The Cloisters: Exploring Medieval Art

The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City that focuses on European Medieval art. Last year, I visited the museum during spring break and was amazed by the extensive collection of different paintings, artifacts, architecture, and other art from the Medieval period. Even the architecture of the museum itself is reminiscent of a medieval castle, as it is constructed of five European abbeys and surrounded with medieval-style herb gardens.

As I walked through the Cloisters, I noticed that most of the artwork carried major characteristics of Medieval art: vivid colors, stiff figures, heavy outlines, and mosaics. Most, if not all, of the art had religious elements, such as stained glass, statues of religious figures and saints, and halos. The emphasis on religion during the Medieval period is shown in its art, since art’s primary purpose was to glorify God. One of the most striking parts of the museum is a statue of Jesus hanging from the cross in a domed room. I also noticed that war scenes and animals were another common theme of Medieval art. The Cloisters museum is an educational and relaxing escapeĀ from the hustle and bustle of the city. I definitely recommend that you pay it a visit!

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