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Hermitage History.part 4

Oct - 1 - 2013

Hermitage from insideMid-twentieth century collaboration of that Hermitage with other museums of the Soviet Union, widely developed resulting, in fact, in joined organization of large temporary exhibitions in Moscow and Leningrad (The St. – Petersburg.) . Travelling exhibitions constituted of some reserve funds of the museum were demonstrated in a number of cities of the Russia. Connections of the Hermitage with foreign museums are steadily consolidating and growing, both with respect to scientific information exchange, and exchange of exhibits lent and borrowed for temporary exhibitions. At present the State Hermitage is the largest Russian museum of culture and art history, the vast collections of which serve to characterize with extensive completeness the development of art and culture of many lands and nations.
The album contains 100 of the best pictures by artists of different schools. Naturally, such a number is in no way able to represent the whole variety of the Hermitage Picture Gallery, but the works here reproduced might give a general idea of its vast and various collections.
Italian art is represented in the Hermitage by works belonging almost to every period of its development, that lasted for many ages. Among the limited in number, but valuable collection of paintings of the XIV century the work deserving the greatest attention for its artistic qualities is a “Madonna” (plate 1) by Simone Martini (about 1283-1344), one of the greatest masters of the Sienese School. The flattened ornamental silhouette placed against a golden background is full of lineal rhythm and exquisit delicacy; the image of the Madonna is made after the ancient iconographic tradition.
The “Annunciation” (plate 2) by Cima da Conegliano (1459-1517), a Venetian painter,is one of the most important works of the early Renaissance in the collection. Like other painters of the XV century he transfers the evangelic legend into the surroundings of life contemporary to him, diligently painting in detail an elegant room of a Wealthy Venetian house.
The “Adoration of the Infant Christ” (plate 3) by Filippino Lippi (1457-1504) is an excellent specirnen of Florentine art of the Second half of the XV century.
Art of the Renaissance achieved complete maturity in the works of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), one of the greatest genii of mankind. Being not only a painter, but also a scientist and inventor, Leonardo loft but a small number of paintings. The Hermitage is proud of possessing two of them. The “Madonna Benois” (plate 5) belongs to an early period of his activity.

In it Leonardo showed a happy, loving young mother full of shy girlish grace, and tender affection; painting with great truthfulness the childish awkwardness and self concentrated seriousness of the infant, giving value to its plump little body by means of light, transparent chiaroscuro. The “Madonna Litta” (plate 6) was painted a little later. With wonderful skill the painter expressed the dreamy tenderness and happy pride of a young woman. Aspiring to attain a general effect of simplicity and clearness Leonardo ignores the trifling details, which his predecessors liked to introduce into their pictures, and makes his images true to life and at the same time sublime.

Another great genius of the Italian Renaissance – Raphael (1483-1520) is represented in the album by his “Madonna della casa Conestabile” (plate 7). In this picture, which is one of the best youthful works of the great painter, the pure and cloudlessly serene figure of Madonna is placed against a fresh and placid landscape showing the awakening of nature in spring.

V.F. Levinsol – Lessing

3 Responses so far.

  1. Artist says:

    Hermitage the best:)

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  3. This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to
    start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
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