Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum, located in Mount Vernon-Belvedere, Baltimore, Maryland, United States, is a public art museum founded and opened in 1934. It holds collections established during the mid-19th century. The Museum's collection was amassed substantially by major American art and sculpture collectors, a father and son: William Thompson Walters, (1819–1894), who began serious collecting when he moved to Paris as a nominal Southern/Confederate sympathizer at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861; and Henry Walters (1848–1931), who refined the collection and made arrangements for the construction of a later landmark building to rehouse it. After allowing the Baltimore public to occasionally view his father's and his growing added collections at his West Mount Vernon Place townhouse/mansion during the late 1800s, he arranged for an elaborate stone palazzo-styled structure built for that purpose in 1905–1909. Located across the back alley, a block south of the Walters mansion on West Monument Street/Mount Vernon Place, on the northwest corner of North Charles Street at West Centre Street.

The mansion and gallery were also just south and west of the landmark Washington Monument in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood, just north of the downtown business district and northeast of Cathedral Hill. Upon his 1931 death, Henry Walters bequeathed the entire collection of then more than 22,000 works, the original Charles Street Gallery building, and his adjacent townhouse/mansion just across the alley to the north on West Mount Vernon Place to the City of Baltimore, "for the benefit of the public." The collection includes masterworks of ancient Egypt, Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master European and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, Art Deco jewelry, and ancient Near East, Mesopotamian, or ancient Middle East items.

In 2000, "The Walters Art Gallery" changed its long-time name to "The Walters Art Museum"[1] to reflect its image as a large public institution and eliminate confusion among some of the increasing out-of-state visitors. The following year, "The Walters" (as it is often known in the city) reopened its original main building after a dramatic three-year physical renovation and replacement of internal utilities and infrastructure. The Archimedes Palimpsest was on loan to the Walters Art Museum from a private collector for conservation and spectral imaging studies.

Starting on October 1, 2006, the museum began having free admission year-round as a result of substantial grants given by Baltimore City and the surrounding suburban Baltimore County arts agencies and authorities.[2] In 2012, "The Walters" released nearly 20,000 of its own images of its collections on a Creative Commons license, and collaborated in their upload to the world-wide web and the internet on Wikimedia Commons.[3] This was one of the largest and most comprehensive such releases made by any museum.[3]

Coordinates: 39°17′48″N 76°36′58″W / 39.29667°N 76.61611°W

The Walters Art Museum
Walters-museum-building 1
North Charles Street original main entrance
Former nameThe Walters Art Gallery
LocationMount Vernon-Belvedere, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
TypeArt museum
DirectorJulia Marciari-Alexander (2016)[1]
Public transit accessBSicon TRAM.svg at Centre Street
BaltimoreLink routes Green, Pink, Silver, 51, 95, 103, 410, 411
Charm City Circulator Purple Route
WebsiteOfficial website

Permanent collection

Ancient art

The Walters' collection of ancient art includes examples from Egypt, Nubia, Greece, Rome, Etruria and the Near East. Highlights include two monumental 3,000-pound statues of the Egyptian lion-headed fire goddess Sekhmet; the Walters Mummy; alabaster reliefs from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II; Greek gold jewelry, including the Greek bracelets from Olbia on the shores of the Black Sea; the Praxitelean Satyr; a large assemblage of Roman portrait heads; a Roman bronze banquet couch, and marble sarcophagi from the tombs of the prominent Licinian and Calpurnian families.

Sumerian - Male Worshiper - Walters 215 (2)

Sumerian male worshiper, c.2300 BC

Egyptian - Statue of a Vizier, Usurped by Pa-di-iset - Walters 22203

Padiiset's Statue, illustrates Canaan - Ancient Egypt trade, c.1700 B.C. (inscription c.900 B.C.)

Roman - Portrait of Livia - Walters 23211 - Three Quarter

Portrait bust of Livia, wife of Emperor/Caesar Augustus, (Octavius), c.35 B.C.

Egyptian - Mummy Portrait of a Bearded Man - Walters 326

Al Fayum mummy portrait, Roman Egypt, c. A.D. 175

Byzantine - The "Rubens Vase" - Walters 42562 - Three Quarter Left

The Rubens Vase, an agate hardstone carving of c. A.D. 400

Roman - Funeral Stele with Latin Inscription Referring To Mithra - Walters 2317

Roman Funeral stele with Latin inscription referring to Mithra

Art of the ancient Americas

In 1911, Henry Walters purchased almost 100 gold artifacts from the Chiriqui region of western Panama in Central America, creating a core collection of ancient American native art. Through subsequent gifts of art and loans, the museum has added works, mostly in pottery and stone, from Mexico, Central America and South America, including pieces from the Mesoamerican Olmec, Aztec, and Maya cultures, as well as the Moche and Inca peoples of South America.

Colima - Dancing Figure Whistle - Walters 20092029 - Three Quarter Left

Whistle in the form of a dancing figure from Colima, Mexico, pottery, c. 300 B.C. - A.D. 200

Mayan - Stucco Portrait Head - Walters 20092046 - View A

Maya head in stucco, A.D. 550-850

Mixteca-Puebla style labret

Mixteca-Puebla style labret, obsidian

Asian art

Highlights of the Asian art collection assembled earlier by Baltimorean father and son collectors William T. and Henry Walters include Japanese arms and armor, and Chinese and Japanese porcelains, lacquers, and metalwork. Among the museum's outstanding works of Asian art is a late-12th- or early-13th-century Cambodian bronze of the eight-armed Avalokiteshvara, a T'ang Dynasty earthenware camel, and an intricately painted Ming Dynasty wine jar. The museum owns the oldest surviving Chinese wood-and-lacquer image of the Buddha (late 6th century AD). It is exhibited in a gallery dedicated solely to this work.

The museum holds one of the largest and finest collections of Thai (Siam/Thailand) bronze, scrolls, and banner paintings in the world.

Indian - Head of a Jain Tirthankara - Walters 25262

Head of a Jain Tirthankara, India, 10th century

Indian - Mandala of Padmavati - Walters 543007

'Mandala of Padmavati' - bronze statue of Goddess Padmavati, India, 11th century

Indian - Jina Parshvanatha with Attendants - Walters 543013

Brass idol of tirthankar Parshvanatha, India, 16th century

Chinese - Seated Guanyin (Kuan-yin) Bodhisattva - Walters 25256 - Detail C

Detail of Ming dynasty wood and lacquer Guanyin

Tibetan - Phurbu-cum-chopper - Walters 511448 - View A

15th-century Tibet, an ritual knife and chopper

Thai - Vessantara Jataka, Chapter 10 (Indra's Realm) - Walters 35269 - A T Front

19th-century Thai illustration of Vessantara Jataka, Ch 10

Chinese - Jar with Design of a Dragon - Walters 47691

18th-century Chinese jar with dragon

Hashiguchi Goyo - Woman in Blue Combing Her Hair - Walters 95880

Hashiguchi Goyo, Woman in Blue Combing Her Hair, woodblock print, Japan, 1920

Islamic art

Islamic art in all media is represented at the Walters. Among the highlights are a 7th-century carved and hammered silver bowl from Iran, (ancient Persia); a 13th-century candlestick made of copper, silver, and gold from the Mamluk era in Egypt; 16th-century mausoleum doors decorated with intricate wood carvings in a radiating star pattern; a 17th-century silk sash from the Mughal Empire in India; and a 17th-century Turkish tile with an image of the Masjid al-Haram ("Great Mosque of Mecca"), the center of Islam in Mecca, (modern Saudi Arabia). The Walters Museum owns an array of Islamic manuscripts. These include a 15th-century Koran from northern India, executed at the height of the Timurid Empire; a 16th-century copy of the "Khamsa of Nizami (British Library, Or. 12208)|Khamsa]]" by Amir Khusraw, illustrated by a number of famous artists for the Emperor Akbar; and a Turkish calligraphy album by Sheikh Hamadullah Al-Amasi, one of the greatest calligraphers of all time. Walters Art Museum, MS W.613 contains five Mughal miniatures from an important "Khamsa of Nizami" made for the Emperor Akbar; the rest are in London, Great Britain.

Islamic - Folio with Kufic Script - Walters W55236B - Full Page

Early Qur'an page in Kufic script, 9th century

Egyptian - Candlestick Base - Walters 54459 - View K

Mamluk-era in Egypt candlestick base, c1240, brass with silver, gold and copper inlays

Dharm Das - The Death of Darius - Walters W61326B - Full Page

The Death of Darius, Mughal miniature from Akbar's Khamsa of Nizami, 1595, MS W.613

Turkish - Rifle - Walters 5184 - Detail L

Detail of an 18th-century ceremonial jeweled Turkish rifle

Islamic - Binding from Qur'an - Walters W8531binding - Bottom Interior

Inside of Qur'an cover, 19th century, sub-Saharan Africa

Medieval European art

Henry Walters assembled a collection of art produced during the Middle Ages in all the major artistic media of the period. This forms the basis of the Walters' medieval collection, for which the museum is best known internationally. Considered one of the best collections of medieval art in the United States, the museum's holdings include examples of metalwork, sculpture, stained glass, textiles, icons, and other paintings. The collection is especially renowned for its ivories, enamels, reliquaries, early Byzantine silver, post-Byzantine art, illuminated manuscripts, and the largest and finest collection of Ethiopian Orthodox Church art outside Ethiopia.

The Walters' medieval collection features unique objects such as the Byzantine agate Rubens Vase that belonged to the painter Rubens (accession no. 42.562) and the earliest-surviving image of the "Virgin of Tenderness", an ivory carving produced in Egypt in the 6th or 7th century (accession no. 71.297). Sculpted heads from the royal Abbey of St. Denis are rare surviving examples of portal sculptures that are directly connected with the origins of Gothic art in 12th-century France (accession nos. 27.21 and 27.22). An ivory casket covered with scenes of jousting knights is one of about a dozen such objects to survive in the world (accession no. 71.264).

Many of these works are on display in the museum's galleries. Works from the medieval collection are also frequently included in special touring exhibitions, such as Treasures of Heaven, an exhibition about relics and reliquaries that was on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art in (Cleveland, Ohio), the Walters Art Museum, and the British Museum in London in 2010–11.

Works in the medieval collection are the subject of active research by the curatorial and conservation departments of the museum, and visiting researchers frequently make use of the museum's holdings. In-depth technical research carried on these objects is made available to the public through publications and exhibitions, as in the case of the Amandus Shrine (accession no. 53.9), which was featured in a small special exhibition titled The Special Dead in 2008–09.

Hunnish - Set of Horse Trappings - Walters 571050, 571051, 571052, 571060 - View A

Hunnish set of horse trappings, 4th century

French - Box Lid with a Tournament - Walters 71274

French Gothic ivory Box Lid with a Tournament, 14th century (Walters 71274)

Master of Walters 323 - Leaf from Barbavara Book of Hours - Walters W32352R - Open Obverse

Leaf from Barbavara Book of Hours, Milan c. 1440

English - Resurrection - Walters 27308

15th century Nottingham alabaster panel of the Resurrection of Christ

German - Chandelier - Walters 61309

German chandelier, red deer antler and wood, 15th century

There are also Late Medieval devotional Italian paintings by these painters at the Walters: Tommaso da Modena, Pietro Lorenzetti, Andrea di Bartolo (Resurrection), Alberto Sotio, Bartolomeo di Tommaso (Death of Saint Francis), Naddo Ceccarelli, Master of Saint Verdiana, Niccolo di Segna (Saint Lucy), Orcagna, Olivuccio di Ciccarello, Master of Panzano Triptych and Giovanni del Biondo.

Renaissance, Baroque and 18th-century European art

The collection of European Renaissance and Baroque art features holdings of paintings, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, metal work, arms and armor. The highlights include Hugo van der Goes' Donor with Saint John the Baptist, Heemskerck's Panorama with the Abduction of Helen Amidst the Wonders of the Ancient World, Giambattista Pittoni's Sacrifice of Polyxena, the Madonna of the Candelabra, from the studio of Raphael, Veronese's Portrait Of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and her Daughter Porzia, El Greco's Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, Bernini's "bozzetto" of Risen Christ, Tiepolo's Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva, and The Ideal City attributed to Fra Carnevale. The museum has one of ten surviving examples of the Sèvres pot-pourri vase in the shape of a ship from the 1750s and 1760s.

Fra Carnevale - The Ideal City - Walters 37677

The Ideal City (c. 1480-1484) attributed to Fra Carnevale

Master Jean de Mauléon - Leaf from Book of Hours - Walters W44976R - Open Obverse

Leaf from Book of Hours, French Renaissance, 1524

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo - Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva - Walters 37657

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva, c. 1720

Giovanni Battista Pittoni - The Sacrifice of Polyxena - Google Art Project

The Sacrifice of Polyxena, Giambattista Pittoni

19th-century European art

William and Henry Walters collected works by late-19th-century French academic masters and Impressionists. Highlights of the collection include Odalisque with Slave by Ingres (a second version); Claude Monet's Springtime; Alfred Sisley's panoramic view of the Seine Valley; and Édouard Manet's realist masterpiece, The Café Concert.

Henry Walters was particularly interested in the courtly arts of 18th-century France. The museum's collection of Sèvres porcelain includes a number of pieces that were made for members of the Royal Bourbon Court at Versailles Palace outside of Paris. Portrait miniatures and the examples of goldsmiths' works, especially snuffboxes and watches, are displayed in the Treasury, along with some exceptional 19th- and early-20th-century works. Among them are examples of Art Nouveau-styled jewelry by René Lalique, jeweled objects by the House of Fabergé, including two Russian Imperial Easter eggs, and precious jewels by Tiffany and Co. of New York City.

The Walters' collection presents an overview of 19th-century European art, particularly art from France. From the first half of the century come major paintings by Ingres, Géricault, and Delacroix. William Walters stayed in Paris with his family during the Civil War, because of his notorious Southern-leanings, and he soon developed a keen interest in contemporary European painting. He either commissioned directly from the artists or purchased at auctions such major works by the Barbizon masters, including Jean-François Millet and Henri Rousseau; the academic masters Jean-Léon Gérôme and Lawrence Alma-Tadema; and even the modernists Monet, Manet, and Sisley, the Italian Antonio Rotta.

Antonio Rotta - The Hopeless Case - Walters 37182

The Hopeless Case (1855) by Antonio Rotta

Joseph Mallord William Turner - Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington - Walters 3741

Raby Castle, the Seat of the Earl of Darlington (1817) by Joseph Mallord William Turner"

Alfred Stevens - News from Afar - Walters 37183

News from Afar (1860) by Alfred Stevens, (Exhibition: "Salute to Belgium, 1980)

Léon Bonvin - Still Life on Kitchen Table with Celery, Parsley, Bowl, and Cruets - Walters 371504

Léon Bonvin - Still Life on Kitchen Table with Celery, Parsley, Bowl, and Cruets - Walters 371504


Félicien Rops - Confessional, Toledo - Walters 372804

Confessional, Toledo, by Félicien Rops, 1889

Adolphe-René Lefevre - Courtier Standing by a Column - Walters 371630

Courtier Standing by a Column, by Adolphe-René Lefèvre, ca. 1860

Théodore Henri Mansson - Street Scene with Gothic Building - Walters 371629

Street Scene with Gothic Building, by Théodore Henri Mansson, 1845


Charles Street – Old Main Building (1905–1909)

Interior Walters Art Museum
Sculpture Garden (central Great Hall) of the Walters Art Gallery (now Walters Art Museum) in the original Main Building of 1905–1909

Henry Walters' original gallery was designed by architect William Adams Delano and erected between 1904 and 1909, facing South Washington Place (at the northwest corner with West Centre Street) and attached by an overhead bridge/passageway across the back alley from his adjacent townhouse/mansion to the north on West Mount Vernon Place (facing the Washington Monument to the northeast). Its exterior was inspired by the Renaissance-revival-style Hôtel Pourtalès in Paris and its interior was modeled after the 17th-century "Collegio dei Gesuiti" (now the Palazzo dell'Università) built by the Balbi family for the Jesuits in Genoa. The arts of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, French decorative arts of the 18th and 19th centuries, and manuscripts and rare books are now exhibited in this palazzo-style structure.[4]

Centre Street Annex Building (1974)

Designed by the Boston firm of Shepley, Bullfinch, Richardson, and Abbott, in the "Brutalist" poured-concrete style prevailing in the 1960s, (one of the few others in the region of this extremely modernistic style in the city – such as the recently razed Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in downtown Charles Center on the southwest corner of Charles and Baltimore Streets from 1967), this annex building (which has several horizontal lines paralleled with features in the 1909 structure) to the west along West Centre Street and rear of the original main gallery, extending to Park Avenue, opened in 1974. It was substantially altered in 1998–2001 by another firm of Kallmann McKinnell and Wood, Architects, to provide a four-story glass atrium, with a suspended staircase at the juncture between the older and newer buildings with a new entrance lobby along Centre Street. The new lobby, which also provides easier ground-level handicapped access along with enhanced security provisions for both collections and visitors is also providing a café, an enlarged museum and gift store and a reference library.[5] The ancient, Byzantine, medieval, Ethiopian, and 19th-century European collections are housed in this building, with its large display walls and irregular corridors and galleries. Also here is the museum's famed art conservation laboratory, which is one of the oldest in the country.[1]

Hackerman House (1850/1991)

This Greek Revival styled townhouse/mansion, one of the most elaborate in the city, was designed by famed local architect John Rudolph Niernsee (1814–1885), and erected between 1848 and 1850 for Dr. John Hanson Thomas, was long regarded as the most "elegant" house along Mount Vernon Place or Washington Place. It sits on the southwest corner of the circle surrounding the Washington Monument and was later owned by the families Jencks and Gladding (later known as the Thomas-Jencks-Gladding Mansion). Considered in its premiere landmark municipal location to be used for Baltimore City's Official Mayor's Residence (similar to other major American cities mayor's mansions such as Gracie Mansion in a river-front park on New York City's east side of Manhattan, facing the East River when it was briefly acquired by the city in the late 1950s and then being considered to be razed for an unfortunately poorly-conceived and planned northern expansion of the Gallery engendered local preservationists' protests before being finally re-sold to the Gladding family of a well-known public-spirited local Chevrolet auto dealership, who promised to restore and preserve the noted mansion.

Among the original owning family of the Thomas's distinguished guests of the mid-19th century were the Prince of Wales (eldest son of Queen Victoria), the future King Edward VII (reigned 1901–1910); and General Lajos Kossuth (1802–1894), the then famous Hungarian freedom fighter, President of an early, brief Hungarian republic, veteran of the European Revolutions of 1847–1848 and the "Father of modern Hungary". Since the mid-1980s when, the Thomas-Jencks-Gladding Mansion was reacquired by the city under Mayor William Donald Schaefer (1921–2011), who served the city from 1971 to 1987, and future Governor of Maryland (1987–1995) from the Gladding family with a donation by the Mayor's loyal friend along with being a developer, industrialist and philanthropist, Willard Hackerman, and transferred to the purposes of "The Walters". Since additional renovations with the addition of a connecting gallery with domed skylight and corridor constructed through the top of the old rear carriage house/garage to the south end of the house, and across the east-west alley to the old 1909 Main Building's north side. Reopened in 1991, the newly renamed "Hackerman House" has been devoted to The Walters' recently expanded holdings of Asian art.[6]

Select works from the collection

Egyptian - Finger Ring with a Representation of Ptah - Walters 42387 - Side A

Moveable ring from 664 to 322 BC. Green jasper and gold.[7] The Walters Art Museum.

Celtic - Ring Brooch - Walters 542342 - Detail

9th-century Irish ring brooch

Ethiopian - John the Evangelist - Walters W850153V - Open Reverse

Ethiopian miniature of John the Evangelist, Gunda Gunde Gospel Book, c. 1540

Flemish - Pendant with a Lion - Walters 57618

Pendant with a Lion, Flemish, (between 1600 and 1650) Baroque

Walters Gilbert Stuart George Washington

George Washington (1825) by Gilbert Stuart

Richard Caton Woodville - The Sailor's Wedding - Walters 37142

The Sailor's Wedding (1852) by Richard Caton Woodville

The Church at Eragny Pissarro

The Church at Eragny (1884) by Camille Pissarro

Tiffany and Company - Iris Corsage Ornament - Walters 57939

Iris Corsage Ornament (c. 1900) by Tiffany & Company.

Margot in Blue Cassatt

Margot in Blue (1902) by Mary Cassatt.

See also



  1. ^ a b c "From Gallery to Museum". Walters Art Museum website. Archived from the original on December 26, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Free Admission at Baltimore Museum of Art and Walters Art museum begins October 1". Groundbreaking cooperation and financial support from Baltimore City and Baltimore County provides greater public access to world-class art. Archived from the original on October 2, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2006.
  3. ^ a b McCauley, Mary Carole (May 8, 2012). "Walters donates artwork images to Wikipedia". The Baltimore Sun.
  4. ^ Guide to the Collections, p. 14–15
  5. ^
  6. ^ Guide to the Collections, p. 18
  7. ^ "Finger Ring with a Representation of Ptah". The Walters Art Museum.


Further reading

  • Gruelle, R. B., Collection of William Thompson Walters (Boston 1895)
  • Bushnell, S. W., Oriental Ceramic Art Collections of William Thompson Walters (New York 1899)

External links

Allegory of the Element Earth

Allegory to the Element Earth is a painting by the Venetian Renaissance artist Leandro Bassano of about 1580, now in The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.

Baltimore Painter

The Baltimore Painter was an ancient Greek Apulian vase painter whose works date to the final quarter of the 4th century BC. He is considered the most important Late Apulian vase painter, and the last Apulian painter of importance. His conventional name is derived from a vase kept at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Painter's early work was strongly influenced by the Patera Painter. He mainly painted large format volute kraters, amphorae, loutrophoroi and hydriai. It is likely that his workshop was at Canosa.

He depicted sepulchral scenes (naiskos vases), usually depicting a naiskos on the front and a grave stele on the back, often characterised by figures in yellow-orange garments), mythological and dionysiac scenes, as well as erotes, weddings and scenes from the life of women.

Stylistically, especially in regard to vase shapes and pictorial themes, his work is very similar to that of the Underworld Painter. The Baltimore Painter's work is characterised by rich and fine detail, especially in ornamentation. Several painters were closely associated with him, including the Stoke-on-Trent Painter, who was either a very close colleague or may in fact be identical with him, and the painters of the T.C.-Group. His successors include the probable heir of his workshop, the White-Sakkos Painter, other painters of the White-Sakkos Group, the Sansone Painter, the Stuttgart Group and the Kantharos Group.

Before the Race

Before the Race (1882–84) is a painting by Impressionist painter, Edgar Degas, who began painting scenes with horses in the 1860s.

Gatchina Palace (Fabergé egg)

The Gatchina Palace egg is a jewelled, enameled Easter egg made under the supervision of the Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in 1901, for Nicholas II of Russia. Nicholas II presented it to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, at Easter in 1901. The egg opens to reveal a surprise miniature gold replica of the palace at Gatchina (a town south of St. Petersburg) that was built for Count Grigory Orlov and was later acquired by Tsar Paul I. It is one of two imperial Easter eggs in the collection of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Hasht-Bihisht (poem)

"Hasht-Bihisht" (Persian: هشت بهشت‎, lit. "The Eight Paradises") is a famous poem written by Amir Khusrow around 1302 AD. The poem is based on the Haft Paykar by Nizami, written around 1197 AD, which in turn takes its outline from the earlier epic Shahnameh written by Firdausi around 1010 AD. Like Nizami's Haft Paykar, Khusro's Hasht Bihisht uses a legend about Bahram V Gur as its frame story and, in the style of One Thousand and One Nights, introduces folktales told by seven princesses. Most famously, Khusro appears to be the first writer to have added The Three Princes of Serendip as characters and the story of the alleged camel theft and recovery.

The eight "paradises" in the poem link closely with the Islamic conception of Heaven with its eight gates and eight spaces, each one decorated with a special precious stone or material. Seven of the eight paradises are pavilions constructed for Bahram's "therapy" of storytelling. There is also a link to the architectural and garden plan of eight paradises.

Henry Walters

Henry Walters (September 26, 1848–November 30, 1931) was noted as an art collector and philanthropist, a founder of the Walters Art Gallery (now the Walters Art Museum) in Baltimore, Maryland, which he donated to the city in his 1931 will for the benefit of the public. From the late 19th century, Walters lived most of the time in New York City, where from 1903 on, he served on the executive committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue. He was selected as second vice president in 1913, a position he held until his death.

Like his father William Thompson Walters, (1820-1894), he was a businessman in the railroad industry, serving as president of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (1894-1902), which had been established by his father.


Iraj (Persian: ایرج - ʾīraj‎; Pahlavi: ērič; from Avestan: 𐬀𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬌𐬀 airiia, literally "Aryan") is seventh Shah of the Pishdadian dynasty of Shahnameh. Based on Iranian mythology, he is the youngest son of Fereydun. In the Avestan legends, Pahlavi literature, Sasanian-based Persian sources, some Arabic sources, and particularly in Shahnameh, he is considered the name-giver of the Iranian nation, the ancestor of their royal houses, and a paragon of those slain in defense of just causes.When Fereydun divides his kingdom, he gives Iraj the farr, as well as the heartland of Iran. Salm and Tur conspire and kill Iraj. The revenge for the murder of the innocent king pits the clan of Iraj, supported by King Fereydun, against the clan of Tur. Subsequently, Manučehr, Iraj's grandson from a slave maiden, kills both Salm and Tur. As for Fereydun, he abdicated in favor of his grandson, Manučehr.

Khamsa of Nizami (British Library, Or. 12208)

The illuminated manuscript Khamsa of Nizami British Library, Or. 12208 is a lavishly illustrated manuscript of the Khamsa or "five poems" of Nizami Ganjavi, a 12th-century Persian poet, which was created for the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the early 1590s by a number of artists and a single scribe working at the Mughal court, very probably in Akbar's new capital of Lahore in North India, now in Pakistan. Apart from the fine calligraphy of the Persian text, the manuscript is celebrated for over forty Mughal miniatures of the highest quality throughout the text; five of these are detached from the main manuscript and are in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore as Walters Art Museum MS W.613. The manuscript has been described as "one of the finest examples of the Indo-Muslim arts of the book", and "one of the most perfect of the de luxe type of manuscripts made for Akbar".

Madonna of the Candelabra

The Madonna of the Candelabra is a Madonna painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael, dating to about 1513 and is in the collection of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

Painted during his Roman period, this tondo Madonna of the Virgin and Child employs a rare motif of flanking candelabra that was derived from representations of ancient Roman emperors. Through this reference to the rulers of antiquity, Raphael alludes to Christ's and Mary's roles as the king and queen of Heaven. Raphael was famed for his graceful style. which combined the study of classical sculpture and nature. The chiaroscuro effects (modeling in light and shade) and gentle coloring give the figures a soft, delicate appearance. The painting relies heavily on the participation of Raphael's workshop, and the two angels certainly were done by his assistants. This was the first Madonna painted by Raphael to enter a North American collection. It was purchased by Henry Walters in 1901.The central portion of the painting was issued as the traditional holiday first class Christmas stamp for 2011 by the United States Postal Service. The stamp was released on October 13, 2011 in New York, New York.

Master of Affligem

The Master of Affligem or Master of the Joseph Sequence (working c. 1470–1500) was an accomplished painter of the South Netherlandish school, apparently working in Brussels, whose name is not known, but whose hand can be detected in a number of surviving paintings on panel. The pseudonym Master of the Joseph Sequence was given him as a name of convenience in 1923 by Walter Friedländer, who identified a series of tondi illustrating the Legend of St Joseph, which had become scattered among several museums, as all coming from the same painter. Subsequently Friedländer attributed to the same workshop eight further panels with scenes from two other sequences, the Life of Christ and the Life of the Virgin (c. 1493–1508; Brussels, Musée d'Art Ancien) These came from the abbey of Affligem in Brabant, providing the alternate name for the artist.

The portraits of Philip the Handsome and Joanna the Mad on the wings of the Last Judgement triptych from Zierikzee (c. 1500, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, illustrated) and the wings of a Legend of St Barbara, depicting Saint Barbara Directing the Construction of a Third Window to her tower and the Martyrdom of Saint Barbara in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, are also attributed to this artist.

Odalisque with Slave

Odalisque with Slave (French: L'Odalisque à l'esclave) is an 1839 painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres commissioned by Charles Marcotte. Executed in oil on canvas, it depicts a nude odalisque, a musician, and a eunuch in a harem interior.

The painting is in the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a classic piece of Orientalism in French painting.

Rose Trellis (Fabergé egg)

The Rose Trellis Fabergé egg is a jewelled enameled imperial Easter egg made in Saint Petersburg, Russia under the supervision of the jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in 1907, for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his wife, the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, on Easter (April 22) 1907. It is now in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sappho and Alcaeus

Sappho and Alcaeus is an 1881 oil painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. It is held by the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

The painting measures 66 by 122 centimetres (26 in × 48 in). It depicts a concert in the late 7th century BC, with the poet Alcaeus of Mytilene playing the kithara. In the audience is fellow Lesbian poet Sappho, accompanied by several of her female friends. Sappho is paying close attention to the performance, resting her arm on a cushion which bears a laurel wreath, presumably intended for the performer. The painting illustrates a passage by the poet Hermesianax, recorded by Athenaeus in his Deipnosophistae ("The Philosophers' Banquet"), book 13, page 598.

The location, with tiers of white marble seating, is based on the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, but Alma-Tadema has replaced the original inscribed names of Athenians with the names of Sappho's friends. In the background, the Aegean Sea can be seen through some trees.

The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881, and depicted in William Powell Frith's A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881, to the far right, being inspected by John Everett Millais. It was highly praised by critics: Punch described it as "marbellous". It was acquired by William Thompson Walters of Baltimore, and on his death in 1894 it was inherited by his son Henry Walters, who left it to the Walters Art Museum on his own death in 1931.

Springtime (painting)

Springtime is an 1872 painting by Claude Monet. It depicts his first wife, Camille Doncieux, seated serenely beneath a canopy of lilacs. The painting is presently held by the Walters Art Museum.

The Café-Concert (painting)

The Café-Concert is an 1879 painting by the French painter Édouard Manet, who often captured café scenes depicting social life at the end of the nineteenth century similar to those depicted in this painting.

The Death of Caesar

The Death of Caesar (French: La Mort de César) is an 1867 painting by the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme. It depicts the moment after the assassination of Julius Caesar, when the jubilant conspirators are walking away from Caesar's dead body at the Theatre of Pompey, on the Ides of March (March 15), 44 BC. The painting is kept at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Duel After the Masquerade

The Duel After the Masquerade is a painting by the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, currently housed in the Musée Condé in Chantilly, France.

The Sacrifice of Polyxena

The Sacrifice of Polyxena is the title of several paintings by the Italian artist Giambattista Pittoni showing the Greeks sacrificing king Priam's daughter Polyxena on the tomb of Achilles, her lover, who had died at the hands of Priam's son Paris.


Vanity is the excessive belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others. Prior to the 14th century it did not have such narcissistic undertones, and merely meant futility. The related term vainglory is now often seen as an archaic synonym for vanity, but originally meant boasting in vain, i.e. unjustified boasting; although glory is now seen as having a predominantly positive meaning, the Latin term from which it derives, gloria, roughly means boasting, and was often used as a negative criticism.

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