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The Hermitage: Architecture and Collections…

The Hermitage: Architecture and Collections

by Sofia Kudriavtseva

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It feels a bit silly to write a review on a souvenir book, yet the right book evokes fond memories of a vacation that seems far too long ago. This book hits a home run. The beginning of the book has pictures of the red carpet entry and main (grand) staircase that immediate took me back to my own steps on that red carpet with a bit of giddiness of being in the Hermitage. The rest of the book is very well organized. The early pages have a history of the museum and its multiple buildings. The subsequent sections are arranged by building, first addressing the architecture, then the art collection within each building. This is very effective as though re-walking through the museum following the layout of the building. When visiting the museum, each building is seamlessly connected so you’re always walking indoors. It is a pleasure to see the pictures to delineate and create a mental identity of each structure: Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, Hermitage Theatre, New Hermitage.

While the Winter Palace had the grandest layouts, it is the Old Hermitage that houses one of their premier art pieces (shown on the book cover) – “The Madonna and Child” by Lenoardo da Vinci. The print quality in the book is magnificent and allowed me to see detail that I overlooked in person – the threads that sealed her dress’ breast areas for feeding as well as the quality of the cloth in her hand that is virtually translucent. Oh, Da Vinci, you rock! ( )
  varwenea | Aug 11, 2016 |
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