National Gallery of Art, Washington_Paintings Collection, The Masterpieces (1)

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  • National Gallery of Art, Washington

    Paintings Collection, The Masterpieces

    (1)

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci1474-78Oil on wood, 38,8 x 36,7 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci (detail)1474-78Oil on wood, 38,8 x 36,7 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci (detail)1474-78Oil on wood, 38,8 x 36,7 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci (detail)1474-78Oil on wood, 38,8 x 36,7 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci (detail)1474-78Oil on wood, 38,8 x 36,7 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci (detail)1474-78Oil on wood, 38,8 x 36,7 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci (detail)1474-78Oil on wood, 38,8 x 36,7 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RUBENS, Peter PaulPortrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria1606Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RUBENS, Peter PaulPortrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria (detail)1606Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RUBENS, Peter PaulPortrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria (detail)1606Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RUBENS, Peter PaulPortrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria (detail)1606Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RUBENS, Peter PaulPortrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria (detail)1606Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RUBENS, Peter PaulPortrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria (detail)1606Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RUBENS, Peter PaulPortrait of Marchesa Brigida Spinola Doria (detail)1606Oil on canvas, 152 x 99 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • WEYDEN, Rogier van derPortrait of a Ladyc. 1455Oil on oak panel, 37 x 27 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • WEYDEN, Rogier van derPortrait of a Lady (detail)c. 1455Oil on oak panel, 37 x 27 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • WEYDEN, Rogier van derPortrait of a Lady (detail)c. 1455Oil on oak panel, 37 x 27 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • WEYDEN, Rogier van derPortrait of a Lady (detail)c. 1455Oil on oak panel, 37 x 27 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • WEYDEN, Rogier van derPortrait of a Lady (detail)c. 1455Oil on oak panel, 37 x 27 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • WEYDEN, Rogier van derPortrait of a Lady (detail)c. 1455Oil on oak panel, 37 x 27 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • WEYDEN, Rogier van derPortrait of a Lady (detail)c. 1455Oil on oak panel, 37 x 27 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DAVID, Jacques-LouisNapoleon in his Study1812Oil on canvas, 204 x 125 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DAVID, Jacques-LouisNapoleon in his Study (detail)1812Oil on canvas, 204 x 125 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DAVID, Jacques-LouisNapoleon in his Study (detail)1812Oil on canvas, 204 x 125 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DAVID, Jacques-LouisNapoleon in his Study (detail)1812Oil on canvas, 204 x 125 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DAVID, Jacques-LouisNapoleon in his Study (detail)1812Oil on canvas, 204 x 125 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DAVID, Jacques-LouisNapoleon in his Study (detail)1812Oil on canvas, 204 x 125 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DAVID, Jacques-LouisNapoleon in his Study (detail)1812Oil on canvas, 204 x 125 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DYCK, Sir Anthony vanMarchesa Elena Grimaldic. 1623Oil on canvasNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DYCK, Sir Anthony vanMarchesa Elena Grimaldi (detail)c. 1623Oil on canvasNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DYCK, Sir Anthony vanMarchesa Elena Grimaldi (detail)c. 1623Oil on canvasNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DYCK, Sir Anthony vanMarchesa Elena Grimaldi (detail)c. 1623Oil on canvasNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DYCK, Sir Anthony vanMarchesa Elena Grimaldi (detail)c. 1623Oil on canvasNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • DYCK, Sir Anthony vanMarchesa Elena Grimaldi (detail)c. 1623Oil on canvasNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • VERMEER, JohannesWoman Holding a Balancec. 1664Oil on canvas, 42,5 x 38 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • VERMEER, JohannesWoman Holding a Balance (detail)c. 1664Oil on canvas, 42,5 x 38 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • VERMEER, JohannesWoman Holding a Balance (detail)c. 1664Oil on canvas, 42,5 x 38 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • VERMEER, JohannesWoman Holding a Balance (detail)c. 1664Oil on canvas, 42,5 x 38 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • VERMEER, JohannesWoman Holding a Balance (detail)c. 1664Oil on canvas, 42,5 x 38 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • MANET, EdouardThe Railway1873Oil on canvas, 93 x 112 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • MANET, EdouardThe Railway (detail)1873Oil on canvas, 93 x 112 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • MANET, EdouardThe Railway (detail)1873Oil on canvas, 93 x 112 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • MANET, EdouardThe Railway (detail)1873Oil on canvas, 93 x 112 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • MANET, EdouardThe Railway (detail)1873Oil on canvas, 93 x 112 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • MANET, EdouardThe Railway (detail)1873Oil on canvas, 93 x 112 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RENOIR, Pierre-AugusteYoung Girl with a Watering Can1876Oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RENOIR, Pierre-AugusteYoung Girl with a Watering Can (detail)1876Oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RENOIR, Pierre-AugusteYoung Girl with a Watering Can (detail)1876Oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RENOIR, Pierre-AugusteYoung Girl with a Watering Can (detail)1876Oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RENOIR, Pierre-AugusteYoung Girl with a Watering Can (detail)1876Oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • RENOIR, Pierre-AugusteYoung Girl with a Watering Can (detail)1876Oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cmNational Gallery of Art, Washington

  • National Gallery of Art, WashingtonPaintings Collection, The Masterpieces (1)

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  • RENOIR, Pierre-AugusteYoung Girl with a Watering Can

    In 1876, Renoir began to paint anecdotal depictions of women and children, subjects in which he excelled. A Girl with a Watering Can, typical of these works, displays a mature impressionist style attuned to the specific requirements of figure painting. Renoir's colors reflect the freshness and radiance of the impressionist palette, while his handling is more controlled and regular than in his landscapes, with even brushstrokes applied in delicate touches, especially in the girls face. Brilliant prismatic hues envelop the child in an atmosphere of warm light and charmingly convey her innocent appeal.

    Specific identifications have been proposed for the girl, but none is convincing. More likely, Renoir depicted a neighborhood child whose pretty features pleased him. A girl with similar curly blond hair, sparkling blue eyes, plump pink cheeks, and smiling red lips appears, dressed the same way in other paintings by Renoir, suggesting she was a favorite figure in the artists repertory. A Girl with a Watering Can is a showcase of the grace and charm of the artist's work.

  • LEONARDO da VinciPortrait of Ginevra de' Benci

    One of Leonardo's earlier works completed while he was apprenticed to Andrea Verrocchio in his Florentine workshop. Here, Leonardo learned a variety of skills that he would master later on in his career. Although this painting is rather traditional, it includes details such as Ginevra's curling hair that only Leonardo could achieve.

    Although a portrait of Ginevra de' Benci by Leonardo is mentioned by three sixteenth-century writers, the attribution of the Washington painting to that artist has been the cause of much debate. It is now accepted by virtually all Leonardo scholars. The date of the portrait, generally given as c. 1474, and its commission, however, are still discussed. The sitter, born into a wealthy Florentine family, was married to Luigi Niccolini in 1474 at the age of sixteen. It was a customary practice to have a likeness painted on just such an occasion. Recently, however, the humanist Bernardo Bembo has been identified as a possible patron. He was the Venetian Ambassador to Florence from 1474-76 and again in 1478-80, dates that have been suggested for the portrait. Bembo and Ginevra, both married to others, were known to have had a platonic affair, an accepted convention at the time.

    The heraldic motif on the painted porphyry reverse side of the portrait, with the motto "Beauty adorns Virtue," praises her, and juniper plants symbolize chastity, considered an appropriate choice for a marriage portrait. The juniper bush, ginepro in Italian, is also a pun on her name.

    Leonardo has painted a sensitive and finely modele