January 2004

Images of Exemplary Works of Art

The following is a selection of paintings, original engravings, and sculptures in a variety of media. Drawn from diverse cultures and ranging from prehistory to the present, they are intended to illustrate the qualities distinctive to works of art that I outlined in "Rescuing Art from 'Visual Culture Studies'," and that are alluded to in the National Standards for Arts Education. They can be viewed, and enjoyed, on their own terms. Apart from beginning with some of the earliest images extant, and ending with recent ones, the only organization I have imposed is a roughly thematic one. --M.M.K.

NOTE: Viewers should bear in mind that the images linked to here may be only approximations of the originals, since color distortions are common in art reproductions--not to mention differences of scale. Images on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website permit zooming in on selected details.

Two Reindeer (Prehistoric, Font-de-Gaume cave, France), Rendering by Henri Breuil

Horse of Selene (Ancient Greek, Parthenon, British Museum, London)

Li Ti, Kitten [scroll down to image] (12th c., Taipei, National Palace Museum, Taipei)

Dying Lioness (Assyrian, Assurbanipal, British Museum, London)

The Hsuan-te Emperor (15th c.), Gibbons at Play (National Palace Museum, Taipei)

Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley (1866), Cleveland Museum of Art

Yun Shou-p'ing (1633-1690), Landscapes and Flowers (National Palace Museum, Taipei)

Hokusai, The Great Wave at Kanagawa (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Hsia Kuei (13th c.), Pure and Remote Views of Mountains and Streams (National Palace Museum, Taipei)

Vermeer, View of Delft (Mauritshuis, The Hague)

Colossal head (Pre-Columbian, San Lorenzo, Mexico)

Queen Nefertiti (Ancient Egyptian, Staatliche Museum, Berlin)

Head of an Ooni (king) (African, Ife, 11th-12th c., National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria)

Seated Scribe (Ancient Egyptian, Louvre Museum, Paris)

Thomas Eakins, The Writing Master (Metropolitann Museum, New York)

Albrecht Dürer, Saint Jerome in His Study (Portland Art Museum; also Kupferstichcabinett, Berlin)

Poseidon/Zeus (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)

Michelangelo, Moses, Tomb of Julius II, Rome

Nike of Samothrace (Ancient Greek, Louvre Museum, Paris)

Seated Buddha (Chinese, Tang Dynasty, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

Buddha (Borobudur, Java)

Sesshu (Japanese, 14th c.), Winter

Limbourg Brothers, Month of July from the Tres riches heures du duc de Berry (Musée Condé, Chantilly)

Giotto, Joseph's Dream (Scrovegni Chapel, Padua)

Giotto, Lamentation (Scrovegni Chapel, Padua)

Piero della Francesca, Flagellation of Christ

Hugo van der Goes, Adoration of the Shepherds (Uffizi Gallery, Florence)

Velazquez, The Water Carrier of Seville (Apsley House, London)

Vermeer, The Lace Maker (Louvre Museum, Paris)

Goya, Milkmaid (Prado Museum, Madrid)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Hunters in the Snow [detail] (Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna), The Hay Makers ([The Harvesters], Metropolitan Museum, New York)

Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin, Still Life (Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit); Still Life with Plums (Frick Collection, New York)

Auguste Renoir, Le Moulin de la Galette (1876), Louvre Museum, Paris

Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (Art Institute, Chicago)

Hans Holbein the Younger, Sir Thomas More (Frick Collection, New York)

Anna Hyatt [Huntington], Joan of Arc [more] (Riverside Park, New York)

Jacques Louis David, The Death of Marat (1793) Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels)

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Adams Memorial (1891), Rock Creek Church Cemetery, Washington, D. C.

Michelangelo, Pietà (St. Peter's, Vatican)

Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

Auguste Rodin, Burghers of Calais (1884-86), Calais, France

Goya, Third of May (Madrid, Prado Museum)

Thomas Eakins, Portrait of Henry Ossawa Tanner The Hyde Collection Art Museum, Glens Falls, NY.

Velazquez: Diego de Acedo (Prado Museum, Madrid); Sebastian de Morra (Prado Museum, Madrid); Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Musuem, New York)

Rembrandt: Self-Portrait (1661); The Artist at His Easel (Louvre Museum, Paris)

Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia

Stephen Gjertson, The Recorder Lesson (1981), Private collection

Paul Gauguin, Ia Orana, Maria (Hail Mary) (Metropolitan Museum, New York)

Abraham & Isaac (North Transept, Chartres Cathedral)

Domenico Ghirlandaio, Old Man and His Grandson, Louvre Museum, Paris

Mary Cassatt, The Child's Bath (1891) (Art Institute, Chicago)

Stephen Gjertson, After the Bath (1989)

Peter Cozzolino, The Young David (1972), New York, private collection