Sunday, October 13, 2013

Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC, and a trip to the Eastern Market

Despite fairly constant rain and the government shutdown, the Corcoran Gallery stood out as a jewel among a weekend of wonderful events. This smallish gallery has an exquisite American/European collection of paintings and sculpture. I'd have to say that while I was wowed with so many of the paintings, my jaw just dropped when I turned to see the Veiled Nun (Giuseppi Croff), which is sculpted from marble. I can't describe how much I wanted to touch this piece, and I am mesmerized wondering how in the world this was created. I'll have to ask my sculptor friends for some input. Seriously,  LOOK at this.

One of my all-time favorite painters is Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema; this tiny gem, "A Difficult Line from Horace" was a sparkler; you can see the painting's scale in comparison to my hand.

The two matching portraits of George Washington (flanking the larger painting) were both painted by Gilbert Stuart, who painted the original, from-life portrait -which itself is in the National Portrait Gallery (closed this weekend due to the government shut-down). There were two of the perhaps 75? replicas Stuart painted from his original, which  remained undelivered past his deadline (when George and Martha were still  alive), past the Washingtons' deaths, and even past his own death. He used his 'delayed delivery' time wisely, selling off the other 73 or so to finance a lush lifestyle. I'll have to fact check all of these details when I review my September notes from John  Howard Sanden's fabulous lecture on the Presidential  Portraits).

No trip to DC would be complete without protesters along the fences facing the White House. Sign painters always planning ahead.

...and finally, barbarians at the gate.

1 comment:

  1. So stunning!!! How on earth did he manage the shadows in the eye sockets if the veil itself is also marble??? Truly amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this gem.