Ostentatious Displays of Personal Aggrandisement

Ostentatious Displays of Personal Aggrandisement

Off the well worn track of my daily life here in New York is a different city. A city that the tourists come to see. 46 million tourists just in 2007 (this and other interesting figures here). Among New York City’s countless attractions and world renowned cultural institutions is the Metropolitan Museum of Art: home to over 2 million pieces of art, expansive in size and breadth, one of the largest art museums in the world and maybe the most breathtaking afternoon available between the Hudson and East rivers.

And! the amazing Arts Initiative at Columbia University picks up the tab for all its students’ admission fees to the Met (and about 30 other area museums). Glad the hefty tuition I pay is rewarding me immediately with a cushion of inspiration, art and a new outlook of my homecity.

Marciana, Sister of the emperor Trajan

Lucius Versus

Ugolino and His Sons
“The story of the Pisan traitor Ugolino della Gherardesca, imprisoned with his sons and condemned to starvation, was told by Dante in the INferno (canto 23). Carpeaux (the artist) shows the anguished father resisting his sons’ offer to their own bodies for his sustenance.”

The Demidoff Table by Lorenzo Bartolini
“The subject is a complex, cosmological allegory best described in the sculptor’s own words: ‘Stretched out upon the plan of the world is Cupid, God of generation, sustaining and watching over the symbolic genius of dissolute wealth without virtue, who snores in his sleep,…dreaming of past diversions in pleasure. Left to himself, the Genius of ambition rectitude in work sleeps the agitated sleep of misfortune and glory,…his head extending beyond the periphery of the world.'”