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In ancient times, it was the beginning of numerous collections of works of art, especially since in Ancient Hellas, and later in Ancient Rome, a lot of them were created. In the Acropolis of Athens, next to the Propylaea (front gate), a pinacoteca building was built specifically for the art gallery (from the Greek pinax, it was a plaque, because paintings were painted on wooden boards at that time). Here were collected images of Greek heroes, and at the entrance there were statues of gods. Today, some art museums in Europe are called pinakothek, for example the Old and New Pinakothek of Munich.
Artistic values were collected by many noble and wealthy Romans. In the houses of Varras, Sulla, Pompeii, Julius Caesar guests could admire the marvelous statues of the most skillful and illustrious sculptors of antiquity, vases, jewelry, mosaics. The emperors' palaces were even more magnificent. With the fall of the Roman Empire, which could not resist the onslaught of barbarian tribes, much in the world fell into decay. Magnificent roads and bridges built by the Romans almost throughout Europe gradually decayed and collapsed. Reduced skillful artisans, not to mention sculptors and artists. Even the most powerful lords often did not know the letter ...
But, nevertheless, even in these "dark ages" man retained a craving for beauty. This is evidenced by the so-called Carolingian revival - the heyday of culture, which occurred in the VIII-IX centuries. in the possession of the king of the Franks Charles the Great and his descendants (modern France and Germany). Charlemagne gathered at his court educated people who created the Academy on the ancient model, collected antique manuscripts, rewrote them, reviving the ancient culture.
Not lost in those days, and a tendency to gathering. So, for example, in the monasteries of France, Italy, Germany over the centuries there have been large collections of church utensils, and in the castles of feudal lords — weapons and armor. Of course, these collections cannot be called museum expositions in our understanding, but some of them later actually became the basis of famous museums. And in the Renaissance, which originated on Italian soil, in Europe again began to appear collections of works of art, and even what! The Roman emperors could not have imagined anything like that.