The Hermitage and the Romanov Family Collections
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Sergei Androsov's essay presents the history of the collection and the construction of the influential State Hermitage Museum. Androsov unveils an acquisition timeline, complete with information concerning the tsars behind the collection, analyzing their taste as well as the potential influence spurred by the monarch’s era and artistic consultants.
[Catherine the Great]... had the honor of founding the Hermitage as an art museum that belonged personally to the monarch and passed from one member of the royal family to the next. The impetus for that event, so important in Russian history, was the acquisition of the collection belonging to Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky in late 1763 and early 1764. It had been intended originally for Frederick II of Prussia; so the purchase not only had aesthetic importance, but also political significance. It awakened in Catherine a passion for collecting, and in the next few years she made a number of important purchases of entire collections or individual paintings, primarily in France.