Saturday, September 09, 2006

From Gallery to Cathedral

I was in Washington DC this week where I visited the National Gallery of Art. I visited three exhibitions one was Bellinni, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting, and the other was Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris plus the Selections from the collection of Edward Broida. I like Titian the most, among the Venetian painters, but the most amazing thing is the Venetian’s powerful use of Colors. They all had this strange sense of color from very early 16th century.

Visiting museums and galleries becomes my usual habit in this past years so it wasn’t that unusual for me to visit the National Gallery of Art but this time I had another reason for my trip. I was to attend a speech by former president of Iran, Seyed Mohammed Khatami, in the Washington National Cathedral. His speech was on Interfaith Dialogue and the Role of Religion in Peace and he has come to the United States as the founder of the International Institute for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Cultures. What I enjoyed a lot was the cultural diversity among the audience. People who believed in peace from nonbelievers to Jews, Christians and Moslems were there. The focus of his speech was on the religious understanding of human being and as the result the sacred rights of humankind. Khatami, the former president of Iran and the only reformist president after the revolution, closed his speech by inviting the East and the West to work together in order to create a world of peace, morality, ethics and progress for all humankind. The whole evening was like a religious experience since it took place in the sixth greatest cathedral in the world and the speaker was a Man of the Cloth.

Gypsy Madonna, Titian, 1512

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