As promised, here's a close-up of the fabulous gold peacock clock. They don't run it every day, even though it is still in good working order and it's a couple hundred years old (they don't want to wear it out I guess), but they had a video showing how it moves. Lucky for me YouTube has a video of the clock in action:
Pretty amazing, huh?
Another picture of the unbelievably gorgeous interiors of the Hermitage.
And a mosaic on the floor. Lee and I think it would be really cool to have a mosaic floor, I wonder if we could DIY such a thing for ourselves?
Another bit of ornately decorated ceiling.
We did also see artwork in the Hermitage; this is one of the museum's two pieces by Leonardo da Vinci, the Benois Madonna.
I vaguely remember our tour guide saying that this hallway was modeled after one in southern Europe...maybe the Vatican? but the original was open to the outdoors. That's not practical in St. Petersburg since it's snowbound for so much of the year, so it had huge windows on the left instead of open doorways.
This Madonna is by Raphael, and I think maybe it was the only Raphael in the Hermitage Collection. Alas, memory grows fuzzy already.
Yet another cool ceiling.
This is an unfinished sculpture by Michelangelo, so if you're keeping track the only Ninja Turtle not represented was Donatello. Actually I think we missed seeing any of Donatello's work in Italy too.
Hermitage selfie! That was at the main staircase just past the entrance. Though this place is seriously huge, it probably has several main staircases. As I said before, we only saw a tiny fraction of the collection; this is one of those places like the British Museum or the Louvre where you could move in for a solid month and not see everything. Our tour guide basically pointed out the artists that everyone has probably heard of (like the Ninja Turtles) and then pointed out all his favorite paintings where something is amiss--there was one of a small group of people looking at a waterfall, but a young man in the group has his legs and feet facing a different direction than his upper body. In another one, a guy is wearing one glove and the other one is sitting on a piece of furniture behind him, but they're two right gloves. So ya know, that was kind of entertaining.