Tag Archives: National Gallery of Art

“Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” at the NGA

Meanwhile, back in Washington, I finally made it the National Gallery of Art for the brilliant “Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting” exhibit.

The show included almost 70 works by Vermeer and his fellow painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Some, like Jan Steen, were familiar names, but many were new to me. I was unaware of Gabriël Metsu, for instance, who created the sublime “Man Writing a Letter” painting at the top of this item.

The exhibition runs through 16 January 2018. All images came from the NGA.

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701 — Lunch on 17 August 2016

Another day, another delightful lunch.  I’m getting v good at this “dining well” thing.

Wednesday’s lunch was at the 701 Restaurant, one of my old favourites.  The first time I dined there, several years ago, Eric Ripert was sitting about 10 feet away from my table.  I took that as a good sign.

The 701 is on Pennsylvania Avenue, next to the Navy Memorial and a little more than a block from the National Gallery of Art.  When I go to the NGA, which is about once a month, it’s always a toss-up between a light lunch at the bar at 701 or a heavier one at the buffet in the NGA’s Garden Café.

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

I started the meal with Gnocchi.  This was a duck ragout, with goat cheese and black olives.

Chittara Pasta

Chittara Pasta

Next came Chittara Pasta, with rabbit sausage, mustard, arugula, and pickled peaches.  I was still feeling a little guilty about the duck ragout, what with possibly eating a relative of Daffy, and now here I was, devouring a probable acquaintance of Bugs.

When I was finished, I whispered a solemn “That’s all Folks” at the empty plate.

(It should be noted in my defence that I did past on the Roast Pork Loin main course.)

Corn Cremeux

Corn Cremeux

With blueberries, yogurt streusel, and champagne.

“Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael”

The National Gallery of Art has a beautiful little show called Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638).  I visited yesterday after lunch at 701 Restaurant, which is only a couple of blocks away.

Wtewael, whose work was previously unknown to me, was a  merchant and town councillor in Utrecht, as well as a painter.  There’s a lush sensuality to much of his work.  Some of his paintings pushed the limits, and were not publicly displayed during his lifetime.  One of them, in fact, was kept from public view until the 1980s, and several of them were mutilated by their owners by “overpainting to hide erotic anatomical details.”

The following are among the 49 works on display in the exhibit:

The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis

The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis

Perseus and Andromeda

Perseus and Andromeda

Kitchen Scene with the Parable of the Great Supper

Kitchen Scene with the Parable of the Great Supper

The Golden Age

The Golden Age

Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan

Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan

The Apulian Shepherd

The Apulian Shepherd

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian

The exhibition runs through 4 October 2015.  I’m be returning to this one a couple more times while it’s in Washington.


From the NGA’s notes:   “Born and raised in Utrecht, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, Wtewael spent four years in Italy and France early in his career.  During these study years he embraced the popular international style known as mannerism, characterized by extreme refinement, artifice, and elegant distortion.  Throughout his career, Wtewael remained one of the leading proponents of this style, even as most early seventeenth-century Dutch artists shifted to a more naturalistic manner of painting.  Wtewael’s inventive compositions, teeming with twisting, choreographed figures and saturated with pastels and acidic colors, retained their appeal for his patrons. Yet his strong adherence to a mannerist style would also lead to the eventual decline of his reputation.”

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

Flaming June 2

“Flaming June”, by Sir Frederic Leighton

I posted a note last Spring about the history of Sir Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June”, and my visit to Lord Leighton’s Holland Park house.   Now comes word that the masterpiece will be visiting the US next summer.

The Museo de Arte de Ponce in Ponce, Puerto Rico has agreed to lend “Flaming June” to the Frick Collection, in New York City, where it will be on display from 9 June 2015 to 8 September 2015.

“Flaming June” was last seen in the US in 1997, as part of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art entitled “The Victorians:  British Painting in the Reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901”.  For me, the show was quite literally life-changing.  I visited it more than half a dozen times, and it completely changed the way I thought about art.  It was then that I fell in love w/the Pre-Raphaelites.

The “Dying Gaul” at the National Gallery of Art

"The Dying Gaul"

“The Dying Gaul”

I had a special reason to go to the National Gallery last week.  One of the many, many things I missed when I was in Rome a couple of years ago was a visit to Palazzo Nuovo, one of the buildings of the Capitoline Museums.  The star attraction of the Palazzo Nuovo is the ~1900 year old marble statue of the “Dying Gaul”.   Since it’s unlikely I’ll get back to Rome anytime soon, I doubted I’d ever get to see it, because it hadn’t left Rome in 200 years.

wound

And then this happened:

“Created in the first or second century AD, the Dying Gaul is one of the most renowned works from antiquity. This exhibition marks the first time it has left Italy since 1797, when Napoleonic forces took the sculpture to Paris, where it was displayed at the Louvre until its return to Rome in 1816. A universally recognized masterpiece, the Dying Gaul is a deeply moving celebration of the human spirit”.
— National Gallery of Art exhibition notes

Full
It’s not a large sculpture–it’s only a little larger than life-size.  But it’s incredibly powerful, and, somehow, it seems thoroughly modern.  I think the naturalistic pose makes it feel more contemporary than classical.
Dick

The “Dying Gaul” will be at the National Gallery of Art until 16 March 2014. The notes for the exhibition contain a history of the statue.

National Gallery of Art — Lunch on 31 January 2014

The cold weather in Washington has kept me housebound for most of the week.  I made it to the opening night performance of The Best Man at Rorschach Theatre on Thursday–shaky performance, and Gore Vidal’s 1960 play has not aged well–but other than that, it’s been cabin fever time. So when the temperature climbed into the 40s on Friday, I was ready for a little jaunt to the National Gallery of Art.

The Garden Café the National Gallery is my favorite lunch place on the Mall.  You can order à la carte, but I usually go for the buffet.  The menu, which is always developed by a nationally known chef, changes every few months to complement one of the Gallery’s special shows–it was Russian during the Ballet Russe exhibition and English during the Pre-Raphaelites show.    Michel Richard, chef and owner of Central Michel Richard in Washington, DC, and Villard Michel Richard in New York City, created the current French menu.

NGA luncha

NGA lunch

I sampled French Bread with a nice Roquefort, Tomato Quiche, Coq au Vin, Salmon Coulibiac with a caper Remoulade sauce, Carrot Ribbon Salad, and Lola Rosa Greens,  with toasted almonds, garlic croutons, and a Champagne vinaigrette.  There was Chocolate Mousse for dessert.

Lounge

After lunch, I stopped in one of the Gallery’s warm, green courtyards to plan my visit. More on that tomorrow.