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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 544

The MET : Gallery 544 : The Renaissance in France, 1480-1600

Art From Us, Museum Guide #648

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #648 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum NY’s Gallery 544. Showcasing a collection of The Renaissance in France, 1480-1600.

The three works in focus are :

  1. Pastoral Group, Le nove porcelain factory, ca. 1781-90
  2. The Annunciate Vigrin (one of a pair), 1552.
  3. Henri II, King of France, Leonard Limosin, probably ca. 1555-60

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #648

The objects of this gallery belong to the period of the French Renaissance, between 1480-1600.

The context of these objects is best explained by the MET itself :

“Over the course of the sixteenth century, French royal power became increasingly centralized, and courtly etiquette grew more formal and refined. François I (1494–1547; ruled 1515–47), known to his contemporaries and to later historians as the Father of Arts and Letters, gave impetus to this trend by attracting to his court humanists and artists from Italy and other parts of Europe. Working under François and his successors at the château de Fontainebleau and elsewhere, these artists developed a new vocabulary of fantastic shapes, abstract patterns, natural motifs, and elongated figures, whose sinuous proportions were in keeping with Italian Mannerist taste but also harked back to native Gothic aesthetics.”

The gallery not only displays art and objets d’art from the French Renaissance, it also simultaneously draw parallels between French art and art from other parts of Europe. It is noteworthy that although these objects seem utilitarian in nature, they were originally designed and produced purely for aesthetic and decorative purposes. Interestingly, this practice arguably breaks down the entire contemporary debate over form vs. function.

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