The tour usually starts from main staircase and state rooms of the Winter Palace and follow the route of the Zar’s ceremonial procession toward the church. So you can compare changes of style from original baroque, typical to Elisabeth’s court architect Rasstrelly, to classical, which was Catherine’s favorite style. Along the route I speak about every highlight of the collection including history of its creation, acquisition and authentication. We familiarize ourselves with the Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, British and French sections and I speak about socio-economic progress of each country in conjunction with the development of it’s art during corresponding period of time. Along this route we talk about the history of rooms and their former royal owners.
I give the history of the Hermitage collection as we enter the small Hermitage building. Then we proceed to the next building of the old Hermitage we start from Italian Florentine School which was the birth place of the Renaissance. So I would be able to speak about this period and it’s development from early to high Renaissance under Medici family. We see all of the masterpieces, such us two out of ten existing Madonnas by Leonardo Davinci. After that we see works of art connected with the crisis of Renaissance and the development of mannerism style in Italy for example the only Michelangelo in Russia. As we walk into New Hermitage building we can see representatives of the Bologna academic school of 18th century and their attempt to go back to classical principals. And after that we come back to Winter Palace to see the French section, which is second only to the one in France. After that we can visit and learn the history of the French impressionist’s collection which appeared in Russia before the revolution due to visionary insight of two Russian industrialists who trusted only their own taste while buying Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Gogen and such when nobody was paying any attention to them. And we finish off in the Russian section and see how art and crafts developed in Russia driven, by the willpower of one man who started it all — Peter the Great of course. Optionally we visit old Scythian, Egyptian, Greek or Roman artifacts which are also a big part of Hermitage collection.
Note: Every first Thursday of a month the entrance to the Hermaitage and this tour is free of charge!
My time as a guide
Entry tickets should be preodered in two weeks before visitation.
It all depends on you and can include 4 main complex buldings with the routes going around small or big circles, with or without General Staff building and/or Peter's original palace on any of three floors.
Outside of the museum