on June 6, 2000
The Hermitage used to be Catherine the Great’s Winter Palace. It is a huge and expansive building housing literally millions of pieces of great art. My husband and I went by ourselves to the Hermitage a second time after having already visited once with our tour group. We wanted to take more time wandering through the spectacular hallways, looking at the incredible, original paintings hanging all around us. We saw originals by Renoir, Degas,
Monet, Van Gogh. Every style of work you could think of from every time period and art movement imaginable was available for viewing. Wanting to see an exhibit by Matisse even though we were running short on time, we practically sprinted from one floor to another---guides with broken English gesturing patiently to direct us---until we found
ourselves in the middle of a room full of nothing but Picassos! I’ve never been to the Louvre in Paris, but I know its art can’t possibly be of any higher quality than the Hermitage!
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