In retrospect, I almost wish I’d rented roller blades to be able to cover all of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. But only almost…it was delicious to savor its magnificance at leisure.
Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, formerly the house of tsars, five of the complex’s six buildings are open to the public. Its collections (Prehistoric, Egyptian, Classical, Decorative Arts, etc.) comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world.
Here are two exquisite oils: Winter Landscape (Gijsbrecht Lijtens?) and In London (Charles Hoffbauer). You can feel the chill in your bones in the first, and palpable intrigue amid the society elegance of the second.
There are golden peacocks and flowering gardens…
There are dresses and jewels fit for a queen…
…and a chair fit for a king.
You can take a virtual tour at the following link. No roller blades required. https://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/portal/hermitage/panorama/panoramas-m-1/?lng=en