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Monday, September 6, 2010

Visceral Visionaries: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bronze mermaid sculpture, European collection.

Not along ago, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my very favorite places on Planet Earth, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Located uptown just on the edge of Central Park, the Met is a literal treasure trove of of cultural history, beauty and the creative ambitions of the human race. A single visit is not even enough to scratch the surface of the majesty that lies within, and each and every time I go there, I find all new things at which to marvel.

For my most recent visit, I thought I'd snap a few photos, much like I did last October when I visited that affiliated museum located even further uptown, The Cloisters. For the purposes of The Vault of Horror, as I did the last time, I made it a point to seek out some of the more bizarre, dark, creepy and downright frightening artifacts and works of art I could come across. The result is the collection of images you will find here.

One small note: Allow me to apologize in advance for the paltry lack of specific information on most of these works. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not taking notes while at the museum, and forgetting that the inventory of the Met is far larger than that of The Cloisters, thus making it extremely difficult to track down the information I needed online based on visual recognition alone. I'll have to do better next time. And there will be a next time...

The Mummy of Artemidora. Middle Egypt, c. 900 A.D.

Mummy of an unidentified woman.

Handle in the shape of a dragon's head. China, 1st century A.D. Gilded bronze.

Sculptures from the Asian collection.

The Martyrdom of St. Barbara by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Germany, c. 1510. Oil on wood. She was killed by her dad. Another one of those warm and tender religious tales.

The Blind Man's Meal by Pablo Picasso. Spain, 1903. Oil on canvas. From Picasso's "Blue Period", and on display as part of the recent Picasso special exhibition.

The Silver Tureen by Jean Siméon Chardin. France, 1728. Oil on canvas.

The Rape of Tamar by Eustache Le Sueur. France, c. 1640. Oil on canvas.

Pieta by Juan de Valdés Leal. Spain, c. 1657. Oil on canvas.

Detail from a gold sculpture of Neptune, European collection.

Shield, African collection.

Late period iron upper body armor, Arms & Armor collection--always one of my favorite stops.

From the medieval sculpture collection.

More martyrdom. From the European Paintings collection, I'd guess roughly around 1400 or so.

Fragment of a crucifixion sculpture, European collection.

Detail from a ceramic jug, European Sculpture & Decorative Arts collection.


ratatouille's archives said...

Hi! Brian Solomon...
Wow! each piece is fascinating...I studied art history (my major) in school with a minor in history.
Therefore, I had no other choice, but to be fascinated by this post.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-P

ratatouille's archives said...

"The Blind Man's Meal by Pablo Picasso. Spain, 1903. Oil on canvas. From Picasso's "Blue Period", and on display as part of the recent Picasso special exhibition..."

Oh! Yes, [Pablo] Picasso's "blue as in depression" period.
(At least that what I have been told by my instructors.)

Jess C. said...

I love the Met! I usually go once every couple of weeks when I'm around the park. Nice pics!

B-Movie Becky said...

Thanks for sharing these photos!

B-Sol said...

You're very welcome, guys! Jess, I only wish I could hit the Met that often! Lucky. And thank you for checking this out Becky, I appreciate it :-)

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