The Golden Age

Joachim Wtewael Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 640

The Utrecht painter Wtewael was among the most sophisticated of Netherlandish Mannerists, as is evident from this exquisite painting on copper intended for a well-read collector. The subject is taken from the opening pages of the classical author Ovid’s Metamorphoses (8 CE), which describe a time before the ages of silver, bronze, and iron when “spring was everlasting . . . streams of sweet nectar flowed,” and mankind, “without a law,” did right and lived contentedly.

The Golden Age, Joachim Wtewael (Netherlandish, Utrecht 1566–1638 Utrecht), Oil on copper

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