National Geographic : 1940 Jul
Old Masters in a New National Gallery white at the top. This slight gradation of color gives a restful appear ance, and after a rain the walls take on a deeper shade of rose pink which is extremely beautiful. More than 800 car loads of Tennessee marble go into the ex terior wall, and this wall, 90 feet high, if placed in a straight line, would be half a mile long. 51/2 Acres of Exhibits The Gallery has a length of 785 feet longer than the United States Capitol. There will be half a million square feet of floor space, of which some 5/2 acres will be used for exhibition purposes -a larger area than that of any other mu seum in the country devoted exclusively to paintings and sculp ture. The main floor has an imposing rotunda, a hundred feet in diam eter, beneath a dome Portrait supported by 24 Ionic Bartolomeo Veneto columns of dark-green Venetian and Half-Crec marble. In its center Italian family of his d a marble fountain will when Bellini, Giorgione, play, surmounted by the famous bronze statue of Mercury made by Giovanni da Bologna about 1560 at Florence (page 2). This work, which came from a Roman collection, shows a graceful youth, one foot resting on a figurative gust of wind issu ing from the mouth of Aeolus, so skillfully poised and balanced that he scarcely seems to be in contact with the base. There will be about 100 separate gallery rooms on the main floor, although some of them will remain unfinished at this time, thus af fording ample provision for future expansion of the Gallery. The collections will be ar ranged according to schools, and the rooms decorated in keeping therewith. Some of the walls of the Early Italian rooms will be of travertine stone and some of plaster, of a Gentleman of the Renaissance (c. 1480-1555), who signed himself, "Bartolomeo, Half monese," painted this picture of a member of a cultured ay. Veneto was active during the golden age of Venice, ,Titian, and Tintoretto were painting (Kress Collection). and the later Italian paintings will be hung against textiles. Rooms for the Dutch and Flemish paintings will be paneled in oak, whereas the later English, French, and American Schools will have walls of painted wood paneling or will be covered with textiles. Restrained architecture for the interior has been stressed; the build ing itself must not outshine the collections housed therein. Fountains Recall a Royal Whim In two large garden courts on the main floor, one in each of the two principal wings, surrounded by large limestone columns, shrubs and flowering plants will grow near playing fountains.