NGA in Washington DC

[slideshow]After the recent burst of posts about DC, Philadelphia and Atlantic City I bet you have already found out how we’ve all extremely appreciated the long weekend (and of course Labor Day)! You’ve read about the Capitol, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial…but something is still missing.

So, for those of you who have a passionate love for art: here you go! A drum roll please…the National Gallery of Art!

It is a magnificent Gallery made up of two buildings, the West one (1941) and the East one (1978). It is situated right on the National Mall, so it’s quite easy to find it… and, once you’re in, it’s definitely hard to leave it!!

The West Building host a temporary exhibition and the NGA’s main collection and it’s here that I’ve spent the all day. The main collection includes a remarkable Italian section (thirteenth- to eighteenth-century), a Spanish one (thirteenth- to nineteenth-century), and a Netherlandish and German one (fifteenth- to seventeenth-century). There’s also a British section (eighteenth- to nineteenth-century) and of course an American one (eighteenth- and nineteenth-century). But one of the richest collection is the French one: from Watteau, Delacroix, and Ingres to Courbet, Manet, Cézanne, Monet, Degas, and Renoir…the gallery hosts a copious number of the most famous paintings.  No need to say that if you go through the corridor, from one room to the other, you’re gaze is like enchanted by the paintings inside them and you can’t decide where to go first!

I’ve particularly enjoyed the impressionist gallery, but I guess everybody has different tastes and different opinions about art…so if anybody has visited the NGA, what do you think? Which is your favorite painting? Hope to hear from you soon!


  1. giudittag

    I love your post!
    One of my favorite is Tiepolo’s “Apollo pursuing Daphne” (1755/60).
    In this late-baroque painting Apollo’s forward thrust seems to propel Daphne backward in a composition of excited movement. Cupid (who struck Apollo with one of his golden arrows of love) takes cover from the wrath of the God that will shortly ensue, and Peneus (allegorical figure representing the river) remains firmly rooted in an effort to stop the ardent pursuer.

    The Venetian art/school was famous for its vivid colors. In late-baroque period colors are more bright, they have been contemned by the new rococo-wave coming form Paris.

    This myth comes from Ovid’s

    Apollo,iuvenis deus,Daphenen, dulcem pulchramque nympham,Penei fluminis filiam, adamabat,sed illa eius amorem spernebat celerique pede per silvas et opaca omnibus suis viribus eum fugiebat.

    >>Apollo, young God, was in love with Daphne, sweet and beautiful nymph, daughter of Peneus, the river, but She (D.) scorned his love and she was running away (with her fast foot) through shady forests and woods.

    Apollo autem, ardens ingenti cupiditate, sic crebris verbis eam orabat:”Nynpha, mane!Fugam inhibe!Non sum incola montis,non humilis pastor:mihi Iuppiter est pater, et te uxorem ducere cupio!”.

    >>Apollo, loved her passionately and he was praying her with sad words: “Nymph, stay, don’t run away! I am not a mountain man or a country man, my father is Jupiter, and I really want to marry you!!”

    Sed Daphne velociter currebat,nec iuvenis mollibus blanditiis aurem praebebat,immo vero patrem suum Peneum sic inter lacrimas orabat:”pater obsecro,auxilium mihi praebe!Si vobis fluminibus numen est, muta me et perde figuram!”.

    >> Dafne was running fast, and she didn’t pay attention to his supplications, and actually she was praying her father too: “Father, please, help me! If you, as a river, have got the power .. please turn and solve my image!”

    Statim gravis torpor membra eius occupat,molle pectus cingitur tenui libro,crines in frondem crescunt et in ramos bracchia.Pes,modo tam velox, pigris radicibus haeret et Daphne in viridem nitentemque laurum mutarur.

    >> Suddenly her limbs are taken from a heavy torpor, her soft breast becomes cortex; her hair, fronds; her arms, branches. Her foot, once very fast, now is anchored in the ground and Daphne is turned into a green laurel.

    Hac specie quoque Phoebus eam amat,et sua voluntate ex illo die laurus est arbor Apollini sacer,sollemne praemium poetis et audacibus ducibus.

    >> Phebo (Apollo’s first name) loves her also in this conditions and from that time, according to his will, laurel becomes Apollo’s sacred plant: solemn prize for poets and strong leaders.

  2. Karen Garcia Quiroz

    In my personal opinion I like the impressionist painting so my favorite part of the NGA were the paintings of Van Gogh and Monet, they are wonderful.

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