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Philadelphia Art Museum

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Essay title: Philadelphia Art Museum

The exhibit that I viewed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art was one about European Art between the years 1100-1500. This was a series of paintings, sculptures, architecture, and tapestry of the Medieval and Early Renaissance as well as objects from the Middle East. This exhibit was an important part of the history of the Philadelphia Museum of Art because for the first time, Italian, Spanish, and Northern European paintings from the John G. Johnson collection were shown. It gave me a good idea of what the paintings were like in these four centuries and reflected ideas of both the east and the west.

As I walked into the first gallery, I saw a wood sculpture that stood in the center of the room. This carving depicted "the crucified Christ, flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Evangelist with Angels holding instruments of the Passion". It was painted oak and very appealing to the eye. It stood approximately 15 feet in the air. The origin of this sculpture is unknown, but it was found in a Belgium church. This kind of sculpture usually stood at the entrance or at the center of the alter in the church facing the congregation. This image of the suffering Christ relates to the Christian ideas of suffering and Christ's salvation of all mankind.

As I walked deeper into the gallery, I found myself walking through what looked like a church with pillars of stone, stained glass windows, and marble arched doorways. In the middle of the gallery was a "Romanesque Cloister". This looked like a courtyard with a fountain in the center and surrounded by stone archways and pillars. The cloister stood in the heart of a medieval abbey or monetary. The example that I saw was based on the elements of the cloister "located at Abbey of Saint-Genis-des-Fontaines in the Roussillon, a mountainous region in Southwestern France that was fought over by Christians and Muslims for centuries". The cloister was the center of the abbey; which connected the living quarters to the church.

I also observed many paintings in this gallery. One painting that caught my eye was titled, "The Mocking of Christ" by Hieronymus Bosch. It was an early 16th century, oil on wood painting.

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