Home > Art, Travel > Bronzino at the Met

Bronzino at the Met

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Agnolo Bronzino, Head of a Curly-Haired Child Looking Up to the Right, ca. 1527

Having written (here and here and here) about our trip to Dallas two weeks ago, I now turn to last week’s trip through Washington and Delaware to New York and back to Washington.

I’ve already written about our arrival by Amtrak in New York two Monday nights ago and our subsequent dinner at Paola’s Restaurant. Joel flew in from Seattle overnight that night, arriving in our hotel room around 6:30 Tuesday morning. In the late morning, we headed over to see my parents. A few hours later, we left them and wandered over to the Met. Our time there was limited, since we were going to meet up with my cousin John (and later Joan too) back at our hotel, so we headed right away to what struck us as the most interesting of the current exhibitions, The Drawings of Bronzino. As described at the website, the “exhibition is the first ever dedicated to Agnolo Bronzino (1503–1572), and will present nearly all the known drawings by, or attributed to, this leading Italian Mannerist artist, who was active primarily in Florence. A painter, draftsman, academician, and enormously witty poet, Bronzino became famous as the court artist to the Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici and his beautiful wife, the Duchess Eleonora di Toledo. This monographic exhibition will contain approximately 60 drawings from European and North-American collections, many of which have never before been on public view.”

We had seen lots of Bronzino’s work during our trip to Italy in November. And since leaving Italy, we have continued to see lots of Italian art, if not Bronzino specifically. (There was the Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese show at the Louvre that I wrote about and that we saw immediately after our departure from Italy. We followed that with a walk through the Louvre’s permanent collection of Italian art. Three days later, in New York, as we worked our way back to Seattle, we kept the theme going by walking through the Met’s permanent collection of Italian art. Somehow, with all our travels last month, we managed to miss the temporary Michaelangelo here at the Seattle Art Museum. But, in New York again, there we were, stumbling on yet another show of Italian art.

I could say a few words about the exhibit, but it’s probably better for me simply to refer you to Peter Schjeldahl’s review in last week’s New Yorker. The exhibit is a small one, occupying three rooms, and many of the drawings are small too. Seeing it with a crowd in mid afternoon presents some difficulties. Schjeldahl surely has more useful observations than I do.

After Bronzino, we had time for one more small current exhibition before heading back to the hotel to meet John, Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer. It occupies a single room in the Chinese Decorative Art Galleries. Below is a typical piece, a dish with decoration of dragon and characters (to quote from the catalogue) dating from the Ming dynasty, 16th century. Worth a visit, if you’re in the neighborhood.

Categories: Art, Travel
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