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Norton Simon Museum – Virtual Tour

Norton Simon Museum

Norton Simon Museum – Virtual Tour

The Norton Simon Museum is an art museum previously known as the Pasadena Art Institute and the Pasadena Art Museum.

The museum’s collections include European paintings, sculptures, and tapestries; Asian sculptures, paintings, and woodblock prints; and sculpture gardens.

The Norton Simon Museum, which comprises over11,000 objects with no more than 800 or 900 of those pieces are on display at any one time.

The museum also mounts temporary exhibitions that focus on a particular artist, an art movement, or an artistic period.

In 2007, the museum’s board agreed to circulate select works to museums, including the National Gallery in Washington.

In 2009, it entered into a reciprocal loan agreement with the Frick Collection in New York City.

A Virtual Tour of the Norton Simon Museum

Highlights Tour of the Norton Simon Museum

Canoe on the Yerres River” by Gustave Caillebotte

“Canoe on the Yerres River” by Gustave Caillebotte depicts a one-person skiff being paddled along the Yerres River.

In 1860 the father of Gustave Caillebotte bought an estate on the banks of the river Yerres, and Gustave Caillebotte painted around 80 paintings there until the sale of the estate in 1879.

The town now owns the estate and its magnificent garden and is now open to visitors.

Madonna and Child with the Book” by Raphael

“Madonna and Child with the Book” by Raphael depicts a pyramidal composition of the Madonna and Child. The arch of Madonna’s silhouette encloses the figure of the Child.

The book is in the center of the frame, which is emphasized by the touching hands that hold it.

The inscription in the book introduces the Nones, which is recited daily by all monastic communities. The Nones commemorates Christ’s Crucifixion and Death.

The Christ Child with eyes turned to heaven, contemplates his sacrifice as man’s Redeemer. Raphael has created a meditation piece of profoundly quality, which explains why Raphael’s Madonna and Child Paintings were in such high demand.

The Burghers of Calais” by Auguste Rodin

“The Burghers of Calais” by Auguste Rodin is one of his most famous sculptures.

It commemorates a historical incident during the Hundred Years’ War, when Calais, a prominent French port on the English Channel, was under siege by the English for over a year and was forced to surrender.

The victors offered to spare the city if six of its leaders would surrender themselves and walk out wearing nooses around their necks, carrying the keys to the town and castle.

Portrait of the Artist’s Mother” by Vincent van Gogh

“Portrait of the Artist’s Mother” by Vincent van Gogh depicts the artist’s mother, Anna Carbentus van Gogh, drawn from a black-and-white photograph.

Van Gogh was introduced to art through his mother, who was herself an amateur artist. After years of strained relations with family members, Van Gogh excitedly shared some of his works he thought his mother would appreciate most, of flowers and natural settings.

In this painting, Van Gogh captures his mother as a proud middle-class woman against a green background.

“The Holy Women at the Sepulchre” by Peter Paul Rubens

“The Holy Women at the Sepulchre” by Peter Paul Rubens depicts the third day after the Crucifixion when the women who were visiting Christ’s tomb were greeted by two angels.

The angels who were surrounded by a shining light deliver the astonishing news of the Resurrection. Each of the women reacts differently to this miraculous announcement, contemplating the significance of what they have heard.

Rubens, who had been significantly influenced by the Roman sculptural art that he experienced during his time in Rome, creates a highly sculptural effect for this dramatic composition. 

Rubens used highly rounded forms, with precise contours and vibrant colors, to create creat energy and movement in the picture.

“Salome with Head of John the Baptist” by Titian

“Salome with Head of John the Baptist” by Titian is assumed to represent Salome carrying John the Baptist’s head on a gold plater, inspired by the Gospel story.

It has also been argued that the depiction represents Judith with the Head of Holofernes, the other biblical incident found in art showing a female and a severed male head.

The Salome theme was inspired by the Gospel of Mark (6:21–29). In the story, a daughter of Herodias danced before Herod at his birthday celebration, and in pleasing him, she asked for the head of John the Baptist as her reward.

This daughter of Herodias is identified as Salome. Herodias, her mother, bore a grudge against John for proclaiming that Herod’s marriage to her was unlawful, so she encouraged her daughter to demand that John be executed.

Norton Simon Museum

  • Museum:                          Norton Simon Museum
  • Former name:                  Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena
  • City:                                  Pasadena, California
  • Country:                           United States
  • State:                                California
  • Established:                     1969
  • Type:                                Art Museum
  • Demonym:                       Californian
  • Location:                          411 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, United States

Map for the Norton Simon Museum

Visiting Norton Simon Museum

Norton Simon Museum, 17th to 18th Centuries, Pasadena, California

Norton Simon Museum, 14th to 16th Centuries, Pasadena, California

A Tour of the Top Museums in the USA


“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche


Photo Credit: Rrwagner59 / CC BY-SA (

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