St. Petersburg - The Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum - Floor 2

JUL 02,2015 - JUL 02,2015 (1 DAYS)

Russian Federation

1 DAYS

Museums

Tip 1: The Winter Palace  - The State Rooms

Tip 2: The Small Hermitage: French Art , Art of the Western European Middle Ages, Dutch Art and the Pavilion Hall

Tip 3: The New Hermitage: Flemish, Dutch and German Art, The Twelve-Column Hall, The Knights' Hall, Italian Art

Tip 4: The New and Old Hermitage: Italian and Spanish Renaissance and Fine Art.

Tip 1 Main attractions: Rastrelli Staircase, The Great (Nicholas) Hall (Hall 191), The Concert Hall (room 190), Field Marshall Room (Room 193), The Malachite Room - Room 189, The Gambs Room - Room 185, The Library of Nicholas II - Room 178, The Boudoir - Room 306, The Gold Drawing Room - Room 304, The White Hall - Room 289, Room of French Art of the 18th Century - Room 287, Room of French Art of the 18th Century - Room 286, Alexander Hall - Room 282, The Picket Room - Room 196, The Armorial Hall - Room 195, The Peter the Great (Small Throne) Room - Room 194, The Field Marshall Room - Room 193, The War Gallery of 1812 - Room 197, The St. George (Large Throne) Hall - Room 198, The Great Church - Room 271,

Note: For the French paintings of the 19th–20th centuries which are on display in the General Staff Building - see another blog.

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

Prices:

  • 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. This is a combined entrance ticket to the State Hermitage allowing visiting all the museum facilities operated by the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg in two consecutive days, including: the main displays located in the five interconnected buildings of the museum on Palace Embankment; the displays in the General Staff building on Palace Square and the Menshikov Palace on University Embankment; the Winter Palace of Peter the Great down the Palace Embankment from the main complex; the Porcelain Museum on Prospekt Obukhovskoy oborony.
  • Entry ticket to one of the museum branches - 300 RUB. This is a regular entrance ticket to the State Hermitage allows visiting the complex of Hermitage buildings located on Palace Embankment that contain the main exhibition halls. It gives access to the museum displays housed in five interconnected buildings.
  • Schoolchildren, students (irrespective of their citizenship !), pensioners of the Russian Federation - FREE.
  • FREE admission for all visitors: The first Thursday of every month. Expect huge waiting queues. We did it on 2 JUL 2015. It took us 1.5 hrs waiting. We saw, in one day (which was satisfactory), the main museum complex (incl. the Winter palace). Herds of visitors around.

Public Transport:
Metro: Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor.

Buses: 7, 10, 24, 191.

Trolleys: 1, 7, 10, 11.

Entrance: from the Palace Square. Everyone appears to join an enormous queue. On-line tickets (see below) require that you swap your voucher for a ticket (approx.100-200 persons in that queue) and then another long queue to enter the Hermitage). SO, USE the AUTOMATIC MACHINES. There are a couple of self-service ticket machines in the courtyard before the main entrance. Enter the Palace Square, walk across past the monument towards the Winter Palace black iron gates. Enter Just through the arch, on the right as you enter the courtyard, there is a ticket machine. The instructions are in English and it costs 600 rubbles to buy a ticket. Join the short-time queue to the entrance and Voila ...

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Online tickets: You can avoid a L-O-N-G line at the ticketing office at the museum by purchasing Hermitage tickets online. When you place an order with the Hermitage e-shop (https://www.hermitageshop.org/tickets/), you will receive a Ticket Voucher via email in 20 minutes. Just print it and handle it, with your ID (Passport) on entry day. There are two types of tickets and  prices: 

  • 18 USD - one-day entrance ticket to the Main Museum Complex and the General Staff Building.
  • 23 USD - two-consecutive-days entrance ticket to the Hermitage museum, the General Staff Building and all museum's branches.

If you are going to purchase tickets in advance, I recommend you do it on the Russian website because the tickets are cheaper. If you do not understand Russian, it does not matter, you can just use an automatic translator in your web browser or you can open both versions (the Russian and English page) on two different screens in order to understand the Russian.

After you make your e-purchase you will be emailed a PDF voucher, which you must print out at home and present (along with a valid ID, like a passport) in a special kiosk just inside the museum courtyard (with the face inside - to the left). In return you’ll be given an admission ticket, and off you go, bypassing the line of people who, for whatever reason, would rather wait…and wait…and wait to get inside. You should print the voucher and present it on the day of your visit along with your ID !!!

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Guided tours:  guided tour ticket for one visitor in groups of maximum 25 people to the Main Museum Complex or the General Staff Building according to the tour schedule - 200 RUB. The tickets are purchased together with the entrance ticket upon arrival. Information about guided tours' hours is available daily at information stands at the main entrance.
Guided tour tickets can be purchased at museum ticket offices. Visitors from abroad can enjoy tours in European languages: English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Audio-guides for 350 Rub are available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish as well. Please be aware, though, that it is not possible to buy tickets for neither the Gold nor the Diamond Treasure Rooms online (Floor 1). You are only allowed to visit these sections of the Museum on a scheduled guided tour.

Food and Smoking: There is only one café in the whole building. It is right in the middle on the ground floor. It is a good idea to plan your tour in a way that you will come back to this place for a lunch or tea time break. Better - bring some protein bars or heartier snacks along with you in your bag and find a place for rest and lunch. Quite difficult to find. If you are a smoker you might be in trouble. Smoking obviously is prohibited inside the building, but on top of that there are no easy ways out or smoking areas. So best prepare yourself for a day without food and without a smoke !

Photography: Flash photography or use of illumination devices are not allowed.

Luggage: Backpacks go in lockers but if you have a large handbag there is no problem.

Views from the museum's windows: the views from the windows are spectacular. There aren’t views like this anywhere else in the world.

When are the best times to visit The Hermitage: The best time to visit the museum is in winter and spring, when there are less people. Should you be visiting St. Petersburg mainly to see the collection of the Hermitage, I advise you to go in winter! The whole winter palace is well heated and there are not even half as many tourists there as in summer. Believe me! You don’t want to wait a quarter of an hour to see the Pavilion Hall or one of the two Da Vincis with elbows pushing into your ribs from both sides. And if you still want to come in summer, it’s better to do this in the middle of the day while tour groups are having lunch. The museum can barely hold the large amount of visitors that arrive during the summer. In fact, the tourist crowds in summer make it impossible for true art lovers to see the basic museum collections.

What not to see in the Hermitage Museum: this blog concentrates on the SECOND FLOOR only. Down in the first floor you will find a huge collection focused on ancient Greece and Egypt. Now if you’ve never seen an egyptian sarcophagus or a greek amphora you might want to consider checking this part of the collection. There are no true highlights to be found there like in the British Museum or the Pergamon in Berlin, or in the Louvre though. Most Hermitage museum guides do not really mention these at all. So better save those for another visit or another day. On the third floor there is some Art from Asia and Asia Minor. Probably the same can be said about these rooms: while interesting in itself there are other museums in the world that really specialized on these cultures. Rather save your time and head to the General Staff Building. You don’t want to miss that ! (see our blog on the GSB collections).

Introduction: There is no museum in the world that rivals the Hermitage in size and quality. Its collection is so large that it would take months to view its whole treasures. There are nearly three million works on exhibit (17,000 paintings and 600,000 graphic works, over 12,000 sculptures and 300,000 works of craft, 700,000 archeological and 1,000,000 numismatic findings). The museum itself, IS STUNNING, BREATH-TAKING with its fine interior decoration and architectural detail. The museum consists of five buildings located in the historical center on the Neva embankment (southern shore of the Neva). The Winter Palace that comprises the main collection of the state museum has 1,057 halls and rooms. As the Hermitage is so enormous, its collection so impressive and diverse, and its interior so attractive in its own right - many visitors prefer to make several briefer visits rather than one lengthy, hurried and exhausting one-day tour. Many visitors don't try to see the entire museum in one day. Instead, they concentrate on one section or specialty. To see all the art displayed you'd have to cover a distance of about 22 km. Another way is to explore the whole main complex on a high-speed reconnaissance tour for a 2-3 hours to get an overview of as much as you can see. Then go back later (on another day when you've recovered!) to concentrate on your favorite bits and see them properly. Even so, after several visits you will touch only the tip of the iceberg... The museum is also worth a visit for its sumptuous interior.
The Winter Palace in particular is magnificent, with its marvelous Jordan Staircase and dazzling splendor of the many state rooms.

As we said before, the State Hermitage consists of five linked buildings along the Palace Embankment (north) (or: riverside Dvortsovaya nab.). From west to east they are:

Winter Palace: This stunning mint-green, white and gold profusion of columns, windows and recesses, with its roof topped by rows of classical statues, was commissioned from Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754 by Empress Elizabeth. Catherine the Great and her successors had most of the interior remodelled in a classical style by 1837. It remained an imperial home until 1917, though the last two tsars spent more time in other palaces.

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Small Hermitage: The classical Small Hermitage was built for Catherine the Great as a retreat that would also house the art collection started by Peter the Great, which she significantly expanded.

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Old Hermitage: At the river end of the Little Hermitage is the Old Hermitage, which also dates from the time of Catherine the Great.

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New Hermitage: Facing Millionnaya ul on the south end of the Old Hermitage, the New Hermitage was built for Nicholas II, to hold the still-growing art collection. The Old and New Hermitages are sometimes grouped together and labelled the Large Hermitage.

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State Hermitage Theatre: Built in the 1780s by the classicist Giacomo Quarenghi, who thought it one of his finest works. Concerts and ballets are still performed here. In the same building but accessed from the Neva Embankment are the remains of the Winter Palace of Peter I.

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The museum is especially strong in Italian Renaissance and French Impressionist paintings, as well as possessing outstanding collections of works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Tician, Rubens, Rembrandt, Picasso (the main complex) , Renoir and Matisse (the General Staff Building). Visitors should also take advantage of its excellent Greek and Roman antiquities collection (mostly, copies) and its exhibits of Central Asian art. The museum also hosts a world's best collection of Holland Baroque, French paintings of 19th and 20th centuries, Western European decorative art collection and a unique Gold of the Scythes exhibition. 

History: The Winter Palace was built in 1754-1762 by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. In 1764-75, at the order of Catherine the Great, Small Hermitage was erected by Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe and Yuri Felten. In 1771-87, Yuri Felten built the Great Hermitage. In 1783-87, based on Giacomo Quarenghi designs, the Hermitage theatre was built. The museum was damaged in an 1837 fire and reconstructed in the neoclassical style in the 19th cent. To complete the ensemble, in 1842-51 Leo von Klenze built the New Hermitage for the emperor museum.  Nicholas I also greatly enriched it and opened the galleries to the public for the first time in 1852.

The origins of the Hermitage collections can be traced back to the private art collection of Peter the Great, who purchased numerous works during his travels abroad and later hung them in his residence. Catherine the Great expanded the collection considerably, and she and her successors built the Hermitage collection in large part with purchases of the private collections of the Western European aristocracy and monarchy. The collection of Catherine the Great began with the purchase of more than two hundred paintings from Berlin art merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. This collection consisted of a plethora of impressive works by artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Raphael, Holbein, Tician, and several others. Historians say that during her lifetime Catherine the Great acquired 4,000 paintings by the old masters, 38,000 books, 10,000 engraved gems, 10,000 drawings, 16,000 coins and medals and a natural history collection filling two galleries. Catherine the Great aimed to enhance the international reputation of the Russian imperial court. At the same time, it was a display of power and wealth, sending an important political symbol to rival empires in Europe. By the time Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, he was heir to the greatest collection of art in Europe. Opened to the public in 1852, the museum contained only the imperial collections until 1917. After the Revolution of 1917, the museum was opened to the public, and its collection was further augmented by the addition of modern works taken from private collections. Today, the Hermitage has embarked on a major renovation effort. Its collection is in the process of being reorganized, and many of its works have for the first time become available for traveling exhibits outside of Russia. Today the collection on display is simply staggering and represents nearly every major epoch in the history of man, since Paleolithic times to the present day.

The Hermitage now has a permanent partnership with the Guggenheim in New York and maintains permanent show rooms in London (Somerset House), Las Vegas (Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum), and Amsterdam (Hermitage-Amsterdam Exhibition Complex). It has also received a substantial technology grant from IBM for a digital image studio and a new interactive website. The complex also continues to host a theatre (built 1783), an orchestra (1989), a music academy (1997), a center for education and Internet technology (1997), in addition to shops, cafes, and other services.

Future plans: The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has announced plans to open a new institution in Moscow called the Hermitage Modern Contemporary Museum. The space will display some of the museum’s iconic 20th-century works as well as contemporary art. Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture, noted for their interactive virtual version of the Guggenheim, have been selected to design the museum, a 15-story structure.

Getting in: High season: The biggest crowds of tourists gather in June and at the beginning of July for the legendary "White Nights". The Museum is closed on Mondays. If you come during high season, try to arrange the Hermitage visit for Wednesday afternoon and avoid the busiest day – Tuesday. There are less people during lunchtime and in the evenings (but keep in mind that you’ll need about 3-4 hours to see the most important Hermitage collections). Ticket offices close an hour earlier, than the museum itself. Low season: The best way to avoid waiting is to come either 10 minutes before opening time or after 15.00  - 16.00. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday are the least crowded days. Try to avoid Tuesday even during low season. During school holidays crowds grow significantly (end of December - first week or two of January). In winter there’s often a waiting line for the cloakroom so even with a ticket you’ll probably have to wait a little bit.

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Hermitage Rastrelli Staircase is called, also,  Jordan Staircase. During state receptions and functions the Jordan Staircase was a focal point for arriving guests. After entering the palace through the Ambassadors' entrance, in the central courtyard, they would pass through the colonnaded ground floor Jordan Hall before ascending the staircase to the state apartments. It was here that the imperial family watched the Epiphany ceremony of baptism in the Neva River, which celebrated Christ's baptism in the Jordan River. This grandiose staircase retainins the original 18th-century style. Only the supporting  grey granite columns, were added in the mid 19th century. The staircase was badly damaged by a fire that ruined part of the palace in 1837.  Nicholas I ordered Vasily Stasov, the architect in charge of reconstruction, to restore the staircase using Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli's original plans. The stair hall is decorated with alabaster statues (some of which were brought from Italy in Peter the Great's reign) of Wisdom and Justice by Mikhail Terebenev (1795-1866); Grandeur and Opulence by Alexander Ustinov (1796-1868); Fidelity and Equity by Ivan Leppe; and Mercury and Mars by Apollon Manyulov. The 18th-century ceiling painting by Gasparo Diziani depicting Mount Olympus visually enlarges the interior that is transfused with light, gleaming gold and mirrors.

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Jordan Staircase brings us up to the impressive rooms of state, where imperial receptions, official ceremonies, court festivities, and magnificent balls were held. This is a series of spectacular state rooms designed to overwhelm those entering  - with the imperial glory and military might of the Russian Empire. We start with the rooms of the Neva Enfilade, which runs west from the Jordan Staircase. Several rooms have spectacular views across the river to the Strelka on Vasilevskiy Island. We continue with a series of rooms which display entitled Russian Palace Interiors of the 19th Century, which, also, feature recreations of the Winter Palace's more private rooms: for example: Nicholas II's  Library Room and the charming, Russian Empire Music Room. At the southwest corner of the Winter Palace, a further cluster of rooms has been preserved, amongst them the incredibly magnificent Golden Drawing Room.

The Great (Nicholas) Hall (Hall 191) of the Winter Palace: This room is the first to hit in the Great Suite of State Rooms in the Winter Palace. Tt derives a special grandeur from its Corinthian columns. After Nicholas I's death in 1855 a formal portrait of him was installed here and the hall was given his name:

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view to the Neva river from the Nicholas hall:

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The Concert Hall (room 190) is on right side (adjoining) of the Nicholas Hall. Also created by the architect Vasily Stasov after the 1837 fire. Paired Corinthian columns support a cornice bearing statues of the ancient muses and the goddess Flora.

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The Concert Room opens to the Room 189 - The Malachite Room. The Malachite Room, designed by Alexander Briullov, 1839, served as the state drawing-room of Empress Alexandra Fiodorovna, the wife of Tsar Nicholas I. On one of the walls is depicted an allegorical picture of Night, Day and Poetry by Antonio Vighi. There are also 19th-century works of decorative and applied art. During summer 1917 - this room was the main meeting point of the emerging Bolshevik government. The dominant color of this room - is deep green.

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Music Room - Room 187:

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Rossi Room - room 186:

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The Gambs Room - Room 185 - "Exhibition: The Decoration of the Russian Interior in the 19th Century". Former Study room of Tsarina Alexandra Fiodorovna. The display is devoted to the work of the best-known furniture-maker in Russia in the early years of the 19th century - Heinrich Gambs (1765-1831). Gambs arrived to St Petersburg in the 1790s and founded a firm that produced mahogany furniture and flourished until the 1870s.

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Drawing Room - room 184:

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Pompian Dining room - Room 183:

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Smoking Room - Room 179:

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The Library of Nicholas II - Room 178: Created in 1894-95 by the architexct Alexander Krasovsky with extensive use of English Gothic motifs. The bookcases are placed along the walls and on the upper gallery, which is reached by a staircase. In the gallery, on the desk - there is a porcelain sculpture portrait of Nicholas II, the last Russian emperor.

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Neo-classical Room - room 177:

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Art- Nouveau room - Room 176:

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Neo-Russian Room - room number is one of the three (173-175):

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Room 172 - Goblins and Glass Artworks:

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Personal items of Tsar Alexander II - Room 170:

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Russian Culture - 2nd half of the 18th century - room 169:

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Russian Culture - 1st half of the 18th century - A Cradle - room 167:

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The Boudoir - Room 306: The Boudoir was part of the apartments of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II. The posh room was designed in 1853 by the architect Herald Bosse. It is total Rococo- style room with deep crimson silk fabrics with metal threads, soft gilded furniture, heavy chandeliers reflected in the mirrors - all create a royal atmosphere and striking, intimate imperial feeling.

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The Golden Drawing Room - Room 304: one more apartment of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II. This room retains its original decoration. Here, the extensive room was designed and created, reconstructed following the fire of 1837, by the architect Alexander Briullov in 1838-41: stunning parquet floor, vaulted ceilling, marble or jasper columns, heavy gilt mouldings on the walls in a Byzantine style, multiple bas-reliefs, gilded doors, glass cabins, impressive marble fireplace and mosaic pictures:

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We are, now, in the most south-west room - The White Hall - Room 289: Again, the White Hall, was, also, designed and created by Alexander Briullov for the wedding of the future Emperor Alexander II in 1841. The dominant color is different shades of white. Centered in the White Hall are figures of ancient Roman gods. On top of the Corinthian columns are  figures symbolizing the arts. Displayed, in the hall, pictures of French painters from the second half of the 18th century: Hubert Robert, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun and Jean-Louis Voille:

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The White Hall - Room 289: view to the Palace Square:

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Room of French Art of the 18th Century - Room 287: In the centre of the room is the famous sculpture of Voltaire that was commissioned by Catherine II (who exchanged letters with Voltaire for 16 years) and created by the sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon. Volataire is presented and dressed as a Greek philosopher. Other pictures, in the room, are: Still life by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, The Washerwoman (1735), Saying Grace (1740) by Jean-Baptiste Chardin.

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Room 286 - Winter by the 8th-century French sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet:

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Marie-Anne Collot (French 1748-1821) made the sculpture of Voltaire - which stands also in Room 286. Collot made the bust of Voltaire around 1770 to Catherine's commission. The philosopher was well known in Russia, where his works on Russian history had been published even before Catherine's reign. When she took the throne in 1762, the Empress began a long correspondence with Voltaire that ended only with his death in 1778. To create the bust Collot used existing depictions of Voltaire:

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Room 286: view to the Palace Square:

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French Decorative Art - Room 283:

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French Decorative Art - Alexander Hall - Room 282: the room is dedicated to Emperor Alexander I and commemorates the reign of Emperor Alexander I and the Napoleonic Wars - particularly, the French invasion to Russia (Patriotic War of 1812). Created by Alexander Briullov after the 1837 fire. The walls contain twenty-four medallions commemorating Russia's victory over the French, created by the sculptor Count Fyodor Tolstoy:

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We move, now, to a series of state room - NORTHWARD.

The Picket Room - Room 196 : designed by Vasily Stasov in 1838 and intended for the changing of the internal palace guard. It was, in this, roo, where the lesser court staff members, accompanied by their wives - greeted the Tsar family. Reliefs with motifs of military equipment are placed between the pilasters. Paintings of the vaulted ceiling depict battle scenes of the Patriotic War of 1812 by Peter von Hess. The room also contains works by 16th- to 18th-century silversmiths of Augsburg and Nuremberg as part of the Hermitage's large collection of German silverware. You can see, here, personal belongings of Napoleaon and his rival - Marshall Kutuzov:

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Battle of Viazma on 22 October 1812:

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The Armorial Hall - Room 195: the Armorial Hall of the Winter Palace was intended for grand receptions. It was created by Vasily Stasov in the late 1830s. The entrances to the hall are flanked by sculptural groups of early Russian warriors. Attached to the shafts of their banners were little shields bearing the arms of the Russian provinces, which gave the hall its name.

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The Peter the Great (Small Throne) Room - Room 194: created in 1833 by Auguste Montferrand and restored after the 1837 fire by Vasily Stasov. The room featuring crimson velvet wall panels embroidered with silver double-headed eagles and decorated with a plethora of gilt. The room commemorates Peter the Great. its decoration features the Emperor's monogram (two Latin letters P), double-headed eagles and crowns. In a niche that is designed like a triumphal arch is a painting of Peter-the-great  accompanied by the allegorical figure of Glory (Minerva) (by Jacopo Amigoni). Above the throne we note the painting of hovering cupid ready to place a crown upon Peter's royal head. Set into the upper parts of the walls are paintings (by Pietro Scotti and Barnaba Medici) depicting Peter in major battles of the Northern War. The throne was made in St Petersburg in the late 18th century. The room also contains two large battle scenes from Peter's victorious northern war against Sweden (Battle of Poltava and the Battle of Lesnaya by Pietro Scotti (1768-1837) and Barnabas Medici). In this room - the foreign delegates greeted the Tsar for the upcoming new year:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The next hall northward (turning to the left at the top of the Rastrelli staircase) we reach the Field Marshall Room - Room 193. Placed on the walls between the pilasters are portraits of Russian filedmarshals - in honor of Russia's military leaders. Hence the name of the room. The room contains full-length portraits of Russian Field Marshals - most notably (from left to right) Kutuzov, Suvorov and Potemkin. Further motifs of military glory embellish the massive gilded bronze chandeliers and the paintings on the ceiling:

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Portrait of Suvorov:

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Prince Mikhail Kutuzov of Smolensk:

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RETURN TO ROOM 195 and move eastward to The War Gallery of 1812 - Room 197: Gallery dedicated to the victory of Russian arms over Napoleon. It was built by Karl Rossi and unveiled on the anniversary of the exile of Napoleon in Russia, 25 December 1826. Placed on its walls painted portraits by George Dawe 332 generals – members of the war in 1812 and foreign campaigns of 1813-1814:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The gallery has a portrait of Emperor Alexander I and King of Prussia, Frederick III of F. Kruger:

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a portrait of Emperor Franz I of Austria by P. Kraft:

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Room 197 opens eastward to The St. George (Large Throne) Hall - Room 198: Created in the early 1840s by Vasily Stasov who followed the compositional approach of his predecessor, Giacomo Quarenghi. The grand decor of the hall accords with its function as the setting for official ceremonies and receptions. The columned hall with two tiers of windows is finished with Carrara marble. The great imperial throne was made in London to a commission from Empress Anna Ioannovna (by Nicholas Clausen, 1731-32). The hall has a magnificent parquet floor made from 16 varieties of wood:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Return (westward) to room 197 and continue southward to room 270. from there continue to The Great Church - Room 271:  this room belonged to the suite of rooms in the Old (Large) Hermitage in the mid-19th century. The interior décor has not survived. During restoration in 2003 the walls were painted the colour of the cloth that used to cover/decorate the room. The majority of the works in this room were painted by Veronese (1528-1588) the greatest artist of the Venetian school :

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Here, we finalize our visit in the Hermitage state rooms. There are more state room like the Pavilion Hall (room 204) - but, they are included in our following tips in this blog. Now, skip to Tip 2.

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Tip 2: The Small Hermitage: French Art , Art of the Western European Middle Ages, Dutch Art and the Pavilion Hallt:

Main Attractions: Poussin Room - room 279, Lorrain Room - room 280, Room 284 (Antoine Watteau), Room 285 (François Boucher) (Etienne Maurice Falconet), Bernard Palissy - French Porcelains - Room 273, Rooms 255-262, The Pavilion Hall - Room 204.

French Art - rooms 263-281:

Now, we browse the most southern rooms in the central section of the 1st floor - numbered 263-281. Coming from the Great Church (room 271) you might start at room 270 (anti-clockwise) or room 272 (clockwise). In the 18th century increased the popularity of French art among art collectors. This trend was reflected also in the putchases of Catherine the Great. She was responsible for bringing to St. Petersburg of most of the French famous art treasures - found in these rooms. With twelve works by Nicolas Poussin and the same number by Claude Gellee (Lorrain), paintings by the Le Nain brothers, Antoine Watteau, Francois Boucher, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Hubert Robert, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Jean-Baptiste Chardin, the exhibition of French paintings from the 16th to 18th century is one of the highlights of the Hermitage. The most known French painters represented in the Hermitage collection are: Claude Gellée, known as Lorrain (1600-1682), one of the foremost French Classicists of the 17th century (room 280) and the great French Classical artist of the 17th century Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) - room 279.

Evening Landscape - Claude Lorrain (room 280). Claude Lorrain also known as Claude Gellée.  C. 1600 – 23 November 1682 was a French painter who spent most of his life in Italy, and is admired for his achievements in landscape painting.

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Landscape of River Tiber - Claude Lorrain (room 280):

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Italian Landscape - Claude Lorrain (room 280):

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Tancred and Erminia - Nicolas Poussin (room 279). Nicolas Poussin - June 1594 – 19 November 1665, was a leading painter of the classical French Baroque style, although he spent most of his working life in Rome. His work is characterized by favor of line over color. He worked in Rome for a circle of leading collectors there and elsewhere, except for a short period when Cardinal Richelieu ordered him back to France to serve as First Painter to the King. Most of his works are history paintings of religious or mythological subjects that very often have a large landscape element:

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Rest on the Flight into Egypt - Nicolas Poussin (room 279):

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An Embarrasing Proposal (1715) - Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) - room 284. Jean-Antoine Watteau, 1684 – 1721, better known as Antoine Watteau, was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement, as seen in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens. Watteau best known subjects were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet:

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The Capricious Girl - Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) - room 284:

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Coypel, Charles-Antoine - Fury of Achilles - room 284. Charles-Antoine Coypel ,1694 – 1752, was a French painter, art commentator, and playwright. He lived in Paris and was the son of the artist Antoine Coypel and inherited his father’s design and painting duties as First Painter to the King at the French court when his father died in 1722. He became premier Painter to the King and director of the Académie Royale in 1747. He received a number of commissions for paintings for the Palais de Versailles, and worked for Madame de Pompadour, the king’s mistress. Coypel was an excellent tapestry designer. He designed tapestries for the Gobelins manufactory. His most successful tapestries were created from a series illustrating Don Quixote. These illustrations were painted as cartoons for tapestries, and were engraved and published in a deluxe folio in Paris in 1724. Coypel created twenty-eight small paintings for these tapestries over a number of years. Over two hundred pieces of the Don Quixote series were woven between 1714 and 1794. He received a commission to design a series of theatrical scenes for tapestries for the queen of Poland in 1747.Coypel also wrote prose, several comedies, two tragedies, and some poetry:

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Apollo and Daphne - Jean-Francois de Troy - Room 284. Jean François de Troy,  1679 - 1752, Rome, was a French Rococo painter and tapestry designer. He was one of a family of painters, being the son of the portrait painter François de Troy (1645–1730), under whom he first studied, and at whose expense he first went to Italy from 1699 to 1706, staying in Rome, but also visiting many north Italian cities:

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Room 285:

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Pastoral Scene - François Boucher - room 285:

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François Boucher - Landscape Near Beauvais - room 285:

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Cupid - Etienne Maurice Falconet - room 285:

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Bernard Palissy - French Porcelains - Room 273:

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Room 273 - French Icons:

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Lamentation - Jacques Bellange - room 273:

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Portrait of a Young Man - Pierre Dumonstier, 1570-75 - room 273:

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Allegorical Portrait of Anna of Austria - Simon Vouet (1590 - 1649) - room 275 or 276:

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Hercules Among the Olympians - Simon Vouet (1590 - 1649) - room 275 or 276:

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Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple - Eustache Le Sueur - room 275 or 276:

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Jacob Burying Laban's Images - Sebastien Bourdon - room 276:

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Room 297 - see Tip 1.

Art of the Western European Middle Ages - Rooms 255 -262: These rooms reside in the central part of Floor 1. We are in the Small Hermitage. We move from south to north.

Room 262:

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Group Portrait of the Shooting Company of Amsterdam, 1532 - Dirk Jacobsz (1496–1567, was a Dutch Renaissance painter) - Room 262:

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Brueghel, Pieter the Younger - Winter Landscape with a River, The Netherlands, 1615-1620 - room 262:

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Brueghel, Pieter the Younger - Fair with a Theatrical Presentation,
The Netherlands, First Half of 17th century - room 262:

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The Lamentation - Goes, Hugo van der, The Netherlands, Early 16th century - room 261:

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From room 261 turn left to the small room no. 260:

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We found in room 260 - a quartet of singers:

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Return to room 261 and continue north to the LONG hall or room 259:

Figurine of the Sitting Madonna with Child, France, Early of the 14th:

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Plaques with Scenes from the Novel of Tristan, France, First half of 14th century:

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Cross the smallish room 203 and enter The Pavilion Hall - Room 204. Pavilion Hall, designed by Andrei Stackenschneider in 1858. Andrei Stakenschneider is the most significant Russian architect of the Eclecticism style. In the design of this interior he intermingled architectural elements of Classical Antiquity, Renaissance and the Orient. The Pavilion Hall occupies the first floor of the Northern Pavilion in the Small Hermitage. The hall is adorned with an arcade of columns supporting a graceful gallery. The combination of light marble with gilt stucco ornaments and the brightly shining twenty-eight crystal chandeliers make it particularly impressive. It features the 18th-century golden Peacock Clock by James Cox and a collection of mosaics. The floor of the hall is adorned with a 19th-century imitation of an ancient Roman mosaic:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Golden Peacock - Pavilion Hall - room 204:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Neva river from the Pavilion Hall:

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From the Pavilion Hall - it is easy to have a glance at the Small Hermitage Garden:

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From the Pavilion Hall we move southward to a further series of 3-4 rooms of Western European Middle Ages and Dutch Art: rooms 255 - 258. Later, we move  eastward to the New Hermitage and a large group of rooms of Flemish, Dutch and German Art (rooms 206-248).

European Middle Ages - Room 255: - Cranach the Elder - Portrait of a Woman:

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European Middle Ages - Room 255: - Cranach the Elder - Venus and Cupid:

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Dutch Art - Room 256: Frans hals - Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Glove, Holland, Circa 1650. Frans Hals the Elder c. 1582 – 1666, was a Dutch Golden Age portrait painter who lived and worked in Haarlem. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and he helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals played an important role in the evolution of 17th-century group portraiture:

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Dutch Art - Room 256: Dirck Hals - Home Concert, The Netherlands, 1623. Dirck Hals, 1591 – 1656, born at Haarlem, was a Dutch painter of festivals and ballroom scenes. He was influenced by his elder brother Frans Hals:

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Dutch Art - Room 257: Adriaen van der Werff - Sarah Bringing Hagar to Abraham, Holland, 1696. Adriaen van der Werff, 1659 – 1722, was an  Dutch painter of portraits and mythological scenes:

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Dutch Art - Room 257: Jan Steen, Idlers, Holland, Circa 1660. Jan Havickszoon Steen, 1626 – 1679, was a Dutch painter of the 17th century (also known as the Dutch Golden Age. His works are known for their psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour:

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 You may skip room 258. We recommend returning to room 255 or room 205 or even back to the Pavilion Hall - and from there move eastward to the New Hermitage and a large group of rooms of Flemish, Dutch and German Art (rooms 206-248). The first room, there, will be room 206 or the Council Staircase. Skip to Tip 3.

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Tip 3: The New Hermitage: Flemish, Dutch and German Art, The Twelve-Column Hall, The Knights' Hall, Italian Art

Main Attractions: The Council Staircase and The Yekaterinburg Vase, Rembrandt Room - room 254, The Tent-Roofed Room - Room 249, Room 248, The Rubens Room - Room 247, The Van Dyck Room - Room 246, Room of Flemish Art - Room 245, The Twelve-Column Hall - Room 244, The Knights' Hall - Room 243, 

We move in the New Hermitage building anti-clockwise - starting at the most north-west room number 206 or, better, the staircase that leads to this room. The Council Staircase was designed in the mid-19th century by the architect Andrei Stakenschneider in the mid-19th century. It connects three buildings - the Small, the Great and the New Hermitages. Light colours dominate the interior: the walls are adorned with panels and pilasters of white and pink artificial marble, the top of the staircase is decorated with white marble pillars. The staircase owe their name to the meetings of the State Council held on the ground floor of the Great Hermitage in the mid-19th century. The ceiling painting of The Virtues Presenting Russian Youth to Minerva adorned the Oval Room that previously existed in this location. The only strong accent in the interior is a malachite vase manufactured at The Yekaterinburg Imperial Lapidary Works (Yekaterinburg, 1850s). Room 206, is, actually, the Upper Landing of the Council Staircase:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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We move south to The Rembrandt Room - room 254. The room contains a unique collection of paintings by Rembrandt (1606-1669). There are works, representing both the artist's early and late periods (among them Flora, The Descent from the Cross, The Sacrifice of Isaac, Danaë, David and Jonathan, The Holy Family, Portrait of an Old Man in Red and The Return of the Prodigal Son):

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Rembrandt - Danae - Room 254:

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Rembrandt - David and Jonathan - Room 254:

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Rembrandt - Young Man with Lace Collar - Room 254:

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Rembrandt - Portrait of Old Man in Red - Room 254:

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Rembrandt - The Sacrifice of Isaac - Room 254:

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Rembrandt - The Return of the Prodigal Son - Room 254:

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Rembrandt - The Descent from the Cross - Room 254:

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Gerbrand van den Eeckhout,  1621-1674, Abraham and the Three Angels, Holland, 1656 - Room 253. A favourite student of Rembrandt. He was also an etcher, an amateur poet, a collector and an adviser on art:

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Barent Fabritius, 1624-1673, Ruth and Boaz, Holland, 1660 - Room 253. Fabritius was born at Middenbeemster, North Holland. He studied with his brothers Johannes and Carel Fabritius, and probably with Rembrandt as well. He was a painter of biblical subjects, mythical and historical scenes, in addition to expressive portraits. He died in Amsterdam:

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Ferdinand Bol, Bacchus and Ariadne, Holland, 1664 - Room 253. Ferdinand Bol, 1616 – 1680, was a Dutch artist, etcher, and draftsman. His surviving work displays Rembrandt's influence; like his master, Bol favored historical subjects, portraits, numerous self-portraits, and single figures:

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Pieter Lastman, Abraham and the Three Angels, The Netherlands, 1623 - Room 252. Pieter Lastman (1583 – 1633) was a Dutch painter and is considered important because of his work as a painter of history pieces and because his pupils included Rembrandt and Jan Lievens. In his paintings Lastman paid a lot of attention to the faces, hands and feet:

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Gerard de Lairesse, Hagar in the Desert, Holland, Between 1675 and 1680 - Room 252. Gerard or Gérard (de) Lairesse, 1641 – 1711,  was a Dutch Golden Age painter and art theorist. His broad range of talent included music, poetry, and theatre. De Lairesse was influenced by the Perugian Cesare Ripa and French classicist painters. His importance grew in the period following the death of Rembrandt:

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Gerrit Dou, Astronomer, Holland, Circa 1628 - Room 251. Gerrit Dou, 1613 – 1675, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, whose small, highly polished paintings are typical of the Leiden school. He was a student of Rembrandt. He specialized in genre scenes and is noted for his candlelit night-scenes:

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Gerrit Dou, Herring Seller, Holland - Room 251:

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Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675, Soldier Bather, Holland, Circa 1660-1665 - Room 250:

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Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675, Old Woman Reading a Book, Holland, 1670 - 1675 - Room 250:

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Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675, Woman Bather, Holland, Circa 1660-1665 - Room 250:

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The Tent-Roofed Room - Room 249: the room contains paintings of the Dutch and Flemish schools. In December 2014, just before the Hermitage in St Petersburg celebrated its 250th anniversary, the so-called Tent Room – the largest room of Dutch paintings – was reopened after undergoing restoration. This room, which is named for its unique gabled roof, is one of the largest in the New Hermitage. The decorative painting of the interior includes ancient motifs, and sculptural elements crown the window pediments. In the display you can see works by such famous 17th-century artists as Jacob van Ruisdael, Pieter Claesz, Willem Kalf and Willem Heda, genre paintings by Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch, as well as two portraits by Frans Hals. Many of the frames now have non-reflecting glass, and this, in addition to the new lighting system, makes these Old Masters easier to view, even on dark days:

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Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael, Seashore, Holland, Late 1660s - early 1670s - room 249. A Dutch Golden Age painter, mainly, of a wide variety of landscape subjects:

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Jan Steen - Doctor's Visit - room 249:

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Jan Steen, 1625 or 1626-1679, Esther before Ahasuerus, Holland, Late 1660s, room 249:

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Childhood of Christ - Gerrit van Honthorst, 1590-1656,  room 249. Gerrit van Honthorst was one of the leading Dutch followers of Caravaggio. The influence of the great Italian master is clear in the down-to-earth nature of the scene, in the half-figures shown close to, and in the powerful contrasts of light and shade. It was no accident that earlier the Hermitage picture was thought to be a copy from Caravaggio's picture:

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Further south is Room 248 - Room of Dutch Art of the Late 16th and 17th Centuries. Among the paintings, in this room, are two pictures by Hendrik Goltzius - Adam and Eve and The Baptism, as well as works by Jan Breughel the Elder (Velvet Breughel), David Teniers the Younger and Theodor Rombouts.

The King Drinks - Jacob Jordaens - Room 248:

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Banquet of Cleopatra - Jacob Jordaens - Room 248:

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Adam and Eve - Hendrik Goltzius - Room 248:

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Jan Brueghel, the Elder, 1568-1625, Adoration of the Magi, Flanders, Between 1598 and 1600 - room 248:

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We move eastward to the  The Rubens Room - Room 247. Peter Paul Rubens, 1577 – 1640, is a very famous Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects. In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England:

Rubens - Bacchus - Rubens Room - Room 247:

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Rubens - Mars and Venus - Rubens Room - Room 247:

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Rubens - Perseus Liberating Andromeda - Rubens Room - Room 247:

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Rubens - Venus and Adonis, 1610-1611 - Rubens Room - Room 247:

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The Van Dyck Room - Room 246. The collection, in this room, includes, mainly, portraiture masterpieces of this genius painter. Anthony van Dyck, 1599 – 1641, was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects and was an important innovator in water colours and etching:

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Van Dyck - Two Ladies Waiting - Van Dyck Room - Room 246:

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Van Dyck - Old Man - Van Dyck Room - Room 246:

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Van Dyck - Portrait of Henry Danvers - Van Dyck Room - Room 246:

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The next room to the east - Room of Flemish Art - Room 245 - is a BEAUTIFUL room or hall:

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Paul de Vos, 1596-1678, The Leopard Hunt, Flanders, a Flemish Baroque painter who specialized in still lifes and animal and hunting scenes - Room of Flemish Art - Room 245:

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David Teniers the Younger, 1610-1690, Monkeys in the Kitchen, Flanders, Middle of the 1640s - Room of Flemish Art - Room 245:

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Next, we arrive to the most southeastern room in the New Hermitage Museum (in Floor 2)  - The Twelve-Column Hall - Room 244. The Hall of Twenty Columns was created by the architect of the New Hermitage Leo von Klenz, who was a leading theoretician of museum construction at the time. The hall was intended for display of antique vases and the architect especially designed for it cases and table surfaces that were manufactured in the factories of P. G. Gambs, A.I. Tur, and E. A. Miller. The walls of the hall were decorated with painted panels on subjects taken from the frescoes in Etruscan burial chambers that were discovered not long before the construction of the building and which inspired the imagination of architect Leo von Klenz. The design of the mosaic floor is reminiscent of antique patterns. Both the architecture and the interior decoration of the hall recreate for the visitor an artistic image of a gracious ancient temple. The hall is now used for temporary exhibitions:

Sculpture of Voronikhin - Room 244:

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We change direction and continue northward (still, anti-clockwise) to the  The Knights' Hall - Room 243. The Knights’ Hall is one of the big gala halls of the Imperial Museum of the New Hermitage. Originally the hall, decorated with paintings in the Neo-Greek style, intended for exhibition of coins. The hall is a part of the rich collection of weapons, numbering about 15,000 items: Western European art weapons of the XV-XVII centuries with wide range of tournament subjects, parade and hunting weapons and suits of armor. In the center of the hall there are the figures of knights in armor of the XVI century, on horseback, covered by armor. This cavalcade appearance recreates medieval armies ready for a fight or contest:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

WE, NOW, START A SERIES OF ITALIAN ART ROOMS. Continue northward to the small room number 242. Skip to Tip 4.

Museums

Tip 4: Italian and Spanish Renaissance and Fine Art.

The Main Attractions:

The New Hermitage: Raphael Loggias - Room 227, The Small Italian Skylight Room - Room 237, The Large Italian Skylight Room - Room 238, The Small Spanish Skylight Room - Room 239, The Spanish Skylight Room or the Spanish Cabinet - Room 240, The Italian Cabinet - Room 230, The Majolica Room - Room 229.

The Great (Old) Hermitage: Giulio Romano,  A Pair of Lovers - Room 226, The Veronese Room - Room 222, The Titian Room - Room 221, The Leonardo da Vinci Room - Room 214.

Part of the Italian Renaissance galleries (where we start, now) reside in the eastern wing of the New Hermitage with paintings, sculpture, majolica and tapestry from Italy of the 15th–16th centuries, including Conestabile Madonna and Madonna with Beardless St. Joseph by Raphael. The first floor of the New Hermitage contains three large interior spaces in the center of the museum complex with red walls and lit from above by skylights. These are adorned with 19th-century Russian lapidary works and feature Italian and Spanish canvases of the 16th-18th centuries, including Veronese, Giambattista Pittoni, Tintoretto, Velázquez and Murillo. In the enfilade of smaller rooms alongside the skylight rooms the Italian and Spanish fine art of the 15th-17th centuries, including Michelangelo's Crouching Boy and paintings by El Greco. The other rooms of Italian Renaissance Art are on the first floor of the Old Hermitage and were designed by Andrei Stakenschneider  between 1851 and 1860, although the design survives only in some of them. They feature works of Italian Renaissance artists, including Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, as well as Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta attributed to Leonardo da Vinci or his school.

Italian Sculpture - 18-19th centuries - Room 242:

Giovanni Duprè, Cain, Room 242. Giovanni Duprè, 1817 – 1882, was an Italian sculptor, settled in Tuscany, who developed a reputation second only to that of his contemporary Lorenzo Bartolini (see below):

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Lorenzo Bartolini, Nymph with a Scorpion, Italy, Between 1846 and 1851.
Lorenzo Bartolini, 1777 – 1850, was an Italian sculptor who mixed his neoclassicism with sentimental piety and naturalistic detail. He drew inspiration from the sculpture of the Florentine Renaissance:

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From room 242 continue northward and, immediately, turn right to the long Raphael Loggias - Room 227. The Raphael Loggias in the New Hermitage Museum are copies of the famous gallery created during the 16th century in the Vatican Palace. The gallery known as the Raphael Loggias, was designed by Giacomo Quarenghi and painted by Cristopher Unterberger and his workshop in the 1780s as a replication of the loggia in the Vatican in Rome frescoed by Raphael Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520), runs along the eastern facade. The vaults of this gallery are decorated with paintings based upon Biblical stories, and the walls are covered with human and animal forms interwoven with flowers and foliage. This decorative ornamentation was found in the ruins of Nero’s Golden House, referred to as grotesques. The Raphael Loggias in the Hermitage reveal the links of 18th century Classicism with Renaissance and Classical art. But that is also where the comparisons end.

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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Now, we change direction and move westward to a series of three halls lit from the outside. We start with The Small Italian Skylight Room - Room 237. The vaults of the room are richly decorated with gilded mouldings. The room is adorned by the works of 19th-century Russian stone artisans. The 16th- and 17th-century paintings to be seen here are part of the display of Italian art, one of the largest in the Hermitage. Particularly noteworthy in this room are works by Veronese and Tintoretto, and also those of artists of the Bolognese and Roman schools, including Annibale Carracci, Guercino, Guido Reni and Carlo Maratti.

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Paolo Veronese,  Conversion of Saul, Italy, Circa 1570 - The Small Italian Skylight Room - Room 237. An enormous canvas of chaos and confusion and no obvious subject until you focus on Saul laid low in the composition:

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Jacopo Robusti or Tintoretto, Birth of St John the Baptist, Italy, 1550s - The Small Italian Skylight Room - Room 237:

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Massimo Stanzione, 1585-1656, Death of Cleopatra, Italy, 1630s - 1640s - The Small Italian Skylight Room - Room 237:

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The next (westward) hall is The Large Italian Skylight Room - Room 238. This large room contains a display of 17th- and 18th-century Italian painting of celebrated artists as Canaletto, Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista Crespi and Francesco Guardi. The vaults of the room are decorated with moulded ornament in which Renaissance motifs predominate:

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Michele Marieschi (school of Canaletto), Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, 1740s - The Large Italian Skylight Room - Room 238:

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696-1770, Coriolanus at the Walls of Rome, Italy, Circa 1730 - The Large Italian Skylight Room - Room 238:

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Giuseppe Maria Crespi, 1665-1747, Death of St Joseph, Italy, Circa 1712 - The Large Italian Skylight Room - Room 238:

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The collection of Spanish painting occupies two halls on the first floor in the New Hermitage: the Small Spanish Skylight Hall and the Spanish Cabinet (rooms 239-240).

The Small Spanish Skylight Room - Room 239. Designed by Leo von Klenze 1851. You find here Spanish 17th- and 18th-century painting: two paintings by the great Spanish master Velazquez - Luncheon and Portrait of Olivares (1638), as well as works by other celebrated 17th-century artists - Ribera, Zurbaran and Cano, and a large collection of Murillos.

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Diego Velazquez, Portrait of Gaspar de Guzman, Count-Duke Olivares, Spain, 1638 - The Small Spanish Skylight Room - Room 239:

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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1617-1682, Isaac Blessing Jacob, Spain, Circa 1660 - The Small Spanish Skylight Room - Room 239:

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Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Jacob's Dream, Spain, Between 1660 and 1665 - The Small Spanish Skylight Room - Room 239:

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Move northward from room 239 to The Spanish Skylight Room or the Spanish Cabinet - Room 240. Far smaller room than the former one. Again, Spanish artists of the 15th to early 17th century. Visitors' attention is drawn to one of the masterpieces of the picture gallery - El Greco's painting of The Apostles Peter and Paul and other works by that great Spanish painter:

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Museums in , Russian Federation, visiting things to do in Russian Federation, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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El Greco,  The Apostles Peter and Paul, circa 16th-century - The Spanish Skylight Room - Room 240:

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El Greco , St Bernard, Spain, 1579 - The Spanish Skylight Room - Room 240:

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Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Portrait of Diego de Villamayor, Spain, 1605, FANTASTIC PICTURE - The Spanish Skylight Room - Room 240. This vibrant portrait of a 17-year-old courtier in burnished black and gold armour by a much less-well known artist is a remarkably successful study of power and character !

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From the Spanish Skylight Room we continue to a long series of inner rooms in the New Hermitage: the majority include Italian Art and the minority of them - Spanish Art. We start with rooms 230 -236, continue to the Majolica Room and finalize with rooms 207-226. We shall show, here, the most notable masterpieces or famous highlights - displayed in these rooms. The sequence of the inner rooms, in this tip - is according to our course of walking. From Room 240 we move eastward, first, to room 236.


Francesco Guardi, 1712-1793, View (Veduta) of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Italy, Between 1765 and 1775 - Italian Art - Room 236:

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo - Maecenas Presenting the Liberal Arts,1743 - Italian Art - Room 236:

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Pietro Rotari, Portrait of Countess A.M. Vorontsova, Italy, Between 1756 and 1762 -  talian Art - Room 235:

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Francesco Solimena, 1657-1747, Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well, Italy, Late 1690s - Italian Art - Room 234:

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Mattia Preti, Concert, Italy, Circa 1630 - Italian Art - Room 234:

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Alessandro Algardi, 1598-1654, Portrait of Olimpia Pamphilj (aristocrat and art-lovers Italian, Roman family), Italy, 1640s - Italian Art - Room 233:

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Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1598-1680, Constantine the Great, Italy, Circa 1662-1663 - Italian Art - Room 232:

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Bernardo Strozzi (Il Cappuccino), 1581-1644, St Secundus and Angel, Italy, Circa 1635-1640 - Italian Art - Room 232:

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Andrea Sacchi, 1599-1661, Venus at Rest, Italy - Italian Art - Room 231:

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Guido Reni, 1575-1642, St Joseph with Infant Christ in his Arms, Italy, Circa 1635 - Italian Art - Room 231:

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The last room and most eastern in this roow of inner rooms with Italian Art - is room 230 - the Italian cabinet. Here, you find one of the most famous highlights of the Itallian Renaissance art: The Crouching Boy by Michelangelo:

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Buonarroti Michelangelo, Crouching Boy, Italy, Between 1530 and 1534. Originally the sculpture was intended for the Medici chapel in the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence - The Italian Cabinet - Room 230:

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Baccio Bandinelli, Faun - The Italian Cabinet - Room 230:

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From room 230 we turn left, north, to The Majolica Room - Room 229. This is one of the grand halls of the New Hermitage. Constructed in the mid-19th century to the design of Leo von Klenze for the purpose of displaying the collection of cameos. The interior decoration of this room is based on motifs of Renaissance art. The hall features the collection of Italian art of the 15th and 16th centuries.

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Raphael (Raffaello Santi), 1483-1520, Madonna and Child (The Conestabile Madonna) - The Majolica Room - Room 229:

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Francesco Xanto Avelli, circa 1487-circa 1542, Tile, The Battle of Achilles and Hector, Italy - The Majolica Room - Room 229:

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Francesco Xanto Avelli, circa 1487-circa 1542, Plate. Polyphemus, Galatea and Acis, Italy, 1535 - The Majolica Room - Room 229:

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From the Majolica room - we turn right, EAST, the small room number 226. Browse it quickly.

The Workshop of Orazio Fontana, Dish. Minerva and Muses, Italy, Between 1565 and 1570 - room 226:

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WE ENTER, NOW THE The Great (Old) Hermitage.

Continue north to room 224 and, later, to room 216.Here, YOU FOND ONE OF THE MOST MONUMENTAL PICTURES IN THE WHOLE HERMITAGE. STUNNING. BREATH-TAKING.  Giulio Romano (1499-1546), A Pair of Lovers or The Two Lovers, (Due Amanti), c. 1525. This painting illustrates Giulio Romano's tendency for erotic subject matter. It may show the encounter between Zeus and Alcmene. Alcmene was the mother of Hercules and the wife of Amphitryon, but the night she conceived Hercules and his twin brother Iphicles, Alcmene mated with both Zeus, who had disguised himself as her husband, and Amphitryon. As a result, Zeus was Hercules's father, but Amphitryon was the father of Iphicles. The alarmed dog at the maidservant's feet points to a breach of marital fidelity. The bed's carved decoration of a satyr and nymph may allude to another of Zeus's amorous adventures, when he assumed the guise of a satyr to make love to the nymph Antiope. Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect and notably a prominent pupil of Raphael. His stylistic deviations from Renaissance’s Classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism. This picture stood in Catherine-the-Great bedroom for tens of years. What an inspiration !!!

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Room 216 provides a wonderful view over the little Winter (Zimnaya) Canal and the Hermitage Theatre.

The next series of rooms: 217-222 are centered around Venetian art. Turn LEFT, WEST to room 223 (NOT TO room 215 !), pass it quickly and arrive to, the more interesting, The Veronese Room - Room 222.

Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), Mourning of Christ, Pietà - The Veronese Room - Room 222:

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Paolo Veronese, Resurrection of Christ, Italy, 1570s -  The Veronese Room - Room 222:

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The next, westward room is The Titian Room - Room 221. The room is used to display works from the later part of the career of Titian (1488-1576), the great Venetian Renaissance artist. They include Danaë, The Repentant Mary Magdalene and St Sebastian. The Titian Room is one of the courtyard-side suite of rooms in the Old (Large) Hermitage that was decorated by Andrei Stakenschneider in the 1850s.

Room 221:

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Titian - Venus in Mirror- Titian Room - Room 221:

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Titian - Danae - Titian Room - Room 221:

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Titian - Pope Paul III - Titian Room - Room 221:

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Titian - Repentant Mary Magdalene- Titian Room - Room 221:

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Titian - St. Sebastian - Titian Room - Room 221:

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Room 220 is full with Italian painters. Most of the pictures are portraits.

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Lorenzo Lotto - Old Man - Room 220:

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Lorenzo Lotto - Family Portrait - Room 220:

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Room 219 includes, among others, pictures of Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo and Paris Bordone:

Titian, Portrait of Young Lady - room 219:

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Titian, The Flight into Egypt, c. 1506-07- room 219 (or room 217):

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Paris Bordone, 1500-1571, Portrait of a Lady with a Boy, Italy, Mid-1530s - room 219:

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Leandro Bassano, Carrying of the Cross, Italy, Early 1580s - Italian Art - Room 218:

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Jacopo Bassano (another Bassano...), 1517-1592, Autumn, Italy, 1577-1578 - Italian Art - Room 218:

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Giorgione (Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco), Judith, Italy, 1504 - Italian Art - Room 217:

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Room 217 opens to the smallish room 208 - Italian Painting of 13th-15th centuries. (room 206 - see Tip 3).

Simone Martini, circa 1284-1344, Madonna from the Annunciation Scene, Italy, Between 1340 and 1344 - Italian Art - Room 207:

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Continue eastward to room 209.

Fra Angelico, 1387-1455, Madonna and Child with Four Аngels, Italy, Early 1420s - Italian Art - Room 209:

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Fra Filippo Lippi, circa 1406-1469, Vision of St Augustine, Italy, Circa 1460 -  Italian Art - Room 209:

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Room 210 is about early Florentine art.
Andrea della Robbia, Boy with a Garland, Italy, Florence, 15th - early 16th century - room 210:

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We pass (our face eastward) through rooms 211 and 212.

Perugino, Portrait of a Young Man - Room 213:

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Perugino, circa 1450-1523, St Sebastian, Italy, 1493-1494 - Room 213:

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We arrive to The Leonardo da Vinci Room - Room 214. The Hermitage holds only two pictures of Leonardo da Vinci - and they are, both, in this room.

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The two paintings from Leonardo Da Vinci are probably the biggest attraction of the whole museum. Especially in summer there will be a huge crowd (the above pictures was taken in June !

Leonardo da Vinci. 1452-1519, The Benois Madonna (Madonna and the Child), Italy, 1478-1480 - Italian Art - Room 214:

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Leonardo da Vinci. 1452-1519, The Madonna Litta, Italy, Circa 1490 - Italian Art - Room 214:

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In the last, most north-eastern room no. 215 - you find pictures of Lenardo da Vinci pupils.

School of Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519, Nude Woman ("Donna Nuda"), Italy - room 215:

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Correggio (Antonio Allegri). 1489-1534, Portrait of a Lady, Italy, 1518-1519 - Room 215:

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Francesco Melzi. 1493-1570, Flora, Italy, Circa 1520 - Room 215. This portrait by one of Leonardo da Vinci followers is so appealing - that it reminds you, something of, the famous Mona Lisa:

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We arrive, again, to Room 216 - where resides the MONUMENTAL picture of Giulio Romano (1499-1546): A Pair of Lovers or The Two Lovers (Due Amanti). In our eyes - one of the most sensational and impressive masterpieces in the Hermitage.

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