My Favorite Highlights from a recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite highlights from my recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

This was our first big art trip since before Covid began. Monte and I both were so inspired by the art! It was much needed.

I hope you all make some time to get your faces in front of some real live art. It’s so important to do! 

Here’s a few of my fav’s from this weekend. 

First! Fantin La Tour. Not only is he a master of still life and florals, but I loved seeing his textured, layered, and luminous lead white!

Close up photograph of two paintings by Fantin La Tour

There’s no other white on the market that has this quality. I’m including the zoom-in shots so you can see the quality of the white. Then the zoom out shots so you can see the illusion of the paint from a distance.

This white provides even more depth in a classical light and shadow work.

Here you can see the lead white on the highlight areas of the pears. 

A still life oil painting of fruit

I know everyone is frightened of lead white these days, but it was the white of choice for centuries. Simply use care when working with it.

A photo of a framed oil painting hanging on a wall
A photo of two framed oil paintings hanging on a wall, one above the other

An oil painting of a still life by Fernand Khnopff

Here are a couple more still lifes that I really enjoyed! I guess because they were both so bold and unique.

I really admired the boldness of composition and color choice in this piece by Fernand Khnopff.

This one also had that beautiful lead white in the lights of the rose.

This piece also goes to show that you can have something dead center!

Gosh I hate that compositional rule that everyone repeats.

In fact the centeredness really lends itself to the bold, strong, and balanced aesthetic of the Japanese art that he included in his subject.

A photograph of a painting titled Apple Blossoms by Charles Caryl Coleman

This painting was a new one at the MET that I’d never seen before.

It was in the American wing by the Frank Lloyd Wright room and the art deco art and Tiffany lamps. It’s titled “Apple Blossoms” by Charles Caryl Coleman.

He was an American artist in the late 1800s who spent some time painting in Italy. 

This still life is HUGE as far as still lifes go. It’s over five feet tall!

Of course I love the subject matter with the apple blossoms, patterned rug, and blue and white porcelain.

Mostly though I was impressed by the bold design and the bold big size.

Now I want to paint a very large still life myself! I’ve got some 4 feet tall oil primed linen in the closet that will fit the bill perfectly. 

I guess that’s why I love seeing the artwork in person in real life on a real scale! Because if I only saw the photo I wouldn’t be nearly as impressed or inspired by it.

Every time I leave a museum visit like this my head is spinning with ideas and inspiration for new things to try.

I hope you too will make some time to see some old masters artwork in real life. There’s just no substitute for it!

If you can’t travel across the country there’s bound to be an art museum within driving distance that you can visit. 

Stay inspired and connected to beauty my friends! 

P.S. I’ll be having a BIG Fall Colors Art Sale and Giveaway soon! To get notified of the sale and to be included in the art giveaway simply sign up for free as a member of my Collector’s Circle here:

Love in Light, Kelli

19 thoughts on “My Favorite Highlights from a recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  1. I have no fear of lead white, no more than the cadmiums I’ve been using for years! Sound studio practices are required, as any responsible artist knows.

  2. Fantin La Tour is one of my guiding lights for floral oil painting. His work is utterly exquisite!

  3. Aww, so happy to hear this was the inspiration you needed 🙂 You’ve come so far and have been painting incredible work, so proud of you Desiree!

  4. Dearest Kelli,

    Sharing your visit to the Met was exactly what I needed today. A gentle remembrance for me of a memory long ago when we visited the treasures of the Old Masters, but I never imagined I’d be painting. Didn’t know I was capable of making a brush stroke let alone a painting.
    I’ve collected and appreciated others art, but not my own.
    You share your insights in a way that is unique, as masters themselves. My eyes are are open and ready to learn. TY

  5. Thanks for sharing! I love the tips on the lead white. Just beautiful. It’s also fun to see paintings by those who’ve broken traditional rules. Although I understand them… because, as an art teacher, every inexperienced student places everything dead center, I can understand the “rule”. However, now and then, it’s nice to see something like a still life composed as iconically as a portrait of Christ. Especially if it works!
    Greatly enjoyed.

  6. Oh it was great to see those paintings and read your thoughts. I especially love the fruits! Got me inspired to paint pears again! Thanks Kelli!

  7. Thank you, Kelli, for sharing your trip and all that beautiful paintings with us. I wish you a lot of trips full of art and happiness!

  8. Just hearing the enthusiasm in your words inspires me to get to a museum! and to get painting! Glad you had a good trip!

  9. It’s my pleasure to share my adventures with you Mary, thank you for reading! I hope this has inspired you to get back to the easel, even if its just for a moment 🙂 Your artistic soul with thank you <3

  10. Thank you for sharing as these are beautiful. I need to get back to painting its been too long..

  11. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Living in NY, I visit the Met often. It never gets old.

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