Wheat Field with Cypresses Wheat Field with Cypresses (1889) by Vincent van GoghThe Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the United States. Home to over 2 million works, divided into 17 curatorial departments, the museum is one of the biggest art galleries in the world. Pieces in The Met’s permanent collection range from classical antiquity to modern American design, giving visitors a fantastic insight into the history of the visual arts.
A great place to start your virtual tour of The Met is with the European Masters. The museum’s extensive collection features many of the continent’s most famous painters, with everyone from Van Gogh to Vermeer making an appearance.
This image, titled Study of a Young Woman, was made by Vermeer in the 1660s, around the same time as his better known piece Girl With a Pearl Earring. Because of the similar composition, tone and proportions of the two works, the study is often considered a variation of its more famous counterpart.
Another famous work in this part of the museum’s collection is Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zúñiga by Francisco Goya. Painted in 1787-88, it depicts a small boy of 3 or 4 surrounded by cats and birds. Because of the boy’s brightly colored outfit, it’s also known as Goya’s Red Boy. It’s been called one of the most successful portraits of a child ever created.
Temple of Dendur
Built by Petronius, Roman Governor of Egypt, in around 15BC, the Temple of Dendur was dedicated to Isis and Osiris and located around 50 miles south of the town of Aswan. In the 1960s, the temple was removed from its original location, shipped to New York and rebuilt in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s been on display in The Met since 1978.
The temple is around 25 meters long and 8 meters high. Its sandstone walls are decorated with carvings of papyrus and lotus, plants that would have grown in abundance close to its original location next to the Nile. Look carefully and you’ll also see some ancient graffiti etched into these monumental blocks.
The American Wing
As one of the most important art galleries in the US, it’s only right for The Met to have a significant collection of American-made artworks. On display in The American Wing, this huge collection is made up of over 20,000 pieces and features works from African American, Euro American, Latin American, and Native American men and women.
One of the highlights of the American Collection is Washington Crossing the Delaware. Painted by Emanuel Leutze in 1851, the image commemorates the night General George Washington crossed the Delaware River during the American Revolutionary War. The version on display in the museum is one of 3 painted by the German-American artist.