The extensive collection of Italian painting occupies 30 rooms in the
Old and New Hermitage, encompassing its development from the 13th century
to the beginning of the 19th century. The pride of the collection are
works by the great masters of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael,
Giorgione, Titian and Michelangelo.
Of just ten or twelve original works by Leonardo known in the world today,
Russia possesses two, both in the Hermitage: Madonna with a Flower (The
Benois Madonna, 1478) and Madonna Litta (1490-1491).
Raffaello Sanzio - Raphael - is also represented by two works: Madonna
Conestabile (1502-1503) and The Holy Family (1506). In addition, there
are copies of Raphael's famous frescoes in the Vatican Gallery, the Raphael
Loggias. The originals were painted by the artist's
pupils after his design in 1518-1519.
Giorgione's Judith is widely recognized as among the artist's most perfect
creations. Tiziano Vecellio, known as Titian, who dominated the Venetian
school of art during the first
half of the 16th century, is represented mainly by works from his mature
period (1559-1570). Just two, The Flight into Egypt (beginning of the
1500s) and Portrait of a Young Woman (about 1530), show the artist's earlier
style. Next comes an excellent
group of paintings, Danae (1550s), Christ Carrying the Cross, Madonna
and Child with Mary Magdalene (all three 1560s). The Penitent Magdalene
(1560s) and St Sebastian (1570s), one of the artist's last works, are
rightly regarded as masterpieces.
Paintings by Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Luca Giordano, Salvatore
Rosa, Gianmaria Crespi, Tiepolo, and Francesco Guardi provide a broad
view of the development of Italian art from the 17th to 18th c.
Italian masters of the 19th and 20th c are included in the general exhibition
of European art of that period.
If you enjoyed this collection, you might want to also visit the other
collections at the State Hermitage Museum.
Madonna from an Annunciation
Leonardo da Vinci
Madonna with a Flower (Benois Madonna)
Leonardo da Vinci
Maecenas Presenting the Liberal Arts to Emperor Augustus