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Masterpieces of the Louvre - 828 Masterpieces of the Louvre
For art lovers, there is something magical about the Louvre Museum in Paris. Though it is not the largest museum in the world (that distinction belongs to the Hermitage), it is the most visited. Part of the fascination stems the unique architecture of the Louvre. Not many museums in the world were once palaces, and even fewer have the long history of the Louvre. Beginning as a fortress in 1190, the French monarchs continued to expand the Louvre, even serving as the royal headquarters until Louis XIV moved his household to the Palace of Versailles. Visitors today can still see the foundations of the original fortress, and the magnificence of the medieval French court can easily be imagined while strolling through its marbled hallways.
State Museum Hermitage - 15 State Museum Hermitage
The State Hermitage is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. One of the largest and oldest museums of the world, it was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise nearly 3 million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors. Apart from them, the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building are also part of the museum. The museum has several exhibition centers abroad.
Icons - 535 Icons
An icon (from Greek εἰκών eikōn \"image\") is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches. In Eastern Christianity and other icon-painting Christian traditions, the icon is generally a flat panel painting depicting a holy being or object such as Jesus, Mary, saints, angels, or the cross. Icons may also be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Creating free-standing, three-dimensional sculptures of holy figures was resisted by Christians for many centuries, out of the belief that daimones inhabited pagan sculptures, and also to make a clear distinction between Christian and pagan art. To this day, in obedience to the commandment not to make \"graven images\", Orthodox icons may never be more than three-quarter bas relief.
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