Novgorod. Kremlin-citadel. Belfry of St Sophia Cathedral. Detail of the western facade
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The collections in the department of Western European art, the oldest in the Hermitage, are notable for their exceptional richness. They include paintings, sculptures, drawings, and engravings, various items of applied art, coins and medals from different countries.
The exhibition presents relics of art dating back to feudal times from different Western European countries. In the Hermitage there are some excellent, and in many cases unique examples of Romanesque and Gothic styles, made by craftsmen whose names are now unknown.
The Hermitage's magnificent collection of European porcelain comprises several thousand items. The main part, eighteenth century porcelain, is displayed in room 271, the former church of the Winter Palace, decorated by Stasov after the fire of 1837 in the style of Rastrelli.