Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Hermitage

This will be my last post about Russia...promise. I know you must be ready to go somewhere else with us. St. Petersburg was just amazing and I swore that I wouldn't rush through these blog posts so I can remember the most vivid details. Our next stop was a biggie. Probably the most highly anticipated by our group. The Hermitage at The Winter Palace!!!Rebecca in our group had the wisdom to inquire about getting "early access tickets" for a nominal fee. We pranced past the mobs and mobs of waiting patrons and right through before the regular opening.Thankfully the Hermitage allowed strollers. In no time at all our little angel was dreaming and sleeping soundly. I couldn't have been happier about the well timed nap. It made all the difference in being able to focus on the surrounding wonders rather than a busy two year old.The Hermitage is enormous. There is a statistic out there that if you spent 10 seconds looking at every piece of art in its collection that it would take you over 3 years, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (There are over 3 million pieces in the Hermitage collection) Wow. While the Palace rooms were a spectacle, the paintings really drew me in. This one of San Sebastian feels like he is right in the room with you! I have to compliment our guide. She was excellent at describing key paintings amidst the masses. There really is a talent in art description and art history. It really was the cherry on top of our visit to be with someone who knows so much.The Hermitage is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and open to the public since 1852. I loved this hall. The colors were deep and the details numerous.In the middle of the hall we were even able to find Noah! Connor's favorite!
The interior decor of the room below was modeled off of Wedgewood china...It was a blessing and a curse that we were allowed to take photos at the Hermitage. So terrific to be able to capture these masterpieces forever, but it was so difficult to choose which ones to photograph and which NOT TO photograph!These two paintings were my favorites. The one below just exudes wisdom. Look at the subject's hands. They are incredible and just right. Those hands make me miss my grandparents.I also found myself drawn to this Prodigal Son painting. I am not sure I have ever retained any memories of this Bible subject so well captured and poignant on canvas.
There were some familiar favorites in the Impressionist wing. Isn't it funny how you never can get enough of the French Impressionists?!?
By this time Connor awoke. My heart melted as our compliant and happy baby gazed at the art with dazzling eyes.
View from one of the Hermitage galleries.John and Brian were very chivalrous. They took turns helping us with the Bob stroller on the stairs. Connor must have felt like a princess being paraded around under the strength of these guys! My arms were thankful for the rest.
Kirk checks out the "Golden Room"
Click here for our full album of Day Two photos in St. Petersburg

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