This large study amply covers Norwegian artist Thomas Fearnley’s interest in rendering effects of light and reflection in water, as well as the flora growing on its banks. He painted this picture on September 23rd, 1837, in Surrey, during an extended sojourn in England. Fearnley learned to sketch directly before nature from his teacher Johan Christian Dahl, but this work also betrays the artists encounters with paintings by influential landscape painter John Constable.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art n NYC.
J. Pierpont Morgan amassed large holdings of medieval art and seventeenth-and-eighteenth-century French decorative art from the collection of interior decorator Georges Hoentschel. Grasping the collection’s importance to artists and designers, Morgan immediately donated many decorative works to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Even the financier may not have fully realized what an impact his gift would have. It led to a new wing, which opened in 1910, and the creation of The Met’s Decorative Arts department, which was the first of its kind in an American museum.
Several chairs from the Hoentschel collection have distinguished provenances, including this Neoclassical Armchair (1788) by Georges Jacob, who was one of the most important joiners (a person who constructs the wooden components of a building, such as stairs, doors, and door and window frames) of the late eighteenth century. The seat was made for the gaming room at the Chateau de Saint Cloud, a summer residence of the French royal family.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Making the Met at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This glass Peacock Vase (1893 – 96), with its evocative form, coloring and iridescent surface, is an icon of the early Tiffany-blown Favrile glass collected by H.O. (Henry) Havemayer. He gave it to The Met in 1896 during the first years of its production; at the time it was considered modern art and an object of rare beauty. These qualities are reflected in the collecting visions presented in the gallery in which this vase is displayed, which features transformative gifts from the Havemeyers through the Annenbergs.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Making The Met at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
The Griffin on this Throne Leg (Western Iran, Late 7th – Early 8th Centuries) exemplifies the use of powerful winged animals (real and imaginary) as symbols of royalty. The mythical beast’s long history stretches back to about 3000 B.C., when it appeared in the art of Egypt and the Middle East, and it may have been introduced to western Iran through contacts with Sogdian, Central Asia. Here, the creature has been adapted to a tradition of animal-legged thrones in Iranian art. In pre-Islamic Iran, the griffin — a combination of lion and eagle, two animals associated with the sun — was seen as a vehicle of ascension, implying the ruler’s elevation to the status of god. In the early years of the Islamic period, new rulers appropriated the symbol to convey power and legitimacy.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum if Art in NYC.
Based on numerous on-site drawings, this painting, Interior View of The Metropolitan Museum of Art When In Fourteenth Street (1881) offers a glimpse into the Douglas Mansion on West 14th Street, The Met’s second home from 1873 to 1879. Pictured are two second-floor galleries as they appeared in the last year before the Museum moved to its current location on Fifth Avenue. Anthony van Dyck’s Saint Rosalie Interceding for the Plague-Stricken of Palermo is visible among the European and American Paintings hung in the then-fashionable salon style.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibition, Making the Met, 1870-2020, a Celebration of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150 Year Anniversary.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art does not often invite visitors to sit directly on the art, but they have made an exception for these Washington Skeleton Side Chairs (2013), designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, which can be found in the gallery where the 2020 Holiday Tree is on display.
These delicately balanced, precisely engineered chairs emerged from the design process for the façade of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which opened in Washington DC in 2016. David Adjaye developed an intricate lattice form that was an investigation of the geometry, materiality, light and shadow.
Both functional in its shading role, and poetic in its abstract visual qualities, this screen borrowed from African design patterns but also paid homage to the history of enslaved blacksmiths and their ironwork for ornamental gates in southern cities such as New Orleans and Charleston.
Utilizing the smaller scale of furniture as an agile testing ground for these architectural ideas, Adjaye produced what he describes as a “narrative about skin, form and structure.“ Here, he shapes the skeletal, ribbed surfaces to mimic the form of a seated person, resulting in a cantilevered, ergonomic silhouette that almost disappears when in use. Made of die-cast aluminum, then powder coated and copper plated, the chairs are manufactured by Knoll International.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Sir John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896) opened up new terrain in this scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The shipwrecked prince Ferdinand can hear, but not see, the sprite Ariel, who strums a stringed abalone shell and lifts the hero’s hat to sing in his ear. Determined to be true to nature, the young artist took eye-catching color and minutely observed detail to unconventional limits. He adopted the novel approach painting the background outdoors, zealously delineating “every blade of grass and leaf distinct.” By contrast, Ariel and the noisemaking imps are whimsically fantastical. Exhibited at London’s Royal Academy in 1850, Ferdinand Lured By Ariel proclaimed the insurgent ambitions of Millais and his friends in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, so named because their innovative style took inspiration from art made before Raphael (1483 – 1520).
Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.