 m. Continue straight to stay on Patriarshiy most (Патриарший мост), 290 m. Turn left, 10 m. and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour,
    ulitsa Volkhonka, 15 is on your left (see Tip below). The cathedral, originally bult in the 19th century in commemoration of the Russian army's victory over Napoleon, was destroyed on Stalin's personal order. The cathedral was rebuilt in the 1990s.

    Another option of detour from Tretyakov Gallery: From the gallery, walk to the end of the lane and cross a little footbridge whose iron trees are adorned with padlocks put there by romantic couples. On the far side is a statue of the painter Ilya Repin and the gardens known as Bolotnaya Square (Marshy Square).

  • Museums | Russian Federation
    Updated at Nov 22,2015

    St. Petersburg - - Hermitage Museum - General Staff Building - The Impressionism Exposition:

    Duration: 1/2 day.

    View of the General Staff Building from the Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Square):

    The General Staff Building (Zdanie Glavnovo Shtaba, Здание Главного штаба), (6-10 Dvortsovaya Embankment), is an edifice with a 580 m. long bow-shaped facade, situated OPPOSITE the Winter Palace. It is a grandiose monument in the Empire style, erected in the course of the reconstruction of the Palace Square in 1819-29 (designed by Carlo Rossi), in commemoration of Russia's victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 and the campaigns of 1813-14 against Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The building complex included the construction of two wings which are separated by a triumphal arch adorned (decoration forming compositions of arms and armour) by sculptors Stepan Pimenov and Vasily Demuth-Malinovskyof. The construction of the Triumphal Arch, connecting both parts of the building was completed in 1829. The arch links Palace Square through Bolshaya Morskaya St. to Nevsky Prospekt and it also commemorates the Russian triumphs against Napoleon. The Triumphal Arch is crowned by the Chariot of Glory - from the (southern side) Palace Square side.

    The homogeneity of the main elements of the General Staff building and the Winter Palace creates the impression of integrity of the Palace Square ensemble. The majestic Triumphal Arch forms a symmetrical axe with the central part of the Winter Palace.

    Until the capital was transferred to Moscow in 1918, the building served as the headquarters of the General Staff (western wing), Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry (eastern wing). Since 1993, the Hermitage has had control of both wings of the building, and uses them to display a variety of permanent exhibitions of applied art connected to the history of the building, completed at the height of the Russian Empire, soon after Russia's victory against Napoleon.

    Three halls on the second floor of the building, running along the northern facade (the Palace Square side), house a permanent exhibition, The Art of Modern. It features art works created by Western European (mostly, French) and Russian artists in late 19th – early 20th century: garments, lacework, articles made of porcelain, ceramics and glass. Nearby rooms in the former ministerial block of the General Staff Building accommodate an exposition devoted to the History of the Ministry of Finance. From 1830 to 1918, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Empire, Provisional Government and the Russian Soviet  Republic was headquartered here. The complex of ministerial premises included Office of the Minister of Finance with Chamber, Library and Credit Chancellery Office.

    Several large halls on the third floor are devoted to the Russian painting of the 19th – early 20th century. Art works by such artists as K.P. Bryullov, A.A. Ivanov, V.A. Tropinin, K.S. Petrov-Vodkin, B.M. Kustodiev, I.N. Kramskoy, V.E. Makovsky enable us to trace the development of the Russian school of painting.

    A part of the Russian Guards Museum’s collection, Russian Guards in the 18th century, will be shown in halls on the third floor of the General Staff Building, facing the Moika River Embankment. Visitors will have an opportunity to see uniforms, weaponry, combat banners and colours, as well as gifts – valuable regalia, preserved by Russian officers’ descendants and returned to Russia after staying abroad for a long time.

    A permanent exhibition Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia: St. Petersburg’s Era 1802-1917 is placed nearby; it details the history of the Russian Foreign Ministry starting from the date of its foundation by Emperor Alexander the First to 1917, featuring paintings and graphics, photographs, historical relics and pieces of decorative and applied arts.

    An exhibition entitled 'Realms of the Eagle' compares French and Russian decorative art and costume in the Imperial Age, contrasting the cultural influences of Napoleon and Alexander I. Housed in the former offices of the General Staff, - the halls, designed by the great Russian architect of the first quarter of the 19th century, K.I. Rossi, and painted by P.I. Scotti. The collection is not particularly rich, but has a clear and cleverly presented concept, exploring the different ways these two empires chose to represent themselves.

    The halls devoted to Carl Fabergé are one of the most fascinating parts of the new museum complex. They demonstrate the heritage of the firm, founded by renowned Carl Fabergé, as well as further developments and achievements of contemporary jewellery and stone-cutting art.

    From 7 December 2014, when the State Hermitage Museum celebrated its 250th anniversary - the permanent exhibition Modern European Art is held in the eastern wing in the fourth floor, the Memorial Gallery devoted to S.I. Shchukin and the Morozov brothers. The Hermitage's superb collection of Modern European Art, the bulk of which is made up of French impressionist and post-impressionist painting, is divided between those works that were received into the Hermitage collections after the Revolution, and art seized from Germany after World War II. The former are displayed on the museum's fourth floor, and include some of the world's largest collections of works by Picasso and Matisse. But, far more Impressionists' masterpieces are included in the 4th floor extensive collection: Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Gaugin and many others.

    The new exposition is unique in the way that for the first time, the Hermitage collection of the 19th-20th century French painting is demonstrated in full, without dividing artworks based on the principle of receipt. The Gallery opens with Claude Monet’s hall featuring fourteen paintings by the artist; then the theme of Impressionism is continued in Edgar Degas’ hall with his Place de la Concorde, a room with still-life paintings by Henri Fantin-Latour, a hall of landscape paintings by Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley. The next two halls hold an exceptionally rich collection of art works by Auguste Renoir. Further, works of art by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin are demonstrated, followed by Les Nabis painters’ halls. After 10 years, canvas by Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis returned back to the General Staff Building.

    The fourth floor exhibition ends with a small collection of pre-Revolutionary Russian modern art, including canvases by Vasiliy Kandinskiy and Kazimir Maleevich - the most and significant names of the Russian avant-garde. Now they have only one hall with Kandinsky and other avant-gardes - but soon there will be much more rooms.

    The modern Art exposition is NOT easy to find and NOT really well advertised - so hurry up, before this building will be flooded by thousands of visitors every day. It is an astonishing experience. it's far of being jam-packed like the Hermitage. We went to the Impressionist era exhibition in July, a regular weekday, at 14.00. It is right the middle of the school holidays (busiest time at the museums in Russia) and there were hardly more than 10 visitors in the whole floor. It is unbelievable how the Hermitage emerged as one of the leading museums in the world of Modern Art - as well. It is amazing the taking photographs is FREE and how close you can get to the paintings.

    Temporary Exhibitions: wonderful expositions of: Tibetan Art, Finnish Modern Architecture etc' are held during the period from NOV 2015 to Spring 2016 in the General Staff Buildings.

    Prices: Separate ticket - 300 RUB. Free - for students (country does not matter). Combined tickets: The Main Museum Complex and its branches:
    the General Staff Building, the Winter Palace of Peter the Great,
    the Menshikov Palace, the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory - 600 RUB (valid for two consecutive days). FREE admission for all visitors: The first Thursday of every month.

    Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday, , Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.30 - 18.00, Wednesday 10.30 - 21.00. Closed: Mondays, as well as January 1 and May 9.

    Getting there: Metro: Admiralteyskaya:

    Practicalities: The small cafe' or restaurant is out of the cashiers and security control mechanisms. So, you CANNOT eat or rest and return to the expositions in the floors above.

    Free photos-shooting.

    Head straight up in the lift to the fourth floor and enjoy!

    Now, your best advice: buy the combined (one-day or two-days) ticket in the General Staff Building. Start your day in the Modern European Art exhibition and continue to the Winter Palace OR rush, with your ticket to the Hermitage Main Complex entrance - skipping the l-on-g queues there !!!!

    Exterior: The building itself is awesome and a real treat because it's so brilliant and modern in comparison to the Hermitage. The inner yards have been covered with glass roofs. Magnificent modern staircases have been installed inside. These modern aspects work extremely well with the historic building, the historical interiors (that are well preserved) and the fabulous pieces of art that are exhibited. The whole blend - IS SPECTACULAR !

    The first atrium in the new wing of the Hermitage Museum:

    Another sensation you cannot miss - a moving exposition of a Roman Mosaic found in Lod, Israel. Breathtaking ! :

    Impressionism - Shchukin Gallery - 4th Floor:

    Matisse Room: Two Russian art collectors stood out at the beginning of the 20th century: the cloth merchant Sergei Shchukin (1854–1936) and the textile manufacturer Ivan Morozov (1871–1921). Both acquired modern French art, developed a sensibility for spotting new trends, and publicized them in Russia. In 1906 Sergei Shchukin met the young artist Henri Matisse, and became one of Matisse's main patrons, acquiring 37 of his best paintings over an 8-year period. Shchukin also commissioned several large-scale pictures from him that would later acquire worldwide fame. In order to come to terms with these huge canvases and their radical simplicity, Shchukin shut himself away alone with them in his palatial house for several weeks. Many of his visitors reacted with bafflement to these latest purchases. Shchukin jokingly remarked, “A madman painted it and a madman bought it.” Shchukin and Matisse would develop more than just a commercial relationship. With Shchukin’s support and backing, Matisse was free to strive toward even greater artistic challenges. Henri Matisse’s (1869–1954) early years were spent in northern France where his middle-class family owned a general store. Although he studied in Paris to be a lawyer, in 1890, while confined to his bed for nearly a year after an operation, he chose drawing as a pastime. When he recovered, he decided that painting would be his career. At first Matisse followed in the footsteps of the Impressionists, but he soon abandoned their more delicate palette and established his characteristic style, with its flat, brilliant color and fluid line, a style that came to be known as Fauvism. Like many avant-garde artists in Paris, Matisse was receptive to a broad range of influences. He was one of the first painters to take an interest in non-European art, studying Persian miniatures, Japanese prints, and African sculptures, but a visit to Moscow where he saw early icon painting seemed to hold special importance to him. He once commented, “What interests me most is neither still life nor landscape but the human figure. It is through it that I best succeed in expressing the nearly religious feeling that I have toward life.”. Matisse traveled widely in the early 1900s when tourism was still a new idea. Brought on by railroad, steamships, and other forms of transportation that appeared during the industrial revolution, travel became a popular pursuit. As a cultured tourist, he developed his art with regular doses of travel and in 1911 visited his patron Shchukin’s collection in Moscow. During the trip Matisse encountered Russian icons. This would have a tremendous impact on his future work. Matisse is known to have said, “I spent 10 years searching for what your artists already discovered in the 14th century. It is not you who need to come to us to study, but it is we who need to learn from you.”. As we can see from Girl with Tulips, which was completed a year before his visit to Moscow, by 1910 Matisse was already working with luminous color and simplified forms. The model for the painting is Jeanne Vaderin, or Jeannette, as Matisse called her. She was the subject of several of his paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Matisse arrived in Moscow on October 23, 1911. The next day, he visited the Tretyakov Gallery and asked to be shown their collection of Russian icons. Matisse was delighted by the icons and declared that to see them was more than worth the arduous trip. Matisse spent much of his time in Moscow frantically visiting monasteries, churches, convents, and collections of sacred images. Excited by what he saw, he shared it with all who came to interview him during his stay in Moscow. “They are really great art,” Matisse excitedly told an interviewer. “I am in love with their moving simplicity.… In these icons the soul of the artist who painted them opens out like a mystical flower. And from them we ought to learn how to understand art.”:

    Matisse - Ballerina:

    Matisse - Family Portrait:

    Matisse - Fruits, Flowers, the Dance:

    Matisse - Conversation:

    Matisse - Harmony in Red:

    Jean Joveneau. - Still Life with a Mirror, 1912:

    Marie Laurencin, Artemis,1908:

    It was through Matisse that Shchukin got to know Pablo Picasso, who became the final master in his collection. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Shchukin owned the largest collection of Picassos in the world. 51 pictures covered the walls of an entire room, right up to the ceiling. The Picasso collection covers his most popular early periods, and includes Sisters, from the painter's Blue Period, and several cubist masterpieces including Three Women (1908) and a stunning Still Life of 1913:

    Picasso - Absinthe Drinker, 1901:

    Picasso - Nude, 1909:

    Picasso - Woman Playing Mandoline, 1909:

    Picasso - Violin and Guitar, 1913:

    Picasso - Bust of a Nude, 1907:

    Picasso - Dance with Veils, 1907:

    Picasso - Friendship, 1908:

    Picasso - Woman with a Fan, 1908:

    Picasso - Three Women, 1908:

    Maurice de Vlaminck - View of a Small Town,1913:

    Andre Derain - Harbor in Provence. André Derain (10 June 1880 – 8 September 1954) was a French artist, painter and sculptor. He attended painting classes under Eugène Carrière, and there met Matisse. In 1900, he met and shared a studio with Maurice de Vlaminck (see picture above) and began to paint his first landscapes. His studies were interrupted from 1901 to 1904 when he was conscripted into the French army. Following his release from service, Matisse persuaded Derain's parents to allow him to abandon his engineering career and devote himself solely to painting. Derain and Matisse worked together through the summer of 1905 in the Mediterranean village of Collioure and later that year displayed their highly innovative paintings at the Salon d'Automne. The vivid, unnatural colors led the critic Louis Vauxcelles to title their works as les Fauves, or "the wild beasts", marking the start of the Fauvist movement. In March 1906, the noted art dealer Ambroise Vollard sent Derain to London to compose a series of paintings with the city as subject. In 30 paintings (29 of which are still existing), Derain put forth a portrait of London that was radically different from anything done by previous painters. These London paintings remain among his most popular work. In 1907 art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler purchased Derain's entire studio, granting Derain financial stability. He moved to Montmartre to be near his friend Pablo Picasso and other noted artists. At Montmartre, Derain began to shift from the brilliant Fauvist palette to more muted tones, showing the influence of Cubism and Paul Cézanne. Derain supplied woodcuts in primitivist style for an edition of Guillaume Apollinaire's first book of prose, L'enchanteur pourrissant (1909). He displayed works at the Neue Künstlervereinigung in Munich in 1910, in 1912 at the secessionist Der Blaue Reiter and in 1913 at the seminal Armory Show in New York. He also illustrated a collection of poems by Max Jacob in 1912. At about this time Derain's work began overtly reflecting his study of the Old Masters. The role of color was reduced and forms became austere; the years 1911–1914 are sometimes referred to as his Gothic period. In 1914 he was mobilized for military service in World War I and until his release in 1919 he would have little time for painting, although in 1916 he provided a set of illustrations for André Breton's first book, Mont de Piete. After the war, Derain won new acclaim as a leader of the renewed classicism then ascendant. With the wildness of his Fauve years far behind, he was admired as an upholder of tradition. In 1919 he designed the ballet La Boutique fantasque for Diaghilev, leader of the Ballets Russes. A major success, it would lead to his creating many ballet designs.The 1920s marked the height of his success, as he was awarded the Carnegie Prize in 1928 and began to exhibit extensively abroad—in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio. During the German occupation of France in World War II, Derain lived primarily in Paris and was much courted by the Germans because he represented the prestige of French culture. Derain accepted an invitation to make an official visit to Germany in 1941, traveling with other French artists to Berlin to attend an exhibition by Nazi sculptor Arno Breker. The Nazi propaganda machine naturally made much of Derain's presence in Germany, and after the Liberation he was branded a collaborator and ostracized by many former supporters.A year before his death, he contracted an eye infection from which he never fully recovered. He died in France in 1954 when he was struck by a moving vehicle:

    Renoir - Ball at the Moulin de la Gallette, 1879: (many more Renoir pictures - see at the Morozov Gallery, see below).

    Impressionism - Morozov Brothers Gallery - 4th Floor:

    Claude Monet - Garden, 1873. Claude Monet was a famous French painter whose work gave a name to the art movement Impressionism, which was concerned with capturing light and natural forms:

    Degas - Place de Concord, 1876:

    Edouard Manet - Mme. Isabelle, 1879. Édouard Manet, 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a key figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism:

    Jean Jacques Henner - Woman in Red - 1890. THIS IS A STRIKING PICTURE. Jean-Jacques Henner, 15 March 1829 – 23 July 1905, was noted  in painting nudes, religious subjects, and portraits. Henner was born at Alsace. He began his studies in art as a pupil of Michel-Martin Drolling and François-Édouard Picot. In 1848, he entered the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, and took the Prix de Rome with a painting of Adam and Eve finding the Body of Abel in 1858. He first exhibited Bather Asleep at the Salon in 1863 and subsequently contributed Chaste Susanna (1865), now in the Musée d'Orsay. The Levite of the Tribe of Ephraim (1898) was awarded a first-class medal. Henner also took a Grand Prix for painting at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. He was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1873, Officer in 1878, and Commander in 1889. In 1889, he succeeded Cabanel in the Institut de France. Henner died at age 76 in Paris:

    Henri Fantin Latour - Still Life - 1865. Best known for his flower paintings and group portraits of Parisian artists and writers:

    Alfred Sisley - La Garenne - 1872. Alfred Sisley, 30 October 1839 – 29 January 1899, was an Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life in France, but retained British citizenship. He was the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape outdoors. He deviated into figure painting only rarely and, unlike Renoir and Pissarro, found that Impressionism fulfilled his artistic needs. Over the years Sisley's power of expression and color intensity increased. Among his important works are a series of paintings of the River Thames, mostly around Hampton Court, executed in 1874, and landscapes depicting places in or near Moret-sur-Loing. The notable paintings of the Seine and its bridges in the former suburbs of Paris are like many of his landscapes, characterized by tranquility, in pale shades of green, pink, purple, dusty blue and cream:

    Camille Pissarro - Fair in Dieppe - 1901. Camille Pissarro, 10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903, was a Danish-French Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from great forerunners, including Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54. In 1873 he helped establish a collective society of fifteen aspiring artists, becoming the "pivotal" figure in holding the group together and encouraging the other members. Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886. He "acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists" but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin:

    Camille Pissarro - Boulvard Montmartre - 1897:

    Camille Pissarro - Place du Theatre, Paris - 1898:

    Now we arrive to a long and impressive series of pictures by Auguste Renoir. Auguste Renoir, 25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919, was a  leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. A painter of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality. His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women. As a young boy, he worked in a porcelain factory. His drawing skills were early recognized, and he was soon employed to create designs on the fine china. He also painted decorations on fans before beginning art school . He moved to Paris in 1862 to study art, where he met Frederic Bazille, Claude Monet, and Alfred Sisley, all great impressionist painters. By 1864, he was exhibiting works at the Paris Salon, but his works went largely unnoticed for the next ten years, mostly in part to the disorder caused by the Franco-Prussian War. Later, during the Paris Commune on 1871, Renoir was painting on the banks of the Seine River, when he was approached by a number of members from the commune, who thought he was a spy. They threatened to throw in into the rive, but he was saved by the leader of the commune, Raoul Rigault, whom he had protected on an earlier occasion. He experienced his first artistic success in 1874, at the first Impressionist Exhibition, and later in London of the same year. In 1881, Renoir began his world travels, voyaging to Italy to see the works of the Renaissance masters, and later to Algeria, following in the footsteps of Eugene Delacroix. It was in Algeria where he encountered a serious bout with pneumonia, leaving him bed ridden for six weeks, and permanently damaging his respiratory system. In the later years of his life, not even severe rheumatoid arthritis, which left him confined to a wheelchair and limited his movement, could deter Renoir from painting. His arthritis eventually got so bad as to leave a permanent physical deformity of his hands and shoulder, which required him to change his painting technique to adapt to his physical limitations. Before his death in 1919, Renoir traveled to the Louvre to see his paintings hanging in the museum alongside the masterpieces of the great masters. He was a prolific artist, created several thousands artworks in his lifetime, and include some of the most well-known paintings in the art world:

    Auguste Renoir - A Young Woman with a Fan - 1880:

     Auguste Renoir - Lady in Black - 1876:

    Auguste Renoir - Lady on Stairs - 1876:

    Auguste Renoir - Actress Jeanne Samary - 1878:

    Auguste Renoir - Girl Arranging Her Hair - 1887:

    Auguste Renoir - Girl with a Whip - 1885:

    Auguste Renoir - Girl with a Hat - 1872:

    Auguste Renoir - In the Garden - 1885:

    French artist Paul Signac was born in Paris on November 11, 1863. He began his artistic career in 1880 after viewing an exhibition of Monet's work. A friendship with Neo-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat led him to adopt the new Divisionist style in such works as "The Dining Room," "Women at the Well" and many seascapes of the French coast. Signac was committed to anarchist politics and was a mentor to younger avant-garde artists, including Henri Matisse. He died in Paris on August 15, 1935.

    Paul Signac - Port of Marseille - 1906-7:

    Paul Cézanne, 19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906, was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all.":

    Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) - Girl at the Piano - 1869:

    Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) - The Pool - 1876:

    Paul Cézanne - Bathers - 1890-1:

    Paul Cézanne - Smoker - 1890-2:

    Paul Cézanne - Lady in Blue - 1900:

    Paul Gauguin, 7 June 1848 – 8 May 1903, was a French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death. Gauguin is now recognized for his experimental use of color and style that were distinctly different from Impressionism. His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Paul Gauguin is one of the most significant French artists to be initially schooled in Impressionism, but who broke away from its fascination with the everyday world to pioneer a new style of painting broadly referred to as Symbolism. As the Impressionist movement was culminating in the late 1880s, Gauguin experimented with new color theories and semi-decorative approaches to painting. He famously worked one summer in an intensely colorful style alongside Vincent Van Gogh in the south of France, before turning his back entirely on Western society. He had already abandoned a former life as a stockbroker by the time he began traveling regularly to the south Pacific in the early 1890s, where he developed a new style that married everyday observation with mystical symbolism, a style strongly influenced by the popular, so-called "primitive" arts of Africa, Asia, and French Polynesia. Gauguin's rejection of his European family, society, and the Paris art world for a life apart, in the land of the "Other," has come to serve as a romantic example of the artist-as-wandering-mystic. After mastering Impressionist methods for depicting the optical experience of nature, Gauguin studied religious communities in rural Brittany and various landscapes in the Caribbean, while also educating himself in the latest French ideas on the subject of painting and color theory (the latter much influenced by recent scientific study into the various, unstable processes of visual perception). This background contributed to Gauguin's gradual development of a new kind of "synthetic" painting, one that functions as a symbolic, rather than a merely documentary, or mirror-like, reflection of reality.
    Seeking the kind of direct relationship to the natural world that he witnessed in various communities of French Polynesia and other non-western cultures, Gauguin treated his painting as a philosophical meditation on the ultimate meaning of human existence, as well as the possibility of religious fulfillment and answers on how to live closer to nature. Gauguin was one of the key participants during the last decades of the 19th century in a European cultural movement that has since come to be referred to as Primitivism. The term denotes the Western fascination for less industrially-developed cultures, and the romantic notion that non-Western people might be more genuinely spiritual, or closer in touch with elemental forces of the cosmos, than their comparatively "artificial" European and American counterparts:

    Paul Gauguin - Conversation - 1891:

    Paul Gauguin - Pastoral Tahiti - 1892:

    Paul Gauguin - Two Sisters - 1892:

    Paul Gauguin - Woman Holding a Fruit - 1893:

    Paul Gauguin - Canoe - 1896:

    Paul Gauguin - Still Life with Sunflowers on an Armchair -1901:

    Vincent van Gogh, 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890, was a Post-Impressionist painter. He was a Dutch artist whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. Van Gogh painted portraits, self portraits, landscapes and still lives of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. He drew as a child but did not paint until his late twenties.Many of his best-known works were completed during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints:

    Van Gogh - Landscape - 1889:

    Van Gogh - Madame Trabuc - 1889:

    Van Gogh - Arena at the Arles - 1888:

    Van Gogh - Lilac Bush - 1889:

    Édouard Vuillard - Madame Vuillard by the Fireplace - 1899-1900:

    Édouard Vuillard - In the Room - 1900:

    Édouard Vuillard - Children in the Room - 1909:

    Maurice Denis, November 25, 1870 – November 13, 1943, was a French painter and writer, and a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements. His theories contributed to the foundations of cubism, fauvism, and abstract art:

    Maurice Denis - Bacchus and Ariadne - 1907:

    Pierre Bonnard, 3 October 1867 – 23 January 1947, was a French painter and printmaker, as well as a founding member of the Post-Impressionist group of avant-garde painters Les Nabis. Bonnard preferred to work from memory, using drawings as a reference, and his paintings are often characterized by a dreamlike quality. The intimate domestic scenes, for which he is perhaps best known, often include his wife Marthe de Meligny. His compositions rely less on traditional modes of pictorial structure than poetic allusions and visual wit. Regarded as a late practitioner of Impressionism in the early 20th century, Bonnard has since been recognized for his unique use of color and his complex imagery:

    Pierre Bonnard - Early Spring - 1909:

    Pierre Bonnard - Morning in Paris - 1911:

    Pierre Bonnard - Evening in Paris - 1911:

    ==============================================================

    Floor 2 - The Art of Modern: Art works created by Western European and Russian artists in late 19th – early 20th century - very few pictures:

    Franz Xaver Winterhalter ( Born: 20 April 1805; Menzenschwand, Germany, Died: 08 July 1873; Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Field: painting, lithography, Nationality: German, Art Movement: Neoclassicism, Romanticism) - Portrait of Countess Olga Shuvalova - 1858:

    François Flameng - Reception at Compiegne in 1810, 1894-96. François Flameng produced a series of paintings devoted to Napoleon Bonaparte. The four paintings treat episodes in the emperor's biography as genre scenes with an almost intimate approach. The paintings were acquired by the Russian emperor Nicholas II and presented to his wife, Alexandra Fiodorovna:

    Scholz - Prostitute - 1929:

    Wassily Kandinsky, 16 December 1866 – 13 December 1944, was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works. Kandinsky began painting studies (life-drawing, sketching and anatomy) at the age of 30. In 1896 Kandinsky settled in Munich, studying first at Anton Ažbe's private school and then at the Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Moscow in 1914, after the outbreak of World War I. Kandinsky was unsympathetic to the official theories on art in Communist Moscow, and returned to Germany in 1921. There, he taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed it in 1933. He then moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939 and producing some of his most prominent art. He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944:

    Wassily Kandinsky - Winter Landscape - 1909:

    Wassily Kandinsky - Landscape - 1913:

    Wassily Kandinsky - Composition VI - 1913:

  • Museums | United Kingdom
    Updated at Aug 12,2016

    Continued from the "Oxford - Day 1 - The Ashmolean Museum - "The world belongs to those who know how to wait" Arthur Evans (1894)" blog.

    Main Attractions: Asmolean Museum - level 3M, St. Balliol College, John College.

    Level 3M: EUROPEAN ART, 1800–PRESENT DAY:
    Room/gallery 62 - Modern Art: Photography NOT allowed.

    Howard Hodjkin - Tea Party in America:

    Room/gallery 63 - Contemporaries:

    Robert Polhill Bevan (1865 - 1925) - Showing at Tattersalls:

    Robert Polhill Bevan (1865 - 1925) - The Chestnut Tree:

    Robert Polhill Bevan (1865 - 1925) - In the Downs near Lewes:

    Room/gallery 65 - Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903):

    Camille Pissarro - Bouquet of pink Peonies, 1873:

    Camille Pissarro - Jeanne Holding a Fan, c.1874:

    Camille Pissarro - Farm at Montfoucault, Snow Effect, 1874-1876:

    Camille Pissarro - Gathering Grass, 1883:

    Camille Pissarro - View from my Window, Éragny-sur-Epte, 1888. The painting shows a view from the Pissarro's house at Éragny, looking towards the village of Bazincourt. The painting, which the artist referred to as 'modern primitive', was begun in 1886 but not completed until two years later, in the 'Pointillist' technique Pissarro used for several years:

    Camille PIssarro - Tuilleries Gardens, Rainy Weather, 1899:

    Edward Manet - Mme. Claus, 1868-1869. The subject is Fanny Claus, a famous violinist who was a close friend of the artist’s wife. From the late 1860s onwards when Manet began to focus his attention on his family and close friends. A concert violinist and member of the first all-women string quartet, Fanny was one of Manet’s favourite sitters and a member of a close-knit group of friends who also provided the artist with models. She married the artist Pierre Prins (1838–1913), another friend of Manet’s, in 1869, but died of tuberculosis just eight years later at the age of 30:

    Toulouse-Lautrec - La Toilette, 1891:

    Room/Gallery 66, European Art 19th century:

    Frederic Lord Leighton - Acme and Septimus, 1868:

    James Jaques Joseph Tissot (1836 - 1902), Quarreling:

    William Turner of Oxford - High Street, Oxford. William Turner (1775 - 1851) was an English painter who specialized in water-colour landscapes. He is different from the more famous artist J. M. W. Turner. He is often known as William Turner of Oxford or just Turner of Oxford to distinguish him from his better known William Turner. Many of Turner's paintings depicted the countryside around Oxford. In 1898 the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford held a retrospective exhibition of his work. Some of his paintings are still on permanent display at this museum:

    William Turner of Oxford - Ehrenbreitstein (The Bright Stone of Honour) and Tomb of Marceau (from Lord Byron’s ‘Childe Harold’) , near Laurley, Coblenz, Germany, 1817:

    William Turner of Oxford - The Devil's Bridge, St. Gotthard Pass, 1804:

    Edward Lear, Sunrise from the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, 1865:

    William Dyce, Jacob and Rachel, 1857:

    The new Cascading Staircase and Zvi and Ofra Meitar Attrium form the central core of the new design of the museum:

    Rooftop terrace and restaurant of the museum:

    We leave the Ashmolean Museum. With our back to Beaumont Street and on our right is Magdalen Street and on our left is the St. Giles' Street - we see two colleges on these two roads: On our right (south - Magdalen Street) is Balliol College

    and on our left, north - along its continuation St. Giles' Street) is the St John's College:

    Balliol College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. Among the college's alumni are three former prime ministers: H.  Asquith, Harold Macmillan, and Edward Heath. Political economist Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, who is perhaps the best known alumnus of the college. Balliol College was founded in about 1263 by John I de Balliol with the help and supervision of the Bishop of Durham. The oldest parts of the college are the north and west ranges of the front quadrangle, dated to 1431, respectively the medieval hall, west side, now the "new library" and the "old library" first floor north side. For many years, there has been a traditional and fierce rivalry shown between the students of Balliol and those of its immediate adjacent college to the east - Trinity College. Open: everyday 10.00- 17.00 (or dusk, whichever is sooner). Price: £2 per adult, £1 concessions and students. From time to time - you may find the college closed due to academic events. You can also telephone on the day to check openings: 01865 277777. Cafeteria: The Buttery in the Garden Quad serves light refreshments and is open to the public when the College is open to visitors. Opening times are: Term time: MON - FRI 12.30 to 21.00, SAT 11.00 - 17.00. Out of term: MON - FRI 11.00 - 18.00, SAT 11.00 – 17.00.

    DO NOT MISS THE MAGNIFICENT DINING HALL of Balliol College !!!:

    Balliol College Chapel:

    St John's College, part of the the University of Oxford was founded in 1555, on the site of the old Cistercian College, by the merchant Sir Thomas White (lately Lord Mayor of London). It was built to provide a source of educated Roman Catholic clerics to support the Counter-Reformation under Queen Mary. St John's initially had a strong focus on the creation of a proficient and educated priesthood. St John's is the wealthiest college in Oxford - largely due to nineteenth century suburban development of land in the city of Oxford, of which it is the ground landlord. The college occupies a central location on St Giles' and has a student body of approximately 390 undergraduates and 250 postgraduates, as well as over 100 academic staff members. The Front Quadrangle mainly consists of buildings built for the Cistercian St Bernard's College. Construction started in 1437. The turret clock, made by John Knibb, dates from 1690. OPen: daily - 13.00 - 17.00.

    Canterbury Quad -  The entrance to the Great Lawn and Groves:

    St John’s College Chapel:

    The nearby Lamb and Flag Pub and Restaurant  is owned and operated by the college.

  • Museums | Spain > Madrid
    Updated at May 28,2013

    (4) Prado Museum - very big museum (just like the louvre in Paris), so you can easily get lost. If you love art, worth seeing the famous paintings of Velasquez and Goya.

  • Museums | Spain > Madrid
    Updated at May 28,2013

    Maps of museums in Madrid.

  • Museums | South Africa > Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa > Dias Museum, Market Street, Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
    Updated at Jun 19,2013

    We went back to the Train lodge, packed our things and in five minutes we were were at the Shell Musem which is part of the Dias Museum complex. The museum was really nice and included not only shells but also exhibitions about history, live animals, etc. 

  • Museums | Netherlands > Amsterdam, The Netherlands > Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Updated at Jun 27,2013

    I had a chance to visit the 'Van Gogh at Work' exhibition in the Van Gogh museum.

    The anniversary exhibition, Van Gogh at work shows how in ten years’ time Van Gogh developed into a unique artist with an impressive oeuvre. Over 200 works of art provide insight into Van Gogh’s way of working, including paintings, works on paper, letters and personal effects of the painter,on display were his original sketchbooks, paint tubes and only surviving palette, from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris

  • Museums | Norway > Borg, Prestegårdsveien, Bøstad, Norway > Lofotr Viking Museum
    Updated at Jul 11,2013

    We got into Borg to visit the Viking Museum (http://www.lofotr.no/) . In 5 centigrade temperature, with  wind blowing, we felt we were totally freezing, when all we did was get into the main building after buying a ticket in the new building. We saw the exhibition which was very suitable for kids.  We didn't even dare go on the viking ship. We got to the building where the souvenir shop was located to get some soup and get warm. Our noses were leaking the whole time and we had to use toilet paper (tissue was in the car). We bought two magnets for 55 krone each - quite expensive for other places in Norway. 

  • Museums | Italy > Tuscany, Italy > Terra Bianca
    Updated at Jul 13,2013

    Around 12:00 we reached Terra Bianca winery (http://www.terrablanca.com/)  for a wine tour and tasting. The tour was scheduled a day in advance. In order to reach the winery we needed specific instructions, and to drive several kilometers on dirt roads... The visit itself cost 10/6 Euros, depending on how much wine you want to taste.

    The following hour and a half we received, just the two of us, a comprehensive and interesting explanation from our guide Patricia, on the wine, the olive oil, including samples, tasting, and visiting the production line. All that remained to us was continuing directly to lunch, this time without the wine...