the state hermitage


Kolyvan vase  1828-1843.
The State Hermitage Museum - Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The gigantic green jasper Kolyvan Vase is one of the finest creations of Russian stone-cutters, remarkable for its size and beauty of form. The vase that weighs almost 19 tons and is 2.57 m (8.5 ft) high was produced at the Kolyvan lapidary works (Altai). The bowl (5.04 x 3.22 m) was made of a great slab of greenish jasper found at the foot of Revnev Mountain, the stem was composed of three monolithic stones and one more huge stone was used as the base. 

It took two whole years to cut this single slab of jasper from the rock, a thousand men to haul it to the Kolyvan lapidary factory, and another twelve years to produce the finished masterpiece. The vase was designed by Avraam Melnikov and in 1849 it was raised in the New Hermitage by the means of hundreds of workers: it was placed in a hall that was completed after the placement of the vase itself, which would not otherwise have passed through access doorways. 


Folding fan of Empress Maria Feodorovna
C. 1867

© The State Hermitage Museum

Materials: Wood, silk carved and painted to imitate the Lily Of the Valley leaves and flowers. 

Веер деревянный, с резными раскрашенными пластинами в виде цветов и листьев ландыша.


          A Touch Of Grandiosity (Grand Church of the Winter Palace)

“The Grand Church of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, sometimes referred to as the Winter Palace’s cathedral, was consecrated in 1763. It is located on the piano nobile in the eastern wing of the Winter Palace, and is the larger, and principal, of two churches within the Palace. A smaller, more private church was constructed in 1768, near the private apartment in the northwest part of the wing. The Grand Church was designed by Francesco Rastrelli, and has been described as “one of the most splendid rooms” in the Palace. Today, the church is an unconsecrated exhibition hall of the State Hermitage Museum”

Ancient Greek golden olive wreath, dated to the mid 4th century BCE. The wreath originates from the Bosporan kingdom in the northern Black Sea region and is currently located in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.