12 most famous paintings of the Hermitage

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

The Hermitage Museum located in St. Petersburg is a real the palace of art, the walls of which contain many priceless masterpieces. He is among the five largest and fifteen most visited art museums of the planet. The Hermitage was created Empress Catherine II as a private imperial the collection was initially housed in a special small extension. This is where the name came from, since it is translated from French Hermitage (ermitage) means “a place of solitude.” With time the collection grew significantly, and in 1852 it was made available for the general public. To date, the number of exhibits in consisting of five buildings the museum exceeds three million. Particular value is a collection of paintings, including work the best artists of different countries and eras. Below are twelve famous paintings that can be seen in the Hermitage.

Overview of the most famous paintings of the Hermitage

Nomination a place Composition rating
Overview of the most famous paintings of the Hermitage 1 “The Apostles Peter and Paul” , Эль Греко 5.0
2 “Madonna of the Conestabile” , Рафаэль Санти 4.9
3 “Absinthe lover” , Пабло Пикассо 4.8
4 The Return of the Prodigal Son , Рембрандт Харменс ван Рейн 4.7
5 “Woman holding a fetus” , By ль Гоген 4.7
6 “Composition VI”, Vasily Kandinsky 4.7
7 “Lady in Blue” , Томас Гейнсборо 4.7
8 “Waterloo Bridge. The Effect of the Fog,” Claude Monet 4.6
9 “Portrait of the actress Jeanne Samari” , Пьер-Огюст Ренуар 4.5
10 Lute player , Микеланджело Меризи да Караваджо 4.5
11 Danae, Titian Vecellio 4.5
12 Madonna Benoit , Леонардо да Винчи 4.5

“The Apostles Peter and Paul” , Эль Греко

Rating: 5.0

Апостолы Петр иПавел

The artist’s works under the pseudonym El Greco, real name whose Domenicos Theotocopoulos is distinguished by individuality style. They mixed features of mannerism and expressionism of the period Spanish Renaissance. It is believed that the painter is one of the first painted the apostles Paul and Peter together. On the canvas is depicted contrasting the characters and the spiritual world of these two most important Christian figures. This contrast made it possible to convey the language Arts were important religious issues of the time. Paul is shown strong, decisive personality, his hand imperiously rests on Holy Scripture, gaze betrays an unshakable, almost fanatical confidence. Unlike him, Peter is the personification reflection and inner doubt. Such an interpretation is significantly differed from church norms of the late 16th century when it was written the picture, but on the whole, was in full accord with the gospel. Apostle Peter was known for his inconstancy, while Paul, being at first a fierce persecutor of Christians, later became such a fierce champion of Christianity.

The difference in the mindset of the apostles is emphasized not only facial expressions and postures, but also colorfully. Artist highlighted the image of Paul with catchy crimson clothes, also his face has a more intense, vibrant color. Overall composition creates an atmosphere of exaltation and anxiety, characteristic of everything creativity of the temperamental El Greco.

“Madonna of the Conestabile” , Рафаэль Санти

Rating: 4.9

Мадонна Конестабиле

This is one of the earliest works of the famous Italian. Renaissance painter, he painted it at about age 20 years while staying in the city of Perugia. Customer painting delivered by the Duke of Alfano di Diamante. Initially, she was just “Madonna and Child”, her modern name was given by behalf of the owner Giovanni Conestabile, who received the canvas an inheritance along with a luxurious palazzo. A masterpiece came to Russia thanks to Emperor Alexander II, who bought it as a gift for his wife Maria Alexandrovna.

The lyrical female image of a mother holding a baby in her arms, presented against the backdrop of the hilly landscape of Umbria (region of Italy, located next to Tuscany). Madonna figure with flowing the lines of shoulders covered with a blanket look perfectly framed round picture. The composition looks very holistic and harmonious. by combining the direction of the views of the characters – and mother and baby both look at the book. Assuming that creating this work, Raphael took inspiration from memories of nature his native places and his early dead mother.

“Absinthe lover” , Пабло Пикассо

Rating: 4.8

Любительница абсента

At the beginning of the 20th century, the theme of vice and addictions was quite popular in French painting, especially absinthe. Extremely strong hallucinating drink has become real fetish of the Parisian beau monde. In addition, the twenty-year-old artist there was just a “blue period” during which he wrote mostly plots filled with loneliness and emptiness. main character paintings shown in all the ugliness of the person who chose the path self destruction. She sits in a corner, fencing herself off from everyone, her only companions are a blue siphon and a glass with green drink. A mirror hangs on the wall behind it, where it is reflected bright outside world, but a woman prefers his own fantasies to him and hallucinations caused by the effects of stupefying alcohol.

The drama of the plot is enhanced by distorted, overly long fingers with which absinthe lover covers herself, as if trying to protect their illusions from reality. Frozen in unnatural posture, as if it had turned into an inanimate object, making friends with a bottle and glass standing on the table. This symbolism is conveyed both in colors and in similar ones outlines of women and devices for absinthe.

The Return of the Prodigal Son , Рембрандт Харменс ван Рейн

Rating: 4.7

Возвращение блудного сына

Rembrandt created a large number of paintings on the biblical subject, but one of the most recognizable is the plot about a repentant prodigal son who returned to his father after embezzlement all property. This masterpiece was written in the late period. creativity of the artist, who invested in it is not only accumulated experience, but also the emotions of the loss of his son Titus. Main acting the faces on the canvas are not centered, instead they masterfully highlighted by light. This is a kneeling son and his father leaning towards him, whose whole posture and facial expression indicate absolute forgiveness. The contrast between rich clothes of family members and extremely poor clothes brought to complete poverty of his son.

The picture focuses the attention of the viewer not so much on the event, how much on the emotional experiences of the participants of this family drama. In addition to father and son, the canvas depicts four more people, whose personalities are still a mystery. Rembrandt’s Creation in 1967 served as a source of inspiration for the famous British composer Benjamin Britten who just once seeing him during a tour of the then still Soviet Hermitage, a short time later he wrote the musical opera The Prodigal Son.

“Woman holding a fetus” , Поль Гоген

Rating: 4.7

Woman , держащая плод

The painting is also called “Eu haere ia oe”, which means “Where are you going?” and is essentially a phrase that the Tahitians greeted each other at a meeting. Gauguin wrote it during of his stay in Polynesia, where he came in search of inspiration and harmony with nature. Exotic vegetation full of vibrant colors, island life and a unique culture brought to him great impression. But especially the artist was admired by Tahitians, very different from European women in their simplicity and primitive grace. One such local resident is depicted in the foreground of the picture, with a greenish fruit in his hands (more likely total, he serves her as a vessel for water). The other two are sitting near huts, another watching from afar, holding a child in her arms. it an ordinary episode from the everyday life of the islanders, but in it Gauguin sees the embodiment of the natural rhythm of nature.

The desire to convey the beauty of the exotic and almost unaffected civilization of places led to the departure from almost all traditions and the rules of traditional painting. Created by an individual artist the style involved generalization, the transfer of forms and light to a minimum funds. Bright color palette of the canvas reflects the atmosphere sultry tropical day. And the calm, laid-back poses of people and leafy patterns on their clothes symbolize spiritual kinship with the environment in which they live.

“Composition VI”, Vasily Kandinsky

Rating: 4.7

Composition VI Vasily Kandinsky

Kandinsky was one of the first abstractionists in the world. Contribution Russian artist in the development of this direction of painting so large that for his work a separate room is allocated in The Hermitage. Created in 1913, “Composition VI” is one of the most interesting works, vibrant colors and sweeping loose strokes perfectly reflect the dynamics of the turbulent beginning of a new era in the art of the XX century. Initially, the concept of the canvas was formed after writing a sketch on the biblical flood of the world. However, later Vasily decided to abandon the idea of ​​binding to specific event, allowing the viewer to independently interpret and meaning and emotional component.

The objectless world of the picture appears in the form of a rhythmic alternation of bends, lines and color spots. According to the statement artist, on the canvas there are two compositional centers: pink in the left part, around which the blue “waves” are foaming and red-blue, with rough sharp lines. Alternating rough and smooth sections of the canvas, as well as balancing mutually conflicting elements allowed to achieve integrity abstract plot.

“Lady in Blue” , Томас Гейнсборо

Rating: 4.7

Дама в голубом

This painting is rightfully considered the best asset stored in Hermitage collection of English painting. Despite the hobby Gainsborough landscape theme, he became known primarily thanks to its sophisticated romantic portraits. ПоAccording to popular belief, the painting depicts the Duchess Elizabeth Beaufort, daughter of Admiral Boscauen. The main feature of the artist was that he sought to convey not only beauty, but also mood, individual character traits of the model, make the image as possible more alive. In his works there is no excessive stiffness, typical of the Baroque era. The picture is harmonious color a range combining shades of blue and gray. She wrote light strokes, different in density and shape, sometimes as much thin that through the paint shines through the fabric of the canvas.

Particular attention is drawn to a tall and complex in designs a wig, occupying a significant part of the composition – author he carefully painted this 18th-century fashionable element female image. A fashion tribute is also a hat with ostrich feathers, and also the use of white powder for matting the neck of the shoulders and even breast, as pale skin was considered an integral attribute aristocracy.

“Waterloo Bridge. The Effect of the Fog,” Claude Monet

Rating: 4.6

Waterloo Bridge in Cloudy Weather

French artist Claude Monet was one of those who stood by the origins of the extremely popular in the XX century impressionist directions of painting. Own cycle of paintings united by themes London Waterloo Bridge, he started while staying at a hotel “Savoy”, from the windows of which overlooked the Thames. Being an experimenter and avant-garde supporter, Monet often researched transmission options with various atmospheric paints states. And of course, he did not miss the opportunity to capture the famous fog enveloping the capital of Great Britain. Starting at London, the artist finished work already in his French workshop, from memory, while conveying not so much the outline cities and rivers, how much their own emotions from his favorite landscape.

Claude Monet’s picture is best viewed from a distance – then a chaotic at first glance kaleidoscope of smears is magical turns into a bridge and the Thames with swirling above them fog, factory pipes and floating silhouettes become clearly visible boats. The colors are clearly dominated by lilac, and shades of blue – in this way the author decided to convey the atmosphere of the melancholy London steeped in fog.

“Portrait of the actress Jeanne Samari” , Пьер-Огюст Ренуар

Rating: 4.5

Портрет актрисы Жанны Himself ари

Female portraits were an essential part of creative activity. Renoir. His series of paintings with actress Zhanna Samari is widely known who lived near the artist and willingly came to him pose. In total, four portraits were created, different from a friend compositionally and coloristically. This picture is considered one of the most impressive works of Renoir. For her characterized by a loose style on the verge of negligence, with which the atmosphere of freshness, youth and relaxed femininity model. It is worth noting that the author slightly embellished Jeanne’s appearance, to convey on the canvas her inner charm and love of life.

After the demonstration of the picture at the third exhibition of the impressionists she caused a major stir, and most of the audience was more likely to criticize. And no wonder, because at the end of the XIX century decorative, romantic painting was still in demand, and impressionism was only a nascent current. Furthermore, he considered the combination of green dress on a pink background counted inappropriate. However, in a narrow circle of connoisseurs, the artist’s courage, following not traditions, but my own feelings, I met positive response.

Lute player , Микеланджело Меризи да Караваджо

Rating: 4.5


“Lute player” – one of the early works of Caravaggio, completed at the end 16th century commissioned by a cardinal patronizing his work Francesco del Monte. The picture depicts a young man sitting at a table, who accompanies himself on the lute. Because of the soft, androgynous features appearance for many years he was mistaken for a girl, the canvas exhibited at the museum under the name “Lute player”. According to many art historians, the main character was written with Mario Minniti, a young Sicilian artist. Indirect evidence that caravaggio painted a young man, is a music book, opened on the popular bass part of those years by Jacob Arkadelt “Voi sapete ch’io vi amo” (You know that I love you). ЖенщинаI would hardly have chosen such a melody, not to mention the fact that the lute traditionally considered a male tool.

A distinctive feature of the artist’s style was the skill of treatment with chiaroscuro, and here his favorite technique is visible – to snatch composition from dusk the only source of light. All things reflect glare falling on them in strict accordance with the laws physics. Such certainty was probably the result of close Caravaggio’s communication with eminent scientists, including Galileo Galilei and Giovanni Batista della Porta, author of scientific work on refraction. The semantic meaning of the picture, according to a common version, lies in simultaneously praising the harmony of life and sadness about its transience. The author wrote two more versions of this works, one of them is now stored in the New York Museum Metro, the second – in the British residence Badminton House.

Danae, Titian Vecellio

Rating: 4.5

Danae Titian Vecellio

High Renaissance Venetian artist Titian in his creativity more than once turned to the theme of ancient mythology. The picture He wrote Danae for the King of Spain. Her plot is based on ancient Greek tradition of the daughter of Acrisius, Argos king. Upon hearing prediction of the oracle of the court about death from his own hands grandson, the king imprisoned his only daughter in an impregnable tower, where no mortal could get. Powerful however the god Zeus, captivated by her beauty, managed to penetrate Danae in the form golden rain. As a result of this connection, the demigod and the antique were born. hero Perseus.

The artist portrays Danae calm and majestic, she accepts the love of a celestial without fuss or even surprise. Face the girls are partially covered with shadow, but the bends of her body on the contrary – flooded with soft golden light. This picture of Titian presents a kind of hymn to sensuality and female beauty. Самthe painter called her a poem on canvas.

Madonna Benoit , Леонардо да Винчи

Rating: 4.5

Мадонна Бенуа

The painting, also known as “Madonna with a Flower”, got its name on behalf of the last owners – the Russian dynasty artists and collectors of Benoit. This work is brilliant the Italian master of painting created when he was 26 years old at that time he had already completed his studies with Andrea Verrocchio. Topic Madonna was in demand in art long before Leonardo, but he managed to breathe new life into a common biblical story. Renouncing the ideal and the majestic, but lifeless appearance, the artist shows the world the earthly Madonna, absorbed the joy of motherhood. Her young face is decorated with a smile that previously considered inappropriate in the form of the mother of Christ. Mary holds out to her son of a crucifer flower symbolizing a crucifix. But despite religious meaning, this is primarily a story about a happy family life and the pursuit of knowledge of the world.

The canvas composition contains two light sources. One of them is a small window behind the Madonna, but the main light pours top left, the artist “snatches” figures from twilight premises and gives them volume with an excellent play of chiaroscuro. Picture written in oil paints, which allowed a detailed and realistic convey the smallest features of the texture of fabrics. Oil Technique painting was an innovation for Italy at the end of the 15th century, and da Vinci was one of the first to use it in his work.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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