Art plays an important role in the life of a man and sometimes it is next to impossible to live without it. It is natural that the first thing that comes to my mind at the mention of the word ‘art’ is museums.
A museum is a stock of the world’s masterpieces, it is the place, where you can enrich knowledge, you can look at the achievements of mankind, you can satisfy your aesthetic taste. Museums give the possibility to be always in touch with the past and every time discover something new for yourself.
Besides, museums play an important role in the life of any nation. A museum is just the right place to find out lots of interesting things about history, traditions and habits of different peoples. One may find in museums papers, photos, books, scripts, works of art, personal things of famous people etc. All this helps us to better understand historical events, scientific discoveries, character and deeds of well-known personalities.
I think museums somehow effect the formation of personality, his outlook. Every educated person is sure to understand the great significance of museums in our life, especially nowadays, when after the humdrum of everyday life you may go to your favourite museum, relax there with your body and soul and acquire inner harmony and balance.
I am a regular museum-goer. In fact I visited no less than 20 museums.
Among them: the Louver, the National Gallery, the Shakespeare House in
Stratford-on Avon, the Oxford story exhibition, Museum of Reading, Madam
Tussaud’s Exhibition ,the Tretyakov Gallery and others. We can hardly find a town in our country without its «Fine Arts» Museum. I’ve been in
Voronezh, Kislovodsk, Essentuky and some other regional museums.
Now I want to write about the Tretyakov Gallery, Windsor Castle,
Westminster Abbey, Buckinngham Palace and Hermitage, about their history and their collections.
The State Hermitage in St. Petersburg ranks among the world’s most outstanding art museums. It is the largest museum in Russia: nowadays its vast and varied collections take up four buildings; its rooms if stretched in one line would measure many miles in total length, while they cover an area of 94240 square meters. Over 300 rooms are open to the public and contain a rich selection from the museum’s collections numbering about
2500000 items. The earliest exhibits Date from 500000-300000B.C., the latest are modern works.
The collections possessed by the museum are distributed among its seven departments and form over forty permanent exhibitions. A common feature, characterising these exhibitions is the arrangement of items (all of them originals) according to countries and schools in a strictly chronological order, with a view to illustrating almost every stage of human culture and every great art epoch from the prehistoric times to the 20th century.
Fabulous treasures are gathered in the Museum. It contains a rare collection of specimens of Soythian culture and art; objects of great aesthetic and historical value found in the burial mounds of the Altai; a most complete representation of exhibits characterising Russian culture and art. The Oriental collections of the Museum, ranking among the richest in the world, give an idea of the culture and art of the people of the Near and the Far East; India, China, Byzantium and Iran, are best represented; remarkable materials illustrative of the culture and art of the peoples inhabiting the Caucasus and Central Asia, also from part of the collections of the Department. The Museum numbers among its treasures monuments of ancient Greece and Rome and those from the Greek settlements on the North coast of the Black Sea.
World famous is the collection of West-European paintings, covering a span of about seven hundred years, from the 13th to the 20th century, and comprising works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, El Greco,
Velazquez, Murillo; outstanding paintings by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Rubens; a remarkable group of French eighteenth century canvases, and Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings. The collection illustrates the art of
Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Britain, Sweden, Denmark,
Finland and some other countries. The West European Department of the
Museum also includes a fine collection of European sculpture, containing works by Michelangelo, Canova, Falkonet, Houdon, Rodin and many other eminent masters; a marvellous collection of prints and drawings, numbering about 600 000 items; arms and armour; one of the world most outstanding collections of applied art, rich in tapestries, furniture, lace, ivories, porcelain metalwork, bronzes, silver, jewellery and enamels. An important part among the museum possessions is taken by the numismatic collection, which numbers over 1 000 000 items and is regarded as one of the largest in the world. A permanent exhibition of coins, orders and medals is open on the 2nd floor, rooms 398-400. There are auxiliary displays of coins forming part of exhibitions in other departments as well. A temporary exhibition of
West-European medals is on view in the Raphael Loggias (1st floor, room
The seven departments of the museum, i.e. the Department of Russian
Culture, Primitive culture, Culture and Art of the peoples of the Soviet
East, Culture and Art of the Foreign Countries of the East, Culture and Art of the Antique World, West-European Art, Numismatics, together with the
Education Department, the Conservation Department and the Library determine the administrative and academic structure of the museum.
Within the past few decades the Hermitage has become one of the country’s most important centres of art study with a research staff of about 200 historians carrying out a vast program of research on art problems, and responsible for the preservation of the museum treasures, their conservation and restoration, and also for the scientific popularisation of art. The results of this varied work are published in the form of books, articles, periodicals, pamphlets, etc.
Since 1949 a post-graduate school has been functioning at the