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The Metropolitan Museum: A Zoo of Animal-Related Art

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The Metropolitan Museum: A Zoo of Animal-Related Art

Animals are a popular subject in art, and there are numerous artworks depicting them in The Metropolitan Museum. These artworks range from realist depictions of animals to more abstract renderings. Animals have been used to represent various concepts in art, such as power, fertility, and grace. They can also be seen as symbols of the natural world or of humanity's place within it. Whatever their specific meaning, these artworks provide a fascinating look at how different cultures have represented animals throughout history.

The Falls of Niagara

American, Langhorne, Pennsylvania 1780–1849 Newton, Pennsylvania / The Met

    The painting is of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.
    The painting is based on a vignette of the falls from a map of North America published by Henry S. Tanner in 1822.

The Adoration of the Magi

Italian, Florentine, 1266/76–1337 / The Met

    This picture - at once austere and tender - belongs to a series of seven showing the life of Christ.
    The masterly depiction of the stable, which is viewed from slightly below, and the columnar solidity of the figures are typical of Giotto, the founder of European painting.

Animal Flask

Islamic Art / The Met

    During Roman and early Islamic times, animal-shaped vessels were made using an intricate decorated double or quadruple glass tube.
    Decorated with trailed glass threads, the tubes are carried on the backs of domestic animals and the trailed threads appear to imitate protective cages.
    Such vessels were probably used as containers for kohl or perfume.

The Nativity

Netherlandish, Oudewater ca. 1455–1523 Bruges / The Met

    This painting, which most likely was intended as a single, private devotional panel, combines the depiction of the Nativity and the Adoration of the Shepherds as described in both biblical and mystical literature.
    It probably dates from the early 1480s, before David established himself in Bruges.
    The homely and naive figure types and the geometric simplification of the heads of the Virgin and angels reflect models the artist knew from his early training in the northern Netherlands.

Terracotta brazier

Greek and Roman Art / The Met

    One of the braziers 96.18.96, ca.
   600 B C. is decorated with two different cylinder stamps, one showing a standard animal procession, the other depicting a boar hunt that is known only from five examples excavated at San Giovenale.
    The other brazier 19.192.53, ca.
   550 B C. is stamped with a scene of a man and two dogs chasing a hare into a net held by a second man.
    The fragment 23.160.94, ca.
   540 - 530 B C. depicts pairs of lions attacking a bull and a doe, a subject that was adapted by the Etruscans from Near Eastern and Greek prototypes and that also appears on the Monteleone Chariot 03.23.1, which is on view in this gallery.

Heroic Landscape with Rainbow

Austrian, Obergibeln bei Elbigenalp 1768–1839 Rome / The Met

    Joseph Anton Koch was a father-figure to many German-speaking artists who visited Rome in the early nineteenth century.
    Koch's fame rests on this iconic image, which he referred to as a "Greek landscape."
    It is the fourth and final version of a composition he first painted in 1805 (Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe).

Stela of the Overseer of the Fortress Intef

Egyptian Art / The Met

    The stela proclaims the name of King Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II ca.
   2051 - 2000 B C., the founder of the Middle Kingdom.
    In the same line, the Stella's owner, Intef, refers to himself as "his (the king's) servant."

The Deity Vajrabhairava, Tantric Form of the Bodhisattva Manjushri

From 14th Century To 15th Century

From 14th Century To 15th Century

During the 14th and 15th centuries, artists in Europe began to break away from the traditional Gothic style. They began to experiment with new techniques and styles, resulting in a period of great creativity and innovation in the arts. Some of the most famous artworks from this period include the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the sculptures of Donatello. Box with Romance Scenes     This coffret illustrated with scenes from Arthurian and other courtly literature of the M
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From 1819 To 1826

From 1819 To 1826

The 19th century was a time of great change in the world of art. Artists began to experiment with new styles and media, and the art world was forever changed as a result. Some of the most famous artists of the time include Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. The Falls of Niagara     The painting is of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.     The painting is based on a vignette of the falls from a map of North America published by Henry S. Tanner in 1822. Heroic Landscape w
-4 min read
From 1787 To 1800

From 1787 To 1800

The 18th century was a time of great change in the world of art. New styles and genres emerged, and artists began to experiment with new techniques and materials. The art of the 18th century reflected the changing times, and the growing interest in the natural world and the human form. Elizabeth Farren (born about 1759, died 1829), Later Countess of Derby     The Irish actress Elizabeth Farren made her London debut in 1777 and soon became one of the most popular comic performers of the day.  
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