A tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, simply known as "the Met", is an experience not to be missed by culture and fine art lovers. The permanent art collection at the Met is huge and holds over 2 million artworks and objects, divided into 19 categorical departments. Even for the art aficionado, an first visit to the Met can be overwhelming with the museum grounds occupying over 2 million square feet and spanning over a quarter mile. One could spent an unspeakable number of months here viewing all of the different displays, antiquities, paintings, and other art form here. If you're like most folks, you'll want to view the museum highlights. Here are five to get you started: 1. Washington Crossing the Delaware - This painting commemorates General Washington crossing the Delaware River, an event that kicked off the eventual victory of the American colonies during the Civil War. This painting was created by German American artist, Emanuel Leutze and contains some purposeful inaccuracies such as the American flag in the background that was not yet created and the unlikely overcrowding of the small dinghy. Interestingly, the original work was destroyed in 1942 by a British bombing raid during World War II but a full sized copy was created in 1950. 2. Temple of Dendur - This Roman-style, Egyptian temple was constructed in 15 BC for dedication to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the after life. This gargantuan monument measures over 75 feet in length from front to rear and is decorated with reliefs carved into the base, depicting the reeds and lotus plants of the Nile River. The preservation and detail of the structure is amazing, also knowing that it was packed in over 600 crates and transported by ship, as a gift to the U.S. government from Egypt in 1965. 3. Madonna and Child - A 14th century panel painting by Italian artist Duccio di Buoninsegna of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Despite this work's modest size, at 27.9 ? 21 cm, it marks a pivotal transition in European paintings from Medieval to Renaissance ideals, by depicting Mary and Jesus as mother and son versus their later depiction as deities. The painting is a recent addition to the Met Museum's permanent collection and has become one of its prized masterpieces. It was purchased for an undisclosed amount in excess of $45 million USD. Prior to its purchase by the Met, it was the last known Duccio painting to be privately held. 4. Euphronios Krater - This ancient Greek krater, was used for mixing wine with water. Dating back to 515 BC, this krater is the only complete surviving example of the 27 terra cotta vases painted by the renowned artist Euphronios and is considered one of the finest Greek vase artifacts in existence. The painted sides depict scenes from the Trojan War and of Athenian soldiers arming themselves for war. 5. Wheat Field with Cypresses - A landscape painting by Vincent Van Gogh during his final days when he was a patient at the St-Remy mental asylum. The flowing brush strokes and elongated canvas were characteristic of Van Gogh's paintings later in life. During the few years before his death, Van Gogh resorted to painting landscapes as a way to deal with his feelings of loneliness and depression. This painting is one in a series of three. The others are located at the National Gallery of London and in a private collection.