- 96 Paintings
The players take their turns in clockwise order. During their turn, the player tries to play a card from their hand ("Painting") in a row or/and a column with a common feature ("Gallery") on the table ("Museum"). If they can't or don't want to do that, they discard a Painting from their hand instead.
At the end of their turn, the player receives a new Painting from the draw deck, unless the Painting was played at the intersection of a row and a column ("Exhibition").
If it was, the player doesn't draw a new one and now they are one step closer to victory, because the first player with no Paintings in their hand wins the game!
Shuffle all Paintings and deal 5 of them to each player without showing them to other players. An additional random Starting Painting is placed horizontally face-up in the middle of the table. All remaining Paintings are put face-down in a draw deck.
The last player to visit an art exhibition goes first.
Each turn, a player may play one Painting from their hand to any Gallery.
All Paintings must be played adjacent to other Paintings (either in a row or in a column) on the table, and they must also match the alignment of the adjacent Paintings - i.e. long side next to the long side or short side next to the short side. The orientation of the pictures on the Paintings is irrelevant. The Paintings can't overlap one another.
A Painting can be played in a row or a column only if it fits the Gallery with all Paintings in the same row/column. Gallery is a group of Paintings with a common feature - anything a player can come up with to connect the Paintings. Every Painting can be a part of to 2 Galleries: a horizontal one and a vertical one.
Once the Paintings have been placed on the table, they may not be moved. The size of the table naturally limits the play area - Paintings may only be played when they fully fit on the table.
Example: Adding A Painting
Positions A and B are correct placements for a Painting. Positions C (crosswise) and D (not adjacent) are wrong placements for a Painting.
There are three ways to add a Painting:
- Open a new Gallery
- Extend the existing Gallery
- Hold an Exhibition
1. Opening a New Gallery
To open a new Gallery, the player must add the second Painting in the row/column. When placing the Painting on the table, the current player must announce the common feature for the Gallery to other players. From now on, Paintings may only be added to the Gallery if they match its feature. If a player opens two Galleries at the same time (horizontal and vertical one), they have to come up with two different features for each of those Galleries.
A Gallery's feature may be of a general nature ("dark background"), it may refer to a single element in the Paintings ("bridge") or it may be a specific combination of different elements ("sleeping blond-haired child"). However, a Gallery feature may never be too generic so it could describe all of the Paintings in the game ("color on canvas").
The chosen feature must only refer to elements that can be seen. The fact that something is missing ("no blue elephant on the painting"), doesn't qualify for opening a Gallery. It is not allowed to use interpretations as features ("siblings") or information that relies on the background knowledge about the pictures ("surrealism"). The Painting's title, the artist and the year of production printed on the Painting is for informational purposes only and can't be used for the features.
Additionally, a Gallery's feature must be comprehensible. If half or more players are not able to identify the chosen element, the current player must define another feature or play another Painting.
The feature of an already established Gallery may not be modified during the game and a feature already in use may not be repeated in another Gallery. Note: The more specifically the feature of a Gallery is defined, the more difficult it becomes for all players to add their Paintings there.
Example: Opening Galleries
The Starting Painting is a painting with dogs. By adding an adjacent Painting with a common picture element to any side of this one, a new (horizontal or vertical) Gallery can be opened.
If a player plays a Painting showing a horse below the Starting Painting and announces the Gallery "Animals", then from now on, only paintings which also show animals may be added on both ends of this column. How- ever, to the right and to the left of these two Paintings, two new horizontal Galleries with different features may be opened.
2. Extending the Existing Gallery
In order to play a Painting in the existing Gallery, the player has to play a card that fits the feature of this Gallery that was announced earlier. If a newly played Painting is added both to an existing column and a row, it must fit both Galleries it's played in.
If either of the Galleries has just been opened, the player must define the feature for it. There can be no different Galleries within the same row/column. Even if there is a gap between the Paintings, they must still fit the common feature. There can also be no Paintings that have nothing common within the same row/column.
Example: Extending Galleries
A. This vertical Gallery's feature is "Red clothing". In order to add Paintings to this column (space A), a Painting showing some kind of red clothing must be chosen.
B. At the space B, only a Painting that fits the vertical Gallery "Animals" and the horizontal Gallery "Three persons" can be played. It therefore must show three persons and an animal.
C. At the space C, the Gallery "Children" must be continued and at the same time a new common feature for the Gallery with the Painting above must be found by the player who adds a Painting there.
If a newly played Painting doesn't fit the Gallery, other players may challenge the turn of their opponent. All players, except for the player who has played the Painting, vote if it fits the Gallery.
If at least half of the players vote "Yes", the Painting stays. Otherwise, the player takes the Painting back and takes another turn. Vote to settle all other arguments (i.e. either can the Painting with 4 persons be played in the Gallery "Three persons" or not).
Artline: Hermitage is a game for a jolly company. We recommend you don't play too seriously and don't rush for victory. Let your friends enjoy the game and they will let you do the same in return.
3. Holding an Exhibition
If a player has managed to play a Painting at the intersection of a row and a column (whether by opening or extending two Galleries at the same time), they open an Exhibition and thus don't draw a new Painting at the end of their turn - this player is one step closer to victory now!
Example: Holding Exhibitions
A. Here, a Painting must fit the horizontal Gallery "Three persons" as well as the vertical Gallery "Animals".
B. At this space, only a Painting showing children (according to the horizontal Gallery) and featuring an additional common element (to be defined) with the picture above it may be added.
C. In order to place a Painting here, two new galleries must be opened. Note that these new Galleries may not be named "Children" or "Animals" since every feature can only be used once per game. But you are allowed to open Galleries with some feature variations like "One boy" or "Person in green clothing", and "Animals indoors".
End of the Turn
At the end of the turn, the player draws one Painting from the deck unless they've opened an exhibition during their turn.
End of the Game
If a player opens an exhibition with their last Painting, all other players get one final turn. The game then ends, and all players with no Paintings in their hands win the game (if there are 2 or more winners, they share victory).
Important: If a player has played their last Painting but didn't open an exhibition with it, they draw another Painting and the game end is not triggered.
The game also ends if there are no Paintings left in the draw deck. The player(s) with the least number of Paintings in their hands win then.
Game Variant: Exhibit Season
You may start the game with several Starting Paintings if you want. Place them as shown in the picture. We recommend you use the amount of Paintings equal to the half of the number of players (rounded to upper number).
For example, for the game for 5 players, set the Museum with 3 Paintings. This kind of set up will balance all players' chances to open an exhibition during the first round.
Game Variant: Competitive Curators
If you want to play competitively, there is an additional rule for you:
Now, if a player can't or doesn't want to play a Painting during their turn, they must show their Paintings to other players. The player to their right may play one of those Paintings according to the normal rules.
Other players may help them. If that player can't play any of those Paintings either, then the owner of the Paintings discards any one Painting and draws another Painting from the draw deck.