Thursday, August 21, 2008

Washington D.C. Pics Of The Day--Day 5

It's the next-to-the last day of the trip, and I've got lots of pictures to post, but not a lot to say. What we saw today pretty much speaks for itself. We spent a great day at the National Gallery, so most of the photos are my attempt to capture and remember the beautiful things that we got to see up close and personal. (I couldn't believe how close we got to stand to priceless treasures.) If you aren't into amazing works of art, this is not the post for you. If you are as impressed as Ked and I are by great artists' abilities to capture a bit of the world for the ages to come, scroll on down. (Click on the pic for a larger image--I tried not to make them too big this time.)
First a glimpse of the art of man and God: the Washington Monument and a beautiful day.

We passed this church several times and loved this window.

The whole church, in fact, was quite lovely.

Ked is looking happy to dive into the world of Van Gogh and Da Vinci.

The National Gallery boasts a marble hall that qualifies as art all by itself.

Speaking of Van Gogh, here's his self portrait.

A Girl With Watering Can
oil on canvas, 1876
Auguste Renoir
French, 1841-1919


oil on canvas, 1881

Edouard Manet

French, 1832-1883

City Hall at Thorn

oil on canvas, 1848

Eduard Gaertner

German, 1801-1877

Some detail from the Gaertner painting.

Still Life With Fruit, Oysters and Wine

oil on panel, c. 1655

Jan Davidsz De Heem

Dutch, 1606-1683/1684

View Down a Dutch Canal
oil on panel, c. 1665
Jan Van Der Heyden
Dutch, 1837-1712

Still Life With Flowers and Fruit

oil on panel, c. 1705

Jan Van Huysum

Dutch, 1682-1749

Here's a close up section of "Still Life." The Dutch Masters absolutely blow me away. Can you believe the details? The water drops, the sheen and transparency of the grapes, and even the fly are simply incredible. That Van Huysum was nothing short of amazing. Definitely click on this one to enlarge it.

The Interior of Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

oil on canvas, c. 1660/1665

Emmanuel De Witte

Dutch, 1617-1692

Dishes With Oysters, Fruit and Wine

oil on panel, c. 1620/1625

Osias Beert The Elder

Flemish, active 1596-1623

Madonna and Child

oil on panel, c. 1532

Jan Gossaert

Netherlandish, c. 1478-1532

Pirna, The Fortress of Sonnenstein

oil on canvas, c. 1755-1760

Bernardo Bellotto

Venetian, 1722-1780

The Square of Saint Mark's, Venice

oil on canvas, 1742/1744


Venetian, 1697-1768

Ginevra de' Benci (obverse)

oil on panel, c. 1474/1478

Leonardo Da Vinci

Florentine, 1452, 1519


oil on panel, c. 1505-1507

Andrea Solario

Milanese, active 1495-1524

I found it interesting that the most cheerful colors of the lot are in the painting about the death of Christ, titled "Lamentation." I also found all sorts of fascinating cultural indicators from the subject matter and stylistic approaches of the various artists from different eras and places. For example, Ked and I noticed that the Italian greats of the past definitely had a fascination with extremely young-looking Madonnas, and extremely old-looking Josephs. Do you suppose that has something to do with their desire to see Mary as perpetually virgin? Maybe by making Joseph a really old man they could maintain the mental image that he would be uninterested in her in any physical way. Maybe not... I'm just speculating.

Next time--whenever that is--the Museum of Natural History!!