The State Hermitage is one of the biggest museums in the world.The collection numbers more then 3 millions items from prehistoric to modern times.
Magnificent works of prehistoric culture,egyptian art,antiquity, scythian gold,superb collections of western european art andsculptures are displayed in over 400 halls of the museum.
Museum features 3 000 000 works of art: 15 000 paintings, 12 000 sculptures, 600 000 drawings, 600 000 archaeological finds, 222 000 objects of applied art, a million coins and medals.
Дворцовая 34, м.Невский пр, 571-3420, 571-3465.10.30-18.00,Вс. с 10.30-17.00,Вых:Вс.
Постоянная коллекция включающая в себя около 3 млн. экспонатов
Выставка музея Прадо (Мадрид). Живопись. Лучшее из классической коллекции. До 29 мая
Thomas de Thomon. работы из коллекции Эрмитажа. Архитектура, графика. До 29 мая.
Catherine the Great started her art collection in 1764 by purchasing paintings from Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. He had put together the collection for Frederick II of Prussia, but ultimately the latter refused to purchase it. Thus Gotzkowsky provided 225 or 317 paintings, mainly Flemish and Dutch, including 90 not precisely identified, to the Russian crown.The collection consisted of Rembrandt (13 paintings), Rubens (11 paintings), Jacob Jordaens (7 paintings), Antoon van Dyck (5 paintings), Paolo Veronese (5 paintings), Frans Hals (3 paintings, including Portrait of a Young Man with a Glove), Raphael (2 paintings), Holbein (2 paintings), Titian (1 painting), Jan Steen (The Idlers), Hendrick Goltzius, Dirck van Baburen, Hendrick van Balen and Gerrit van Honthorst. In 1764 Catherine commissioned Yury Velten to build an extension to the east of the Winter Palace, completed in 1766. Later it became the Southern Pavilion of the Small Hermitage. In 1767–1769 French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe built the Northern Pavilion on the Neva embankment. In 1767–1775 the extensions were connected to each other by galleries, where Catherine put her collections.The entire neoclassical building is now known as the Small Hermitage. At the time of Catherine the Hermitage wasn't a public museum, very few people were allowed within. Catherine acquired the best collections offered for sale by the heirs of prominent collectors. Bruhl's collection, consisting of over 600 paintings and a vast number of prints and drawings, was purchased in Saxony in 1769. Crozat's collection of paintings was bought in France in 1772 with the assistance of Denis Diderot. The collection of 198 paintings that once belonged to Robert Walpole was acquired in London in 1779. In 1781 a collection of 119 paintings was purchased in Paris from Count Baudouin. The collection soon overgrew the building. In her lifetime Catherine acquired 4,000 paintings from 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,so in 1771 she commissioned Yury Velten to build another major extension. The neoclassical building was completed in 1787 and has come to be known as the Large Hermitage or Old Hermitage. Catherine also gave the name of the Hermitage to her private theatre, built nearby between 1783 and 1787 by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi. In 1787 in London Catherine acquired the collection of sculpture that belonged to Lyde Browne, mostly Ancient Roman marbles. Catherine used them to adorn the Catherine Palace and park in Tsarskoye Selo, but later they became the core of the Classical Antiquities collection of the Hermitage. In 1787-1792 Quarenghi designed and built a wing along the Winter Canal with the Raphael Loggias to replicate the loggia in the Apostolic Palace in Rome designed by Donato Bramante and frescoed by Raphael. The loggias in Saint Petersburg were adorned with copies of Vatican frescoes painted by Cristopher Unterberger and his workshop in the 1780s. Expansion in the 19th century The Raphael Loggias Portico with atlantes, historical entranceIn 1815 Alexander I of Russia purchased 38 pictures from the heirs of Josephine de Beauharnais, most of which had been looted by the French in Kassel during the war. The Hermitage collection of Rembrandts was then considered the largest in the world. Also among Alexander's purchases from Josephine's estate were the first four sculptures by the neoclassical Italian sculptor Antonio Canova to enter the Hermitage collection. Eventually the imperial collections were enriched by Greek and Scythian artifacts excavated within the Russian Empire. In 1840–1843 Vasily Stasov redesigned the interiors of the Southern Pavilion of the Small Hermitage. In 1838 Nicholas I commissioned the neoclassical German architect Leo von Klenze to design a building for the public museum. Space for the museum was made next to the Small Hermitage by the demolition of the Shepelev Palace and royal stables. The construction was overseen by the Russian architects Vasily Stasov and Nikolai Yefimov in 1842–1851 and incorporated Quarenghi's wing with the Raphael Loggias. In 1851 in Venice the museum acquired the collection of Cristoforo Barbarigo, including five more canvases by Titian. Today, all of the paintings but one (Danae) by Titian in the Hermitage Museum came to St. Petersburg from the Barbarigo collection. The New Hermitage was opened to the public in 1852. In the same year the Egyptian Collection of the Hermitage Museum emerged, and was particularly enriched by items given by the Duke of Leuchtenberg, Nicholas I's son-in-law. Meanwhile in 1851–1860, the interiors of the Old Hermitage was redesigned by Andrei Stackensneider to accommodate the State Assembly, Cabinet of Ministers and state apartments. Andrei Stakenschneider created the Pavilion Hall in the Northern Pavilion of the Small Hermitage in 1851–1858. Until the 1920s the museum's entrance was under the portico supported by five-metre high atlantes of grey Serdobol granite from Finland in the middle of the southern facade of the New Hermitage building. In 1861 the Hermitage purchased from the Papal government part of the Giampietro Campana collection, which consisted mostly classical antiquities. These included over 500 vases, 200 bronzes and a number of marble statues. The Hermitage acquired Madonna Litta, which was then attributed to Leonardo, in 1865, and Raphael's Connestabile Madonna in 1870. In 1884 in Paris Alexander III of Russia acquired the collection of Alexander Basilewski, featuring European medieval and Renaissance artifacts. In 1885 the Arsenal collection of arms and armour, founded by Alexander I of Russia, was transferred from the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo to the Hermitage. In 1914 Leonardo's Benois Madonna was added to the collection After the October Revolution Immediately after the Revolution of 1917 the Imperial Hermitage and Winter Palace, former Imperial residence, were proclaimed state museums and eventually merged. The range of the Hermitage's exhibits was further expanded when private art collections from several palaces of the Russian Tsars and numerous private mansions were being nationalized and then redistributed among major Soviet state museums. Particularly notable was the influx of old masters from the Catherine Palace, the Alexander Palace, the Stroganov Palace and the Yusupov Palace as well as from other palaces of Saint Petersburg and suburbs. In 1922 an important collection of 19th-century European paintings was transferred to the Hermitage from the Academy of Arts. In turn, in 1927 about 500 important paintings were transferred to the Central Museum of old Western art in Moscow at the insistence of the Soviet authorities. In the early 1930s, 70 more paintings were sent there. After 1932 a number of less significant works of art were transferred to new museums all over the Soviet Union. In 1928, the Soviet government ordered the Hermitage to compile a list of valuable works of art for export. In 1930-1934, over two thousand works of art from the Hermitage collection were clandestinely sold at auctions abroad or directly to foreign officials and businesspeople. The sold items included Raphael's Alba Madonna, Titian's Venus with a Mirror, Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi of 1475, and Jan van Eyck's Annunciation, among other world known masterpieces by Rembrandt, Van Dyck. In 1931, after a series of negotiations, 21 works of art from the Hermitage were acquired by Andrew W. Mellon, who later donated them to form a nucleus of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (See also Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings). A room in the Winter PalaceWith the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, before the Siege of Leningrad started, two trains with a considerable part of the collections were evacuated to Sverdlovsk. Two bombs and a number of shells hit the museum buildings during the siege. The museum opened an exhibition in November 1944. In October 1945 the evacuated collections were brought back, and in November 1945 the museum reopened. In 1948 316 works of Impressionist, post-Impressionist and modern art from the collection of the Museum of New Western Art in Moscow, originating mostly from the nationalized collections of Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morozov and disestablished before the war, were transferred to the Hermitage, including works by Matisse and Picasso. Beginning in 1967, a number of works by Matisse were donated to the museum by his muse Lydia Delectorskaya. In 1981, the restored Menshikov Palace became a new branch of the Hermitage museum, displaying Russian culture of the early 18th century. Danae after restorationOn June 15, 1985, a man later judged insane attacked Rembrandt's painting Danae, displayed in the museum. He threw sulfuric acid on the canvas and cut it twice with his knife. The restoration of the painting had been accomplished by Hermitage experts by 1997, and Danae is now on display behind armoured glass.