The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture located in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Hermitage is one of the world’s largest and oldest museums. Opened to the public since 1852, the museum was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great when she purchased a collection of 255 paintings from Berlin, Germany. The original holdings consisted primarily of Western European works and were housed in a gallery connected to the Winter Palace, called the Small Hermitage. Tsars succeeding Catherine added to the collection and expanded it into another private gallery, also connected to the Winter Palace, called the Old Hermitage.
Today the collection of the Hermitage includes over three million works of art and artifacts from world culture including the largest collection of paintings in the world, sculptures, graphic works and more. The Hermitage’s collections include Impressionist works by Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Monet and Pissarro, numerous works by Van Gogh, Matisse, Gaugin and several sculptures by Rodin as well as major works by da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione, Caravaggio, Velazquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, and Rubens, Matisse.