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Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Standen, Edith A., and Thomas M. Folds, with an introduction by Claus Virch (1970)
This title is out of print.

Here, each one reproduced in full color, are a hundred of the Museum's finest paintings, carefully chosen to offer a broad account of periods and styles. Eighty-five of the works are from European schools—Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, British—ranging in time from an Epiphany by Giotto to Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein. The rest are American paintings, beginning with canvases by Pratt, Copley, and Stuart, continuing with Sargent, Homer, and Eakins, and concluding with a work by Morris Louis, painted in 1961. Long-time favorites are here (Bruegel's The Harvesters, El Greco's View of Toledo, Veronese's Mars and Venus United by Love, Watteau's Mezzetin) as well as extraordinary recent accessions (Rembrandt's Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, La Tour's Fortune Teller, Monet's Terrace at Sainte-Adresse). Each reproduction is accompanied by comment on the painting's origin and significance. Expressly written for this book, these comments are the work of two of the Museum's experienced writers, Edith A. Standen and Thomas M. Folds. Introducing the publication, Claus Virch, Curator of European Paintings, gently warns persons who may unconsciously, through conditioning in our world of superabundant illustrations, settle for a color reproduction in place of the real thing. A book such as this, he notes, first of all hopes to prepare its "readers" for confrontations with the actual paintings. Second, it hopes to guide or refresh memories of the actual paintings. The aptness here of such reminders is partly a tribute to the care with which the hundred reproductions have been color-corrected and seen through the press. The book should appeal to a wide range of readers, both as a splendid sample of the Metropolitan's paintings collections and a stirring reminder of great achievements in art across a span of nearly seven centuries.

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