Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Baltic Cruise: Return To The Hermitage
Photos: 1) Van Gogh; 2) Caravaggio; 3) Matisse; 4) The Golden Drawing Room; 5 & 6) The Malachite Room; 7) The Red Boudoir
Thanks to Jim’s great idea of visiting the Hermitage a second time, we were able to see this unique museum again. Though other museums, such as the Metropolitan, Louvre, Prado, etc, may rival the Hermitage as repositories of great works, none can rival St. Petersburg’s museum in being both a great masterpiece of architecture and a world renowned collection of art. Because we signed onto a second trip—exclusively to the Hermitage—we were able to see some rooms, such as the Malachite Room, the Gold Drawing Room and the Red Boudoir, that are never on a regular tour. Happily, these out of the way parts of the palaces (as the Hermitage is four linked buildings) were not teaming with tourists the way most parts of the museum are.
Jim was terrific at reading the complicated maps to the palace-museum, and we were also able to locate some great paintings that we had not seen yesterday. These included masterpieces by Watteau, Poussin, Fragonard, Reynolds, Caravaggio and most impressively Post-Impressionist and early 20th century works by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso. The weather was rainier on our second day in the Imperial city, so it was agreeable to spend the morning inside the museum.
Next it’s on to Tallinn, the capitol of Estonia, a country we’ve never previously seen.