The Universe in a Nutshell

From NYR Daily, May 12th 2017

“The sixteenth century boxwood miniatures currently exhibited at the Cloisters—thought to be in large part the work of a single individual in the Netherlands—are so breathtakingly intricate, the minuscule scenes in prayer beads and altarpieces rendered so exquisitely, that any viewer should be prepared to gasp, “How did they do it? The tiny little sheep! The tiny little angels! The tiny little spears no thicker than horse hairs! Elaborate gothic reliefs shrunk to the size of walnuts!” The exhibition plays to this sense of wonder but also reveals, after centuries, the secrets of their seemingly miraculous creation. Nonetheless, these diminutive objects have an impact for which the viewer who expects merely to marvel at technical virtuosity will be unprepared.”

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