Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81).
The re-opening of D.C. restaurants and the casting off of social distancing rules (in many places) brought to mind one of the most cherished paintings in the District. Renoir’s celebration of sun, friends, and conviviality captures all the emotions of the moment and is a jewel in the crown of the Phillips Collection. For those reasons we chose it as our weekend highlight on art.
Much ink has been consumed analyzing this painting, so we will merely refer you to the Phillips’ website for more. Duncan Phillips himself said it was, “one of the greatest paintings in the world.”
One of our favorite stories is one we cannot seem to find in the vastness of Google: A Supreme Court justice would occasionally gather up his staff and say something like, “Let’s go look at my painting,” leading them to the Phillips for a mid-day viewing of the Renoir. If someone can find the reference for the story and confirm it is not imagined, let us know.
The Phillips is open with crowd limits and timed tickets if you wish to sneak away for your own viewing.
Enjoy the sun. Enjoy your friends. Be kind to staff and tip big.
If you are looking for a place to eat in D.C. then we can help you out with that too. We have 300 recommended restaurants in our guide. You can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc.) in either LIST or MAP format.