The Rijksmuseum is the principal national museum in Holland. It illustrates the art and history of Holland from the Middle Ages to the present. World-famous highlights from the Dutch Golden Age, including Rembrandt van Rijn’s Night Watch and Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, can be admired at the Rijksmuseum.
The Uffizi Gallery holds the world’s finest collection of Renaissance paintings. All the famous names of Italian art are here—not only the Renaissance masters, but also painters from the early medieval, baroque, and Mannerist heydays.
The Vatican Museums are Christian and art museums located within the city boundaries of the Vatican City. Twenty-two separate collections comprise the Musei Vaticani, each one more spectacular than the next. The most famous are probably the Museo Pio-Clementino, with its splendid classical sculpture; the Raphael Rooms, entire rooms painted by Raphael; the Pinacoteca (picture gallery), which contains the cream of the Vatican’s collection of medieval and Renaissance paintings; and, of course, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
he Metropolitan Museum of Art’s earliest roots date back to 1866 in Paris, France, when a group of Americans agreed to create a “national institution and gallery of art” to bring art and art education to the American people. The lawyer John Jay, who proposed the idea, swiftly moved forward with the project upon his return to the United States from France. Under Jay’s presidency, the Union League Club in New York rallied civic leaders, businessmen, artists, art collectors, and philanthropists to the cause. On April 13, 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art was incorporated, opening to the public in the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue.
The Prado Museum is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It is widely considered to have one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and the single best collection of Spanish Art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it also contains important collections of other types of works. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, and it is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world.
The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. From the beginning it granted free admission to all ‘studious and curious persons’. Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to nearly 6 million todays.
The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest artistic and cultural and historical museums in Russia and one of the largest in the world. The museum starts its history from collections of works of art which were gained by Russian empress Catherine II in private capacity. In the Hermitage collection there are two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and sculpture by Michelangelo, which can be found nowhere else in Russia, as well as the largest collection of Rembrandt’s paintings outside Netherlands.
This dazzling modernist museum at the foot of the Acropolis’ southern slope showcases its surviving treasures still in Greek possession. While the collection covers the Archaic and Roman periods, the emphasis is on the Acropolis of the 5th century BC, considered the apotheosis of Greece’s artistic achievement. The museum cleverly reveals layers of history, floating over ruins with the Acropolis visible above, showing the masterpieces in context.
Le Louvre is national museum and art gallery of France, housed in part of a large palace in Paris that was built on the right-bank site of the 12th-century fortress of Philip Augustus. It is the world’s most-visited art museum, with a collection that spans work from ancient civilizations to the mid-19th century.
Smithsonian is the world’s largest research and museum complex, with 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and various research stations. More than 137 million objects detailing America’s story are housed here.