Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
1. Harpsichord by Jan Ruckers, 1642.
2. Elephant-Shaped Kendi, second quarter 17th century.
3. Sir Henry Raeburn, George Harley Drummond, ca. 1808–9. (Every time I see this painting, I'm reminded of what my professor said last year: "I could write a book called The Horse's Ass in Art.")
4. Terracotta female figures, ca. 1400–1300 B.C.
5. Hugh Welch Diamond, Patient, Surrey County Lunatic Asylum, 1850-58.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I visited the new American Wing. Also, Egypt, and musical instruments (not shown). Note to the Met: when picking colors for your museum map, please do not choose both "lavender" and "slightly lighter lavender." It creates some confusion when one is trying to get to the lavender wing and keeps ending up on the other side of the building in the slightly lighter lavender wing. Thanks.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Often the story of how an object got to where it is today is just as interesting as the story of its origin.
1. Limestone Head of Joseph (ca. 1230, French). The original context of this head has been identified - it's from a Nativity scene in the choir screen in Chartres Cathedral. The scene still exists, sans head, in France. When France asked the Met for the head back, the Met sent them a copy, which they attached to the headless Joseph.
2. Ivory Virgin and Child (ca. 1250, North French). This piece is sometimes exhibited with a metal tabernacle, which was with it at the time of its acquisition but was not the original. Ivories such as these often have a distinctive curve to them (seen best here) because the carver had to contend with the natural bend of the ivory tusk. The fact that this curve also appears in similar representations in other media (such as stone sculpture) suggests that small ivory figurines served as their prototype, rather than the other way around.
3. Enthroned Virgin and Child (ca. 1275-300, French). This thing is really heavy.
4. Relief of the Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus (ca. 1264-88, Amiens). This relief languished in the Met's storage tunnels for years out of concern that it was a fake created by its former owner and notorious forger Georges Demotte. (It's not.)
5. Canopy from the tomb of Philip III of France (ca. 1297-1307, French). This canopy, which in the Met is combined with the funerary bust of Philip's granddaughter Marie, was used as a coffee table by a former owner.