POSSIBLY THE GREATEST MUSEUM ON EARTH, the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, houses a staggering number of riches, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. Published on the occasion of the museum's 250th anniversary, this handsome, accessible volume showcases 250 of the Hermitage's masterpieces dating from Egyptian times through the modern period. Founded in 1767 by Catherine the Great, the palatial Hermitage Museum encompasses more than three million works of art and artifacts displayed within a spectacular architectural ensemble, the heart of which is the famed Winter Palace, former residence of the tsars. To commemorate this important anniversary, gathered together here are the masterworks that make this world-famous cultural destination a global treasure. This splendid volume, organized to evoke the great haUs and sumptuous details of the museums interiors, features the extraordinary, under-published highlights of the collection. With works by all the great masters, including Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, Velazquez, and Rubens; beloved works of the highest quality by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, and Degas; and modern paintings by the giants Matisse, Picasso, Malevich, and Kandinsky, the Hermitage is a dream destination for art lovers and armchair museum goers. Priceless antiquities, feats of mechanical engineering such as the famous Peacock Clock, and works of sculpture and decorative arts are also included and accompanied by texts from the museums leading curators. This volume is sure to be cherished by art lovers around the world.