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Quiz about Art at the Winter Palace
Quiz about Art at the Winter Palace

Art at the Winter Palace Trivia Quiz


Founded by Catherine the Great in the 18th century, St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum is one of the world's major art museums. This quiz will focus on some of the most significant works of art on display there.

A photo quiz by LadyNym. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
LadyNym
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
404,038
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
192
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: desertloca (9/10), kyleisalive (9/10), Guest 175 (5/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. This spectacular gold comb is one of the most famous pieces in the Hermitage Museum's collection of gold artifacts produced by what ancient Indo-European civilization, which flourished in the steppes north of the Black Sea? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The Gonzaga Cameo, depicted here on a Russian stamp, is a stunning example of Hellenistic glyptic art. The original owners of the cameo, the Gonzaga family, were from which European country? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The Hermitage's large collection of religious icons includes works from different countries and eras. This stately medieval image represents which widely venerated saint, a bishop and martyr whose feast is celebrated on 6 December? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The beautiful "Madonna Litta" is undoubtedly one of the "stars" of the Hermitage's vast collection of paintings. To which great Italian artist - the ultimate Renaissance man - has it been traditionally attributed? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Painted in 1617, "Luncheon" is one of the earliest works of which great Spanish artist, the leading painter of the Spanish Golden Age?

Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. A whole room in the New Hermitage building is devoted to the works of Rembrandt van Rijn and his followers. In this beautiful painting, a lady named Saskia van Uylenburg is portrayed as Flora, the Roman goddess of spring. Who was she in relation to Rembrandt? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. This lovely, elegant portrait of a "Woman in Blue" is the work of which famous 18th-century English artist, known for his painting of another blue-clad person? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. This celebrated sculpture by Italian Neoclassical artist Antonio Canova shows a trio of Greek goddesses, a popular subject in art, known by what name? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The Hermitage is also the proud owner of a renowned collection of works by French Impressionist painters. This lovely painting by Claude Monet depicts the meadows around his house, located in which town in northern France? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Our tour of the Hermitage ends with a stunning abstract painting, titled "Composition VI", by one of the greatest artists of the first half of the 20th century. Which Russian painter and art theorist, one of the founders of the "Blue Rider" group, am I talking about? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
May 04 2024 : desertloca: 9/10
Apr 07 2024 : kyleisalive: 9/10
Mar 26 2024 : Guest 175: 5/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. This spectacular gold comb is one of the most famous pieces in the Hermitage Museum's collection of gold artifacts produced by what ancient Indo-European civilization, which flourished in the steppes north of the Black Sea?

Answer: Scythian

The Hermitage Museum's renowned collection of Scythian antiquities - the largest in the world - comprises objects found in various burial sites of the area north of the Black Sea, which between the 7th and the 3rd centuy BC was inhabited by the Scythians, a nomadic people of Iranian descent. Together with two shield ornaments in the shape of a stag and a panther, the gold comb found in 1913 in the kurgan (burial mound) at Solokha, in the Dnieper region, is the most celebrated specimen in the collection. Decorated with a stunningly detailed battle scene, the comb dates from the late 5th or early 4th century BC; it was probably made by Greek craftsmen, though adapted to the taste of their noble Scythian customers.

The two treasure galleries of the Hermitage Museum - the Gold Room and the Diamond Room - can only be visited as part of the guided tour; the Scythian gold artifacts are housed in the Gold Room, which is located in the Winter Palace.
2. The Gonzaga Cameo, depicted here on a Russian stamp, is a stunning example of Hellenistic glyptic art. The original owners of the cameo, the Gonzaga family, were from which European country?

Answer: Italy

The Gonzaga Cameo is named after its original owners, the princely Gonzaga family that ruled the city-state of Mantua, in northern Italy, from 1328 to 1708. The magnificent engraved gem, part of the collection of antiquities of the Dukes of Mantua, was carried off to Vienna during the Thirty Years' War; almost 200 years later, it eventually ended up in the possession of Napoleon Bonaparte and his first wife, Joséphine, who presented it to Alexander I, Tsar of Russia.

Probably made in Alexandria (Egypt) in the 3rd century BC, the cameo is carved out of sardonyx, a semi-precious variant of onyx characterized by parallel bands of red and white. The paired heads portrayed on the stone (a style named "capita jugata" in Latin) are represented with the attributes of Zeus and Hera. They have been identified as a number of famous couples of antiquity - including Alexander the Great and his mother Olympias, and Nero and his mother, Agrippina the Younger. On the museum's website, the Gonzaga Cameo is labeled as featuring the portraits of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Arsinoe II, his sister-wife (like Hera for Zeus), based on coins issued by Ptolemy II that show a similar image.

The Gonzaga Cameo is part of the collection of Classical Antiquities, housed on the ground floor of the Old and New Hermitage buildings.
3. The Hermitage's large collection of religious icons includes works from different countries and eras. This stately medieval image represents which widely venerated saint, a bishop and martyr whose feast is celebrated on 6 December?

Answer: St Nicholas

Icons (from the Greek "eikón", meaning "image") are one of the symbols of Russian art and culture: not surprisingly the Hermitage Museum boasts a large collection of them, housed on the ground floor of the Winter Palace. These religious images, characteristic of Eastern Christianity, are painted in a distinctive style derived from the Byzantine tradition, with lavish use of gold and bright colours, and stiff, somewhat angular silhouettes. This image of St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, dates from the early 15th century; like others from the same period, it comes from the historic city of Novgorod, one of Russia's oldest. The icon is painted on a primed wood panel in egg tempera and gold leaf; the scarlet background, a distinguishing feature of the Novgorod school, symbolizes the light of eternity.

Associated with gift-giving and the Christmas season in Western Europe and North America, St Nicholas is venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church as a wonder worker ("thaumaturgos" in Greek).

St Andrew's feast is celebrated on 30 November, St Stephen's on 26 December, and St Sylvester's on 31 December.
4. The beautiful "Madonna Litta" is undoubtedly one of the "stars" of the Hermitage's vast collection of paintings. To which great Italian artist - the ultimate Renaissance man - has it been traditionally attributed?

Answer: Leonardo da Vinci

Dating from around 1490, the Madonna Litta (named after the aristocratic Milanese family who owned it for part of the 19th century) was acquired by Tsar Alexander II for the Hermitage in 1865. Though art historians are still divided on its attribution, a number of stylistic features point to Leonardo da Vinci as the creator of this stunningly beautiful painting, which represents the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the Christ child. The painting hangs in the Old Hermitage building, in a room devoted to Leonardo, where an early work by the Tuscan master, the Benois Madonna, is also located. The Virgin wears her traditional colours of red and blue, while the Christ child holds a goldfinch in his left hand: this bird, which symbolizes Christ's future passion, often appears in depictions of the Madonna and Child. A misty, montainous landscape can be glimpsed through the arches behind the figure of the Virgin.

The painting has been attributed to Leonardo on the basis of its resemblance with other works, and also of various sketches and drawings by the master. Art scholars who disagree have attributed the painting to artists who were pupils of Leonardo during his Milanese period, such as Marco d'Oggiono or Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio.

The three incorrect choices are all Italian artists, but none of them lived during the Renaissance: Giotto was active in the early 14th century, Caravaggio in the Baroque era (16th century), and de Chirico in the 20th century.
5. Painted in 1617, "Luncheon" is one of the earliest works of which great Spanish artist, the leading painter of the Spanish Golden Age?

Answer: Diego Velázquez

"Luncheon" ("El Almuerzo") was created by Diego Velázquez when he was 18 years old. It depicts an everyday scene from the life of common people - three male figures of various ages sitting around a table and enjoying a simple meal with wine. The three characters - a boy, a young man (who is making a thumbs-up gesture), and an aged man - represent the stages of human life. With its dramatic contrast of light and dark, and realistic, almost three-dimensional depiction of the objects on the table, the painting was clearly influenced by Caravaggio's work. The boy, who sits in the middle and pours the wine with a carefree grin, was somebody who lived in the painter's house, while the young man may have been a self-portrait of the artist himself. The painting is on display on the first floor of the New Hermitage, which houses the museum's collection of Italian and Spanish art of the 16th-18th centuries.

The three artists listed as wrong answers all lived much later than Velázquez: Goya in the 18th and early 19th century, and Dalí and Miró in the 20th century.
6. A whole room in the New Hermitage building is devoted to the works of Rembrandt van Rijn and his followers. In this beautiful painting, a lady named Saskia van Uylenburg is portrayed as Flora, the Roman goddess of spring. Who was she in relation to Rembrandt?

Answer: his wife

Rembrandt created his "Flora" in 1634, the year when he married the 22-year-old Saskia von Uylenburg, the youngest daughter of a prominent lawyer. Saskia, a young lady with a strong personality, was the model for many of Rembrandt's works. In a number of paintings, Saskia was portrayed in the guise of some character of ancient myth - such as Bellona, the goddess of war, and Minerva, the goddess of knowledge. Here Saskia is depicted in a grotto, wearing luxurious clothing and an elaborate flower headdress, and carrying a staff also decorated with leaves and flowers. The work may have been inspired by Titian's "Flora" (now at Florence's Uffizi Gallery), which at the time was part of the collection of the Spanish ambassador in Amsterdam.

Sadly, Saskia died in 1642, before her 30th birthday, and one year after the birth of Titus, the only one of Rembrandt's children who reached adulthood. After her death, Rembrandt was in a long-term relationship with Hendrickje Stoffels, a much younger woman who had been his maid; the relationship lasted until the artist's death.

The museum's collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings of the 16th century is also housed in the New Hermitage building.
7. This lovely, elegant portrait of a "Woman in Blue" is the work of which famous 18th-century English artist, known for his painting of another blue-clad person?

Answer: Thomas Gainsborough

The colour blue features prominently in the work of Thomas Gainsborough, one of the 18th century's foremost painters and portraitists: the hint in the question refers to "The Blue Boy", a full-length portrait of a youth painted by Gainsborough around 1770, probably the artist's best-known work. "Woman in Blue", which dates from the late 1770s or early 1780s, portrays an unknown young woman, fashionably dressed in white and blue, and sporting a tall, powdered wig topped with a blue feather that matches the colour of her shawl. The muted colours and elegant brushstrokes create an almost dreamy feel, emphasizing the subject's delicate features and lovely complexion.

Some art historians have identified the subject of the painting as Elizabeth Boscawen, Duchess of Beaufort. Gainsborough's wife, Margaret Burr, was an illegitimate daughter of the 3rd Duke of Beaufort, uncle to Elizabeth's husband, the 5th Duke of Beaufort.

The Hermitage's collection of British art, which also includes works by Gainsborough's rival, Joshua Reynolds, is housed on the first floor of the Winter Palace.
8. This celebrated sculpture by Italian Neoclassical artist Antonio Canova shows a trio of Greek goddesses, a popular subject in art, known by what name?

Answer: Graces

In Greek myth, the three Graces, or Charites, were the goddesses of beauty and charm, and were often portrayed as part of the retinue of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Antonio Canova's sculpture, together with Botticelli's "Primavera", is probably the most famous artistic depiction of these beautiful creatures. The sculpture on display at the Hermitage is the first version that Canova produced between 1813 and 1816 for Empress Joséphine, Napoleon's first wife; it was brought to Russia by Maximilian Beauharnais, Joséphine's grandson, who married a daughter of Tsar Nicholas I. Another version of this work is owned jointly by the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and the Scottish National Gallery (Edinburgh).

Breaking with the traditional representation of the three goddesses (as seen, for instance, in Botticelli's painting), Canova shows the three figures standing side by side, facing each other, their heads almost touching. The white marble used for the sculpture enhances the beauty and elegance of the slender, naked bodies, joined by their hands and by a scarf artfully draped across their front. This sculpture, together with other works by Canova, stands in the Gallery of the History of Ancient Painting, adjoining the Knights' Hall in the New Hermitage.

Like the Graces, the Gorgons and the Fates also came in threes - unlike the nine Muses.
9. The Hermitage is also the proud owner of a renowned collection of works by French Impressionist painters. This lovely painting by Claude Monet depicts the meadows around his house, located in which town in northern France?

Answer: Giverny

Claude Monet, from whose work the term "Impressionism" originated, moved to Giverny - a town located about 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Paris - in 1883, settling in a house that is now a museum dedicated to him. The house is famous for its gorgeous landscaped garden and water lily pond, often featured in Monet's work. This painting, produced in the summer of 1888 and known as "Meadows at Giverny", is one of a series depicting the meadows south of the town under different weather conditions; here, the artist captured the fleeting moment when the sun pierces through the clouds during a rain shower. Small brushstrokes of different colours are clustered together to create a striking effect of shifting patches of sunlight on the water-soaked meadows.

The Hermitage's collection of French 19th and 20th century paintings is displayed on the fourth floor of the Eastern Wing of the General Staff Building, which became part of the Hermitage Museum complex in 1993.

None of the three cities listed as wrong answers is in France: Grozny is in Russia, Gdynia in Poland, and Ghent in Belgium.
10. Our tour of the Hermitage ends with a stunning abstract painting, titled "Composition VI", by one of the greatest artists of the first half of the 20th century. Which Russian painter and art theorist, one of the founders of the "Blue Rider" group, am I talking about?

Answer: Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky painted "Composition VI" in 1913, during his first stay in Munich (Germany); in those years, he founded the influential group known as "Der Blaue Reiter" ("The Blue Rider"), together with other Russian and German artists - including Paul Klee, Franz Marc and Gabriele Münter (with whom Kandinsky had a relationship). A large oil on canvas, "Composition VI" took eight months to complete, because the artist was suffering from a creative block; in this work Kandinsky wanted to depict a flood and a baptism, representing destruction and rebirth. Kandinsky's unique use of lines and colours is meant to appeal directly to emotions and sensations, without any references to the world of material objects.

"Composition VI", which in 1913 was presented at Berlin's First German Autumn Salon, is part of the Hermitage's collection of modern art, which is housed in the General Staff Building.

Of the artists listed as wrong choices, Chagall was also Russian, though not an abstract painter; Klee was a Swiss-born German, and Mondrian was Dutch.
Source: Author LadyNym

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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