All over the world are collections of art and artifacts. Visiting art museums allows you to take a step back in time and look at some of the most famous artworks in history. Seeing them with your own eyes is a special experience. Here are some of the top art museums you need to visit if you’re a student studying art history at university.
The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre in Paris is one of the most visited museums in the world. It is located in the center of Paris on the right of the river Seine. The Mona Lisa is probably the most famous painting in the museum, but it has one of the most impressive collections of art in the world. There are permanent exhibits of artworks spread over eight different departments.
You can see every form and style of art at the Louvre. You shouldn’t miss the ancient Greek statue of Venus de Milo or Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix. The Victory of Samothrace and Law Code of Hammurabi are two other must-see exhibits.
Benefits for Students of Visiting Museums
Writing is an important aspect for art students. When you have to write an art history essay, you may have to compare and contrast more than one artwork. It is just essential to visit some museums to have experience. Analysis of the artworks will include looking at lines, texture, color, the use of symbols and more. It can help to study free examples of art essays to know what’s expected. When writing a research paper you need a certain structure, and you have to interpret artworks and use observation to support your claims.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Met at the edge of Central Park in New York is home to more than two million artifacts. To make the most of the Met, it will help to focus on areas of particular interest to you. You should make a point of seeing The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David. It depicts
Socrates was about to drink poison after he was sentenced to death for impiety. Another painting worth seeing because of its depiction of American patriotism is Washington Crossing Delaware by Emanuel Leutze in Gallery 760. Two statues you shouldn’t miss are Venus Italica in Gallery 515 by Antonia Canova and Ugolino and His Sons by Jean Baptiste Carpeux in Gallery 548.
The British Museum, London
The British Museum can be a little overwhelming as it spans 6,000 years of world history. It is situated in Great Russell Street, London, and one of the most famous exhibits is The Rosetta Stone. Other highlights are the Sophilos Vase, an ancient Greek bowl decorated with scenes from Greek mythand the Parthenon Sculptures that were carved to adorn the Parthenon.
Crouching Venus is a Roman sculpture from the 2nd century A.D. depicting Aphrodite. You can also see the colossal bust of Ramesses the Great and the brass head of Ooni, king of Ife.
El Museo del Prado, Madrid
The El Museo del Prado in Madrid showcases collections of the Spanish royal families. It has an impressive collection of paintings by some of the great Spanish masters like El Greco, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco Goya.
It houses over 20,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures. Goya’s La Maja Desnuda and Velázquez’s Las Meninas are must-see exhibits. Others are Hieronymous Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, Titian’s Venus and Adonis and Raphael’s The Cardinal.
State Hermitage and Winter Palace, St Petersburg
Located in the Palace Square in St. Petersburg, Russia, the baroque building houses the largest collection of paintings in the world. The building was originally the home of Russian Czars. It is now home to many impressionist and modernist artworks.
You can see works by all the most famous impressionists, such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse and Cézanne. You can also see collections of paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens and two of the twelve surviving works by Leonardo de Vinci.
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Renovated in 2013, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has an amazing collection of artworks. Paintings by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer are the highlights. You will also see art that goes back to the Middle Ages. Two of the paintings you shouldn’t miss are Woman Reading a Letter by Johannes Vermeer and The Night Watch by Rembrandt, which is one of his largest and most iconic pieces.
Other popular paintings by Vermeer are The Milkmaid and Girl with a Pearl Earring. You can also see Vincent van Gogh’s famous Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat.
There’s nothing like seeing paintings, sculptures etc., in person to enjoy their impact. As a student of art history, visiting some of the above museums will help you in your studies. You can make more sense of the past and what was important and valuable at different times in history.
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