Our Trip to Washington DC – Part I

The Luce Foundation Center in DC.
The interior view of the Luce Foundation Center.

        We’ve just returned from a wonderful and exciting trip to Washington DC. We started off our visit by attending the opening to the Endangered Species show on display in The Department of the Interior. In my post, Part II, I’ll talk a bit more about the show as well as post a photo of one of the main highlights of the trip to me! For now, however I’ll share about one of our favorite things in life, art. . . especially miniature paintings.  We enjoyed spending a lot of our time in the National Museum of Art and the National Portrait Museum, viewing and just trying to absorb all of the wonderful art featured in these two beautiful buildings. They contain paintings done by several of the artists we admire, John Singer Sargent, Holbein, and Van Eyck to name a few. It’s always so inspiring as an artist to see works by the old masters and makes one anxious to get home and paint!

My finger beside Jan Van Eyck’s “Annunciation”. Painted in 1434 the details are just amazing!
My finger beside Jan Van Eyck’s “Annunciation”. Painted in 1434 the details are just amazing!

        In the above photo you can see a close up of one of van Eyck’s pieces. The detail, even though it’s a larger work, is still quite amazing. The intricately  painted detail showing the fabric texture and jewel like buttons are almost three dimensional in appearance.  I’m always amazed at how well fabrics were rendered such as the different satins and velvet textures, making them look so real and soft, lending to a beautiful flowing feel. Moreover, the frames on most of these paintings are works of art in and of themselves.

Wes beside Hans Holbein the Younger’s “Edward VI as a Child”.
Wes beside Hans Holbein the Younger’s “Edward VI as a Child”.

        It was  quite nice to see the smaller pieces of art and a treat to spot the occasional true miniature painting. Imagine our delight when Wes found a collection containing several hundred historical miniature paintings, including several from the Revival Period, in the Luce Foundation Center for American Art. They’re housed in climate controlled and electronically opening/closing drawers covered with glass protecting them. As you can imagine we ended up spending a couple of hours there, admiring and studying them. The brushwork on some is so small that it cannot even be detected. Amazing and inspiring to say the least!

My finger by one of our favorite miniatures by an unknown artist.
My finger by one of our favorite miniatures by an unknown artist.
Rachelle at the Luce Foundation Center.
Rachelle at the Luce Foundation Center.

Until next time and Part II  ~        Rachelle   🙂

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