Where: National Gallery of Art, West Building
When: through March 11, 2017
First years ago, two group portraits from the Netherlands went on display at the National Gallery. Since they were on loan for five years, I'd glanced at them while on my way to see something else, but hadn't really paid them much attention. Well, their time is up, and soon they'll be making their way back across the Atlantic. 2017 seemed so far in the future back in 2012; it makes me realize it will soon be 2022.
The earlier of the portraits was painted by Govert Flinck and the later by Bartholomeus van der Helst. It's interesting to compare the works side by side and see the difference in clothing and painting style that 13 years made, but one can also see the similarities in the two works. Both of them feature one person turned around to "look" at the viewer - it's a technique that draws you into the work, that makes you realize these were real people.
Verdict: It's easy enough to pause a moment to say goodbye to these large works on your way to see a show