The Feast of Sada, Folio 22v from the Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Shah Tahmasp. Painting attributed to Sultan Muhammad (active first half 16th century); made in Iran (Tabriz). Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper; 9 1/2 x 9 1/16 in.; ca. 1525. Gift of Arthur A. Houghton Jr., 1970 (1970.301.2)
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Feasts of The Met

Depictions of banquets from across The Met collection will get anyone excited for their Thanksgiving feast

Breaking bread with friends and family is a tradition you’ll find in any culture in the world. As we gather this week to give thanks and celebrate the bonds that unite us, we hope you’ll take inspiration for your upcoming feasts—and maybe glean an entertaining tip or two—from these depictions of banquets from across The Met collection.

The Origins of Wine

On this Greek vessel from the 5th century B.C., Dionysos, the god of wine, reclines on a couch outdoors as a young man and an old satyr attend to the wine, before a spread of bread and fruit. This group knows its priorities.

Terracotta pelike (jar). Greek, Attic. Terracotta, red-figure; 14 1/2 x 11 1/16 in.; ca. 420–410 B.C. Gift of Samuel G. Ward, 1875 (75.2.7)

 

La Grande Fête

Made in Limoges, this plaque, depicting a mythological wedding feast, represents the highest achievements of French enameling. (Just don’t put any gravy on it.)

The Wedding Feast of Cupid and Psyche. Pierre Reymond (French, born 1513–died after 1584). Painted enamel on copper, partly gilt, 19 3/4 × 15 1/4 × 1 3/4 in., 1558. Purchase, Rogers Fund; Gifts of Irwin Untermyer, George Blumenthal, and Ogden Mills, by exchange; Bequest of Fannie F. Einstein, in memory of Emanuel Einstein, by exchange; and Edward Ablat, the Shubert Foundation, Inc., and Irving M. Gruber Gifts, 1984 (1984.195)

 

Counting the Blessings

On of 47 panels made for Isabel of Castile, this scene represents Christ’s first miracle, at the marriage of Cana, where He transformed water into wine. Over 120 gallons of it.

The Marriage Feast at Cana. Juan de Flandes (Netherlandish, active by 1496–1519). Oil on wood, 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 in., ca. 1500–1504. The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982 (1982.60.20)

 

Mythological Revelry

In this painting by Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder, the river god Acheloüs explains to the Greek hero Theseus that a distant island is his former lover Perimele, transformed by Neptune so that she could remain forever within the river’s embrace. Sounds like a reason to party.

The Feast of AcheloüsPeter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (Netherlandish, 1568–1625). Oil on wood, 42 1/2 x 64 1/2 in., ca. 1615. Gift of Alvin and Irwin Untermyer, in memory of their parents, 1945 (45.141)

 

Chrysanthemum Time

These elegant figures gather to honor the floral symbol of the emperor—and make a little mischief.

Banquet of the Next Full Moon at the Chrysanthemum Festival, from the series The Twelve Months (Chōyō nochi no tsuki no en, Jūni tsuki no uchi). Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786–1865). Triptych of polychrome woodblock prints; ink and color on paper;  14 5/8 x 30 1/8 in.; 1854. Gift of Eliot C. Nolen, 1999 (1999.457.1)

 

Talking Turkey

In between the gravy, the mashed potatoes, and the love, we hope you’ll enjoy 25% off sitewide at The Met Store all day long. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tureen with cover in the form of a turkey. German, Hanau. Tin-glazed earthenware, 6 1/2 × 9 7/8 × 8 3/8 in., ca. 1760. Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1970 (1970.277.28a, b)

 

 

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