When life gives you lemons, go ride Lemonade!

St. Petersburg - Part 2

Our next museum was "The Hermitage".  It is world famous and is one of the biggest in the world.









The Hermitage is a series of palaces on the bank of the Neva River that have been interconnected and filled with the usual museum stuff of statues...









and paintings by the famous artists through history.  The Madonna and Child is by Da Vinci and was a popular stop.


There were whole rooms of Renoir, Rembrandt, Picasso and others.  A room each, not combined!




















And there was a room full of medieval armor                                and a couple of cast silver "wine coolers".

Here the wooden floors are just as gorgeous as at Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo but we didn't have to wear booties.  These are the original floors, The Hermitage did not get destroyed in the war.

There were collections from all over the world of art works.  Here there seemed to be fewer fragments of art displayed and more whole statues, frescoes and such than some other museums we have visited.  I don't know if that is a display choice on the part of the museum or if they got more of the good stuff than places like the Vatican Museum in Rome and The Louvre in Paris.  Another thing about these marble statues is that protruding parts like noses, men's penises and women's nipples were not broken off.  Most of the statues in the Vatican Museum had them either missing or obviously repaired.  Yet we are talking about statues by the same artists and from the same time periods.  I commented on this in the Rome page written last year.

We spent 7 hours there and saw most all of it.  It had almost all of its displays labeled in English as well as in Russian and some rooms had a rack of large cards describing the displays in a variety of languages.  You could carry the card around with you as you looked at the displays.

On Friday night I called the phone number on the web page of the GoldWing Club of Russia and we met some of the members on the corner across from our apartment and we talked for about an hour about trips and GoldWings.  They wouldn't let me buy them a beer, the drinking/driving laws are tough here.  Here are two members and their Wings, Kathy and another member are in the background.  Their English was excellent and we had a good talk.  I asked if I could buy some club logo stickers for our bike and the next morning one of the members came by with an armful of gear, stickers, pins, patches and t-shirts.  And wouldn't take anything for them.  It's too bad that I'm out of things from home to trade.  Thank you very much GoldWing Club of Russia!

On our last full day we went to the Russian Museum.  This is a museum of art by Russians and only Russians.

You'll notice more scaffolding and tarps, this time printed with the building and an announcement.
























The carved marble on the left is called "First Step".  It is about life-size.  Notice the detail of the toy train on the base.

On the right is a carved bone decorative piece about 8" high.  The delicacy of the carving is beautiful.

This is a thin piece of bark from a Birch tree that has been carved and laid on a plate of contrasting color.  It is a wall hanging, not meant to be used as a plate.













There were lots of paintings too.  This one "Barge Haulers on the Volga River" was excellent.  We could see the despair and misery in the faces of the men who must spend their lives working as mules.

The painting is about 3 feet high and 8 wide.  Each of this artist's works were large and very well done.

I had to take the picture at this angle to avoid the light reflecting off the surface of it.





The detain in this artist's work is almost photographic.

Of all the museums we have been to in Europe we like the Russian Museum the most.  It is not the largest, by far, but it had a much higher percentage of good art.

We are not big fans of Picasso's weirdness or dark paintings of Catholic sins, no matter how famous the artist may be.  We do appreciate art that shows people, places and events that are understandable and that we can relate to.  We enjoy decorative items that show a high level of skill and detail.  Just because a displayed item came from ancient Persia and has a picture on it does not make it an item of good art.

We have really enjoyed the people and sights of St. Petersburg but we must go on.

We are now off to Moscow on the midnight train.