Meeting the Modern Art Masters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Taking a Walk through Modern Time in New York at One of the World’s Best Museums

I consider myself fortunate enough to be able to travel the world and have many opportunities to enjoy the art of great masters of different time period. I was introduced to the world of western art back in 2004 during my exchange student year in Vienna, Austria and have fallen in love with European art ever since. I have always preferred modern art (1900s onwards) to ancient greek/medieval/renaissance art, with the exception of Egyptian art. I know I would not have much time at the MET and because the museum is so big, I had to plan on what I would like to see. I was determined to see Egyptian art, European paintings, modern and contemporary art and the special exhibition (Regarding Warhol), I did not even see everything I planned to.

The ticket to the Met for an adult is $25 but because my student ID is still valid, I only paid $12. Unlike MoMa, the audio guide is not free – whoever wants it will have to pay &7 extra.

The collection of modern and contemporary art here is quite impressive given they have to maintain other collections as well. These are some of the paintings by great masters of the modern time that I enjoyed during my visit to the MET. Please note that I arrange the pictures in its chronological order.

Edgar Degas was a French artist who was interested in all things ballet. He produced so many paintings and sculptures with ballerina(s) as his subject.

Edouard Manet was considered to be another important leader of the French impressionist movement. He worked along side Renoir and Monet.

This is probably one of the most famous self-portrait of Van Gogh. It is hard to believe that behind the gentle brush strokes and colorful choice of colors in his paintings, Van Gogh had a very troubled life.


Georges Seurat was another great French impressionist artist. His style of painting, pointillism, is so delicate that makes me feel hypnotized by looking at his paintings. My most favorite painting of him is for sure the “Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte – 1884” on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. I know I am a very mass art audience! 🙂

I love how he portrayed how casual the model looked in this seems to be really uncomfortable gown.

I am sure many people (including me) knew of Monet from his water lilies paintings. His paintings always made me feel like I can really sense all the elements in the painting (the smell of the flower, the breeze in the air, and the actual gentleness of trees and flowers). He was truly an impressionist painter.

I was delighted to see two of Klimt’s paintings at the MET. If you read my post about MoMa, you would know how big of a fan I am of Gustav Klimt’s artwork. To me, his work is completely spellbinding.

Paul Gauguin sailed from France to live in French Polynesia for a while. He was inspired by the local people and landscape to paint some of the world’s most renowned post-impressionist work.

I actually cannot really tell what the Lion is eating in this Rousseau’s painting.

This is a painting that depicts athletes competing in different track and field events. Although I am not so familiar with cubism, I always find this painting style to be quite mysterious.  According to Wikipedia, it is Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso who actually started the cubism movement. I was lucky enough to be able to see “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” at MoMa, Picasso’s painting that is considered to be a major step toward cubism.

Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian painter who was known for his portrait painting with elongated head and body. He had a very sad life prior to his post-death glory mainly because of his financial and health problems. He died of tubercular meningitis when he was 36 years old. His wife, who was his primary painting model and was pregnant with his second child when Modigliani died could not deal with the loss, decided to end her life and her baby’s by jumping from the fifth floor window. After knowing this story, I will never look at his paintings the same way again.

Mondrian was a Dutch artist that became famous for his paintings of color blocks. This one is just one of his many paintings of his color block composition  paintings. His artwork also inspired Yves Saint Laurent to create the world renowned “Mondrian Day Dress” for his 1965 fall collection.

Joan Miro was a Catalan painter that significantly contributed to surrealism. He used this painting style to express his disagreement towards conventional painting style that is a symbol of bourgeois society (wikipedia). A great place to see Joan Miro’s work is definitely Barcelona, Spain.

I also share my love of art to surrealism, my favorite surrealist artists include Renee Magritte and of course, Salvador Dali. I seriously wonder what Dali was thinking when he was painting this piece. I mean…to paint something like this back in the 20’s is extremely avant-garde, don’t you think?

I came to learn about Edward Hopper for the first time last year at the Art Institute in Chicago from his other famous painting “Nighthawk”. I love how he used lines and shadow to create a painting with very realistic dimension. It is so weird how his painting pulled me in to participate in the scene, sometimes as an observing eye or the main subject of the painting.

Normally I am not a big Warhol fan but his “Ethel Scull 36 Times” is probably my most favorite artwork from him. The photos of Ethel Scull reflect her many personalities that still look so cool today. I also love Warhol’s choice of color arrangement. I actually got inspired by this piece to come up with my own 36 times version to be hung in my new bedroom :).

Gotta love Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-ish work!

I hope you enjoy these modern art highlights at the MET as much as I did. Stay tuned for some other cool stuff on New York City!



The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


3 responses to “Meeting the Modern Art Masters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  1. It is unbelievable as well as impression on the story behind the famous painting and the life of artist ,the way you tell stories in the mean time looking at each painted work make me understand why these art work are truely world’s master pieces .

    • Ruth,

      Thank you for visiting the page! I am glad it reminds you of the old days 😀 Have a great day!


So..what do you think? :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s