AboutSeveral million visitors each year; every day thousands of footsteps ascending the Jordan Staircase on their way to Leonardo, Rubens, Matisse, Picasso, Rodin; a vast repository of art and culture within the walls of a former imperial palace, long since recognised as one of the world's greatest museums: the Hermitage is accustomed to superlatives.
But it is also an intensely private, contemplative space, conceived by Catherine as her hermitage, or place of refuge.
With this unique project, Hermitage photographer Yuri Molodkovets explores the museum at night. Granted special access, using the moon as light source, he has created images of extraordinary intimacy. Famous works of art are shown as if caught off-guard, receding into the shadows; rooms that gleam in daylight look entirely different but no less beautiful. Here is the Hermitage as you will never have seen it: at rest.