Thursday, July 21, 2011

Euphoria

It is through the cracks in our brains that ecstasy creeps in.
Logan P. Smith, American essayist (1865-1946)

Give me a glass of chardonnay, a simple meal of salmon and fresh green beans, and extraordinary art, and I am euphoric. There's a tingling at the base of my skull, there's a smile creasing my face, and a mind alight with all its synopses firing, all due to a great experience at the National Gallery of Art and its exhibit Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome.

I'm a big fan of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, walking miles in Rome from church to church and gallery to gallery, and even the length of the Stazioni Termini for a special exhibit, in order to fall under the spell of his mesmerizing works. Unfortunately, all I can share with you is the giant image of Judith and her maidservant carrying away the head of the evil Holofernes, which isn't even by Caravaggio but one of his followers, Orazio Gentileschi. The show has a limited number of Caravaggio's works but it remains a tremendous opportunity to see amazing art brought together from museums all over the world and it does include Caravaggios that I've never seen before.

The gallery's architecture is stunning and the cafeteria serves great food. What else could one ask for . . . except for a few more chairs for the weary of body, if not spirit. Oh, and permission to photograph the permanent collection like that offered by many other national collections.

The National Gallery of Art provided a world-class experience! Bravo!

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