Thomas Cole was America's leading landscape painter during the first half of the 19th-century. Did you know that the artist was actually born in England? Before emigrating to the U.S., he served as an engraver's assistant and as an apprentice to a designer of calico prints.

Cole joined his family in Ohio in 1819. He learned the rudiments of oil painting from an itinerant portrait painter and...
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National Gallery of Art
02/22/2017 at 17:26. Facebook
Take a look at Joseph Decker's "Green Plums." What do you see? Described as Decker's "hard" style, we notice crisp edges, a close-up, cropped view, harsh lighting, strong colors, and an absence of soft shadows. The paint is applied in a practiced, easy fashion.

Decker was born in Württemberg, Germany in 1853, emigrating with his family to America at the age of 14. He was first apprenticed...
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National Gallery of Art
02/21/2017 at 17:39. Facebook
The Gallery’s "Picture This" tours make the collection more accessible to adult visitors with visual impairments. On Wednesday, February 22 and again on Saturday, February 25, join us in the East Building for "Let Them Eat Cake: Food in Pop Art."

For more information, call (202) 842-6905, or visit: [ Go.usa.gov Link ].

Wayne Thiebaud, "Cakes," 1963, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art,...
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National Gallery of Art
02/20/2017 at 17:09. Facebook
Celebrate Presidents' Day with "Salute to General Washington in New York Harbor." See more works of art honoring the American presidents in our collection on our Art & Social Studies Pinterest board: [ Pinterest.com Link ]. #presidentsday

L.M. Cooke, "Salute to General Washington in New York Harbor," 1901, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Edgar William and Bernice...
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National Gallery of Art
02/19/2017 at 17:35. Facebook
Barkley Leonnard Hendricks’s “Sir Charles, Alias Willie Harris” offers a tripled image, its single subject captured as if in a time-lapse. What do you notice in each of their expressions?

Whether with eyes closed meditatively (on the left) or gazing into space (on the right), “Sir Charles” is alternately thoughtful and vigilant. More than life-size, this imposing figure signals 1970s fashion,...
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National Gallery of Art
02/18/2017 at 17:31. Facebook
Albert Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Prussia on January 7, 1830. He came to the United States as an immigrant at age 2 with his parents. They settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Bierstadt was primarily self-taught. In 1853, he departed for Europe on an extended sketching tour, returning to New Bedford in 1857. Bierstadt's European apprenticeship served him well the following spring when...
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National Gallery of Art
02/17/2017 at 17:09. Facebook
What do you think lies ahead for this boy?

Titian, "Ranuccio Farnese," 1542, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection
What do you notice first in “African Nude”? We see a woman, wearing only a large necklace, reclining on an overstuffed settee. While her position is similar to the pose found in classic images, the mood is different. The nude in this work, with eyes downcast, appears unhappily submissive and ill at ease amidst the oversize lush plants and gala colors of the background.

Artist James Lesesne...
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Love is in the air at the Gallery! Who is your museum valentine? Share a work of art in the comments that makes your heart skip a beat. We love the colors, textures, and emotions in Francis William Edmonds’s "The Bashful Cousin."

For more works of art that celebrate love, take a look at our Pinterest board: [ Pinterest.com Link ].

To learn more about "The Bashful Cousin," visit our website:...
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We're dreaming of spring with this work by Alma Thomas. Thomas taught visual art in DC Public Schools for 35 years. As one of two African-American members of the Washington Color School, the artist investigated the use of solid color in her abstract paintings. She used nature and music for inspiration until her death in 1978 at age 87.

Alma Thomas, "Spring Fantasy," 1963, watercolor with...
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How would you describe the relationship between these figures?

Agnolo Bronzino, "A Young Woman and Her Little Boy," c. 1540, oil on panel, National Gallery of Art, Widener Collection
Now on Saturday: explore the National Gallery’s highlights on a tour of the East Building given by a deaf guide in ASL. The tour is also interpreted into spoken English.

Join us tomorrow, Saturday, February 11 at 1:00 pm. Email asl@nga.gov for more details.

Henri Matisse, "Open Window, Collioure," 1905, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay...
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Aaron Douglas’s "Into Bondage" is a powerful depiction of enslaved Africans bound for the Americas. We see shackled figures with their heads hung low. They walk solemnly toward slave ships visible on the horizon. A male figure in the center of the work pauses on a slave block, his silhouette breaching the horizon line. This man’s face is turned toward a beam of light emanating from a lone star...
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Happy birthday to the influential English art critic John Ruskin, born on this day in 1819. Later in life, Ruskin became an admirer of Renaissance glazed terracotta sculpture. He called it "delightful to the truest lovers of art in all nations and all ranks." Ruskin purchased Andrea Della Robbia’s "Adoration of the Child" in 1877, describing the relief as “quite one of the most precious things...
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We’re honoring #BlackHistoryMonth by featuring works by African American artists from the Gallery’s collection throughout February. We start with Robert Seldon Duncanson, a self-taught artist. Though widely recognized during his lifetime for his depictions of pastoral landscapes, Duncanson also created a small group of still-life paintings. Take a look at "Still Life with Fruit and Nuts.” The...
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What’s making these two women smile?

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, "Two Women at a Window," c. 1655/1660, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Widener Collection
Now open! "Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence" explores the innovative techniques used by 3 generations of artists. Thanks to the glazing method invented by Luca della Robbia, nearly six centuries after their creation the ceramics retain their signature opaque whites, deep cerulean blues, and lively greens, purples, and yellows. See the vibrant works in our West...
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Jenny Holzer has never shied away from sensitive material. The artist made this series using declassified U.S. government documents. These works depict redacted handprints of American soldiers accused of committing crimes in Iraq.

Holzer chose the Iraq War as her subject matter after Wired magazine asked her to imagine a new landing page for Google’s search engine. The artist said she...
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Opening on Sunday, “Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence” is the first major American exhibition to focus on works by three generations of the Della Robbia family of sculptors. Luca della Robbia invented a glazing technique in the 15th century that revolutionized Italian renaissance art. See the brilliant sculptures in our West Building through June 4:...
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Barnett Newman named this series "The Stations of the Cross" after the 14-stop religious practice that commemorates Christ’s last days on earth. Yet he borrowed the name and idea for a different purpose. Newman, who was Jewish, is not portraying this Christian imagery in any way, shape or form. In the title, he's invoking a collective, empathic concern of humanity. "The Stations of the Cross"...
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