06 September 2010

Bi-weekly Background - 2010.09.06

So today I decided to visit the National Gallery of Art to work on taking pictures on dark, non-natural lighting conditions. I'd also never been there, despite living in the capitol for a couple years now, which is somewhat pathetic. Anyways, after wandering through an entire wing of religious artwork, I discovered a statue by Antonio Canova (imaginatively titled "Dancer with Finger on Chin") hiding in a stairwell connecting the two floors of the gallery. After being subjected to dozens of sculptures and paintings of Madonnas, Jesus and other saints, this was like a breath of fresh air (seriously, did no one paint anything non-religious in the Renaissance?). Equally important, hardly anyone else in the gallery was even paying attention to this masterpiece.

The statue is fantastic, with sharp folds in the dancer's clothing, and an extremely intricate garland. But my favorite is the statue's face, with the curled hair and detailed fingers. The statue is convincingly human enough that Picasa wants me to name the person in the picture (I'm tempted). This is my picture for today -- enjoy. And if you ever visit the National Gallery of Art, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the Monets, da Vinci, and other big names, but the real treasures are hidden in the stairwells.

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