National Gallery of Art: Cherry Blossom Fesitval

Cherry Blossom Festival 2012

Every year Washingtonians and visitors come out to celebrate the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the nation’s capitol. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the gift from Tokyo, celebrated between March 20-April 27. Chefs around the city will be concocting cherry-inspired dishes, led by Fabio Trabocchi, whose cherry menu at the National Gallery‘s Garden Café Italia also celebrates an exhibition of Japanese bird-and-flower paintings by Itō Jakuchū Entitled Colorful Realm of Living Beings (J. Dōshoku sai-e; c. 1757–1766), this 30-scroll set of bird-and-flower paintings on silk is the centerpiece of the landmark exhibition Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Itō Jakuchū (1716–1800). Never before shown in its entirety outside of Japan, Colorful Realm of Living Beings provides a panoramic pictorial survey of flora and fauna, both mythical and actual, reflecting the highest standards of artistic and technical accomplishment in Japanese painting.

The cherry menu include braciole di maialino affumicate (grilled pork chop with cherry relish and arugula salad), an arugula and radicchio salad with dried cherries and ricotta salata cheese, gelato di ciliegie e melograno (cherry-pomegranate gelato with cherry compote), and torta di mandorle (grappa-infused cherry frangipane tart). A new signature cocktail―the Disaronno cherry sour― will also be available, featuring Amaretto liqueur and sweet-and-sour with a hint of cherry.

So, stroll around the tidal basin and enjoy the all the festival activities – movies, lectures, and tea ceremonies – and then head to the National Gallery for a cherry meal.

Peonies and Butterflies, by Ito Jakuchu
Itō Jakuchū, Peonies and Butterflies (J. Shakuyaku gunchō zu), c. 1757 (Hōreki 7), ink and color on silk, from Colorful Realm of Living Beings (J. Dōshoku sai-e ), set of 30 vertical hanging scrolls, c. 1757C1766, Sannomaru Shōzōkan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections), The Imperial Household Agency

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