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Italian Renaissance Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Collections and Galleries.    

Italian Renaissance Art from the XVth and XVIth centuries.

Passing into gallery 38 we find furniture, rugs, sculpture, and other objects, chiefly of the Italian Renaissance, that is, of the XVth and XVIth centuries.

Gallery 37 is filled with other paintings of the Altman collection, and here, as in the Dutch section, every picture is worth careful study.

The center of the long wall is occupied by a portrait of "King Philip IV" (ill. no. 14) by the greatest of Spanish painters, Velazquez (1599-1660). Note the rich blacks and the simple dignified pose. At right and left are two fine portraits by Van Dyck, the same artist who painted the "Duke of Lennox" in gallery I I: At the left are portraits by Giorgione and Titian.

On the south wall the "Marriage of St. Catherine," the "Head of an Old Man" (ill. no. 19), and portraits of "Thomas Portinari" and of his wife, "Marie," are by the Flemish painter Memling (1430?-1467?).

On the west wall there are pictures by Italian artists, including the "Communion of St. Jerome" by Botticelli (1447?-1510) and the "Madonna and Child" by Verrocchio (1435-1488) and, on the right of the door way, the "Madonna and Saints" by Mantegna (1431-1506).

On the north wall are two fine portraits of "Margaret Wyatt, Lady Lee" (ill. no. 20), and "Lady Rich," by the German master, Holbein (1497-1543), also a "Virgin, Child and St. Anne" by Diirer (1471-1528).

The cases in the centre of the room contain the smaller objects of the Altman collection including jewelry, enamels and rock crystals. One of the chief treasures is the cup, or salt cellar, of gold and enamel by Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1570) called the "Rospigliosi Coupe" (ill. no. II) because it belonged for a long time to the Rospigliosi family in Rome. "The sumptuousness of the design, the subtlety of its workmanship, and the richness of the enameling correspond to a taste of which no other artist of the time was capable.

A fantastic dragon with wings outstretched supports the basin and is in turn supported by a tortoise enameled in yellow and black. But it is upon the sphinx, seated on the rim of the shell, that Cellini has lavished the utmost resources of his workmanship."



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