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T+L Picks: Special Exhibits at the Major Museums -October 2008

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

Photo: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is honoring its outgoing director with “The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions” (October 24–February 1; metmuseum.org), showcasing some 300 of the more than 84,000 works acquired under de Montebello’s 31-year tenure, from a fifth-century red sandstone Indian Buddha to Sienese master Duccio di Buoninsegna’s Madonna and Child (purchased in 2004 for $45 million) to Jasper Johns’s White Flag.

“Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night” at the Museum of Modern Art (through January 5; moma.org) explores the nocturnal visions of a painter who used gaslight and starlight as conduits to another world.

London

At the Tate Britain, “Francis Bacon” (through January 4; tate.org.uk) celebrates Bacon’s centenary and offers the most comprehensive exhibition since the painter’s death in 1992 of his visceral, anxious depictions of the human figure, mingling animal lust, violence, and psychological complexity.

Paris

Meanwhile, at the Louvre, more serene pleasures await, with “Mantegna 1431–1506” (through January 5; louvre.fr), a major retrospective devoted to the Northern Italian Renaissance master—painter to the court of Lodovico Gonzaga at Mantua—whose saints and martyrs bathe in the light of eternity.

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