The Beer Tour (Galleries 629–644)
A grand sweep of the great age of painting in the Lowlands, Germany, and Britain, from Jan van Eyck to Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, and Reynolds. You'll probably want to split this one into two separate tastings:
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Netherlandish, Breda (?) ca. 1525–1569 Brussels). The Harvesters (detail), 1565. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.164)
Among the highlights of this tour through the Renaissance in the Netherlands and Germany are Jan van Eyck's microcosmic depiction of the Crucifixion; Memling's monumental Annunciation and his pendant portraits of Tommaso and Maria Portinari; Dürer's Salvator Mundi, and Pieter Bruegel's famous Harvesters—a landmark in the history of landscape painting.
This tour picks up where you left off and begins with the first great age of landscape painting in Holland with the works of Jacob van Ruisdael and his contemporaries; two galleries devoted to the one of the world's greatest collections of works by Frans Hals and Rembrandt, including Aristotle with a Bust of Homer—among the artist's supreme masterpieces; a gallery of the decorative arts in seventeenth-century Holland; the Museum's unique collection of five works by Vermeer covering his entire career; Rubens's singular portrait of himself and his young wife and son; Van Dyck's portraits of British milords and Sir Joshua Reynolds's swaggering depiction of Captain Coussmaker.
Frans Hals (Dutch, Antwerp 1582/83–1666 Haarlem). Young Man and Woman in an Inn ("Yonker Ramp and His Sweetheart") (detail), 1623. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.602)
The Chianti Tour (Galleries 602–609 and 625–627)
Titian and Workshop (Italian, Pieve di Cadore ca. 1485/90?–1576 Venice). Venus and the Lute Player, ca. 1565–70. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Munsey Fund, 1936 (36.29)
A trip across central and north Italy, with Gothic and Renaissance art from Giotto in Florence to Titian in Venice. Among the highlights are: Giotto's meticulously staged Adoration of the Magi and Duccio's affective Madonna and Child; Botticelli's Last Communion of Saint Jerome; two galleries devoted to the secular arts in Florence and the relation of painting to sculpture; Mantegna's Adoration of the Shepherds; Veronese's great canvas of Mars and Venus and Lorenzo Lotto's saucy Cupid peeing on his mother; the only altarpiece by Raphael in America.
Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) (Italian, Milan or Caravaggio 1571–1610 Porto Ercole). The Musicians, ca. 1595. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1952 (52.81)
Caravaggio and the Baroque to Tiepolo and eighteenth-century Venice. Among the highlights are: Guercino's powerfully dramatic Blinding of Samson; the largest group of works by Caravaggio outside Rome; Canaletto's and Guardi's views of Venice and her lagoons and Panini's dazzling canvases of ancient and modern Rome; and the greatest collection of works by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo outside Venice.
From the golden age of French painting under Louis XIII and Louis XIV to the painters of the Revolution and Napoleon. Among the highlights are: a stunning group of paintings by Nicolas Poussin, one of the geniuses of French painting; Georges de La Tours's comedic Fortune Teller and his haunting Penitent Magdalen; paintings by Chardin, Greuze, Watteau, and Fragonard; Jacques Louis David's unforgettably staged Death of Socrates and his monumental portrait of the scientist Antoine Lavoisier and his wife; the finest collection anywhere of portraits by women artists, including Labille-Guiard's portrayal of herself at her easel.
Valentin de Boulogne (French, 1591–1632). The Lute Player, ca. 1626. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund; funds from various donors; Acquisitions Fund; James and Diane Burke and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Fisch Gifts; Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 2008 (2008.459)
Masterworks by El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya. Highlights include: El Greco's unique View of Toledo, his stern portrait of Cardinal Niño de Guevara and his late, unfinished Vision of Saint John, a work that deeply influenced Picasso and Jackson Pollock; Velázquez's incomparable portrait of his servant Juan de Pareja and Ribera's Holy Family; Goya's two evocations of the innocence of childhood—Don Manuel Osorio
Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) (Spanish, Seville 1599–1660 Madrid). Juan de Pareja (born about 1610, died 1670), 1650. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Fletcher and Rogers Funds, and Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, supplemented by gifts from friends of the Museum, 1971 (1971.86)