Symbols of speed and good fortune, Dolphins swim down the sides of this ocean-colored vase (1866–70s) from Salviati & Co. John Ruskin’s Stones of Venice created a wave of enthusiasm for the lost art of cristallo. Published from 1851 to 1853, Ruskin’s book proved a stroke of good luck for Venetians seeking to revive old glassblowing techniques.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
In 1880 Maria Berna, the American-born widow of a German diplomat, visited artist Arnold Böcklin in Florence, where she saw an unfinished version of this painting, Island Of The Dead (1880) — now in the Kunstmuseum Basel— on his easel. She commissioned the present work as a memorial to her husband, requesting the additions of the draped coffin and the shrouded female figure. Prodded by his dealer, Böcklin painted three other versions by 1886. This romantic image would become one of Germany’s most beloved, widely circulated through poor reproductions as well as a related etching in 1890 by Max Klinger (1857 – 1920).
Photographed In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
The 151st anniversary of the founding of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be celebrated with a custom Google Doodle, the creative treatment of the Google logo featured on the search engine’s homepage. The Met-inspired animated Doodle will launch in the United States at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13, and be viewable for 24 hours. The Doodle will appear in more than 20 countries.
19th century Bengali craftspeople found an export market in Britain for decorative chess sets carved from ivory.
The two sides were sometimes carved to represent opposing armies of local soldiers and Europeans. The example seen here, with relatively simple carving is unusual as signs of wear and repair suggest it was used for playing games rather than as a showpiece for display. Hand-carving has produced variation even between pawns of the same side.
Photographed in the British Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
In 1911, while staying at Spurveskjul, his rented home near Copenhagen, Vilhelm Hammershoi undertook a group of self-portraits that encapsulate his reputation as a painter of tranquil, light-filled interiors. This composition (1911) shows the artist at work, with his left hand raised, as if reflected in a mirror. The sunlit door and window behind him are two of his signature motifs. Left unfinished, the painting was kept by the artist’s wife, Ida, and then her descendants, until 2014. A closely related painting is in the Statens Museum for Kunst (Art), Copenhagen.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Bertold Loffler’s most important painting, Youth Playing the Pipes of Pan (1912), reveals his passion for classicism, from the garlanded youth and draped female attendants to the vase at their feet, depicting Pan, the Greek god of untamed nature, playing a double flute. The flat, stylized composition and the bold patterns on the women’s cloaks reflect Loffler’s work as a designer for the cutting-edge Austrian artists’ association the Wiener Werkstätte. Eduard Ast, a major patron of the group, acquired the canvas and hung it in the dining room of his newly-built villa in Vienna, across the hall from Gustav Klimt’s painting of the mythological heroine Danaë(1907 – 08), which is in a private collection.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Among the most popular types of evening wear during the 1920s were loose, sleek, chemise-style dance dresses with sleeveless armholes and wide-cut necklines, which could be pulled directly over the head.
Profuse embellishment, often consisting of glass and metal components that would capture and refract light when in motion, counterbalances the minimalism of form. This 1920s Evening Dress by an unknown, possibly French or American designer, is made from a yellow cotton plain weave embroidered with gold metal paillettes, gold glass bugle beads, clear glass beads and seed beads, and clear glass crystals. These extravagant fashions were devised to glimmer within modern environments newly illuminated by electricity. They also mirror artistic tendencies at the time, such as the Art Deco attributes of geometric lines and shapes, contrasting metallic tones, and an overall streamlined modernity in form.
Photographed as part of the Exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, which closed in early 2020, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.