The NGA was created in 1937 by Congress, accepting the gift of Andrew Mellon, art collector and public servant. His gift included old master paintings and sculptures and a building to house the new museum. His hope was that the National Gallery would attract similar gifts from other donors and artists. We spent about 6 hours in the National Gallery, and did not see it all. When we got tired we sat for awhile in the rotunda, which has been designed like the pantheon in Rome. Adding to the beauty of the tall marble columns currently is a collection of potted azalea bushes. We had no problem sitting there for a spell.
The National Gallery has the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in North America, titled Ginevra de Benci. It was done in about 1474. We made certain to see it, fortunately a museum docent was explaining the picture's features to a tour group while we were there. On the back of this painting of a young woman is a scroll which bears an epigram: "beauty adorns virtue" . To me the painting was very reminiscent of the painter's Mona Lisa.
Saturday Dan and Amanda suggested a walk along the Potomac River. The weather was warming up.
One final note here. Sunday we attended services at St. Stephen's Episcopal church, and were inspired by a wonderful speaker, Fr. Michael Lapsley SSM. He is an Anglican priest and former South African anti-apartheid activist. He was wounded by a mail bomb and both of his hands were blown off. Fr. Lapsley spoke of redemptive memory and healing, as well as restoration, forgiveness and reparation. Most importantly, we need to forgive for our own healing and remember that God will be with us for the journey.