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Art galleries of Europe

In major European cities, there are art galleries where you can see the masterpieces of the most famous artists. These galleries have been collected for several centuries. Many of them are based on the collections of the kings of Europe.

In this review on the Geomerid portal, you can read about the most famous art galleries in Europe:

1.    The Louvre in Paris
2.    Vatican Museum
3.    London National Gallery
4.    The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
5.    Musee d'Orsay in Paris
6.    Tretyakov Gallery
7.    Uffizi Gallery
8.    Pushkin Museum in Moscow

The Louvre in Paris

As to the size and value of its art collection, the Louvre is probably the most significant museum in the world. And it was just Francis I who laid the foundation of the collection. He invited to France the artist Leonardo da Vinci. There are several masterpieces of this painter in the Louvre, including the famous Mona Lisa.

In XIX century the Louvre`s collection was added by artifacts of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and other states of the Middle East, which was then actively gathered by French «collectors of antiquities». The most famous exhibits of the Louvre are sculptures of Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and Egyptian Sitting Scribe, as well as canvases of Leonardo da Vinci.

Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museum is a complex of museums storing the most valuable art collections. For several centuries, beginning from 16 century, Popes amassed pictures of Italian painters, Roman and Greek sculptures, Egyptian art objects and many other things. 

The Sistine Chapel is perhaps the most famous attraction of the Vatican Museum. Since 16 century all papal conclaves had been held in the church. In 16 century the vaults and the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel were decorated by Michelangelo.The four Raphael Rooms (Stanze di Raffaello) are of at least the same interest. These are the former living rooms of Pope Julius II, which were decorated by Raphael, another great painter. 

London National Gallery

London National Gallery is one of the largest and most visited art galleries in the world. Its public collection contains more than 2 thousand paintings by artists from Western Europe covering the period of 13-20 centuries.

It is considered that gallery was founded in 1824 when the parliament allocated money to purchase a collection of 38 paintings from the heirs of the banker Angerstein. On April 9, 1839, the new building of the National Gallery received its first visitors. All paintings were arranged in chronological order.

Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

For several centuries the Winter Palace was the main grand residence of Russian emperors, and now it is the largest museum in Russia and one of the largest and best museums in the world. Later there appeared the second name - Hermitage (from the French word ‘ermitage’ meaning ‘retreat’), which was originally given to several secluded chambers of Catherine II. 

The Hermitage, as museum, was founded in 1764, when Catherine II purchased a collection of 225 canvases from the merchant Gotskovskiy in Berlin. The art collections are exhibited at the residence of Russian emperors, therefore it will be interesting to visit the Hermitage not only because of its pictures or sculptures.

Musee d'Orsay in Paris

The museum d`Orsay is located in the building of Gare d`Orsay, a former Paris railway station built in 1900. In 1939, during World War II, the station was closed and in 1980 there was opened a museum. The museum contains the most interesting collection of paintings for 1848-1905. Earlier, these pictures were exhibited at different art galleries and now they have been gathered in a single building. 

The core of the collection is works of impressionists and post-impressionists. And though there are paintings of other painters in the museum, its main attraction is canvases of such famous painters as Manet and Renoir, Degas and Van Gogh and Gauguin, and many other impressionist artists.

Tretyakov Gallery

The Tretyakov Gallery has very narrow specialization – there kept a huge collection of Russian painting from the first portraitists of the beginning of XVIII century to the painters of the Soviet period.

It was called after the merchant Paul Tretyakov who gave to Moscow his collection of Russian painting in 1892. At the gallery one can see both small pictures and portraits and vast canvases of the famous Russian painters: Surikov, Repin, Brulov, Aivazovsky, Ivanov, Vasnetsov, Shishkin, Vereshchagin and many others.

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery was built on the Piazza della Signoria in the 16 century. The Medici ruling in Florence had collected the works of art for centuries. You could rightly put the Uffizi Gallery among the most significant and interesting museums of not only Italy but the entire world.

The collection of pictures of almost all great painters of Italy and Europe are on the third floor of two buildings connected by a passage on the Arno Embankment. Many antique sculptures, as well as the works of art of Byzantine period are exhibited at the halls of the Uffizi Gallery. 

Pushkin Museum in Moscow

The formal name of the museum is the State Pushkin Art Museum, but it is commonly called just the Pushkin Museum. It is located in the center of Moscow near the Temple of Christ the Savior. The museum has one of the largest Russian collections of world art.

Of special interest can be collection of French impressionists: Renoir, C. Monet, Degas, Cezanne, as well as post-impressionists: Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse. Besides seeing these pictures one should visit the halls where the Priam Treasure is exhibited, which was discovered by Henry Schliemann during the diggings on the site ancient Troy