The Friday Cyclotouriste

a geo-photoblog chronicling my "excursions velo"

On the Road……Dali and Vermeer @ National Gallery of Art, Wash DC

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Just outside the main entrance to the National Gallery of Art.

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It’s always worth a visit here if only to experience the museum’s four paintings by Vermeer and Salvador Dali’s “The Sacrament of the Last Supper”.

I’m not sure if it’s true, but I heard that Dali required this painting to be displayed alone, in it’s own viewing room.

The museum has honored the request to some degree, by putting it in a mezzanine, stairway-like area by itself…but I’m not sure this genuinely honors the spirit of Dalil’s wishes.


The Last Supper -- Salvador Dali

And the master of light, Vermeer, I’ve now learned used a camera obscura in his artistic process. When the reflected light of a scene was projected onto a viewing screen, the device would selectively blur certain areas (as does the human eye) and identify precise areas of bright or specular highlights (e.g. the pearl necklaces in the jewelry case below).

Vermeer probably analyzed the camera obscura results to help render his sublime paintings — thus, painting with light!

Woman Holding a Balance -- Johanne Vermeer

Written by fridaycyclotouriste

October 17th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

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