A wonderful day in NYC.
It was warm and sunny. Here is a nice view of my favorite tall building, the Chrysler Building, with its shining hubcaps.
After lunch we caught a train to Columbus Circle and then had a stroll in Central Park.
And then into the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for a few hours.
I hadn’t seen the Ancient Greek holdings for a while, so we spent some time in that collection.
Here is a fine Attic red-figure terracotta kylix from about 515-510 BC. It is even signed and has the owner’s name incised into the bottom in Etruscan letters.
An illuminated MS with the 1st Psalm.
This is a Madonna and Child by Carlo Crivelli from 1480.
“But Father! But Father!”, you might be saying. “Why is there a cucumber hanging from the corner? Isn’t that a little strange?”
Here is my take.
What is interesting here are the symbols that form a chiasmus or X in the composition, therefore a Cross.
At your 2 and your 7 are respectively symbols of Original Sin and Evil One, the apple and a nasty little fly.
The Christ Child doesn’t like the look of the fly at all.
The other symbols are at your 10 a cucumber or gourd and at your 5 a crack in the balustrade. The lines of the chiasmus pass through the center where the Christ Child’s hands gently clutch a type of goldfinch.
The cuke, very much like the gourd, is associated with the story of Jonah and the whale and therefore the Resurrection.
The goldfinch is a little tougher, but I recall something about a legend that a goldfinch tried to help Christ on the road to Calvary by landing on His Head and pulling out one of the thorns. The red feathers on the heads of some species of goldfinches suggest this.
I figured you might be missing shots of birds at my feeders. Here are some substitutes.
The crack in the balustrade, because it is juxtaposed to the gourd, I am guessing is a reference to the cracking and splitting in the Holy of Holies.
So here we have a story of our redemption in the shape of a Cross in the composition. And the Christ Child, recoiling from the nasty fly, symbol of corruption, finds comfort in the little goldfinch.
Okay.. this is why it takes me a long time to explore galleries.
My guy St. Augustine in a polychrome statue from 15th c. Burgundy
And we were at the lighting of the Christmas tree!
I have a video of the lights coming up on the tree, but it is too big to transfer at the moment.