Decorating the White House with Smithsonian Art- page 8 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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The tradition of Smithsonian museums loaning art to the White House began in the 1940s. (iStockphoto)

Decorating the White House with Smithsonian Art

Continuing a Washington tradition, the Obamas selected artwork from the Smithsonian collections to hang in their historic home

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Nice
(Maura McCarthy)

Nicolas De Stael
1954
Oil on linen
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Nicolas De Stael, a French painter born in Russia in 1914, studied at the Académie Royale Des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. He traveled throughout Europe and Northern Africa before settling down in France. “He tried to create something between a landscape and an abstraction,” says Brougher. He used a style called impasto, in which paint is applied with a palette knife or brush so that the strokes stay visible. The inspiration for this painting is most likely the French town of Nice, where he lived during World War II.

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