Encounter with the Past: The Renaissance and the Ancients

About the Tour

This tour introduces students to Renaissance objects in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, stressing how artists and their patrons not only revived ancient traditions but also adapted what they revived to the ideals and values of their own time. In the Gubbio Studiolo, the feudal lord and mercenary captain Federico da Montefeltro fills his private space with images of himself as living a life of both action and contemplation like the noble Romans of old. In a religious painting from Urbino, Fra Carnevale’s Birth of the Virgin , a Roman triumphal arch frames a holy event, thereby making it a scene of Christian victory. By studying these and other such objects, students will deepen their understanding of what Renaissance artists and patrons achieved: far from breaking completely with the late medieval world in which they lived, they developed its traditions in new ways under the inspiration of the ancient past.

Sites: Metropolitan Museum of Art, European Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts Galleries

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