Hermitage Museum
Overview
 
The State Hermitage is a museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 of art and culture in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise nearly 3 million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment
Palace Embankment
The Palace Embankment or Palace Quay is a street along the Neva River in Central Saint Petersburg which contains the complex of the Hermitage Museum buildings , the Hermitage Theatre, the Marble Palace, the Vladimir Palace, the New Michael Palace and the Summer Garden.The street was laid out...

, including the Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

, a former residence of Russian emperors.
Encyclopedia
The State Hermitage is a museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 of art and culture in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been opened to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise nearly 3 million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment
Palace Embankment
The Palace Embankment or Palace Quay is a street along the Neva River in Central Saint Petersburg which contains the complex of the Hermitage Museum buildings , the Hermitage Theatre, the Marble Palace, the Vladimir Palace, the New Michael Palace and the Summer Garden.The street was laid out...

, including the Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace
Menshikov Palace
The Menshikov Palace is a Petrine Baroque edifice in Saint Petersburg, situated on Universitetskaya Embankment of the Bolshaya Neva on Vasilyevsky Island. It was the first stone building in the city...

, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building
General Staff Building (Saint Petersburg)
The General Staff Building is an edifice with a 580 m long bow-shaped facade, situated on Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in front of the Winter Palace.The building was designed by Carlo Rossi in the Empire style and built in 1819-1829...

 are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad. The Hermitage is a federal state property. Since 1990, the director of the museum has been Mikhail Piotrovsky
Mikhail Piotrovsky
Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky is the Director of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. He was born in Yerevan in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic on 9 November 1944 to Boris Piotrovsky, a notable Orientalist and himself the future Director of the Hermitage, and Armenian mother...

.

Out of six buildings of the main museum complex, four, named the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage, are partially opened to the public. The other two are Hermitage Theatre and the Reserve House. The entrance ticket for foreign tourists costs four times as much as the fee paid by Russian citizens. However, the entrance is free of charge the first Thursday of every month for all visitors and daily for students and children. The museum is closed on Mondays. Entrance is in the Winter Palace from Palace Embankment or the Courtyard.

Buildings

Originally, the only building housing the collection was the Small Hermitage. Today, the Hermitage Museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment and its neighbourhoods. Apart from the Small Hermitage, the museum now also includes the Old Hermitage (also called Large Hermitage), the New Hermitage, the Hermitage Theatre
Hermitage Theatre
The Hermitage Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia is one of five Hermitage buildings lining the Palace Embankment of the Neva River.The palatial theatre was built between 1783 and 1787 at the behest of Catherine the Great to a Palladian design by Giacomo Quarenghi...

, and the Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

, the former main residence of the Russian tsars. In recent years, the Hermitage has expanded to the General Staff Building on the Palace Square
Palace Square
Palace Square , connecting Nevsky Prospekt with Palace Bridge leading to Vasilievsky Island, is the central city square of St Petersburg and of the former Russian Empire...

 in front of the Winter Palace, and the Menshikov Palace
Menshikov Palace
The Menshikov Palace is a Petrine Baroque edifice in Saint Petersburg, situated on Universitetskaya Embankment of the Bolshaya Neva on Vasilyevsky Island. It was the first stone building in the city...

.

Collections

The Western European Art collection includes European paintings, sculptures, applied art from the 13th to the 20th century and is on display in about 120 rooms on the first and second floor in the four buildings. Drawing and prints are displayed in temporary exhibitions.

Egyptian antiquities

Since 1940 the Egyptian collection, dating back to 1852 and including the former Castiglione
Carlo Ottavio, Count Castiglione
Count Carlo Ottavio Castiglione was an Italian philologist and numismatist, born of an ancient family at Milan, Italy, in 1784. He was descended from Baldassare Castiglione, the author of Il Cortegiano. Early in life he displayed a great aptitude for languages and numismatics and quickly acquired...

 Collection, has occupied a large hall on the ground floor in the eastern part of the Winter Palace. It serves as a passage to the exhibition of Classical Antiquities. A modest collection of the culture of Ancient Mesopotamia, including a number of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

n reliefs from Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

, Dur-Sharrukin
Dur-Sharrukin
Dur-Sharrukin , present day Khorsabad, was the Assyrian capital in the time of Sargon II of Assyria. Khorsabad is a village in northern Iraq, 15 km northeast of Mosul, which is still today inhabited by Assyrians. The great city was entirely built in the decade preceding 706 BCE...

 and Nimrud
Nimrud
Nimrud is an ancient Assyrian city located south of Nineveh on the river Tigris in modern Ninawa Governorate Iraq. In ancient times the city was called Kalḫu. The Arabs called the city Nimrud after the Biblical Nimrod, a legendary hunting hero .The city covered an area of around . Ruins of the city...

, is located in the same part of the building.

Classical antiquities

The collection of Classical Antiquities occupy most of the ground floor of the Old and New Hermitage buildings. The interiors of the ground floor were designed by German architect Leo von Klenze
Leo von Klenze
Leo von Klenze was a German neoclassicist architect, painter and writer...

 in the Greek revival style in the early 1850s, using painted
Faux painting
Faux painting or faux finishing are terms used to describe a wide range of decorative painting techniques. The naming comes from the French word faux, meaning false, as these techniques started as a form of replicating materials such as marble and wood with paint, but has subsequently come to...

 polished stucco
Stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...

 and columns of natural marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 and granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

. One of the largest and most notable interiors of the first floor is the Hall of Twenty Columns, divided into three parts by two rows of grey monolithic columns of Serdobol granite, intended for the display of Graeco-Etruscan vases. Its floor is made of a modern marble mosaic imitating ancient tradition, stucco walls and ceiling are covered in painting.

The Room of the Great Vase in the western wing features the 2.57 m high Kolyvan Vase, weighting 19 tonnes, made of jasper
Jasper
Jasper, a form of chalcedony, is an opaque, impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow, brown or green in color; and rarely blue. This mineral breaks with a smooth surface, and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone. It can be highly polished and is used for vases, seals, and at one time for...

 in 1843 and installed there before the walls were erected. While the western wing was designed for exhibitions, the rooms on the ground floor in the eastern wing of the New Hermitage, now also hosting exhibitions, were originally intended for libraries. The floor of the Athena Room in the south-eastern corner of the building, one of the original libraries, is decorated with an authentic 4th-century mosaic excavated in an early Christian basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 in Chersonesos in 1854.

The collection of Classical Antiquities feature Greek artefacts from the 3rd millennium – 5th century BC, Ancient Greek pottery
Pottery of Ancient Greece
As the result of its relative durability, pottery is a large part of the archaeological record of Ancient Greece, and because there is so much of it it has exerted a disproportionately large influence on our understanding of Greek society...

, items from the Greek cities of the North Pontic
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 Greek colonies, Hellenistic sculpture and jewellery, including engraved gems and cameos, such as the famous Gonzaga Cameo, Italic art from the 9th to 2nd century BC, Roman marble and bronze sculpture and applied art from the 1st century BC - 4th century AD, including copies of Classical and Hellenistic Greek sculptures. One of the highlights of the collection is the Tauride Venus, which, according to the latest research, is an original Hellenistic Greek sculpture rather than a Roman copy as it was thought before. There are, however, only a few pieces of authentic Classical Greek
Classical Greece
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...

 sculpture and sepulchral monuments.

Prehistoric art

On the ground floor in the western wing of the Winter Palace the collections of prehistoric artifacts and the culture and art of the Caucasus are located, as well as the second treasure gallery. The prehistoric artifacts date from the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 to the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 and were excavated all over Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. Among them is a renowned collection of the art and culture of nomadic tribes of the Altai from Pazyryk
Ukok Plateau
Ukok Plateau is a remote and pristine grasslands area located in the heart of southwestern Siberia, the Altai Mountains region of Russia near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia...

 and Bashadar sites, including the world's oldest surviving knotted pile carpet
Carpet
A carpet is a textile floor covering consisting of an upper layer of "pile" attached to a backing. The pile is generally either made from wool or a manmade fibre such as polypropylene,nylon or polyester and usually consists of twisted tufts which are often heat-treated to maintain their...

 and a well-preserved wooden chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

, both from the 4th–3rd centuries BC. The Caucasian exhibition includes a collection of Urartu
Urartu
Urartu , corresponding to Ararat or Kingdom of Van was an Iron Age kingdom centered around Lake Van in the Armenian Highland....

 artifacts from Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 and Eastern Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. Many of them were excavated at Teishebaini
Teishebaini
Teishebaini was the capital of the Urartian Transcaucasian provinces. It is presently located near the modern city of Yerevan in Armenia...

 under the supervision of Boris Piotrovsky
Boris Piotrovsky
Boris Borisovich Piotrovsky was a Soviet Russian academician, historian-orientalist and archaeologist who studied the ancient civilizations of Urartu, Scythia, and Nubia. He is best known as a key figure in the study of the Urartian civilization of the southern Caucasus...

, former director of the Hermitage Museum.

Jewellery and decorative art

Four small rooms on the ground floor, enclosed in the middle of the New Hermitage between the room displaying Classical Antiquities, comprise the first treasure gallery, featuring western jewellery from the 4th millennium BC to the early 20th century AD. The second treasure gallery, located on the ground floor in the southwestern corner of the Winter Palace, features jewellery from the Pontic steppes, Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, in particular Scythian and Sarmatian gold. Only guided visits to the treasure galleries are allowed.

On the first floor, the Pavilion Hall, designed by Andrei Stakenschneider in 1858, occupies the Northern Pavilion of the Small Hermitage. It features the 18th-century golden Peacock Clock by James Cox
James Cox (inventor)
James Cox was a British jeweller, goldsmith and entrepreneur best known for creating mechanical clocks, including Cox's timepiece and the Peacock Clock from the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg....

 and a collection of mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

s. The floor of the hall is adorned with a 19th-century imitation of an ancient Roman mosaic.

Two galleries running along the western side of the Small Hermitage from the Northern to Southern Pavilion house an exhibition of Western European decorative and applied art of the 12th to 15th century and the fine art of the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Italian Renaissance

The rooms on the first floor of the Old Hermitage were designed by Andrei Stakenschneider in revival styles in 1851-1860, although the design survived only in some of them. They feature works of Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 artists, including Giorgione
Giorgione
Giorgione was a Venetian painter of the High Renaissance in Venice, whose career was cut off by his death at a little over thirty. Giorgione is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are acknowledged for certain to be his work...

, Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

, Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

, as well as Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta
Madonna Litta
The Madonna Litta is a late 15th-century painting of the Madonna and Christ Child generally attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, and displayed in the Hermitage Museum, Russia....

attributed to Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 or his school.

The Italian Renaissance exposition continues in the eastern wing of the New Hermitage with paintings, sculpture, majolica
Maiolica
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance. It is decorated in bright colours on a white background, frequently depicting historical and legendary scenes.-Name:...

 and tapestry
Tapestry
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

 from Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 of the 15th–16th centuries, including Conestabile Madonna and Madonna with Beardless St. Joseph by Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

. The gallery known as the Raphael Loggias, designed by Giacomo Quarenghi
Giacomo Quarenghi
Giacomo Quarenghi was the foremost and most prolific practitioner of Palladian architecture in Imperial Russia, particularly in Saint Petersburg.- Career in Italy :...

 and painted by Cristopher Unterberger
Cristopher Unterberger
Christopher Unterberger was an Italian painter of the early-Neoclassical period.-Biography:He was born in Cavalese in County of Tyrol . He was initially taught drawing by an uncle, Franz Unterberger, and then in the Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna, where Michelangelo Unterberger, was the...

 and his workshop in the 1780s as a replication of the loggia in the Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 frescoed by Raphael, runs along the eastern facade.

Italian and Spanish fine art

There are three large interiors with red walls lit by a skylight from above enclosed in the middle of the Hermitage complex on the first floor of the New Hermitage. They are adorned with 19th-century Russian lapidary works and feature Italian and Spanish canvases of the 16th-18th centuries, including Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

, Tintoretto
Tintoretto
Tintoretto , real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso...

, Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

 and Murillo
Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children...

. In the enfilade
Enfilade (architecture)
In architecture, an enfilade is a suite of rooms formally aligned with each other. This was a common feature in grand European architecture from the Baroque period onwards, although there are earlier examples, such as the Vatican stanze...

 of smaller rooms alongside the skylight rooms the Italian and Spanish fine art of the 15th-17th centuries, including Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

's Crouching Boy and paintings by El Greco
El Greco
El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El Greco" was a nickname, a reference to his ethnic Greek origin, and the artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος .El Greco was born on Crete, which was at...

.

Knight's Hall

The Knights' Hall, a large room in the eastern part of the New Hermitage originally designed in the Greek revival style for the display of coins, now hosts a collection of Western European arms and armour of the 15th-17th centuries, part of the Hermitage Arsenal collection. The Hall of Twelve Columns in the southeastern corner of the New Hermitage, adorned with columns of grey Serdobol granite, which is also designed in the Greek revival style and was originally intended for the display of coins, is now used for temporary exhibitions.

The Gallery of the History of Ancient Painting runs from the Knights' Hall, flanking the skylight rooms on another side. It was designed by Leo von Klenze
Leo von Klenze
Leo von Klenze was a German neoclassicist architect, painter and writer...

 in the Greek revival style as a prelude to the museum and features neoclassical marble sculptures by Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova was an Italian sculptor from the Republic of Venice who became famous for his marble sculptures that delicately rendered nude flesh...

 and his followers. In the middle the gallery opens to the main staircase of the New Hermitage, which served as the entrance to the museum before the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 of 1917, but is now closed. The upper gallery of the staircase is adorned with twenty grey Serdobol granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 columns and feature 19th-century European sculpture and Russian lapidary works.

Dutch Golden Age and Flemish Baroque

The rooms and galleries along the southern facade and in the western wing of the New Hermitage are now entirely devoted to Dutch Golden Age
Dutch Golden Age painting
Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history generally spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years War for Dutch independence. The new Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe, and led European trade,...

 and Flemish Baroque painting
Flemish Baroque painting
Flemish Baroque painting is the art produced in the Southern Netherlands between about 1585, when the Dutch Republic was split from the Habsburg Spain regions to the south by the recapturing of Antwerp by the Spanish, until about 1700, when Habsburg authority ended with the death of King Charles II...

 of the 17th century, including the large collections of van Dyck, Rubens
Rubens
Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens , the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens (composer) Rubens is...

 and Rembrandt.

German and French fine art

On the first floor of the Winter Palace rooms along the southern facade are occupied by the collections of German fine art of the 16th century and French fine art of the 15th–18th centuries, including paintings by Poussin
Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century...

, Lorrain
Claude Lorrain
Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French Claude Gellée, , dit le Lorrain) Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French...

, Watteau.
The collections of French decorative and applied art from the 17th–18th centuries and British applied and fine art from the 16th–19th century, including Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough
Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter.-Suffolk:Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods. At the age of thirteen he impressed his father with his penciling skills so that he let...

 and Joshua Reynolds
Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy...

, are on display in nearby rooms facing the courtyard
Gardens of the Winter Palace
The gardens of the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, are little known, as the great imperial palace of the Romanovs was never intended to have gardens...

.

Russian art

The richly decorated interiors of the first floor of the Winter Palace on its eastern, northern and western sides are part of the Russian culture collection and host the exhibitions of the Russian art of the 11th-19th centuries. Temporary exhibitions are usually held in the Nicholas Hall.

Neoclassical, Impressionist, and post-Impressionist art

The second floor is partially available to the public only in the building of the Winter Palace. French Neoclassical
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

, Impressionist and post-Impressionist art, including works by Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to...

, Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

, Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh , and used Brabant dialect in his writing; it is therefore likely that he himself pronounced his name with a Brabant accent: , with a voiced V and palatalized G and gh. In France, where much of his work was produced, it is...

 and Gauguin
Paul Gauguin
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer...

, is displayed there in the southeastern corner.

Modern art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

 is on display in the rooms on the southern side of the second floor. It features Matisse, Derain and other fauvists, Picasso, Malevich, Kandinsky, Giacomo Manzù
Giacomo Manzù
Giacomo Manzù, pseudonym of Giacomo Manzoni , was an Italian sculptor, communist, and Roman Catholic.-Biography:...

 and Rockwell Kent
Rockwell Kent
Rockwell Kent was an American painter, printmaker, illustrator, and writer.- Biography :Rockwell Kent was born in Tarrytown, New York, the same year as fellow American artists George Bellows and Edward Hopper...

. A small room is devoted to the German Romantic art of the 19th century, including several paintings by Caspar David Friedrich
Caspar David Friedrich
Caspar David Friedrich was a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. He is best known for his mid-period allegorical landscapes which typically feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning...

. The Western wing on the second floor features collections of the Oriental art (from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

, Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 and Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

).

Origins: Catherine's collection

Catherine the Great
Catherine II of Russia
Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great , Empress of Russia, was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia on as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg...

 started her art collection in 1764 by purchasing paintings from Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky
Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky
Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky was a Prussian merchant with a successful trade in trinkets, silk, taft and porcelain. A relief on Meissen porcelain introduced in 1740s was named after him. Moreover he acted as a diplomat and art dealer...

. He had put together the collection for Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II was a King in Prussia and a King of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was also Elector of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

, 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
Rubens
Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens , the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens (composer) Rubens is...

 (11 paintings), Jacob Jordaens
Jacob Jordaens
Jacob Jordaens was one of three Flemish Baroque painters, along with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, to bring prestige to the Antwerp school of painting. Unlike those contemporaries he never traveled abroad to study Italian painting, and his career is marked by an indifference to their...

 (7 paintings), Antoon van Dyck (5 paintings), Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

 (5 paintings), Frans Hals
Frans Hals
Frans Hals was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture.-Biography:Hals was born in 1580 or 1581, in Antwerp...

 (3 paintings, including Portrait of a Young Man with a Glove), Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

 (2 paintings), Holbein (2 paintings), Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

 (1 painting), Jan Steen
Jan Steen
Jan Havickszoon Steen was a Dutch genre painter of the 17th century . Psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour are marks of his trade.-Life:...

 (The Idlers), Hendrick Goltzius, Dirck van Baburen
Dirck van Baburen
Dirck Jaspersz. van Baburen was a Dutch painter associated with the Utrecht Caravaggisti.-Biography:Dirck van Baburen was probably born in Wijk bij Duurstede, but his family moved to Utrecht when he was still young. He was also known as Teodoer van Baburen and Theodor Baburen...

, Hendrick van Balen
Hendrick van Balen
Hendrik van Balen was a Flemish Baroque painter.-Biography:Van Balen was born and died in Antwerp. He was a pupil of Adam van Noort and studied art while traveling in Italy...

 and Gerrit van Honthorst.

In 1764 Catherine commissioned Yury Velten to build an extension to the east of the Winter Palace
Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

, completed in 1766. Later it became the Southern Pavilion of the Small Hermitage. In 1767–1769 French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe
Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe
thumb|St. Petersburg's [[Imperial Academy of Arts]]Jean-Baptiste Michel Vallin de la Mothe was a French architect whose major career was spent in St...

 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. Brühl
Heinrich, count von Brühl
Heinrich, count von Brühl , was a German statesman at the court of Saxony and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth...

's collection, consisting of over 600 paintings and a vast number of prints and drawings, was purchased in Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 in 1769. Crozat
Pierre Crozat
thumb|265px|[[Rembrandt]]'s painting [[Danaë |Danae]] from Crozat's collection.Pierre Crozat was a French art collector at the center of a broad circle of cognoscenti; he was the brother of Antoine Crozat....

's collection of paintings was bought in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in 1772 with the assistance of Denis Diderot
Denis Diderot
Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent person during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopédie....

. The collection of 198 paintings that once belonged to Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole
Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, KG, KB, PC , known before 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a British statesman who is generally regarded as having been the first Prime Minister of Great Britain....

 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
Hermitage Theatre
The Hermitage Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia is one of five Hermitage buildings lining the Palace Embankment of the Neva River.The palatial theatre was built between 1783 and 1787 at the behest of Catherine the Great to a Palladian design by Giacomo Quarenghi...

, built nearby between 1783 and 1787 by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi
Giacomo Quarenghi
Giacomo Quarenghi was the foremost and most prolific practitioner of Palladian architecture in Imperial Russia, particularly in Saint Petersburg.- Career in Italy :...

. In 1787 in London Catherine acquired the collection of sculpture that belonged to Lyde Browne
Lyde Browne (antiquary)
Lyde Browne was an 18th century English antiquary and banker, who owned one of the largest antiquities collections of the time...

, mostly Ancient Roman marbles. Catherine used them to adorn the Catherine Palace
Catherine Palace
The Catherine Palace was the Rococo summer residence of the Russian tsars, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo , 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, Russia.- History :...

 and park in Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo is the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.-History:In...

, 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
Winter Canal
Winter Canal is a canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia, connecting Bolshaya Neva with Moika River in the vicinity of Winter Palace.The canal was dug in 1718-1719. Its length is only 228 metres, which makes it one of the shortest canals in the city...

 with the Raphael Loggias to replicate the loggia in the Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 designed by Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante was an Italian architect, who introduced the Early Renaissance style to Milan and the High Renaissance style to Rome, where his most famous design was St...

 and frescoed by Raphael. The loggias in Saint Petersburg were adorned with copies of Vatican frescoes painted by Cristopher Unterberger
Cristopher Unterberger
Christopher Unterberger was an Italian painter of the early-Neoclassical period.-Biography:He was born in Cavalese in County of Tyrol . He was initially taught drawing by an uncle, Franz Unterberger, and then in the Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna, where Michelangelo Unterberger, was the...

 and his workshop in the 1780s.

Expansion in the 19th century

In 1815 Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

 purchased 38 pictures from the heirs of Joséphine de Beauharnais
Joséphine de Beauharnais
Joséphine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte, and thus the first Empress of the French. Her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais had been guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she had been imprisoned in the Carmes prison until her release five days after Alexandre's...

, most of which had been looted by the French in Kassel
Kassel
Kassel is a town located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Kassel Regierungsbezirk and the Kreis of the same name and has approximately 195,000 inhabitants.- History :...

 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
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 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
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

 commissioned the neoclassical German architect Leo von Klenze
Leo von Klenze
Leo von Klenze was a German neoclassicist architect, painter and writer...

 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
Vasily Stasov
Vasily Petrovich Stasov was a Russian architect.-Biography:Stasov was born in Moscow....

 and Nikolai Yefimov in 1842–1851 and incorporated Quarenghi's wing with the Raphael Loggias.

In 1851 in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 the museum acquired the collection of Cristoforo Barbarigo, including five more canvases by Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

. Today, all of the paintings but one (Danaë) by Titian in the Hermitage Museum came to St. Petersburg from the Barbarigo collection.

The New Hermitage was opened to the public on 5 February 1852. In the same year the Egyptian Collection of the Hermitage Museum
Egyptian Collection of the Hermitage Museum
The Egyptian Collection of the Hermitage Museum dates back to 1852 and includes items from the Predynastic Period to the 12th century AD. It belongs to the Oriental Art section of the museum. The Egyptian exposition is hosted in a single large hall on the ground floor on the eastern side of the...

 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
Atlas (architecture)
In the classical European architectural tradition an atlas is a support sculpted in the form of a man, which may take the place of a column, a pier or a pilaster...

 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
Giampietro Campana
Giampietro Campana , created marchese di Cavelli , was an Italian art collector who assembled one of the nineteenth century's greatest collection of Greek and Roman sculpture and antiquities. The part of his collection of Hellenistic and Roman gold jewellery conserved in the Musée du Louvre...

 collection, which consisted mostly classical antiquities. These included over 500 vases, 200 bronzes and a number of marble statues. The Hermitage acquired Madonna Litta
Madonna Litta
The Madonna Litta is a late 15th-century painting of the Madonna and Christ Child generally attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, and displayed in the Hermitage Museum, Russia....

, which was then attributed to Leonardo, in 1865, and Raphael's Connestabile Madonna
Connestabile Madonna
The Conestabile Madonna is a small painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was likely the last work painted by Raphael in Umbria before moving to Florence....

in 1870. In 1884 in Paris Alexander III of Russia
Alexander III of Russia
Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov , historically remembered as Alexander III or Alexander the Peacemaker reigned as Emperor of Russia from until his death on .-Disposition:...

 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
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

, was transferred from the Catherine Palace
Catherine Palace
The Catherine Palace was the Rococo summer residence of the Russian tsars, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo , 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, Russia.- History :...

 in Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo is the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.-History:In...

 to the Hermitage. In 1914 Leonardo's Benois Madonna was added to the collection.

After the October Revolution

Immediately after the Revolution
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

 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 palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

s of the Russian Tsars and numerous private mansions were being nationalized
Nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

 and then redistributed among major Soviet state museums. Particularly notable was the influx of old masters from the Catherine Palace
Catherine Palace
The Catherine Palace was the Rococo summer residence of the Russian tsars, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo , 25 km south-east of St. Petersburg, Russia.- History :...

, the Alexander Palace
Alexander Palace
The Alexander Palace is a former imperial residence at Tsarskoye Selo, on a plateau around 30 minutes by train from St Petersburg. It is known as the favourite residence of the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, and his family and their initial place of imprisonment after the revolution that...

, the Stroganov Palace
Stroganov Palace
The Stroganov Palace is a Late Baroque palace at the intersection of the Moika River and Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The palace was built to Bartolomeo Rastrelli's designs for Baron Sergei Grigoriyevich Stroganov in 1753-1754...

 and the Yusupov Palace
Moika Palace
The Moika Palace or Yusupov Palace was once the primary residence in St. Petersburg, Russia of the House of Yusupov. The building was the site of Grigori Rasputin's murder in 1916....

 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
Imperial Academy of Arts
The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789...

. In turn, in 1927 about 500 important paintings were transferred to the Central Museum of old Western art
Pushkin Museum
The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts is the largest museum of European art in Moscow, located in Volkhonka street, just opposite the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour....

 in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 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
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

's Alba Madonna
Alba Madonna
The Alba Madonna is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael, depicting Mary, Jesus and John the Baptist, in a typical Italian countryside. John the Baptist is holding up a cross to Jesus, which the baby Jesus is grasping. All three figures are staring at the cross...

, Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

's Venus with a Mirror, Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi of 1475
Adoration of the Magi of 1475 (Botticelli)
The Adoration of the Magi is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, dating from 1475 or 1476. It is housed in the Uffizi of Florence.The Adoration of the Magi theme was popular in the Renaissance Florence...

, and Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century....

's Annunciation
Annunciation (van Eyck, Washington)
The Annunciation is an oil painting by the Early Netherlandish master Jan van Eyck, from around 1434-1436. It is in the National Gallery of Art, in Washington D.C. It was originally on panel but has been transferred to canvas. It is thought that it was the left wing of a triptych; there has...

, 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
Andrew W. Mellon
Andrew William Mellon was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932.-Early life:...

, who later donated them to form a nucleus of the National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden is a national art museum, located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 (See also Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings
Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings
The Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings in 1930 and 1931 resulted in the departure of some of the most valuable paintings from the collection of the State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad to western museums. Several of the paintings had been in the Hermitage Collection since its creation by Empress...

).

With the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, before the Siege of Leningrad
Siege of Leningrad
The Siege of Leningrad, also known as the Leningrad Blockade was a prolonged military operation resulting from the failure of the German Army Group North to capture Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, in the Eastern Front theatre of World War II. It started on 8 September 1941, when the last...

 started, two trains with a considerable part of the collections were evacuated to Sverdlovsk
Yekaterinburg
Yekaterinburg is a major city in the central part of Russia, the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain range, it is the main industrial and cultural center of the Urals Federal District with a population of 1,350,136 , making it Russia's...

. 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
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

 from the collection of the Museum of New Western Art in Moscow, originating mostly from the nationalized collections of Sergei Shchukin
Sergei Shchukin
Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin was a Russian businessman who became an art collector, mainly of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, following a trip to Paris in 1897, when he bought his first Monet. He later bought numerous works by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin, among...

 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
Menshikov Palace
The Menshikov Palace is a Petrine Baroque edifice in Saint Petersburg, situated on Universitetskaya Embankment of the Bolshaya Neva on Vasilyevsky Island. It was the first stone building in the city...

 became a new branch of the Hermitage museum, displaying Russian culture of the early 18th century.
On June 15, 1985, a man later judged insane
Insanity
Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including becoming a danger to themselves and others, though not all such acts are considered insanity...

 attacked Rembrandt's painting Danaë, displayed in the museum. He threw sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid with the molecular formula . Its historical name is oil of vitriol. Pure sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive, colorless, viscous liquid. The salts of sulfuric acid are called sulfates...

 on the canvas and cut it twice with his knife. The restoration of the painting had been accomplished by Hermitage experts by 1997, and Danaë is now on display behind armoured glass.

The Hermitage since 1991

In 1991 it became known that some paintings looted by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 in Germany in 1945 had been in the Hermitage. Only in October 1994 the Hermitage officially announced that it had been secretly holding a major trove of French Impressionist
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

 and Post-Impressionist
Post-Impressionism
Post-Impressionism is the term coined by the British artist and art critic Roger Fry in 1910 to describe the development of French art since Manet. Fry used the term when he organized the 1910 exhibition Manet and Post-Impressionism...

 paintings from German private collections. The exhibition "Hidden Treasures Revealed", where 74 of the paintings were displayed for the first time, was opened on March 30, 1995 in the Nicholas Hall of the Winter Palace and lasted a year. Of the paintings, all but one originated from private rather than state German collections, including 56 paintings from the Otto Krebs collection, as well as the collection of Bernhard Koehler and paintings previously belonging to Otto Gerstenberg and his daughter Margarete Scharf, including world-famous Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde (painting)
Place de la Concorde or Viscount Lepic and his Daughters Crossing the Place de la Concorde or Ludovic Lepic and his Daughters is an 1875 oil by Edgar Degas. It depicts the cigar smoking Vicomte Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic, his daughters, and his dog, and a solitary man on the left in Place de la...

by Degas
Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas[p] , born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist...

, In the Garden by Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to...

, White House at Night
White House at Night
White House at Night is an oil painting created on 16 June 1890 at around 8:00 PM by Vincent van Gogh, in the small town of Auvers-sur-Oise, six weeks before his death. The exact time is known due to the position of planet Venus in the painting...

by Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Willem van Gogh , and used Brabant dialect in his writing; it is therefore likely that he himself pronounced his name with a Brabant accent: , with a voiced V and palatalized G and gh. In France, where much of his work was produced, it is...

, and some other collections. Some of the paintings are now on permanent display in several small rooms in the northeastern corner of the Winter Palace on the first floor.

In 1993 the eastern wing of the nearby General Staff Building
General Staff Building (Saint Petersburg)
The General Staff Building is an edifice with a 580 m long bow-shaped facade, situated on Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in front of the Winter Palace.The building was designed by Carlo Rossi in the Empire style and built in 1819-1829...

 across the Palace Square was given to the Hermitage. New exhibition rooms were opened there in 1999. Since 2003 the Great Courtyard
Gardens of the Winter Palace
The gardens of the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, are little known, as the great imperial palace of the Romanovs was never intended to have gardens...

 of the Winter Palace has been opened to the public. It provides another entrance to the museum. In 2003 the Museum of Porcelain was opened as a part of the Hermitage on the basis of the Imperial Porcelain Factory
Imperial Porcelain Factory
The Imperial Porcelain Factory , is a producer of fine, handpainted ceramic products in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was established by Dmitry Ivanovich Vinogradov in the town of Oranienbaum in 1744...

.

In December 2004, another looted work of art was discovered: Venus disarming Mars by Rubens
Rubens
Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens , the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens Rubens is often used to refer to Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), the Flemish artist.Rubens may also refer to:- People :Family name* Paul Rubens (composer) Rubens is...

 was once in the collection of the Rheinsberg Palace in Berlin, and was apparently looted by Soviet troops from the Königsberg Castle
Königsberg Castle
The Königsberg Castle was a castle in Königsberg, Germany , and was one of the landmarks of the East Prussian capital Königsberg.- History :...

 in East Prussia in 1945. At the time, Mikhail Piotrovsky said the painting would be cleaned and displayed.

In July 2006, the museum announced that 221 minor items, including jewelry, Orthodox icons, silverware and richly enameled objects, had been stolen. The value of the stolen items was estimated to be approximately $543,000; by the end of 2006 some of the stolen items were recovered.

Hermitage directors

  • Florian Gilles
  • Stepan Gedeonov (1863–78)
  • Alexander Vasilchikov
    Alexander Vasilchikov
    Alexander Vasilchikov was a Russian favourite and the lover of Catherine the Great from 1772 to 1774.Vasilchikov was an ensign in the Kavalergradskij regiment when he was noted by Catherine and was appointed her valet 1 August 1772...

     (1879–88)
  • Sergei Trubetskoi (1888–99)
  • Ivan Vsevolozhsky
    Ivan Vsevolozhsky
    Ivan Alexandrovich Vsevolozhsky was the Director of the Imperial Theatres in Russia from 1881 to 1898.A competent administrator, Vsevolozhsky ran the Imperial Theatres with a determination for excellence...

     (1899–1909)
  • Dmitry Tolstoi (1909–18)

  • Boris Legran
    Boris Legran
    Boris Vasilyevich Legran or Legrand was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet official who represented the interests of the Russian SFSR in Armenia and Transcaucasia, during the 1920s and worked as a consular official in China during the 1920s.He also was the director of the State Hermitage Museum...

     (1931–1934)
  • Iosif Orbeli (1934–1951)
  • Mikhail Artamonov
    Mikhail Artamonov
    Mikhail Illarionovich Artamonov Artamonov's scientific career was centered on the Leningrad University, where he was a professor since 1935 and the head of the chair of archeology since 1949. He researched Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements by the Don River, in the North Caucasus and in the Ukraine...

     (1951–1964)
  • Boris Piotrovsky
    Boris Piotrovsky
    Boris Borisovich Piotrovsky was a Soviet Russian academician, historian-orientalist and archaeologist who studied the ancient civilizations of Urartu, Scythia, and Nubia. He is best known as a key figure in the study of the Urartian civilization of the southern Caucasus...

     (1964–1990)
  • Mikhail Piotrovsky
    Mikhail Piotrovsky
    Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky is the Director of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. He was born in Yerevan in the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic on 9 November 1944 to Boris Piotrovsky, a notable Orientalist and himself the future Director of the Hermitage, and Armenian mother...

     (1990-current)


Volunteer service

The Hermitage Volunteer Service
Hermitage Volunteer Service
The Volunteer Service of the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia offers anyone interested an opportunity to become involved in the running of this world-renowned museum...

 offers all those interested a unique opportunity to involve themselves in running this world-renowned museum. The program not only aids the Hermitage with its external and internal activities but also serves as an informal link between the museum
Museum
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities...

 staff and the public, bringing the specific knowledge of the museum’s experts to the community. Volunteers may also develop projects reflecting their own personal goals and interests: communicate a feeling of responsibility to the youth so as to help them understand the value of tradition and the necessity of its preservation.

Dependencies

In recent years, the Hermitage launched several dependencies abroad.

Hermitage Amsterdam

The dependency of the Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 is known as the Hermitage Amsterdam, and is located in the former Amstelhof
Amstelhof
The Amstelhof , is a former retirement home and now home to the Hermitage Amsterdam museum. It was built near the Amstel river in 1682 by the diaconate of the Dutch Reformed Church after having received an inheritance of the rich merchant Barent Helleman. He died on 18 October 1680 and left...

 building. It opened on 24 February 2004 in a small building on the Nieuwe Herengracht in Amsterdam, awaiting the closing of the retirement home which still occupied the Amstelhof building until 2007. Between 2007 and 2009, the Amstelhof was renovated and made suitable for housing of the Amsterdam Hermitage. The Amsterdam Hermitage in the former Amstelhof building was opened on 19 June 2009 by President Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the third President of the Russian Federation.Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint...

 and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
Beatrix of the Netherlands
Beatrix is the Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands comprising the Netherlands, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Aruba. She is the first daughter of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. She studied law at Leiden University...

.

Hermitage-Kazan Exhibition Center

The Hermitage dependency in Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

 (Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

, Russia), opened in 2005. It was created with support from President of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and is a subdivision of the Kazan Kremlin State Historical and Architectural Museum-Park. The museum is situated in the Kazan Kremlin
Kazan Kremlin
The Kazan Kremlin is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan, situated in the city of Kazan. It was built on behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans...

 in an edifice previously occupied by the Junker School that was built in the beginning of the 19th century.

Ermitage Italia, Ferrara

Following the prior experiences in London, Las Vegas, Amsterdam and Kazan, the Hermitage foundation decided to create a further branch in Italy with the launch of a national bid. Several northern Italian cities expressed the intention such as Verona, Mantua, Ferrara and Turin. In 2007 the honor was awarded to the city of Ferrara
Ferrara
Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. It is situated 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km north...

 which proposed its Castle Estense
Castello Estense
The Castle Estense or Castle of Saint Michele is a moated medieval structure in the center of Ferrara, northern Italy. It is a large block with four corner towers.- History :...

 as the base. Since then, the new institution called Ermitage Italia started a research and scientific collaboration with the Hermitage foundation.

Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, Vilnius

In recent years, there have been proposals to open a Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum
Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum
Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum was a proposed art museum in the city of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. On April 8, 2008 an international jury named Zaha Hadid, a British-Iraqi architect, the winner of the international design competition for the museum. The museum was scheduled to open in...

 in the capital city of Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. Like the former Las Vegas depency, the Museum is to combine artworks from the Saint Petersburg Hermitage with works from the New York Guggenheim Museum.

Former dependencies

The Guggenheim Hermitage Museum
Guggenheim Hermitage Museum
The Guggenheim Hermitage Museum was a museum in The Venetian, one of the world's largest hotels in Paradise, Nevada, located on the Strip in Las Vegas, USA. It was designed by Rem Koolhaas, opened October 7, 2001, and added three more collections and exhibits subsequent to its opening...

 in Las Vegas
Las Vegas metropolitan area
The Las Vegas Valley is the heart of the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada, and is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a ...

 opened on October 7, 2001 and closed on May 11, 2008. The Hermitage Rooms
Hermitage Rooms
The Hermitage Rooms was the name by which a series of rooms at Somerset House, London, were known from 2000 to 2007. During this period they were used as a venue for temporary exhibitions from the collection of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's Somerset House
Somerset House
Somerset House is a large building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, England, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge. The central block of the Neoclassical building, the outstanding project of the architect Sir William Chambers, dates from 1776–96. It...

 opened on 25 November 2000. The exhibition was closed permanently in November 2007 due to poor visitor numbers.

Films

  • Russian Ark
    Russian Ark
    Russian Ark is a 2002 Russian historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov. It was filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot...

    (2003), a Russian film by Alexander Sokurov
    Alexander Sokurov
    Alexander Nikolayevich Sokurov is a Russian filmmaker. His most significant works include a semi-documentary, Russian Ark , filmed in a single unedited shot, and Faust , which was honoured with the Golden Lion, the highest prize for the best film at the Venice Film Festival.- Life and work...

    , was filmed entirely in the Hermitage Museum, showing the Winter Palace
    Winter Palace
    The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

     at various stages of its history.
  • War and Peace
    War and Peace (1968 film)
    War and Peace is a Soviet-produced film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace. Sergei Bondarchuk directed the film, co-wrote the screenplay and also acted in the lead role of Pierre. It was produced over a seven year period and released in four parts between 1965 and...

    (1967) an Oscar-winning Soviet adaptation of the novel by Leo Tolstoy
    Leo Tolstoy
    Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

    , was partially filmed in the Winter Palace
    Winter Palace
    The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great's original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and...

    .

Literature

  • To the Hermitage, by Malcolm Bradbury
    Malcolm Bradbury
    Sir Malcolm Stanley Bradbury CBE was an English author and academic.-Life:Bradbury was the son of a railwayman. His family moved to London in 1935, but returned to Sheffield in 1941 with his brother and mother...

    , retells the story of Diderot's journey to Russia to meet Catherine the Great in her Hermitage.
  • Petersburg, by Andrey Bely, features the Winter Canal
    Winter Canal
    Winter Canal is a canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia, connecting Bolshaya Neva with Moika River in the vicinity of Winter Palace.The canal was dug in 1718-1719. Its length is only 228 metres, which makes it one of the shortest canals in the city...

     near the palace as one of its central locations, but never names the Winter Palace directly.

Games

  • The Hermitage appears in the video games Civilization IV
    Civilization IV
    Sid Meier's Civilization IV is a turn-based strategy, 4X computer game released in 2005 and developed by lead designer Soren Johnson under the direction of Sid Meier and Meier's studio Firaxis Games. It is the fourth installment of the Civilization series...

     and Civilization V
    Civilization V
    Sid Meier's Civilization V is a turn-based strategy, 4X computer game developed by Firaxis, released on Microsoft Windows in September 2010 and on Mac OS X on November 23, 2010...

     as a wonder of the world.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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