Like Venice, St. Petersburg is a city of islands, rivers and canals, and hundreds of bridges. It was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. It is Russia's second largest city with a population of 5 million people.
We would be in St. Petersburg on the ship for three days before the cruise ended. These are the hydrofoils that are used to get around the city, which are much faster than going by car with all the traffic. Today we would be taking one to see the Hermitage and the Winter Palace.
Behind is the Alexander Column and the State Headquarters. When I saw it several days later, I was sure I had never seen it before, when in fact I’d already taken a pic of it. Too many places!
We began with a group of paintings by Rembrandt. The Hermitage has 35 Rembrandts, the greatest collection in the world.
This is the Portrait of Baertje Martens (ca. 1640). Paintings of her and her husband were commissioned for the family and were preserved by two generations of descendants. By the mid-eighteenth century, through several auction sales, the works ended up in different collections. The portrait of Baertje Martens has been in the Hermitage Gallery since 1767. The painting of her husband has been in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York since the 1930s.
Immediately the complex process of restoration began. The damaged canvas was taken out of its frame and carried to a restoration studio. The surface of the canvas was doused with water to neutralize the acid. By evening, when the power of the acid had been contained and the physical condition of the surface had been stabilized, it was discovered that over 70 percent of the paint surface remained undamaged. It took over two years to restore it. Although Natalia, our guide, told us traces of the damage still remain, it was difficult to see.
oil-on-canvas paintings by the Venetian master, Titian (1490-1576), completed between 1553 and 1556.
Lorenzo Lorenzetti (1490-1541), a disciple of Raphael.