Term Paper: Art the Metropolitan Museum

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[. . .] It was shocking to see the geographic range of where the pieces were from, and it showed how vast the trade networks were in the classical era. This exhibit also showed how the arts evolved concurrently with, yet largely independent of, Greece and Rome. Furthermore, some works in this collection showed how Assyrian art influenced ancient Rome. For example, the headless statue of a man with jewelry is reminiscent of classical Roman statuary but was created centuries before the peak of the Roman Empire.

The Leonard A. Lauder collection of cubist art includes work from some of the most famous artists in this genre: Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Leger, and Pablo Picasso. This collection was more diverse than expected, and showed the evolution of the cubist aesthetic from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth century. The works of art in this collection included some unusual pieces such as Braque's "Terrace at the Hotel Mistral" from 1907. This painting is more colorful than the bulk of Braque's portfolio. It almost resembles a stained glass window. In terms of color palette, "The Castle of La Roche-Guyon" has some rich jewel tones but has fewer dark outlines to the forms. Most of Braque's other works in the collection have an earth tone or even a monochromatic look to them. His signature cubist still life paintings were on display, too, such as the "Violin and Sheet Music." Juan Gris's palette is likewise dull and earthy with a few notable exceptions like "Checkerboard and Playing Cards," and "Still Life with Checked Tablecloth." Like Braque, Gris seemed infatuated with the concept of breaking down visual reality and rendering it in untraditional ways. Cubism permits the artist to present the world as it is, from multiple dimensions and perspectives, rather than from the biased eye of a single viewer. Some of Leger's paintings veer on the totally abstract, which causes the viewer to start questioning the boundary between what is representative art, and what is simply in the imagination of the artist. Picasso is remarkable in that his work transcends the gap between the represented and the abstract. Classically trained, Picasso has developed many paintings revealing naturalistic forms. When he presents those forms in cubist manner, the result is a minimalist rendition in which the human body and its surroundings are stripped of extraneous features. For instance, "Head of a Man," "Standing Female Nude," and "Head of a Nude" all show impeccable proportions of the human form. There is no doubt that Picasso could deconstruct and reconstruct reality and then present the results on canvas. There is something unsettling about cubism, and yet something also that is liberating at the same time. These three special exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art were unique, and offered insight into the wide range of artistic expressions and encounters around the world. I appreciated being able to learn about tapestry, ancient artifacts, and cubism all under one roof.

Reference

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [Personal… [END OF PREVIEW]

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