The Hermitage Museum: Modern Art, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Alexander Column in Palace Square (viewed from the new Hermitage galleries) is a monument to the Russian military victory in the war with Napoleon's France, named after Emperor Alexander I, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Alexander Column in Palace Square (viewed from the new Hermitage galleries) is a monument to the Russian military victory in the war with Napoleon’s France, named after Emperor Alexander I, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

“The Alexander Column (Aleksandrovskaia Kolonna), the focal point of Palace Square, was designed by the French-born architect Auguste de Montferrand and built between 1830 and 1834.  The monument is 155 feet 8 inches tall and is topped with a statue of an angel holding a cross (the face of the angel is said to be modeled on the face of Emperor Alexander I).  The body of the column is made of a single monolith of red granite, which stands 83 feet 6 inches high and about 11 feet 5 inches in diameter.  It is a terrific feat of engineering that this enormous column, weighing an incredible 1,322,760 pounds (600 tons), was erected in under 2 hours without the aid of modern cranes and engineering machines.” – saint-petersburg.com

“The Hermitage’s superb collection of Modern European Art, the bulk of which is made up of French impressionist and post-impressionist painting, is divided between those works that were received into the Hermitage collections after the Revolution, and art seized from Germany after World War II.” – saint-petersburg.com

 

Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) “On the Mediterranean (Tryptch)”, 1911, oil on canvas, Acquired in 1948 from the State Museum of Modern Western Art, Moscow; formerly in the I.A. Morozov collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) “On the Mediterranean (Tryptch)”, 1911, oil on canvas, Acquired in 1948 from the State Museum of Modern Western Art, Moscow; formerly in the I.A. Morozov collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) “Le soir a Paris [Evening in Paris]”, 1911, oil on canvas, from the I. A. Morozov collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) “Le soir a Paris [Evening in Paris]”, 1911, oil on canvas, from the I. A. Morozov collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) “Two Sisters (the Visit)”, 1902, oil on canvas, Acquired in 1948 from the State Museum of Modern Western Art, Moscow; formerly in the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) “Two Sisters (the Visit)”, 1902, oil on canvas, Acquired in 1948 from the State Museum of Modern Western Art, Moscow; formerly in the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) “Table au café (Bouteille de pernod) [Table in a Café (Bottle of Pernod)]”, 1912, from the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) “Table au café (Bouteille de pernod) [Table in a Café (Bottle of Pernod)]”, 1912, from the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) “Instruments de musique [Musical Instruments]”, 1912, from the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) “Instruments de musique [Musical Instruments]”, 1912, from the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), “Dance”, 1910, oil on canvas, Acquired in 1948 from the State Museum of Modern Western Art, Moscow; formerly in the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), “Dance”, 1910, oil on canvas, Acquired in 1948 from the State Museum of Modern Western Art, Moscow; formerly in the S. I. Shchukin collection; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

“The Hermitage has a magnificent collection of close to forty works by…seminal artist [Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954)]… focus our attention on the iconic Dance (1910) where Matisse’s unique and evocative use of color and form opened a new artistic language.  This work, along with its counterpart Music on the opposite wall, was commissioned Sergei Shchukin, one of the most avid and forward-thinking Russian collectors of contemporary French art, to whom, thanks to the Russian Revolution’s confiscation frenzy, the Hermitage owes much.  Two years before starting on these works, Matisse wrote ‘What interests me most is neither still life or landscape, but the human figure.  It is that which best permits me to express my so-to-speak religious awe towards life.’  We see this passion reflected in Dance, where five figures, dancing in a rhythmic circle and painted in an intense reddish-orange, are set against the flat, cool green of the earth and the intense blue of the sky, uniting Human, Heaven, and Earth.  There is no superfluous line or emotion in this powerful, energy-packed work that is commonly considered a key point in both Matisse’s career and in the development of modern art.” – saint-petersburg.com

 

Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), “Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya”, 1947, oil on canvas, Donated by L. N. Delectorskaya in 1967; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), “Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya”, 1947, oil on canvas, Donated by L. N. Delectorskaya in 1967; The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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