Until the 1920s, the museum's entrance was under the portico supported by five-metre high atlantes of grey Serdobol granite from Finland in the middle of the southern facade of the New Hermitage building.
Fun Facts: In Greek architecture, an atlante is a male figure used in place of a column to support an entablature or other projection. A cayratid is a female figure used to replace a column. Atlantes (the plural of atlas) are posed like Atlas supporting the heavens. In Roman architecture, the male counterpart of the caryatid is known as a telamon.