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Renaissance Paintings at the Met
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York 10028



History of the Met

How it All Began:

In 1866, a small group of Americans were celebrating the Fourth of July in Paris. One evening after dinner, John Jay, the grandson of the famous judge, gave a speech and suggested that the group create an art museum. Everyone thought that it was a great suggestion and the idea for The Metropolitan Museum of Art was born. In 1870, the museum acquired its first object: the unfurnished Garland sarcophagus that dates from about A.D. 200-225. This art piece is presently located tucked away to the left of the door when entering the museum.

Shortly after that, a collection of one hundred and seventy four old master paintings were purchased in Europe for the museum. The collection was first housed in the Dodworth building at 681 Fifth avenue, and then at 128 West Fourteenth street. As the collection grew, more space was needed. On March 30, 1880, the museum moved to its current location.

The Met Today:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is by far one of the most fascinating museums in the world. Located in the heart of mid-Manhattan, the Met contains collections including more than two million works of art. These collection include some of the following:

  • The American Wing
  • Ancient Near Eastern Art
  • Arms and Armor
  • Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americans
  • Asian Art
  • Chinese Art
  • Costume Institute
  • Drawings, Prints, and Photographs
  • Egyptian Art
  • European Paintings
  • European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
  • South and SouthEast Asian Art
  • Greek and Roman Art
  • Islamic Art
  • Japanese Art
  • The Robert Lehman Collection
  • Musical Instruments
  • Medieval Art
  • Nineteenth-Century European Paintings
  • 20th Century Art

Many of these collections are on view at any given moment. All of which include more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present. Often, in celebration of a artist or era of art, the museum will focus on separate exhibitions. Exhibitions that exonerate the artist through ambitious programs of concerts, lectures, films, and other public programs.

[*This information has been provided by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.]


Early Renaissance Paintings

Early Renaissance paintings did not appear until the Early 1420's. The new style that came about through early Renaissance paintings was launched single handily by a young genius named Masaccio (1401-1428), who was only 21 years old at the time. By then, the early Renaissance was well established in sculpture and architecture.

Early Renaissance Italian Paintings reflect changes of the people within communities at the time. Paintings of this time were mostly symbolic representations of religious figures and icons. Some paintings pictured scenes from the Bible such as: "The Holy Trinity", "The Madonna Enthroned", and "The Last Supper". Other Paintings represented during this time were of struggles amoung the classes of people, such as "The Battle of San Romano", by Paolo Uccello, which depicted a bloody battle between two armies.

Further in time, the founders of Early Italian Renaissance paintings disappeared one by one in the middle years of the century, a younger generation began to assert itself. At the same time, the seeds planted by Florentine masters were beginning to flower.

[* This Information has been provide by the History of Art Encyclopedia.]

Experiencing The Met

First Arrival:

When arriving at The Metropolitan Museum of Art one is greeted immediately by the friendly receptionists at the information desks. Information desks are located in the center of the ground floor and any questions regarding location of exhibits or specific collections are answered.

Other Attractions:

Besides exhibitions the museum provides visitors with dinning facilities for those who enjoy eating. Also, concerts and lectures are given providing specific information are certain exhibits. Furthermore, libraries and study rooms are readily available for those who enjoy researching exhibited works. To top it off, the museum has gift shops that contain all sorts of wonderful artistic objects. Mugs with Degas paintings, ties with Dali figures represented on them, and small replicas of MichelAngelo paintings in poster form or canvas, also much more.

Italian Renaissance Paintings:

Early Italian renaissance paintings are found on the second floor of the museum. The immediate vibe one senses when entering the exhibition is of immense impression. The feeling of the Medieval World of Art is expressed through the diversity of the artists as well as their creativity. Beauty, magnificence, and talent is all expressed in one creation. I strongly suggest that this experience be visualized by each and everyone one of you. The met is the place to be!


Back to Medieval New York Page

A Web Site Project by Jennifer Perez

This Project has been developed for The Introduction to Medieval History Course. Available at Fordham University and instructed by Professor: Paul Halsall.

For further information contact the Fordham University Home Page.