The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The second-largest art museum in the world, it was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. The museum celebrates the anniversary of its founding each year on 7 December, Saint Catherine's Day. It has been open to the public since 1852. It attracted 968,604 visitors in 2020, a drop of eighty percent from 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 it ranked eleventh on the List of most visited art museums in the world.