By: John Sapida
Features Editor

 

Leonardo da Vinci once advised: “How to make a portrait after seeing the subject only once: You must commit to memory the variations of the four different features in profile, which would be the nose, the mouth, the chin, and the forehead.”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting masterpieces of Renaissance portraiture in a special exhibit called, “The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini.” Located in the second floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art near the European Paintings Wing, this special exhibit will continue until March 18 .
Renaissance portraiture became prominent between the 5th and 15th centuries, most notably in Florence, Italy. During the Renaissance, portraits were a rarity and were only available to rulers and historical figures. These portraits were not only distinct to the identity of the subject, but were often created to be memorable and passed down to the next generation. Now, for the time being, these portraits have been passed down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibit features masterpieces by an array of artists including Botticelli, Verrocchio, Leon Battista Alberti, Donatello, Giovanni Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci and more. Surely this group of artists would attract some attention.

    One of the more popular masterpieces on display was a sketch of Lorenzo de Medici by Leonardo da Vinci, lent by Queen Elizabeth II for the exhibit. The sketch was done with ink on paper and was most likely based on a portrait bust of one of the most prominent leaders in Florence. His palace contained many pieces of art including marble busts of the Medici family.
This exhibit is only one of the many held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met is closed on Mondays and holidays, but is open Tuesday through Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission to the Met is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 to students and free for children 12 and under.