August 27, 2009

Winslow Homer, "Home, Sweet Home"

I was at the US National Gallery recently to see the "Art of Power" display. While attempting to leave the museum I happened upon Winslow Homer's painting "Home, Sweet Home." A scene showing two Union soldiers in camp during a lull in battle. In a brief glance I must admit I was blown away by the painting. I took a few moments to study it up close. The prints you see on-line do not do it justice. His color palette and techniques are flawless. The image just glows. Really amazing. I found it interesting that much of the painting has impressive detail except for the faces of the soldiers, which are depicted nearly featureless and in shadow. I think I have to move this one to the top of my list of favorite paintings.

I was also impressed by the painting of The Virgin of Mercy with the Family of the Catholic Monarchs, c. 1486 at the "Art of Power" display. It is amazing that oil paintings can look that great after nearly 525 years. Again, the on-line image does not capture the radiance of the original. It's worth a trip to check it out,though the link above will take you to a Flickr site with images of all the of objects in the display.

Stopping by the National Gallery during a lunch break is one of the unheralded perks of working in downtown DC adjacent to the Mall.

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