The building of the New Hermitage, erected in 1839-1852 to the design of Leo Von Klenze by the architects Vasily Stasov and Nikolay Efimov and intended to house the art collections of the Hermitage, abuts onto the Old Hermitage. This was the first building in Russia designed expressly for use as a public art gallery. The main entrance to the new Hermitage is decorated with ten huge statues of atlantes made from the model of the sculptor Alexander Trebenev.
From the New Hermitage the ensemble of Palace Square, one of Saint Petersburg’s largest, opens out. The New Hermitage is decorated on the ground floor with window frames made of slabs of dense yellow Kirna limestone and with metal figures of great masters of the past mounted in niches of the plastered walls and on the consoles. The portico of the New Hermitage with wonderful sculptures of Atlantes is particularly beautiful and solemn. The Atlantes carved from grey Serdobol granite by the sculptor Alexander Terebenev seem alive. The pedestals of the sculptures, ramp parapets, stairs and facing slabs of the building socle were made of pink Rapakivi granite. The columns and architrave of the portico, and the small columns of the balcony are assembled of blocks of dense yellow limestone. Slabs of the same rock rest on the socle of the edifice outlining the wall bases.