Take a journey through art history as you learn about the rich collections of St Petersburg's magnificent State Hermitage Museum. Containing nearly 550 reproductions, this innovative book is packed with objects dating from the 23rd millennium ВС to the very end of the 20th century, from all across the world and from many different belief systems. It looks at Styles and genres, schools and trends, techniques and materials, illustrating them not only with familiar masterpieces, but with many of the Hermitage's less well-known fascinating products of human creativity, conveniently arranged under 65 main headings. Sebastiaen Bonnecroy's Still Life with a Skull (front cover) serves to illustrate the heading Trompe I'oeil. The accompanying text then introduces the reader to concepts such as painting within a painting, palette, stretcher, maulstick, vanitas, memento mori, and much much more, through a carefully conceived system of cross references and the clear organisation of the material. Supplemented with a full index to all terms explained in the text, this book is easy to use for people of all ages.