Merrymakers at Shrovetide (detail), by Frans Hals
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The Met Does Mardi Gras

The Met collection offers a little inspiration to let good times roll

It’s Shrove Tuesday—better known in some parts of the world as Mardi Gras. Today is the culmination of the carnival season, the last hurrah before the penitent season of Lent, and a fabulous moment to dress up and make merry (in case you needed one). To get you in the mood, we present some festive ideas from The Met collection sure to help you laissez les bons temps rouler.

Angels & Devils

Two sketches (probably nineteenth century) for Mardi Gras/Carnival costumes, from the Costume Institute Library’s Fashion Plate Collection


Masquerade Cavalcade

Masquerader (one of a pair). Meissen Manufactory (German, 1710–present). Hard paste-porcelain, 6 1/2 x 4 x 2 3/4 in., 1745. Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964 (64.101.69)


Fun to Be Fooled

Two Fools Dancing from Two and Three Fools of the Carnival. Hendrick Hondius I (Netherlandish, 1573–1650). Engraving, 4 7/16 x 5 7/8 in., 1642. The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949 (49.95.2250)


Glad to the Bone

Two dancing men in costume from Huixquilucan at the fiesta of the Huehuenches, from the portfolio ‘Carnival in Mexico.’ Carlos Mérida (1891–1984). Colour lithograph, 17 1/2 × 12 5/8 in., 1940. Gift of Jean Charlot, 1940 (40.47.1[2])


A Stitch in Time

Dressing for the Carnival. Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910). Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in., 1877. Amelia B. Lazarus Fund, 1922 (22.220)


Moveable Feast

Merrymakers at Shrovetide. Frans Hals (Dutch, 1582/83–1666). Oil on canvas, 51 3/4 x 39 1/4 in., ca. 1616–17. Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913 (14.40.605)


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