Museums

State Hermitage Museum - painting "Fathers of the Church disputing the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception" by Guido Reni

The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest, most impressive and most famous museums in the world. The museum houses a very rich collection of no less than three million works of art and artifacts! The collection includes objects of painting, drawing, sculpture and archaeological and numismatic fields. In the 365 rooms of the main building there are more than 65,000 objects on daily display.

The museum can be found in the historic center of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is housed in a complex of ten buildings, of which seven are from the 18th and 19th century and are considered monuments of Russian culture. These buildings are the Winter Palace, the Great Hermitage, the Small Hermitage, the New Hermitage, the building of the General Staff, the Mensjikov Palace and the Hermitage Theatre. The Winter Palace was the former residence of the Russian Tsars and Tsarina's. This building is one of the jewels of Russian baroque period. The current Winter Palace by Bartolomeo Rastrelli was commissioned in 1754-1762 by Empress Elisabeth.

 

 

 

The Winter Palace
© Photo is used from www.hermitagemuseum.org,
courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

The museum was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great purchased a collection of 225 paintings by Flemish and Dutch masters from the Berlin merchant Ernest Gotzkowski. The purchase of many further collections followed. In 1852 the New Hermitage opened as a museum. In 1917, the Hermitage and the Winter Palace were officially declared state museums. The whole museum was called the "State Hermitage Museum".

 

The Winter Palace
© Photo is used from www.hermitagemuseum.org,
courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

 


 

Guido Reni

Guido Reni is considered to be one of the most important painters of the 17th century. He was known for his religious works and mythical scenes.

Guido Reni was born on November 4, 1575 in Bologna, Italy, the son of Daniele Reni and Ginevra the 'Pozzi. As a nine year old child, he was noticed by the Antwerp painter Denys Calvaert, who often lived and worked in Italy. Guido became a student in his academy in Bologna. His skills grew. Afterwards he received further training in the more progressive art school of the Carracci family.

 

 

In 1599 Reni was included into the guild of painters. In his early career he received commissions from Pope Paul V and Cardinal Scipione Borghese. From 1602 to 1614 he worked in Rome. By 1609 he had replaced Annibale Carracci as the leader of the baroque-classicism in Rome. In 1614 he returned to Bologna, where he had his own studio and won many orders for works for various Italian cities.

Guido Reni died on August 18, 1642.

 

 

Fathers of the Church Disputing the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

 

© Photo is used from www.hermitagemuseum.org,
courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

This painting was made around 1625. The interpretation of the painting is that the Virgin Mary appears to the Church Fathers who are deep in thought. In the foreground are Jerome and Augustine, behind them, Ambrose, Gregory the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom.

 

Above Mary stands the divine name in Hebrew. Note that in the Tetragrammaton, the Hebrew YHWH (from right to left), the Masoretic vowels e - o - a are shown.

 

 

 

 

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