Impressionism at National Gallery of Art

If foodie movies make you hungry, then The National Gallery of Art‘s new exhibit, From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection will leave you ravenous.

The exhibition is on view in the Gallery’s West Building from January 31, 2010, through July 31, 2011.

You will be swept away by masterpieces of French and European Art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A meal of French food helps to really experience the sensibility and pleasure of looking at Art — as the French of the period did.

So many of the paintings are of scenes of the French countryside, Paris, and Frenchmen and women relaxing in their homes, that the art draws you into a time and place distant from politics-obsessed Washington, DC.

It must have been an easy decision to pick Michel Richard, one of Washington DC’s finest French chefs, to provide the French menu for the exhibit. He not only has a fine repetoire of French dishes, but he also has a sensitivity to painting.

He told Super Chef that his first passion was not food, but painting (watch our interview).

After (or before) visiting the exhibition head down to the expanded Garden Café Français for a meal. Michel’s menu includes a buffet and a la carte selections. There are gougere, a fine soupe a l’oignon to ward of the season’s chill, and Coq Au Vin. You can also try his Charcuterie Plate, a terrine de Saumon Fume, or Plat de Cote Roti 72 heaures, sauce bourdelaise, puree de Pommes de Terre. If you are taking your kids to this important exhibition, then they’ll love the Mousse au Chocolat and the Crème Brulee.

Interview: Michel Richard, Chef, Painter

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