Louvre masterpieces at MIA starting Sunday

Louvre masterpieces at MIA starting Sunday

One of the year's top-tier art exhibits opens at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this weekend. "The Louvre and the Masterpiece" brings more than 60 works of art from the world's greatest museum to the Twin Cities for a three-month run. The exhibit spans 4,000 years of visual art, from ancient Egyptian statuary to Renaissance drawings by Michelangelo and Da Vinci to 17th- and 18th-century paintings by Vermeer and Chardin.

The exhibit is meant to not only show off masterworks from the museum but to discuss the concept of what makes a masterpiece and how the idea of "masterpiece" can change through time.

The exhibit's two showpieces are Vermeer's The Astronomer, showing a scientist gazing at a globe in the warm light of Vermeer's famous window, and Antoine-Louis Barye's Lion With Serpent, a large, dramatic bronze sculpture depicting a lion crushing a snake. And though you'll still have to go to Paris to see the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, in the meantime this is a rare opportunity to see some of history's most celebrated art and artists without leaving town. Visit MIA's website for tickets ($16 on weekends, $14 weekdays, with discounts for seniors and students).

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