The Hermitage The Hermitage collection of ancient cultural artefacts was carefully built up from the mid-19th century onwards based on the holdings of the Imperial Archaeological Commission; it currently comprises around 1,500,000 objects.The collection of European Fine Art is the oldest and largest in the museum. It includes over 7000 paintings, 2000 sculptures, 40000 drawings, 500000 engravings by European masters from the Middle Ages to the present day.The collection of European applied art has been gradually formed for two and a half centuries. Today the collection fully presents the development of artistic craftwork and industry in Western Europe. Including around 65000 works, the collection of applied art is the biggest in Russia and one of the most significant in the world.The collection of Classical antiquities numbers over 170,000 items. The most important among them are the painted vases, carved gems, ancient sculptures, archaeological finds from the North Black Sea coast, along with ancient jewellery, terracotta and bronze pieces.