VALLIN DE LA MOTHE, Jean-Baptiste-Michel
(b. 1729, Angoulême, d. 1800, Angoulême)

Exterior view

Little Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Catherine II was a tireless collector of western European art. Through her ambassadors she systematically bought up whole collections abroad. In 1764 she founded the Little Hermitage for the collection. With its imposing raised ground floor of rusticated stonework, this building merges with the neighbouring Late Baroque Winter Palace, whose floors show a similar design in the vertical plane; above the ground floor sit the sic Corinthian columns of the portico, regally surmounted by the attic.