In Virginia! Steve and I headed down here to celebrate Matthew's graduation. Matthew is my cousin and he has just finished high school. Today we went into Washington DC- and got to tool around The National Gallery! I love that place! I'd like to share some pieces I enjoyed today that I thought you might like too...
Here are my favorite paintings from the early Italian Renaissance. First, Portrait of a Youth by Botticelli. See how exquisite Botticelli is with color? He really packs a bright wallop! And yet with such class.
This is Madonna and Child by Domenico Ghirlandaio. Those Italians! I love how they painted so brightly up until Raphael. This painting is a great example of fresh color use: the sky blue and pink Mary wears, and Jesus in that periwinkle. All ensconced in goldleaf! Oo and what a rich trim she has on her cloak!
Welcome to Ginevra de'Benci by Leonardo Da Vinci! On the back of this painting Da Vinci painted a juniper plant that's swirled about with the logo, "VIRTUTEM FORMA DECORAT," or "Beauty adorns virtue."
Also hung out with the American Impressionists! Late 19th Century and early 20th Century. I didn't know I was going to get to see such precious pieces- my favorites again!
First, Repose by John Singer Sargent. This is actually a small painting, and close up it appears to be just a sketch. Yet, when stepping away from it, Sargent's mastery really comes out, because what originally appeared to be a sketch up close morphs into a complete and vibrant painting with distance. His brush strokes are so economical that the finished piece is miraculous in its simplicity! How could so few brush strokes accomplish so much? Here's a piece with phenomenal forms. It captivated me. It's The Mother of Pearl and Silver: The Andalusian by Whistler. So much finesse. In person, this piece is darker- the background looks black- making it appear as if she's emerging out of pure darkness. Whew! Well that does it for me! Do you know that some people returning from European travels post-1800 were diagnosed with a certain psychological disease? Yeah. Doctors said their disjointed state on return to America was due to "beauty overload." I hope we catch it too!