The State Hermitage
Russia, St Petersburg
34, Nab. Dvortsova
Tel: (812) 110 90 72
Fax: (812) 311-87-56
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Atamanova Olga Yurevna)
In 1764, Russian Empress Catherine the Great purchased a considerable collection of Western European paintings, laying the foundation for the modern-day Hermitage. Today, the State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest museums in the world. Its collection is comprised of approximately three million exhibits, which span world art and culture from the Stone Age to the Twentieth Century. Its displays fill over 300 rooms.
The Hermitage collection boasts masterpieces by such well-known artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian and Rembrandt. It also contains one of the world’s best collections of French painting of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Moreover, unique artistic and cultural relics are to be found in the collections devoted to Antiquity, Russian Culture, Oriental Art, and Numismatics.
The main collections are housed in five magnificent buildings, which were constructed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and now make up a striking ensemble. They are the work of the leading architects of the time: Rastrelli (Winter Palace), Vallin de la Mothe (pavilion of the Small Hermitage), Velten (Old Hermitage) and Giacomo Quarenghi (Hermitage Theatre). Leo van Klenze’s New Hermitage, designed in the nineteenth century, was the first purpose-built art gallery in Russia.