Before heading over to Lincoln Center for NUTCRACKER on Friday, Kokyat and I met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spent an hour there. Our aim was to see Vermeer's The Milkmaid (above) which is presently being shown on loan. Reproductions of this painting are lovely but seeing the original, which is quite small, allows the viewer to fully savor its luminous quality.
On a wall the 36 known-to-exist Vermeers have been reproduced. Such a huge (an well-deserved) reputation from such a small catalog. Seeing them all in one place, his mastery simply radiates.
The exhibit will have ended by the time you read this; there were huge crowds in the 'Vermeer' room (his contemporaries were also on display) and a rather stuffy atmosphere there led us off to the more spacious galleries where ancient statuary and artifacts from Egypt, Greece, Rome and Japan are found. I've come to really admire Kokyat's way with photographing statues and he found some magnificent specimens here during our brief visit.
Wounded Warrior (Roman 138-181 BC)
Wounded Amazon (Roman, based on Greek 1st or 2nd century AD)...her face was so pensive. A crack in the marble across her cheekbone gave the feeling that she was shedding a tear. I was very moved by her timeless beauty.
Diadoumenos (Roman 69-96 BC)
Grave Marker of a Youth and Small Girl (Greek c 530 BC)
Grave Marker of a Young Athenian Aristocrat (Greek 590-580 BC; influence Egyptian) This youth was so enigmatic.
Bes, Egyptian god figure (4th Century BC). We were struck by the fact that this looks almost Chinese or Japanese. Read about this deity here.
Sakhmet (Egypt 1390-1352 BC) Four statues of the seated goddess. Very ominous and profound feeling in looking at these.
Eleven-headed Kannon (Japan 1336-1392) The deity of Compassion. Read about her here.
Temple of Dendur, a whole realm to explore in itself.
Isamu Noguchi's Water Stone (1986)
Fukami Sueharu: Landscape II (2002). This simple work is breathtaking; I just stood contemplating it in silence for several minutes.
Going out on these Met Museum quests with Kokyat has really opened my eyes and changed my way of looking at art...and sculpture in particular. The is no better friendship than one that educates us.
All photos: Kokyat.