Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In the Chester Dale Collection

The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC contains a stunning collection of masterpieces. John and I could have easily have spent our entire week there. This view of the original building, now called the West Wing, is from a window in the Hirshhorn Musuem, across the Mall.
We want to walk around the West Wing with you but it is so huge we'll have to break into little specific tours. Every time we visited the West Wing we tried to walk through the Chester Dale Collection. It runs from the  elegant Garden Café in the centre of the building to the West exit onto 4th St.
Dale and his wife amassed a stunning collection of portrait paintings. This is Modigliani's portrait of Chaim Soutine.
Edgar Degas' Achille de Gas in the Uniform of a Cadet seems to eavesdropping on this conversation.
I love the way this group of visitors mirrors the wonderful composition of street people in Manet's The Old Musician,
and the classic silhouette of this young woman taking notes about Pablo Picasso's "rose period", Family of Saltimbanques.
This visitor had the same idea as John...
to photograph Pablo Picasso's portrait of Pedro Mañach.
Picasso's Two Youths, 1906.
So serene.
Let's bask for a moment in the glow of Paul Cézanne's iconic The Peppermint Bottle, 1893/1895.
He was after all the hero of Picasso and Matisse.
Here's a little Cézanne that would fit perfectly into our own collection! House of Père Lacroix, 1873.
We'd never tire of losing ourselves in its details.
One can come back to the world of humans with a start
and a blur,
to find ourselves again amongst the other visitors to this terrific collection in a room rich in Monets and a breath-taking George Bellows.


  1. Breathtakingly beautiful paintings. What a refreshing treat to escape reality via tomatoes blog. ;-)

  2. Beautiful. I was reading a book on drawing & the author said 'Picasso could draw like an angel'. Great, huh ?
    ...and Cezanne could do angelic apples.

  3. Glad you're enjoying the blog! Escape reality with us anytime.