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Will
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The Angel of Death and the Sculptor

This is a sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York City. And it is the most important work in the whole museum. Let me explain.

 

 

The Angel of Death and the Sculptor

The Met is considered to be the best museum in the world. That is a point that could be argued but there is no denying that it is at or near the very pinnacle of the art world. It has works of art that go beyond priceless. The best art that all of humanity has produced is in this museum. And the best and brightest curators select and care for all of this.

Hallway in the MET

Just so you get a sense for what I mean about the best of the best let me just show you three works. They are, in order, a Van Gogh, a Renoir, and a Picasso.

 

So, how do I claim this one sculpture to be the greatest work in the museum? Well, because of the subject it covers, what it says and the fact that it speaks directly to you and me -the person looking at the sculpture.

What we have here is a sculptor (on the right) working on a sculpture. And on the left is the angel of death.

 

The Angel of Death and the Sculptor

And right in the middle of his work the angel of death stays his hand and tells him "That's it, no more strikes on the chisel. Your time is right now."

This comes as a shock to the sculptor. It is easy to see this by the arch of his back and the startled way he is looking at the angel.

Closeup staying the hand

And this point is further emphasized by the poppys the angel of death is holding in her right hand. These signify the long sleep.

So, the artist of this work is telling me and you, the viewer of the sculpture, that when your time will come upon you. Just like that. There will come a time when your hand is staye, possibly mid strike on a chisel. Your work here is done.

So, I propose to you that this is one of the greatest works of art ever created because it is speaking to you and offering you something very important. It is offering you a glimpse into your future. And, through this offering you should take something away.

Take away the thought and the feeling that you are a sculptor. You are creating your life with the tools you have been given. Make the most of it. Make the most of the time and the tools because there will, inevitably, come a time when your hand will be stayed.

 

Placard

And consider this: The sculptor of this piece (Daniel Chester French) himself had his hand stayed almost 100 years ago.


 

Will Travels Medieval America -

Will is on a quest to build a castle. And as part of this he has embarked on an adventure across America visiting castles, blacksmiths, meaderies, museums and all sorts of medieval places. You can follow along on the adventure! Yes, there are castles in America and Will is visiting them!! Check it out here: Medieval America

 

Want to see more of the works of art in the Met?

I have a page with more about the magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art right here.

 

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings Hardcover

In line with best-selling The Louvre: All the Paintings , and Rizzoli's successful The Hermitage Collections and The Barnes Foundation: Masterworks , this title offers an exquisite tour, unique in its lavish illustration, scholarship, extent, and graceful packaging. As the first large survey published in 30 years, and the first large general survey of the Met's paintings collection it is the first to celebrate the greatest and most iconic paintings of one of the largest, most important, and most beloved museums in the world.