This painting depicts a river passing through a wooded landscape as human figures, dwarfed by the towering trees, move along its banks. The majestic landscape dominates the painting, but a group of four men in the right foreground also competes for attention since the bright, saturated primary colors of their robes stand out sharply against the muted tonalities of their surroundings. One of the men, wearing a blue cloak, places his left finger in the mouth of a man kneeling before him and touches the side of his head with his right hand. A third man leans forward to touch the kneeling figure's shoulder while the fourth, in a magnificent red cloak, raises his hands in astonishment.
This print depicts an ornamental design. The central axis of the design is composed of a fanciful stand with a nude winged boy holding a trident, seen from the back, seated on the top. A pair of sirens holding small banners flank the base, and a pair of hybrid sphinx-like creatures perch near the top. The letter "L" appears in the center of the stand and the date "1528" is inscribed in the base.
St. John the Evangelist sits in the foreground with a book open on his knee and quill pen poised over its pages. Two books rest next to him and an eagle has alighted on an adjacent rock. St. John looks up and to his right to see a standing figure of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Christ, who appear in a glowing mandorla hovering in the sky. A vast panoramic view of a bustling harbor and formidable mountains unfolds behind St. John and extends into the distance.
Enthroned Madonna and Child with angels and Saints Louis of Toulouse, Zenobius, John the Evangelist, and John the Baptist
Jacopo del Casentino
The majestic figure of the Virgin with the infant Christ on her lap sits enthroned in the center of this painted panel. Her elaborate throne rests upon a dais and is enclosed on three sides by panels bristling with Gothic ornament. Two bishop saints holding croziers stand at the foot of the dais accompanied by two other saints who stand behind them, while fourteen angels crowd the background.
An angel, draped with a flowing red mantle, descends on the left from a bank of clouds. He holds a scepter and twisting scroll in his left hand while he points with his right toward a white dove encircled by a halo of light that descends toward a woman dressed in long robes and a veil. She sits, holding a book open on the lectern before her, and draws back slightly with her right hand raised and her eyes downcast. Six cherubim sit above on the edge of the cloudbank, which opens to reveal a male figure barely visible in the blinding light that fills the cloud.
A nude woman with long hair flowing down her back grasps a tree branch with her right hand and bends it downward in order to more easily pluck the green fruit dangling at its tip with her left hand. Her white body contrasts starkly with the darker tones of the surrounding landscape. The less conspicuous figure of a serpent with the head of a bearded man coils about the trunk of the tree next to the woman and fixes her with his stare.
Two figures are seen riding through the water in the foreground; the woman is nude save for an elaborate headdress, the man holds a tortoise shell as a shield and has an antler-like object on his head and has a serpent-like body which supports the woman. Behind is a minutely described landsape with walled town, castle, and along the opposite bank o the water, nude females swimming and a man running in alarm to the water's edge.
This pair of finely carved bust-length figures depicts two men in ecclesiastical garb. On the right appears an older figure who wears elaborate vestments and a papal tiara with a book in his left hand. His deeply lined and wrinkled face conveys a patient wisdom and authority as he stares directly ahead. His more youthful companion, dressed in a simpler collared robe and brimless cap, glances introspectively aside. He grasps an unfurled scroll in his left hand and a diminutive lion stares out from its perch on his left shoulder.
This bronze plaque features a pair of oxen pulling a four-wheeled wagon with six passengers. The seated driver holds a rod in his right hand and a two-tined fork in his left. An older figure holding a flaming vessel stands behind him, followed by a seated figure wearing classical drapery and a laurel wreath. The next figure, seated in the middle of the cart, is an older female, nude to the waist, who holds a cornucopia full of fruit and raises her left hand to point skyward. Two smaller standing figures appear next, one holding a bowl of fruit. The final figure is a reclining female nude holding a flower in the crook of her right arm.
Tankard with Lid and scenes of Judith, Lucretia, and Venus
Artist Unknown, Germany
The body of the tankard is decorated with two narrow bands of gilded abstract vegetal ornament around the neck and base, separated by a wider band that features three repoussé medallions alternating with three bosses. Each medallion depicts a standing nude female: one of the nudes appears in an interior holding a dagger to her chest; another holds a sword and a man's head and stands beside a female companion; the third holds an elongated arrow with a blindfolded cupid at her feet. The cast handle consists of a clawed bird's foot grasping a ball at the base, followed by a satyr mask, a bound female nude, and, surmounting the handle, the bust of a warrior. The lid, a later addition, bears a wreath with a series of initials and the date 1639.
A powerfully muscled nude man sits astride a fearsome sea creature. He grasps an oar in his left hand and the beast's reins in his right, while a cloth billows out behind him. A variety of humanoid creatures frolic in the seascape in the background.
Three Apostles: St. John the Evangelist, St. Thomas, and St. James the Less with the Apostles' Creed
Three apostles, each holding an identifying attribute, stand in a row as full-length figures on this painted panel. On the left stands the youthful beardless St. John holding a chalice with a snake coiled in the cup. Next to him appears the bald and bearded St. Thomas, holding an architect's square. The bearded figure of St. James the Less appears on the left with an open book in his left hand and a long fuller's club in his right. Scrolls above each apostle's head contain a line from the Apostles' Creed in Latin.
An angel, holding a scepter in his left hand and making a gesture of speech with his right, interrupts the Virgin at her reading. She kneels on the floor and rests her left hand on an open book placed atop a lectern. A vase with a flowering lily sits on the floor between the angel and the Virgin and a small white dove encircled by a halo hovers between them. The scene unfolds within an elaborate and richly decorated interior that includes a chair and canopied bed in the background.
Seraph, half of a medallion from the west rose window of Reims Cathedral
Artist Unknown, Reims, France
A lunette-shaped panel composed of red, blue, white, brownish purple and yellowish brown stained glass joined together by lead cames depicting a seraph. Four leafy fronds, taken from another medieval window, have been inserted here between the seraph's head and shoulders. The panel is the upper half of a roundel originally installed in the west rose window of Reims Cathedral.
Fragment of circular gaming piece carved in elephant ivory in high relief. Standing male figure wearing knee-length robe holds sword in right hand and stabs inverted beast in the chest. Forelegs of beast end in hooves; head of beast characterized by large eye and pronounced nostril. Left arm of figure and rear half of the beast missing. Border contains zigzag pattern with bead motif.
This cup is fashioned from a coconut shell set in a shallow bowl supported on a long, narrow stem and held in place by three straps and a tall neck band. The shallow domed lid has a plain, overhanging rim and terminates in a finial with a statuette of a nude sea nymph and serpent. The metalwork is densely decorated with various masks, animals, fantastic creatures, and vegetal ornament.
Two horses pull a wagon carrying four female passengers in this small bronze plaque. The driver, a seated nude male with a cap takes the reins in his left hand and raises a whip in his right. Behind him sit two pairs of taller female figures, each wearing a long flowing mantle.
Console with bird in vine scroll, rinceau, and angel
Anonymous French (Burgundy)
A three-quarter length angel, robustly carved in high relief, emerges from a cloud bank on the curved inner face of the console. The outer face of the console bears a tightly wound vine scroll carved in shallower relief with a bird at its center. The bird grasps the vine with its left leg while stretching back to grasp a cluster of grapes in its beak.
A group of armed men struggles in a landscape while a helmeted female figure hovers on a cloud above them and points to a distant city that lies across an expanse of water. A man at the left with a green cuirass and cloth knotted about his waist and neck stands apart from the combatants and looks up toward the gesturing woman. Behind him appears a row of sword-wielding men locked in combat, with several casualties lying at their feet. On a hillock in the background a pair of oxen, an orange-gold colored sheep, and a winged dragon may be discerned.
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
tin-glazed earthenware (maiolica) with underglaze painting
The body of this cylindrical censer is decorated with eight columns spaced at regular intervals. The lid of the censer consists of an openwork dome divided into sections by eight vertical ribs that converge at its apex. An arched horizontal band intersects the midpoint of the ribs, and these eight junctures are marked with a projecting bird that holds a small bronze ball dangling from its beak. Two segments of the dome are decorated with Maltese crosses while another two feature curved plant forms. The apex is surmounted by a finial comprised of a globe topped by a Maltese cross on which a bird holding a piece of fruit perches.
In an ominous landscape a crowd of nude men, women and children, their bodies silhouetted against the descending gloom, struggle frantically to escape rising floodwaters. The figures gesture wildly and strenuously twist their long athletic bodies into a seemingly infinite variety of contortions as they clamber up the last hilltops and trees. A city stands on a hill and appears through the trees in the background.
This black and white print depicts an animated and detailed scene of nude figures and mythical beasts on the surface of the sea.Two men, with seaweed hair and riding half horse/half fish creatures, strike out at each other. A man and a woman ride a beast with a scaly body and the head of a fierce dog. In the background, a man holding a trident stands with his back to the viewer. Action and motion are expressed with billowing drapery, flowing hair and moving waves. The wide mouthed expressions of the figures and animals suggest yelling and noise in this chaotic scene. Among the many details depicted by the artist is a plaque held by the woman that has his initials.
Artist Life Dates
Object Creation Date
early 16th century
Medium and Support
etching on iron on medium, slightly textured light beige laid paper
This sculpture represents an angel bending slightly toward the left with his head tilted downward. Carved slots in his back would have held his wings, and the figure has lost his forearms and hands as well as his legs below the knees.
In this painting, rendered entirely in gray monochrome, a technique known as grisaille, an angel descends on a bank of clouds toward a woman who kneels on the floor before a prie-dieu. She looks downward and turns away from the angel in a gesture of humility, and her head is illuminated by the light from a luminescent dove in the cloud above her. A bearded man looks down from the summit of the cloud, nearly engulfed in light, and a number of cherubim appear throughout the scene. The robust forms and grounded materiality of the woman's body and the furniture around her give way to light-filled clouds and diffused forms in the upper part of the canvas as the heavenly and worldly realms come together.
This small porcelain sculpture represents a gaunt, sinewy bearded figure, who is naked except for a loincloth. With his right knee wedged in a stump, his torso contracts with an inner tension as he pounds his chest with stones in an act of penitence. At his feet sits a lion.
This oval-shaped ceramic vessel features a wide, steep rim surrounding a large well in the center. The scalloped edges of the rim are cut back into a deep semicircle on one side. The rim is painted in underglaze blue and yellow with plant and floral motifs that are arranged in a whimsical, asymmetrical fashion around the edge. The well is decorated with similar vegetal motifs and two vaguely stork-like birds with long legs that confront one another on a strip of turf.
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
tin-glazed earthenware (faience) with yellow and blue underglaze
This small bust-length figure represents a mustached satyr turning his head toward his left. He wears an animal skin tied at his right shoulder over his bare chest. The liquid character of the cast bronze admirably captures the rippling muscles of the satyr's chest and the flowing curls of his hair and the animal pelt.
In dark turbulent waters under a stormy sky four nude sea nymphs support the body of a long-haired man between them on a white shroud. The face of a man with kelp in his hair appears between two of the nymphs. On the right a bearded man with a trident in his right hand rides in a chariot fashioned from a seashell and pulled by two fished-tailed horses or hippocampi. Just visible in the distance behind the back of the rightmost nymph, a lofty tower rises above the waves.
Six figures appear in a formal garden landscape. On the right a pair of men in powdered wigs stand behind two women, one seated in a wheelchair, before an elaborate portico. A pair of boys, also sporting wigs, stand on the left, partly screened by a fountain. One of the boys holds a shell and the other carries a parrot. A small pool extends through the middle ground behind the figures and draws attention to the setting and the distant obelisk visible above the trees.
View of the Fortifications at Gennep on the Maas River
Salomon van Ruysdael
The low horizon used in this landscape painting creates a sense of expansive sky and flat terrain, which is divided equally between river and land. Figures and animals engage in variety of activities on the riverbank and in boats, including fishing and ferrying cargo and animals. Silhouetted against the vast sky stands a fortress on a spur of land with an orange flag flying from its tower. The opposite bank is visible in the distance as a dark broken line across the shining stretch of water.
Mantel clock with a priestess and Cupid offering a sacriffice to Venus
The dial of this elaborately decorated clock stands upon a two-tiered base. The lower tier consists of a hollow base made of ebony and adorned with a frieze of gilded bronze scrollwork and palmette motifs. The upper tier, made entirely of gilded bronze, features six fluted pilasters with a decorative panel centered on the front below the dial. This panel is composed of a pair of doves touching beaks before a crossed quiver of arrows and a flaming torch framed by leaves. A woman in long flowing robes stands to the right of the dial and empties a small cup onto a dove held by a winged putto who lies on a rocky projection. Behind the dove burns a fire on a small altar inscribed "Altar of Venus" [Autel à Venus].
White Mountains in September, North Conway, New Hampshire
Sylvester Phelps Hodgdon
Landscape with trees in foreground, valley in middle ground dotted with minute figures of sheep and a farmer with a team of oxen pulling well-filled haywain. Mountains in distance with a snow-capped mountain in center background.
The painting depicts a group of American settlers attempting to defend themselves against attack by a band of Native Americans. A covered wagon pulled by two horses is at the center of the composition; at left, two Native Americans attack the wagon with war clubs and tomahawks; a figure on the lead horse points a pistol directly at the head of one of his attackers, while a figure at the rear of the wagon shoots another attacker. At right other warriors on horseback ride past the train shooting arrows and wielding tomahawks.