Saturday, September 1, 2012

NYC Art - the MET

August 3rd and the sands of our time in NYC were running out. In the evening of the same day we'd been to The Hispanic Society of America we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had to choose just what to see in the few hours before your eyes undoubtedly bleed and you become completely desensitised. We opted to race around the European Paintings in favour of spending the bulk of our time in the 19th and Early 20th Century Paintings.

Admiring Rembrandts

If I thought the 35,000 pieces of art at the Louvre was an astronomical number, I was stunned to learn that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has over two million works divided among nineteen curatorial departments. Even if I lived in NYC and visited every day, could I ever see it all?

I've been a fan of Renoir all my life.  Here I'm admiring how very black his blacks are

People say an artist should burn their inferiour works because one day they just might show up in a prominent museum and what would the world think? As my friend Linda says "We should be so lucky to have any painting in the MET!" Well I take comfort in knowing that the masters, like all of us, have bad days too! What painter would not want to know that? And so I thanked him for it, and did a happy dance, when I saw this horrid Manet ... 

THE "KEARSARGE" AT BOLOGNE (1864) by Edouard Manet 

Ah Degas, you master!

It was thrilling to find familiar works by Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, Cezanne, Degas, and Picasso, to name a few, but there was complete delight in seeing paintings I didn't know existed ...

Detail of JOAN of ARC (listening to The Voices, 1879) by Jules Batien Lepage

The impact of the above painting is profound. Bill and were both strongly drawn into it and it seems we are not alone. If you have the time and the inclination this is an excellent review. Batien Lepage was a much lesser known artist of the Impressionist era (I'd never heard of him) likely due to his untimely death at age 37.

A couple of the many other paintings which caught my attention ...

SALOME by Henri Regnaualt

STUDY OF A FEMALE NUDE (1840) by Henri Lehmann

Racing against the clock, in the half hour before closing, we tore to the American Wing expressly to see the John Singer Sargent's.

MRS. HUGH HAMMERSLEY 1892 by John Singer Sargent

And managed to view other, stunning, familiar and unfamiliar works by Whistler, Homer, Mary Cassat, a Russell and a Remington. And then, I was amazed to see a painting I have long admired in reproductions ...

REPOSE (1895) by John Alexander White


  1. Alice, you found some of my favorite spots at the Met! BTW, there are about ten girls in our family who are ringers for Regnaualt's Salome. :)

    1. Adam, why am I not surprised?!!! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. We could not walk anymore after the American Museum of Natural History which is close by, so we preferred coffee at the Columbus Squaire instead of running for the last two hours through the Met before closing . What we saw instead and liked the other day is the Neue Galerie, a small and most interesting Museum with works of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka with a great Austrain Coffee-House! Historically a very intersting place!

    1. Oh Hermann, there is just TOO much to see ... I fully understand how you needed to opt for a rest and some coffee! I wished we'd foregone The Frick Collection (although it was remarkable) in order that we'd have had the time to go to the Neue Galerie. Oh don't tell me about the Austrian Coffee House! I'm so sorry I didn't get there nor to the Guggenheim either. YOU JUST CAN'T DO IT ALL, CAN YOU?!!!

  3. What a beautiful painting by Lepage - I'd not seen his work, so I'll be doing some research! I laughed at your comment on Manet's less than stellar painting. It reminded me of a trip to southern Alberta for an exhibition there, which had a number of AY's 'less than best days' in it! Thank you so much for sharing your NY journey with us! Win