The Metropolitan Museum of Art has outdone itself this year with a schedule of summer exhibitions to amaze its seasonal sea of visitors and keep the revolving doors turning at 78rpm until “back to school” time comes around.
We don’t usually go Baroque here, but must make note of Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe, on show in the Met’s special exhibition galleries until 21 September.
The art of embellishing fine obects with inlaid hardstone carving developed in 16th century Italy and subsequently spread through Europe. What treasures were wrought! What a kaleidoscope of vari-coloured marble slices, rock crystal, lapis lazuli, and precious gemstones! The 15th century Florentine funerary cask (above) is relatively restrained in comparison to other works in the show, and that is probably why we like it.
Image, ©2008 The Metropolitan Museum of Art