I attacked the Hermitage like a Sergeant-Major.
I had been on a deliberate art-fast leading up to this day and I was hungry!
Wednesday was open late night. I armed myself with a map, smuggled in some snacks, and spent a day’s travel budget on entry, audio guide and photo-taking pass. I was not going to miss a thing!
Eight hours and over 365 rooms later (I ticked off every one of them as I went), I was still spell-bound! Wow, who knew art could be this good?! Even the old religious paintings, with or without an explanation, had me glued to the spot.
This is one incredible collection. Over three million pieces of art and artifacts dating from way back in the BC’s and from all around the globe, all set in a linked procession of four palaces and a theatre. That is just the main gallery!
I soaked up those famous stairs, the rooms where my beloved Romanov’s (and their forebears) had lived and tread, and marvelled at the sheer might you must have to compile a collection like this one.
I tried not to think of the serfs and peasants who slaved and even died building the palaces and on whose backs that might was won. The museum was founded in 1764. Soviet seizures of privately owned art added further to the bounty.
Just thank the stars that here it is, for us all to enjoy, a history and world of art in one ornate labyrinth of sheer extravagance!
Here just a small taste (without spending another day trying to pick out photos!!)