Thursday Thirteen: Philadelphia Museum of Art

June 22, 2006


The top thirteen things I saw and loved at the Philadelphia Museum of Art last weekend (click on any to see a picture and/or read more about them):

  1. A beautiful sword engraved “For the Common Wealth of England.” It was dated 1650.
  2. The Arms and Armor exhibit in general.
  3. Rhetoricians at a Window by Jan Steen circa 1661. Those guys just look like they would be a lot of fun to hang out with.
  4. Still Life with Terms and a Bust of Ceres by Frans Snyders circa 1630. Hard to tell from the itty bitty picture here, but it had an amazing 3-D effect.
  5. Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh, circa 1888. I stood right in front of it and was amazed.
  6. Fountain from the Monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, circa 1125. It was the centerpiece of a room that was constructed to replicate a medieval monastic cloister, complete with a domed ceiling painted to look like the sky at twilight. Breathtakingly beautiful and unbelievably serene.
  7. A series of beautiful Italian dishes from the late 16th century like this one. The colors were bright and the detail amazing.
  8. A wood statue from 1500-1525 called Christ Mocked and Presented to the People, artist unknown. There was one point when I was in a room on the opposite side of the museum wing, and I looked through the doorway of the room I was in, and this statue was framed within the doorway of its room. It was breathtaking. See for yourself in my slightly blurred photo here (but it’s nothing like being there in person!).
  9. A Venetian bedroom from (I believe) the 16th century that was recreated, completed with fireplace and ornately carved wall panels. The Museum’s web site doesn’t have a page about it, but here is my photo.
  10. The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny by Claude Monet, 1899. Only because I’ve been to Giverny and stood on that bridge.
  11. Christ Bearing the Cross by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, circa 1670. A beautiful and touching portrait of Jesus with his mother, Mary.
  12. Four statues of the seasons depicted as characters from mythology. They aren’t on the museum’s web page, but you can see my photo of autumn as Bacchus here.
  13. A gorgeous stained glass window that dated from the 15th/16th century. It added a lot to the atmosphere of the Early European art collection — quite often it felt more like I was touring an ancient cathedral instead of an art museum.

I can’t wait to go back and see more! We were only there for about 2.5 hours and didn’t get a chance to see everything, let alone really stop and take the time to fully appreciate the things we did see.



  1. […] Sunday.  You decide how much you should pay to get in.  Cool, huh?  Anyway, I got to see all of my favorites that I saw the last time I was there, plus some more great things, like this […]

  2. I did a similar post after a recent visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and some of our picks of artworks overlap! — Emsworth, Rochester, New York. My post is at http://emsworth.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/ten-pictures-you-shouldnt-miss-at-the-philadelphia-museum-of-art/.

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