From A Curator: Museum Week
In celebration of Museum Week, we asked our team of expert curators at Saatchi Art to name their favorite artworks at five of the world’s most renowned museums including the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the British Museum in London and more. Read on to learn more about our curators’ picks!
Described as one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world, this marble Hellenistic sculpture of Nike (the Greek goddess of victory) is one of a small number of original Hellenistic statues surviving (rather than a Roman copy). Believed to be created around the 2nd century BC, the sculpture has been proudly displayed at the Louvre since 1884. Sitting atop the The Daru staircase, The Nike of Samothrace is Associate Curator Victoria Kennedy’s favorite artwork at the Louvre. For more works inspired by the classics found in the Parisian museum visit our Museum Week: The Louvre collection.
In 1909 Matisse received an important commission from the Russian industrialist Sergei Shchukin. Shchukin asked Matisse for three large scale canvases to decorate the spiral staircase of his mansion, the Trubetskoy Palace, in Moscow. Matisse reused the dancers motif from the back of his earlier painting Bonheur de Vivre, but removed one dancer. Assistant Curator Monty Preston never misses a chance to see it when visiting the MOMA. To see more modern and abstract art, check out our Museum of Modern Art collection.
In this photograph by Walker Evans we see an unidentified young woman standing as still as stone and absorbed in thought as she looks out on the city’s bustling street. Focused on some point in the distance, the subject seems unaware of the crowded street before her and of the photographer’s presence. This photograph is my favorite piece in the photography collection at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Browse our Museum Week: The Getty collection for more photography works inspired by the likes of Walker Evans’.
This portrait of a young socialite, Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau by John Singer Sargent was not a commission but completed at the request of the artist. The initial reception of the painting at the Paris Salon in 1884 caused a scandal and a temporary set-back to Sargent’s career while in France. People were shocked and scandalized by the amount of skin displayed by the subject, and forced the artist to withdraw the painting from the exhibition. Victoria Kennedy picked this work as her must-see artwork from the Met and created the Museum Week: The Met collection.
The British Museum
Acquired by the British Museum in 1939 and created over 2,300 years ago, this life-size sculpture of a cat remains a highlight of the museum’s Egyptian collection. Dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Bastet (who was often represented as a cat) the statue is made from copper and adorned with gold ear and nose rings. Assistant Curator Megan Wright has chosen it as her favorite artwork at the British Museum. You can find similar works inspired by antiquity in our collection, Museum Week: The British Museum.
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