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The best part about the Smithsonian museums is that they offer free access to some of the world’s best collections right here in the District of Columbia. A favorite museum of ours here at FamousDC is the National Gallery of Art. The NGA is home to some of the most amazing paintings in the world, and is a great place to go on a fall afternoon. Here are some paintings that you just can’t miss.

Leonardo da Vinci’s, “Portrait of Ginevra de’Benci”

Not everyone can say that they live minutes from paintings done by a great artist from the Italian Renaissance. However, in D.C. you can. While in the NGA, make it a point to go see da Vinci’s work. Like we said, it’s not something everyone can do during their lunch break, but us Washingtonian’s most definitely can.

Vincent Van Gogh’s, “Self-Portrait”

Van Gogh has remained a mystery to many of us. We know his story, but we never really knew what was going on in his mind. But, like many of us, we can get a better sense of who he was through his own “selfie.” Van Gogh’s self-portrait is a can’t miss in the NGA because it brings us just a little closer to understanding the amazing painter himself.

Vincent Van Gogh’s, “Roses”

In addition to his self-portrait, one can’t go to the NGA without checking out some of Van Gogh’s other works. A master at the swirled brush stroke, museumgoers to should definitely stop and take in Van Gogh’s “Roses.” It’s a beautiful work that will make you want to go pick up some white roses for yourself as soon as you leave the gallery.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 - 1890 ), Roses, 1890, oil on canvas, Gift of Pamela Harriman in memory of W. Averell Harriman

Pablo Picasso’s, “Family of Saltimbanques”

We all know Picasso for his famous cubism technique. However, those of you who really know Picasso’s history, you’ll know that he went through a “rose period.” “Family of Saltimbanques” is from this period of Picasso’s career, and is located in a room alongside many of his other paintings, being the largest work on the wall. It’s highly recommended to stop and marvel at the painting to get a better feel for Picasso’s earlier career.

Pablo Picasso’s, “Le Gourmet”

In addition to his “rose period,” Picasso also went through a “blue period,” where his works and narratives were told through shades of blue. “Le Gourmet” is located in the same room as “Family of Saltimbanques,” which means you can see both works in one shot!

Auguste Renoir’s, “Pont Neuf, Paris”

Renoir could capture a moment. In “Pont Neuf, Paris,” Renoir depicts a scene from the everyday lives of Parisians in 1872. His use of colors and light brush strokes reels viewers in and makes us wish we could be right there at Pont Neuf too.

Claude Monet’s, “Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son”

You cannot visit the NGA without seeing a Monet work. A master of impressionism, his works are a must see. His “Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son” is a beautiful work that uses strong light and quick brush strokes to show a tender moment between Monet’s wife and son.