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Monday, November 10, 2008

For Gillian: At the National Gallery of Art

Hi Gillian. Yes, you were right.

From The Voyage of Life, by Thomas Cole.
This is The Voyage of Life Manhood, c. 1840.

I remember how gorgeous this series of paintings were. So large and vivid and dreamlike.

But this is the painting I went to see three times on three separate days of a very short Washington DC visit:

Woman Holding a Balance, by Johannes Vermeer
c. 1664

Seeing art like these paintings is an experience you never forget.


So, Gillian... Art before the crabcakes? Or eat first and get it out of the way?
Also, Legal Seafood has killer crab chowder. Yummm.



Red Shoes November 10, 2008 at 1:55 PM  

We talked about Vermeer in my costuming history class last term--he's an excellent resource for images of women's clothing in his time and place, but we also spent time talking about his gift for making amazing shades of yellow.

(Okay, so art school is a little odd, but look at his yellows!)

dutchbaby November 10, 2008 at 5:23 PM  

I remember seeing this painting! I believe I was in DC a few weeks after you, tb. You were the one who gave us the excellent advice about the crab chowder at Legal Seafood.

Red shoes, I totally agree about Vermeer's yellows, escpecially when he uses them in combination with his blues - made out of lapis lazuli.

paris parfait November 11, 2008 at 3:50 AM  

I remember that painting too. I love Vermeer's work and the interiors of that time. Antwerp, Belgium reminds me very much of the atmosphere of Vermeer's work. And did I tell you Gillian and I are going to meet in New York next month??!! xoxox

Gillian November 11, 2008 at 8:00 AM  

Oh my goodness~~!!!
Yes!!! To both!!! Love love love those Cole paintings. I think there were four.
I didn't eat at Legal Seafood, but! Phillips had a great spread, with buckets of crab legs to spare. I stuffed my face there a few times.
Okay, art first.
Maybe a trip is in the cards for Spring? If Tara returns to visit Jordana it could be three!!! (a quick train ride from Philly)
Thanks for the post. You make me want to go there today!!!
Happy Birthday to you!!!

Relyn November 11, 2008 at 9:44 AM  

Oh! The National Gallery is one of my favorite spots on this beloved Earth. It makes me happy just to think about my time there. I feel satiated just thinking of all the beauty it holds. Next time I get there, we'll have to visit Legal Seafood.

mrs. sarah ott November 11, 2008 at 1:22 PM  

okay just so no ones forgotten i want in on the crabcakes people lol. j/k. i'm bummed; a year ago my husband and i had an offer to attend the inauguration with a group of my husbands students but we chose not to because we didn't want to risk going to the inauguration for mccain. oh well. we'll just have to watch it on HD.

TheElementary November 12, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

Thank you for this! I saw a picture of a painting years ago, and could never for the life of me work out who it was, because I had nothing to go on for a search.
Now reading this post and recognising the style, I know it was Johannes Vermeer. I still don't know the actual name of the picture in question, but it's good to know the artist at last and I can finally write that little story I'd been planning to tell. ;)