Happy birthday, William Shakespeare, fondly known as The Bard and born 450 years ago today! Although most commonly associated with the performing arts, William Shakespeare’s words inspired visual artists for centuries.
Happy Earth Day, everyone! Quite a lot has changed since this Terrestrial Globe was created ca. 1600. On view in Gallery 14.
Joducus Hondius (Dutch, 1567–1611). Terrestrial Globe, ca. 1600. Walnut and oak stand, metal meridians and and paper horizons. Gift of Mrs. James L. Flood. 1938.6a-b
Happy 88th birthday, Queen Elizabeth II! Although the current monarch is named after her mother, she is known as Queen Elizabeth II because she is the second British queen of that name–the first being the infamous virgin queen, Elizabeth I, pictured here.
Pieter van der Banck (French, 1649–1697). Queen Elizabeth I, Daughter Of Henry VIII By Anne Boleyn (1558-1603), 17th century. Engraving. Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. 1963.30.10585
“Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet. That’s why color appears so entirely dramatic to true painters.” —Paul Cézanne
Now on view in Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art.
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839—1906 ), The Battle of Love, c. 1880, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the W. Averell Harriman Foundation in memory of Marie N. Harriman
Today marks the 108th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fire, a devastating event that nearly destroyed the city and resulted in the indefinite closure of our sister institution the @deyoungmuseum. Photographer Arnold Genthe was on the ground and captured on film the devastation, which can now be seen thanks to the incredible efforts paper conservation team made to restore Genthe’s original glass negatives. Learn more in this archived blog post.
Arnold Genthe (American, 1869–1942). Untitled (Earthslip on San Francisco’s Union Street), 1906. Cellulose nitrate negative. Museum purchase, James D. Phelan Bequest Fund. 1943.407.6.1
One of the most significant collections of impressionist art that Ailsa Mellon Bruce acquired and ultimately gifted to the National Gallery of Art originally belonged to the fashion designer Edward Molyneux. The couturier’s collection included such jewels as Vuillard’s The Yellow Curtain (pictured here) and Renoir’s tender portrait of Madame Monet and her son, both of which are currently on view in Intimate Impressionism. Additionally, we hold two Molyneux gowns in our permanent collection.
“I always start a painting with the sky.” Alfred Sisley’s perfect painting of spring, Meadow, is now on view in Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art.
Alfred Sisley (French, 1839 —1899), Meadow, 1875. oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection
For better or worse, it’s tax day. The theme of money collecting has played a prominent role in the history of art, as evinced in Peter Paul Rubens’ The Tribute Money, on view in Gallery 14. In this scene from the New Testament, Rubens depicts Christ addressing the Pharisees, who question if it is lawful to pay taxes. Calling attention to Caesar’s image and an inscription on a coin, Jesus responds, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640). The Tribute Money, ca. 1612. Oil on wood panel. Museum purchase, M.H. de Young Art Trust Fund. 44.11
Or join us online with this instagram challenge: look at an artwork for 10 minutes. Pick out a detail and take a picture. Post it on Instagram and tag @legionofhonor #slowartday. Be sure to share why the detail caught your eye in the first place. Happy looking!
Konstantin Makovsky (Russian, 1839–1915). The Russian Bride’s Attire (detail), 1889. Oil on canvas. Bequest of M.H. de Young. 53161