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The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings

Galitz, Kathryn Calley
544 pages
1100 illustrations
BIGNY Book Show, Winner (2017)
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This monumental new book is the first to celebrate the greatest and most iconic paintings from the encyclopedic collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, one of the largest, most important, and most beloved museums in the world.

This impressive volume's broad sweep of material, all from a single museum, makes it at once a universal history of painting and the ideal introduction to the iconic masterworks of this world-renowned institution. More than 1,000 lavish color illustrations and details of 500 masterpiece paintings, created over 5,000 years in cultures across the globe, are presented chronologically from the dawn of civilization to the present. These works represent a grand tour of painting from ancient Egypt and classical antiquity and prized Byzantine and medieval altarpieces, to paintings from Asia, India, Africa and the Americas, and and the greatest European and North American masters.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art includes and introduction and illuminating texts about each artwork written specially for this volume by Kathryn Calley Galitz, whose experience as both curator and educator at the Met makes her uniquely qualified. European and American artists include Duccio, El Greco, Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Bronzino, Caravaggio, Turner, Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt, Brueghel, Vermeer, David, Renior, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Degas, Sargent, Homer, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock, Jasper Johns, and Warhol.

The artworks are arranged in rough chronological order, without regard to geography or culture, offering a visual timeline of the history of painting, from the earliest examples on pottery jars made over five thousand years ago to canvases on which the paint has barely dried. Freed from the constraints imposed by the physical layout of the Museum, the paintings resonate anew; and this chronological framework reveals unexpected visual affinities among the works. For those wishing to experience the unparalleled breadth and depth of the Met's collection, or study masterpieces of painting from throughout history, this important volume is sure to become a classic cherished by art lovers around the world.

Storage jar decorated with mountain goats, Ceramic, paint
ca. 4000–3600 BCE
Jar with a frieze of bulls, Glazed ceramic, Iran
ca. 8th–7th century BCE
Decorated Ware Jar Depicting Ungulates and Boats with Human Figures, Pottery, paint
ca. 3500–3300 B.C.
Ostracon with fighting bulls, Limestone, paint
ca. 1295–1070 B.C.
Relief fragment from Tomb of Meketre, Limestone, paint
ca. 1981–1975 B.C.
Tablet with Chariot Scene, Faience
ca. 1400–1390 B.C.
Ceiling Fragment Depicting Pigeons in Flight, Mud plaster, paint
ca. 1390–1352 B.C.
Bench Side-Panel Depicting a Calf in the Marshes, Mud plaster, paint
ca. 1390–1352 B.C.
Coffin of Khnumnakht, Wood, paint
ca. 1850–1750 B.C.
Stela of Aafenmut, Wood, gesso, paint
ca. 924–889 B.C.
Book of the Dead Papyrus Inscribed for Gautsoshen, Papyrus, ink
ca. 1000–945 B.C.
Box of an Anthropoid Coffin, Wood, paint
ca. 1070–945 B.C.
Coffin Set of the Chantress of Amun-Re Henettawy, Wood, gesso, paint, varnish
ca. 1000–945 B.C.
Inner Coffin of the Chantress of Amun-Re Henettawy, Wood, gesso, paint
ca. 1000–945 B.C.
Mummy Board of the Chantress of Amun-Re Henettawy, Gessoed and painted wood
ca. 1000–945 B.C.
Terracotta neck-amphora (jar) with lid and knob (27.16), Exekias, Terracotta, Greek, Attic
ca. 540 BCE
Terracotta amphora (jar), Berlin Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic
ca. 490 BCE
Terracotta cosmetic vase, Terracotta, East Greek
East Greek
4th quarter of the 6th century BCE
Terracotta pyxis (box), Penthesilea Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic
ca. 465–460 BCE
Terracotta lekythos (oil flask), Achilles Painter, Terracotta, Greek, Attic
ca. 440 BCE
Showing 20 of 471

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Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), Kathryn Calley Galitz, and Thomas P. Campbell, eds. 2016. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, N.Y: Skira Rizzoli Publications, Inc. : in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art.