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Journey Through the Hermitage: Queen of   the Tulips

Region: Eastern Europe, Russia

Author: Darya Agapova

Original Language: Russian

Translator: Jessica Mroz

Illustrator: Varvara Pomidor

Genre: Graphic novels, comic books, and manga

Descriptors: art history; Hermitage; history; museums; Rembrandt 

Age: 6+ years old

Programming: Hermitage Map and Coloring Activities


Journey Through the Hermitage: Queen of the Tulips spotlights 6th grader Vanya and 4th grader Tasya as they tour through The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Vanya is a dreamer who goes to the museum after a hard day at school to escape into the artwork and crowds for a while. Tasya is an artist with a big imagination. She goes to the museum with her parents but wanders off to find interesting art to sketch. As Tasya works her way through the museum in search of a tulip to draw, she gets absorbed into the artwork, imagining herself dressed in beautiful gowns and golden wings she sees in the paintings. She gets so lost in her daydreams that she strikes up a conversation with Saskia from Rembrandt’s Flora and reaches out to touch her gown, setting off the alarm. Vanya shows up to rescue Tasya from security after noticing that they both “see things” and talk to the subjects in the artwork. The two of them set off to look at Rembrandt’s works together, getting lost in the art and learning about the history behind them together. This charming tale is perfect for young readers ages 6 and up who love art and art history. The vivid colored-pencil style illustrations by Varvara Pomidor capture the essence of the unique characters and transports the readers into the Hermitage. Her detailed drawings of the famous paintings and sculptures found throughout the museum are just as stunning as the original artwork. At the end of the book, there is a map of the Hermitage Museum that shows the path the characters took and where the artwork they saw was located at the time of making this graphic novel. There’s also a page that features artwork from around the world that was included within the story. Following this information are three coloring pages for children so they can draw themselves at the Hermitage Museum. To see these coloring pages, check out our programming section.  

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