This is the main staircase of the Winter Palace. It was used by the royal family to go to the Neva River for christenings. Two broad flights of marble steps lead up to a landing, embellished with grey granite columns. On the ceiling, dating back to the 18th century, visitors can see the truly impressive painting, depicting Mount Olympus.
The Peacock Clock
Peacock Clock at the Winter Palace is another not-to-be-missed piece of art, housed in the Pavilion Hall of the Small Hermitage, famous for its exquisite marble colonnade and crystal chandeliers. The clock was designed by the outstanding London jeweler and goldsmith James Cox and brought in pieces to St. Petersburg for Russian empress Catherine the Great in 1781.
Leonardo da Vinci. The Benois Madonna
One of the greatest geniuses of the Renaissance era, Leonardo da Vinci combined the talents of artist and scientist, inventor and thinker. Only around a dozen of his original paintings have survived down to the present day. The Benois Madonna, an early work by the artist is a particular pride of the museum.
Love undoubtedly also inspired Rembrandt to produce Danaë. One of the Hermitage’s Rembrandt masterpieces became known to the world for an unfortunate reason. In 1985, a vandal poured sulfuric acid over the canvas, after which the painting was under restoration for more than 12 years.
Rembrandt. Return of the Prodigal Son
One of the most famous and recognizable paintings by Rembrandt was bought by Catherine the Great in 1766. The artist painted the work just months before his death (in 1669). “Rembrandt goes so deep into the mysterious that he says things for which there are no words in any language. It is with justice that they call Rembrandt “magician” that’s no easy occupation. (Vincent Van Gogh)