View larger image
||next room|| |
The rhythm set by the steps in the main staircase of the New Hermitage is solemn and unhurried. The artificial marble of the walls glistens with gold. Daylight pouring in through the windows of the upper floor illuminates the space superbly, bringing out the depth in the vista of the three flights of steps and the parallel rows of grey Serdobol granite, that takes its name from the town of Serdobol in Karelia near which it was quarried.
The main element in the austere architecture of the vestibule is sixteen columns
of red Finnish "Rapakivi" granite. The coffered ceilings
are decorated with ornamental painting and sculpted figures of Glory.
The floors are laid with slabs of Italian marble. Suites of grand
museum halls begin from each side of the vestibule, In Klenze's
original conception they were intended for the sculpture collection
and the Hermitage library.