The collection of the Department of Russian Culture consists of over
300,000 items and reflects a thousand-year Russian history. Icons and
articles of artistic handicraft represent the inner world and way of life
of ancient Rus. The items of Peter the Great's time illustrate the epoch
of important transformations. Works by celebrated masters of the 18th
century enable us to appreciate the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna and the
grandeur of Catherine the Great.
A unique work, the War Gallery in the Winter Palace was created in commemoration
of the victory in the 1812 Patriotic War. The original palace interiors
contain numerous works of art of the period from the 19th to early 20th
centuries, many of which belonged to the tsar's family.