On a trip to NY today, having finished an appointment in Wall St, I took a cab uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With only 35 minutes to go before closing time, I wasn’t able to fit much in, but did see:
- 5 Vermeers – given his total catalogue it’s remarkable that so many should be here. The one I particularly liked was that of a maid asleep; reminded me of an Andre Kertesz [?sp] photo, or perhaps one by Brassai. Very modern and very touching. Note: some of Vermeer’s blues are almost too blue – heresy, but that’s how it struck me today.
- Giotto – lovely “Epiphany” where the involvement and gentleness of the animals really surprised me. Animals tend to get short shrift in much Christian art (as in the religion itself), and this was rather out of the usual.
- Beautiful Andrea del Sarto head of the Virgin, as a very believable, charming and rather modern young woman.
- Piero di Cosimo – two rather large, dangerous and even slightly nightmarish pictures of The Hunt and The Return from the Hunt, with burning forests and wild-eyed men and satyrs slaughtering woodland creatures.
- Brueghel‘s excellent The Harvesters, which is beautiful and moving in the flesh. Note the man in the tree on the right, shaking pears down to the women in the field below, the game being played down the hill, just outside the village, and the manor house half-hidden in the trees to the left.
- A tortured and sorrowful head of Christ, I think by Piero di Cosimo. Very Italian-looking face.
- A handful of pictures by Mantegna and Bernardo Daddi.