The Small Hermitage, a part of the Hermitage Museum’s set of buildings, was erected on Catherine II’s order, as she found the Winter Palace not personal enough.
Architects Jean-Baptiste Vallin de La Mothe and Georg Veldten were put in charge of the project. The construction started in 1764 and was completed in 1775. Another stage of work took place in the 1840s, led by Vasily Stassov.
The façade of the northern pavilion facing the Palace Embankment has a portico with six Corinthian columns and sculptures. The southern pavilion’s façade picks up some elements from the Winter Palace’s architecture. The two pavilions are linked by a huge garden.
The Empress, patron of the arts, kept many paintings and sculptures in the Small Hermitage. But as it started lacking space she had the Old (Large) and New Hermitage built.