The da Vinci in D.C.

Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


What a difference a week makes. John and I had an amazing Cherry Blossom-filled visit to the Nation's capital last Saturday. This Saturday we wanted to take Alyssa to see a couple of the sights (and hopefully a small remaining glimpse of the cherry blossoms). There weren't nearly the number of people we had to contend with last weekend this visit, but it was still a holiday weekend in D.C. So there were plenty of people around. We made our way down to the Tidal Basin. It was no longer pink and pretty. In fact, it was barely green. It was amazing how extreme the difference was from last weekend. It just served to reinforce my assertion that it is very tricky to catch those trees in full bloom. And, it made me all the more grateful to have seen them in all their blooming glory. Finally.

We then trekked up toward the Washington Monument and around it. We wondered past the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and on to our final destination: The National Gallery of Art. This week went straight upstairs to see the most impressive piece in the gallery: Ginevra de' Benci. An oil on panel by Leonardo da Vinci. c. 1474/1478. This is the only da Vinci in the Americas. According to the National Gallery of Art's web page, “only ten paintings by Leonardo exist in the world today.” I had no idea.

We were enthralled by the beauty of this painting. It is magnificent. I am thrilled that I was able to see this Masterpiece in person. And, that Alyssa got to experience it also. It was displayed so that both sides (both paintings) could be seen, which was also interesting. I have not seen many (or any) two sided paintings. It was very cool.

Leonardo da Vinci, Wreath of Laurel, Palm, and Juniper with a Scroll inscribed Virtutem Forma Decorat [reverse], c. 1474/1478 (The other side of Ginevra de' Benci)



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