I’m back with the museums and art of Washington D.C. from our trip last fall. It’s taken awhile to put it together because there are thousands (maybe millions??) of treasures to be found in the free museums of the Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art, on the National Mall.
I’ll do my best to give you a taste.
The first gallery includes artifacts from both the American History Museum and Natural History Museum. President Lincoln’s top hat, worn that terrible night at Ford Theatre, and Mary Lincoln’s dress. Julia Child’s kitchen and the original star-spangled banner from 1812. The 45 carat Hope diamond, one of the most valuable in the world. The turquoise and diamond Diadem given by Napolean to his second wife, Empress Marie Louise, in 1810. An astronaut out for a walk at the Air and Space Museum, and a pair of striking ruby shoes. No not Dorothy’s slippers, they were under wraps. I found these beauties by Jamie Okuma, at the American Indian Museum. (Click on pictures in the gallery to enlarge them.)
So many museums full of America’s treasures!
But I must move on to the National Gallery of Art, where I traveled through space and time and entered fantastic landscapes like these:
View of Medinet El-Fayoum – Jean-Leon Gerome – 1868/1870
Autumn – On the Hudson River – Jasper Francis Cropsey 1860
Green River Cliffs, Wyoming, Thomas Moran 1881
And joined festivities like these – The Concert, Gerrit Van Honthorst,1623 –
and the Concert at the Casino of Deauville, Eugene Boudin, 1865.
I traveled to Venice to see bold Renaissance art, through the special exhibit on Vittorio Carpaccio. Here’s the narrative from the National Gallery of Art.
“A leading figure in the art of Renaissance Venice, Vittorio Carpaccio (c. 1460/1466–1525/1526) is best known for his large, spectacular narrative paintings that brought sacred history to life. Although for centuries he has been loved and celebrated in his native city for his observant eye, fertile imagination, and storytelling prowess, this exhibition marks the first retrospective of the artist ever held outside Italy.”
I loved all of these vivid windows into the past!
Finally, I’ll close with some portraits of ladies, as different as can be!
The first is Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria, painted in 1606 by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, being admired by my husband.
The Woman with a Parasol by Claude Monet is a portrait of his wife and son, from 1875.
The Green Marilyn was painted by Andy Warhol in 1962.
And my favorite – Ginerva de Benci. If she looks a bit insolent, perhaps it’s because she’s a teenager, and at 16 about to be married.
This classic was painted by Leonardo daVinci in 1474 and is the only one of his paintings found in the Americas.
She’s behind glass so there’s glare, but I brought her home as a souvenir magnet and here she is closer-up.
A real beauty, don’t you think? I like her much better than the other DaVinci, you know the one. But maybe I should go to Paris for a look at the Mona Lisa before I decide for sure.
I hope there’s such a trip in my future.