Wednesday, July 8, 2015

St. Petersburg, Russia: The Hermitage

The Hermitage Museum probably isn't the best art gallery in the world. A handful of others might have better works, depending on how you judge these things.

But the Hermitage probably is in the top 10, and it probably has more quality items than any other art museum. That means that it's an amazing experience to walk through, and you'll never see more than a tiny fraction of it all unless you move to St. Petersburg.
I can't say I ever saw a Rembrandt before, and the place had a room full of his works. I've heard that many of the works here were more or less stolen, or at least purchased under shady circumstances.

Our visit was on a Sunday, and no matter how big the place was, it was definitely oversold. It felt like a football game, particularly when I was caught in something of a mob of Chinese tourists who surged forward as a group and surrounded me. (Rules on personal space must be different there.) Their attention was focused on the picture shown, a work by da Vinci - I think. At least, I remember it this way when dodging the crowd.

One interesting point about the place is that photography is allowed. Most galleries tell you to at least keep the flash off, but they don't seem to care here. Therefore, I've got several photos of some great areas in my album; I just felt like snapping away when I saw something interesting, and it was almost all interesting.

This video is rather long, but there's a lot to see:

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