Visiting Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion? You must join the virtual exhibition queue when you arrive. If capacity has been reached for the day, the queue will close early.

Learn more
Notable Acquisitions, 1981-1982

Notable Acquisitions, 1981–1982

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a foreword by Philippe de Montebello
1982
80 pages
124 illustrations
View More Publication Info

The cover of this year's Notable Acquisitions celebrates the work of Peter Paul Rubens, one of those rare figures in the history of art who completely dominate their age. In his oeuvre, "Rubens molded life with the clay of optimism and reproduced its fundamental rhythms in pictures of sheer brilliance, in which the whole process of his inventive genius, his exuberance, and love of life are transmitted in the brushwork; its daring, variety, and verve equal that of his subjects, creating a synthetic unity that is the triumph of Northern Baroque painting ... If Rubens's love of life can be seen even in the most somber historical and religious subjects, how much more clearly is it expressed in the numerous paintings of his alluring young wife, Helena ... These paintings exude uncommon warmth and richness; they are Rubens's most intimate creations, unabashed manifestations of the tenderness, joy, and serenity that marked the last years of his life."

I wrote these words fifteen years ago in a small monograph on Rubens. At the time the Metropolitan Museum owned neither a family group nor a self-portrait by the artist. That one of his supreme and most personal works in this genre, a painting of truly princely provenance—the dukes of Marlborough, the Rothschilds, and most recently Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman—should now enter the collection is cause for jubilation.

Judging from the knot of visitors this picture regularly attracts, I can safely say that Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Peter Paul, arguably the greatest work by the artist in the United States, is already one of the most popular paintings in the Museum.

Met Art in Publication

Shaft-hole axe head with bird-headed demon, boar, and dragon, Silver, gold foil, Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex
Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex
ca. late 3rd–early 2nd millennium BCE
Torso of a king, Basalt
332–30 B.C. probably
Torso of a Ptolemaic King, inscribed with cartouches of a late Ptolemy, Basalt
80–30 B.C.
Dedicatory Inscription from a Mosque, Gabbro; carved
dated 905 AH/1500 CE
Floral Tent Panel, Silk, gold; cut velvet, painted
ca. 1635
Open-Ring Brooch, Silver, cast and partially gilded; amber cabochons, Pictish or Irish
Pictish or Irish
early 800s
Manuscript Leaf with the Crucifixion, from a Missal, Tempera and gold on parchment, French
French
ca. 1270–80
Manuscript Illumination with the Annunciation in an Initial R, from a Gradual, Tempera, ink and gold on parchment, Upper Rhenish
Upper Rhenish
ca. 1300
Drinking Vessel (Hanap; one of a pair), Silver, silver gilt, translucent and opaque enamels, French
French
1320–60
Drinking Vessel (Hanap; one of a pair), Silver, silver gilt, translucent enamel, and opaque enamel, French
French
1320–60
Virgin of the Apocalypse, Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet  German, Colorless glass, silver stain, and vitreous paint, German
ca. 1480–90
The Adoration of the Magi, Colorless glass, vitreous paint and silver stain, German
German
ca. 1510–15
John the Evangelist, Colorless glass, vitreous paint and silver stain, German
German
ca. 1510–15
Saint Catherine, Colorless glass, silver stain, and vitreous paint, German
German
ca. 1510–15
Striding Pan, Andrea Briosco, called Riccio  Italian, Bronze, Italian, Padua
1530–1539
Hercules Resting from His Labors, Royal Porcelain Manufactory, Naples  Italian, Hard-paste porcelain, Italian, Naples
ca. 1785–95
Venus and the Sphinx, Auguste Préault  French, Tinted plaster, French, Paris
1868
Jupiter and the Sphinx, Auguste Préault  French, Tinted plaster, French, Paris
1868
Pipe Organ, Thomas Appleton  American, Mahogany veneer, rosewood veneer, pine, gilt, ivory, ebony, maple, walnut, chestnut, metal, American
1830
Harpsichord, Arnold Dolmetsch  French, active Britain, Wood, various materials, American
1909
Showing 20 of 112

You May Also Like

A slider containing 5 items.
Press the down key to skip to the last item.

Citation

View Citations

De Montebello, Philippe, Emily Walter, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, eds. 1982. Notable Acquisitions, 1981-1982. New York, N.Y: Metropolitan Museum of Art.