I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Imperial hallways

Obviously, you can't see the Hermitage in four hours. You can't even see the highlights in four hours. We focused on the Italian collection, plus the Gold Room, and it still quickly became a blur of gilt and gold and wood inlay, vaulted hallways, endless columns, and galleries for which the word ornate was completely inadequate.

Oh, and paintings -- quite a few of those as well. One in particular, a Leonardo da Vinci madonna, was so luminously beautiful that I was grateful to see it in person; I don't think a reproduction could capture the way the painting seemed to glow, as though it had its own light source.

But sometimes it was hard to even see the art in the midst of all the too-muchness of the surroundings.

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