The largest museum in the world is the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. There are about three million items being exhibited in the complex.
The Hermitage’s origin goes back to the art collection of Peter the Great. Peter the Great collected several art pieces during his travels abroad. These collections ended up in his residence. The art collection was expanded by Catherine the Great. She commissioned the construction of the Hermitage in 1764.
Catherine the Great enlarged the compilation by buying art pieces from European aristocrats. This practice would be followed by her successors. When Nicholas II came to power, the Hermitage was on its way to becoming the largest museum in the world.
The museum was reopened to the public after the 1917 Revolution ended. Modern art pieces were added, increasing the total even more. The art pieces are in the six buildings that make up the complex.
The Hermitage has the largest collection of paintings in the world. In fact, the compilation is so vast that only a limited number are on display. European sculptures and paintings from the 13th to the 20th century are exhibited in four of the buildings. They occupy 120 rooms on the buildings’ first and second floors.
The Hermitage also has an extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities. There are prehistoric art items on exhibit. The museum also has numerous decorative and jewelry art. The Hermitage also has a section devoted to Italian Renaissance art. Works of Veronese, Titian and Giorgione are on display.
The Knights’ Hall and Others
This is located at the New Hermitage’s eastern section. Originally intended to display coins, it now houses European arms and armor dating from the 14th to the 17th centuries.
The New Hermitage western wing showcases the Dutch Golden Age and Flemish Baroque artworks. There is also an extensive collection of Russian art. Neoclassical, Impressionist and post-Impressionist art are also represented.
The Hermitage is famous for its collection of French Impressionist paintings. Some of the most popular exhibits are those of Matisse, Picasso and Rembrandt. Other exhibits include art from Central Asia, Siberia, Greece and Rome. The museum itself is part of the attraction, owing to its architecture and decoration.
As the largest museum in the world, it is impossible to see all of its exhibits with a single visit. It is more practical to make several short visits than a single long one. A guidebook or guide will also be helpful.