Highlights from the palatial Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, are beautifully reproduced in an accessible volume celebrating the museum's 250th anniversary. For 250 years, the State Hermitage Museum has been one of the world's most palatial and significant museums. The Hermitage collections were developed beginning in 1764 by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, and now encompass more than 3 million works of art and artifacts displayed within a spectacular architectural ensemble, the heart of which is the famed Winter Palace. Now, on this important anniversary, this stunning volume captures the masterpieces that make this world-famous institution a cultural destination and a global treasure. "The Hermitage: 250 Masterworks" explores this sumptuous collection in the manner of a private tour, showcasing the museum's extraordinary and uniquely underpublished treasures: no other institution has thirty-six Rembrandts; works by Italian Renaissance artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Titian; Spanish artists such as Vel+zquez, Ribera, and Murillo; Flemish baroque artists such as van Dyck, Rubens, and Jan Brueghel the Elder; impressionist and post-impressionist works by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, and Degas; and modern paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Malevich, and Kandinsky. Priceless antiquities, feats of mechanical engineering such as the famous Peacock Clock, and works of sculpture and decorative arts will also be shown. With lavish reproductions accompanied by texts by the museum's leading curators, this volume is sure be cherished by art lovers around the world.