While the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds millions of pieces, all with different stories to tell, a few make the Met an outstanding museum.
The Met is one of the world’s most famous and largest museums, and these art pieces play a critical part.
The museum holds art pieces from across history and continents. Hence we have filtered down the top things to see at the Met.
Famous Art at The Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York, is one of the world’s most prominent museums and houses some of the best art pieces.
The prominent paintings from the entire collection include
The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David
In his renowned painting, Jacques Louis David tries to encapsulate the event of the death of Socrates.
The painting is about the Greek philosopher Socrates, who Athenian courts convicted. Rather than renouncing his beliefs, he died willingly by drinking poison.
David’s figures act out the last moments of Socrates’s life.
In this painting, Socrates is about to grasp the cup of hemlock offered by a disciple who can’t bear to witness the act.
This painting is available for viewing in the Met.
Washington Crossing Delaware by Emanuel Leutze
Leutze’s portrayal of Washington’s attack on the Hessians at Trenton in 1776 was a great success in America and Germany.
Leutze began his first version of this subject in 1849, but it was damaged in his studio fire in 1850.
In the same year, Leutze started this version of the piece, which was placed on exhibition in New York in October of 1851.
Marshall O. Roberts bought the canvas at this showing for the then-enormous sum of $10,000.
In 1853, M. Knoedler published its engraving.
This famous painting is located in the American wing of The Met
The Dance Class by Edgar Degas
This art piece is about twenty-four ballerinas and their mothers waiting while a dancer exudes an “attitude” for her examination.
Jules Perrot, a famous ballet master, conducts this class.
The imaginary scene is set in a rehearsal room in the old Paris Opéra, which had recently burned.
Other variants by the same artists are available for viewing at The Met and in Paris.
The Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies by Claude Monet
In 1893, Claude Monet purchased land with a pond near his property in Giverny, intending to build some motifs to paint.
This resulted in his famous painting “ The Bridge Over a Pond of Water lilies”
In 1899, he began a series of eighteen views of the bridge over the pond, completing twelve paintings, including the present one.
The vertical format of the picture is unusual to this series, but it gives prominence to the water lilies and their reflections on the water.
Self Portrait with Straw Hat by Van Gogh
Van Gogh produced more than twenty self-portraits during his stay in Paris. He was determined to practice and be a better figure painter.
Due to a lack of finances, he became a model for his art. He purposely bought a good enough mirror to work for himself for want of a model.
The result of this was this portrait, one of many.
This picture shows Gogh’s Neo-Impressionist technique and color theory.
Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso
The famous writer Gertrude Stein was among the first Americans to respond enthusiastically to European avant-garde art.
She held weekly salons in her apartment, where European and American artists and writers visited.
For Picasso, Stein’s early patronage and friendship were critical to his success.
He painted this portrait of her between 1905 and 1906.
In this painting, he reduced her body to simple masses.
View these aforementioned art pieces and many more at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Top Things to See at the Met
There is no doubt that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most elaborate museums in the world with the best art collection.
Here is a list of the must-sees at the Met:
The Temple of Dendur – made by Augustus, the Roman Emperor
One of The Met’s most famous exhibits is the Temple of Dendur, an ancient Egyptian temple dating back to 15 B.C.
UNESCO wished to save historic sites from the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Thus, the temple was dismantled in Egypt and rebuilt in New York.
On April 28, 1967, United States President L.B. Johnson awarded an Egyptian temple built in the first century B.C. to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Thinker by Rodin
Independent bronzes of The Thinker became popular, especially among American patrons.
Thomas Fortune Ryan, the principal founder of the Rodin collection at The Met, commissioned this cast from the sculptor’s studio.
The Thinker represents Dante, the author who inspired The Gates of Hell.
Here he is leaning forward to observe the circles of Hell while meditating on his work.
According to an early 20th-century critic, the sculpture represents dreams and action.
About Met Breuer and Met Cloisters
The Met Bruer
On March 18, 2016, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened The Met Breuer, its new space dedicated to modern and contemporary art.
You’ll find this art piece in the landmark building, originally designed by the great Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer.
Visitors can engage with 20th and 21st-century art through The Met Breuer’s unparalleled collection of exhibitions, performances and artist residencies.
The Met Breuer closed for good in 2020. However, the building is a work of art in itself. If you are strolling in the city, stop by and gaze at the structure.
The location of the Breuer is 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021, United States. Get directions.
The Met Cloisters
The Met Cloister is the second location of the Met and is situated atop a tall hill in the northern tip of Manhattan.
Visiting here is like traveling through time. Medieval architecture is incorporated into a modern building purpose-built to evoke the Middle Ages.
The garden’s layout approximates a medieval herb garden and is labeled according to usage.
Even though The Cloister draws inspiration from medieval art, it also focuses on Romanesque and Gothic periods.
The Met Cloister is at 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, United States. Get directions
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