Across Palace Square is the General Staff Building that few include after visiting the Winter Palace. Well worth the visit! Lots of seizing of private collections went on between the 1920’s and 1930’s and during WW II. In recent years the display of 1,500 contemporary art are now on display in the General Staff Building and a mere fraction of the three million items in the Hermitage’s inventory.
As a Matisse lover this was beyond!
Also the permanent home of Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ (1915). Putin bought the painting for $81 million US and donated it to the Hermitage in 2002.