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Hermitage Museum

Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over three million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world.

The Dessert: Harmony in Red

The Dessert: Harmony in Red is a painting by French artist Henri Matisse, from 1908. It is considered by some critics to be Matisse's masterpiece. This Fauvist painting follows the example set by Impressionism with the overall lack of a central focal point. The painting was ordered as "Harmony in Blue," but Matisse was dissatisfied with the result, and so he painted it over with his preferred red.

Still Life with a Curtain

Still Life with a Curtain illustrates Cézanne's increasing trend towards terse compression of forms and dynamic tension between geometric figures.

Femme au café (Absinthe Drinker)

Picasso produced this work in the autumn of 1901, during his second trip to Paris, when he was just 22 years old. The theme of man's loneliness in a cafe, of isolation and emptiness, was not new to French art in the second half of the 19th century and could be found in the works of Degas and of Picasso's much-admired Toulouse-Lautrec. But in the paintings by the young Spaniard the theme acquired a previously unknown sense of drama. The lonely subject sits at a table in a café, the background a dirty-red wall which reinforces the sense of discomfort.