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Increased interest in Byzantine art amongst Russian scholars and collectors in the 19th and early 20th century led to the formation of some superb private collections, the greatest of which are now concentrated in the Hermitage. It covers the period from the 4th century (a small group of early Byzantine sculptures and sculptural fragments of the 4th to 5th centuries; 5th-century marble figurine with a traditional Early Christian representation of the Good Shepherd found in the ruins of a church at the town of Panderma, Asia Minor) right up to the 15th century and into the post-Byzantine era (16th-19th centuries).

Byzantine metalwork of the 6th to 7th centuries is famous worldwide and the Hermitage owns some magnificent examples, such as a dish with an inscription containing the name of Bishop Paternus (lived in the late 5th and early 6th century), and skillfully executed 7th-century dishes with Antique motifs (Silenus and Maenads and Meleager and Atalanta).

Byzantine craftsmen also reached a high degree of perfection in the working of ivory, which they used to make caskets and folding diptychs. Of the latter, we should note the Hunting diptych (c. 500) and a panel of a diptych of Consul Areobindus (506).

At over 500 items, the collection of Byzantine (11th-15th centuries) and post-Byzantine (16th-19th centuries) icons is notable both for its quantity and its quality. Of exceptional value are the 12th-century icons St Gregory Thaumaturge (Gregory the Wonderworker) and The Transfiguration. Of interest is an icon of Christ the Almighty (1363) with representations of the donors.

The Hermitage collection of Byzantine seals, in total some 12,000 items, is the second largest in the world.There are also large numbers of carved stones, coins, mosaics and enamel pieces, spanning the whole period of the existence of Byzantium.


If you enjoyed this collection, you might want to also visit the other collections at the State Hermitage Museum.

Oriental Coins


Diptych with Circus Scenes
5th century
Full description




Silver Dish
613-629
Full description




Icon Christ Pantocrator
1363
Full description

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Related Links:
The official homepage of the State Hermitage Museum: www.hermitagemuseum.org

Complete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etcComplete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etc. !
World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights". Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights".
Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)

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