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Met Visit (Lidiya)

This was definitely not my first visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art but it may have been the most educating one. When my aunt was visiting New York we spent at least two hours trying to pack everything in, but I barely learned anything. I would glance over a painting and rarely read the blurb about the artist and painting. I found it helpful that we only focused on only nine paintings because it was less overwhelming and it was much easier to compare the different paintings, the time period they were from, and the techniques used in making them.

When we got to the first painting, I was a little discouraged because every Madonna and Child looked very similar in my eyes. In general, this part of the Met is not really my favorite. After hearing the background of each painting and paying closer attention to the details, I became more appreciative of the paintings and came to realize they are actually very different. The last painting of Madonna and Child that we saw, by Rafael, appealed to me the most. Overall I liked the colors, the symmetry, and the grand feeling it gives off, since it goes beyond the square frame. The triangles that we learned were present in the painting were also interesting. I would have never noticed them on my own but the effect of unity that they create comes across clearly. I tried to imagine it with even brighter colors, as it was originally, but would have liked to see it in real life.

The last painting from the Baroque era was one of my favorites. It was clearly different from the biblical paintings and explicitly stood out from the portraits we saw earlier from both the Netherlands and Italy. The portraits we saw earlier had very clear borders around each item drawn as if it were drawn with a pencil instead of a brush, which we learned was due to the emphasis put on the under drawing. The last painting was much softer. None of the colors ended abruptly, they all smoothly transitioned into another color. The colors also weren’t as bright, except for the white used for the woman, but even that was a soft color. The meaning behind the painting added value to it. Although there was clear evidence of wealth in the painting, its purpose went beyond that. The painting glorified the woman and showed how important family was to the painter.

In general, after both the Met visit and our MoMa project, I have learned it is much more effective to approach any museum with the one-exhibit-at-a-time method.

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