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On today’s agenda in Washington DC was a visit to the National Gallery of Art.  I took lots of photos and will share them with you, but not all at once.IMG_3420

I was especially impressed with Leonardo Da Vinci’s Ginevra de’ Benci. This is an oil painting on panel painted between 1474 and 1478. The young woman was painted at the age of 16 just before her wedding.  Leonardo painted Genevra in front of a juniper bush. This is a pun on her name since in Italian, ‘juniper’ is also a pun on her name, ‘Ginevra De Benci.’ On the other hand, juniper also symbolized chastity.  I was told that this is the only Da Vinci in North America.IMG_3441

Titian (artist),  Venetian, c. 1490 – 1576

Ranuccio Farnese, 1542  oil on canvas

I found this painting very interesting.  It was commissioned as a gift for the Ranuccio Farnese’s mother.  This is twelve-year-old Ranuccio and was painted in Venice just after he had been made prior, or religious director, of San Giovanni dei Forlani. Ranuccio was the youngest member of one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Italy.

But when I looked at the portrait on the walls of the National Gallery, it looked to me that the boy’s face was painted onto a man’s body.  If Ranuccio was really 12, he shouldn’t have had such a big belly.  The hands look too big too. By the way, this is just my observation. Any thoughts?IMG_3473

The National Gallery has several wonderful paintings by Johannes Vermeer.  One of my favorites is The Girl with the Red Hat.  It is an oil on panel that was painted in 1665.  I rather think the girl looks like Princess Anne of England. IMG_3471

I loved the expression on the woman in the Johannes Vermeer painting Woman Holding a Balance. This one was painted in 1664.