The State Hermitage – A Museum of Art & Culture
The State Hermitage, a museum of art and culture is situated in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is one of the oldest and the largest museum in the world which was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764. It had been opened to the public since 1852.
Majority of the Hermitage collection has been kept in the Winter Palace which was formerly the official residence of the Romanov Tsars and its many annexes. There seems to be several other sites establishing part of the Hermitage, including the recently opened Storage Facility towards the north of St. Petersburg that provides guided tours through some of the vast stocks of the museum.
The guide visit to Hermitage has been designed to help tourist to find their way around this massive collection together with a detailed tour of the focal site with information on each of the affiliated museums. The museums main architectural joint is situated towards the centre of St. Petersburg which consist of the winter Place, the former state residence of the Russian emperors, buildings of the Small, Old-Great and the New Hermitages, Hermitage Theatre and the Auxiliary House.
Three Million Works on Exhibit
The Hermitage Museum complex tends to include the Menshikov Palace as well as the Eastern Wing of the General Staff building. It also includes the Staraya Restoration and the Storage Centre together with the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg. With the exception of the Louvre, there seems to be no other museum in the world that competes with the Hermitage in quality and size.
It has a massive collection which is so large that it would take years to view it completely. There are almost three million works on exhibit. It is said that the museum is particularly strong in Italian Renaissance and French Impressionist paintings. It possesses an outstanding collection of works by Rembrandt, Picasso and Matisse.
Tourists visiting it could take advantage of its amazing Greek and Roman antiquities collections together with its exhibits of Siberian and Central Asian art. The attraction of the museum is its fine interior decoration and its architectural details and its interiors is so amazing in its own right that visitors tend to find it the best way to tour the museum by making several briefer visits instead of a frantic and exhausting lengthy tour.
Museum Opened After Revolution of 1917
The origin of the Hermitage could be traced to the private art collection of Peter the Great who had purchased various works at the time of his travel abroad and thereafter had them hung in his residence. The collections had been expanded considerably by Catherine the Great and she with her successor had built the Hermitage collection in huge part with purchases of the private assortments of the Western European aristocracy and the monarchy. Nicholas II who had ascended the throne by that time in 1917 became the heir to the greatest collections of art in Europe.
After the Revolution of 1917, the museum was then opened to the public where the collections were further increased with the addition of modern works that were taken from private collections. Presently the Hermitage has gone on a major renovation attempt and its collections is in the process of being updated with several of its works being made available for the first time to travelling exhibits beyond the country.