Great Museums of Europe jellemzők

This volume devoted to the Great Museums of Europe illustrates eight emblematic museums which, however specific and diverse their collections may be, all hark back to a shared root in the idea of representing in a microcosm the path of development of human culture. Beginning from the earliest example of encyclopaedic collections, specifically those of the Vatican Museums, which originated with the display of classical sculpture in the Belvedere Courtyard at the behest of Pope Julius II, and continuing on to the Russian Imperial Collections displayed in the citadel of the palace of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, as well as the Hapsburg Collections, later assembled in the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna and the Bourbon Collections now housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid; from the Napoleonic dream of the Universal Museum to the present-day structure of the Louvre in Paris, as well as its counterpart, the British Museum in London, founded to accommodate the marble sculptures from the Parthenon that Lord Elgin brought back from Athens. And finally, the ambition to create a citadel of culture, a new Acropolis of universal knowledge, was fully present in the Prussian museum system built on the Museumsinsel in Berlin and, on a smaller scale, in the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam.
Each of the eight chapters recounts the history of the individual museum, the creation and transformation of the individual collections, illustrated with a spectacular array of photographs and specific, thorough captions, that provide, as it were, a second and easy-to-follow path through the rooms and the masterpieces that make up the history of human culture.