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A.G. Arao / noyphoto | profile | all galleries >> National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. -- May 2007 and November 2010 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. -- May 2007 and November 2010

Among the thousands of works in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the museum staff periodically selects 12 as "must-see" items for West Building visitors who have less than an hour available. I photographed the 12 pieces listed on a flier on May 6, 2007, along with a few others. And I am happy to share them here. They are numbered 1 through 12 in their respective captions. (A few have been replaced since 2007. To see the list of the current 12, click on this link: http://www.nga.gov/collection/pdf/wbhighlights.pdf .)

I suspect the dozen must-see items were chosen not just for their intrinsic value but also because, in hunting for them all over the museum's West Building, the visitors end up seeing a rich array of other great works of art.

Everything in the National Gallery of Art has been photographed many times over, and excellent photo reproductions are easily available in books, posters, calendars and prints. So, initially, I had no intention to reinvent the wheel and shoot the art themselves. My plan was to photograph only the museum visitors in candid moments. Well, I did that. But the art on display proved so irresistible that I shot some of them, too -- starting with the 12 must-see targets helpfully identified by the staff. Their apparent ploy is very clever, taking advantage of the fact that most people find "target shooting" and "treasure hunting" fun and inviting.

During a brief visit in November 2010, I started over and photographed the latest dozen of must-see paintings chosen by the museum staff earlier in the year. I have added my new photos to the original set; please scroll down to view them.

I handheld a Canon PowerShot S2 IS to shoot the original set of photographs. I used a handheld Canon PowerShot S90 to shoot the 2010 photos.

>>> CLICK ON A THUMBNAIL PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT, AFTER WHICH YOU CAN MOVE TO THE NEXT IMAGE OR BACK TO THE PREVIOUS ONE. <<<
Here are 12 works designated in 2007 as must-see by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. -- plus other pieces.
Here are 12 works designated in 2007 as "must-see" by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. -- plus other pieces.
(1) Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de' Benci, 1474/1478
(1) Leonardo da Vinci, "Ginevra de' Benci," 1474/1478
This is the only painting by da Vinci in all of the Americas.
This is the only painting by da Vinci in all of the Americas.
(2) Florentine 15th or 16th Century, Lorenzo de' Medici, 1478/1521
(2) Florentine 15th or 16th Century, "Lorenzo de' Medici," 1478/1521
(3) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, The Feast of the Gods, 1514/1529
(3) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, "The Feast of the Gods," 1514/1529
A docent discusses The Feast of the Gods.
A docent discusses "The Feast of the Gods."
(4) Raphael, The Alba Madonna, 1510
(4) Raphael, "The Alba Madonna," 1510
Raphael's Alba Madonna
Raphael's "Alba Madonna"
Raphael's Alba Madonna
Raphael's "Alba Madonna"
Raphael's Alba Madonna
Raphael's "Alba Madonna"
(5) Orazio Gentileschi, The Lute Player, 1612/1620
(5) Orazio Gentileschi, "The Lute Player," 1612/1620
(6) Jan van Eyck, The Annunciation, 1434/1436
(6) Jan van Eyck, "The Annunciation," 1434/1436
Visitors examine The Annunciation.
Visitors examine "The Annunciation."
(7) Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Daniel in the Lions' Den, 1614/1616
(7) Sir Peter Paul Rubens, "Daniel in the Lions' Den," 1614/1616
A guest admires Rubens's masterpiece.
A guest admires Rubens's masterpiece.
Rubens's masterpiece attracts an audience.
Rubens's masterpiece attracts an audience.
(8) Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait, 1659
(8) Rembrandt van Rijn, "Self-Portrait," 1659
In the presence of greatness ...
In the presence of greatness ...
(9) Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing, 1665
(9) Johannes Vermeer, "A Lady Writing," 1665
(10) Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight, 1894
(10) Claude Monet, "Rouen Cathedral, West Facade," Sunlight, 1894
(11) Edouard Manet, The Railway, 1873
(11) Edouard Manet, "The Railway," 1873
(12) Paul Cezanne, The Peppermint Bottle, 1893/1895
(12) Paul Cezanne, "The Peppermint Bottle," 1893/1895
Paintings by Paul Cezanne
Paintings by Paul Cezanne
Auguste Renoir, The Dancer, 1874
Auguste Renoir, "The Dancer," 1874
Edgar Degas, Mademoiselle Malo, 1877, left, and Berthe Morisot, Mother and Sister of the Artist, 1869/70
Edgar Degas, "Mademoiselle Malo," 1877, left, and Berthe Morisot, "Mother and Sister of the Artist," 1869/70
Claude Monet, Woman With a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son, 1875.
Claude Monet, "Woman With a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son," 1875.
Eva Gonzales, Nanny and Child, 1877/1878
Eva Gonzales, "Nanny and Child," 1877/1878
Paul Gaugin, Self-Portrait, 1889
Paul Gaugin, "Self-Portrait," 1889
Rembrandt van Rijn and Workshop, Man in Oriental Costume, 1635
Rembrandt van Rijn and Workshop, "Man in Oriental Costume," 1635
Rembrandt Workshop, Portrait of Rembrandt, 1650
Rembrandt Workshop, "Portrait of Rembrandt," 1650
Johannes Vermeer, Girl With the Red Hat, 1665/1666
Johannes Vermeer, "Girl With the Red Hat," 1665/1666
Paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
Paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
Paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
Paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
Paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
Paintings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck
A weary museum visitor
A weary museum visitor
Orazio Gentileschi and Giovanni Lanfranco, Saint Cecilia and an Angel, 1617/1618 and 1621/1627
Orazio Gentileschi and Giovanni Lanfranco, "Saint Cecilia and an Angel," 1617/1618 and 1621/1627
Francisco Antonio Gijon, St. John of the Cross, 1675
Francisco Antonio Gijon, "St. John of the Cross," 1675
Florentine 15th Century, Madonna and Child, 1425
Florentine 15th Century, "Madonna and Child," 1425
Andrea del Verrocchio, Giuliano de' Medici, 1475/1478
Andrea del Verrocchio, "Giuliano de' Medici," 1475/1478
Andrea del Verrocchio, Giuliano de' Medici, 1475/1478
Andrea del Verrocchio, "Giuliano de' Medici," 1475/1478
Andrea del Verrocchio, Giuliano de' Medici, 1475/1478
Andrea del Verrocchio, "Giuliano de' Medici," 1475/1478
Hall of statues
Hall of statues
Main lobby of the National Gallery of Art's West Building
Main lobby of the National Gallery of Art's West Building
National Gallery of Art, West Building, Gallery 52
National Gallery of Art, West Building, Gallery 52
National Gallery of Art, West Building, Gallery 52
National Gallery of Art, West Building, Gallery 52
National Gallery of Art, West Building, Gallery 52
National Gallery of Art, West Building, Gallery 52
12 Must-See Paintings, as of Summer 2010
12 Must-See Paintings, as of Summer 2010
(1) Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de' Benci, c. 1474/1478
(1) Leonardo da Vinci, "Ginevra de' Benci," c. 1474/1478
(1) Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de' Benci, c. 1474/1478
(1) Leonardo da Vinci, "Ginevra de' Benci," c. 1474/1478
(2) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, The Feast of the Gods, 1514/1529
(2) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, "The Feast of the Gods," 1514/1529
(2) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, The Feast of the Gods, 1514/1529
(2) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, "The Feast of the Gods," 1514/1529
(2) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, The Feast of the Gods, 1514/1529
(2) Giovanni Bellini and Titian, "The Feast of the Gods," 1514/1529
(3) Raphael, The Alba Madonna, c. 1510
(3) Raphael, "The Alba Madonna," c. 1510
(3) Raphael, The Alba Madonna, c. 1510
(3) Raphael, "The Alba Madonna," c. 1510
(4) Jan van Eyck, The Annuniation, c. 1434/1436
(4) Jan van Eyck, "The Annuniation," c. 1434/1436
(4) Jan van Eyck, The Annuniation, c. 1434/1436
(4) Jan van Eyck, "The Annuniation," c. 1434/1436
(5) Rembrandt van Rinj, Self-Portrait, 1659
(5) Rembrandt van Rinj, "Self-Portrait," 1659
(5) Rembrandt van Rinj, Self-Portrait, 1659
(5) Rembrandt van Rinj, "Self-Portrait," 1659
(6) Johannes Vermmer, Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1664
(6) Johannes Vermmer, "Woman Holding a Balance," c. 1664
(6) Johannes Vermmer, Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1664
(6) Johannes Vermmer, "Woman Holding a Balance," c. 1664
(7) Francisco de Goya, The Marquesa de Pontejos, c. 1786
(7) Francisco de Goya, "The Marquesa de Pontejos," c. 1786
(7) Francisco de Goya, The Marquesa de Pontejos, c. 1786
(7) Francisco de Goya, "The Marquesa de Pontejos," c. 1786
(8) Paintings by Jean Simeon Chardin (French, 1699-1779), such as The Little Schoolmistress, after 1740
(8) Paintings by Jean Simeon Chardin (French, 1699-1779), such as "The Little Schoolmistress," after 1740
(9) Jacques-Louis David, The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries, 1812
(9) Jacques-Louis David, "The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries," 1812
(9) Jacques-Louis David, The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries, 1812
(9) Jacques-Louis David, "The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries," 1812
(10) Joseph Mallord William Turner, Keelmen Heaving In Coals by Moonlight, 1835
(10) Joseph Mallord William Turner, "Keelmen Heaving In Coals by Moonlight," 1835
(10) Joseph Mallord William Turner, Keelmen Heaving In Coals by Moonlight, 1835
(10) Joseph Mallord William Turner, "Keelmen Heaving In Coals by Moonlight," 1835
(11) Thomas Cole, A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains (Crawford Notch), 1839
(11) Thomas Cole, "A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains" (Crawford Notch), 1839
(11) Thomas Cole, A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains (Crawford Notch), 1839
(11) Thomas Cole, "A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains" (Crawford Notch), 1839
(12) James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1862
(12) James McNeill Whistler, "Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl," 1862