- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Everyone knows of such Danish greats as writer Hans Christian Andersen and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, but most people are unfamiliar with the important 19th-century Danish painter Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. Fortunately, the National Gallery of Art, in its exhibit Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, 1783-1853, is now introducing his luminous landscapes, portraits, nudes and marines to this country for the first time. Called the “father of Danish painting,” Eckersberg first learned neo-classical styles in Paris and Rome, then returned to Copenhagen to train the artists of the Golden Age of Danish Painting — those marked by their “plein- air,” or out-of-doors, painting methods. At the National Gallery, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 29. Free. 202/737-4215.

—Joanna Shaw-Eagle

The National Gallery of Art is hosting 50th anniversary revivals of two films directed by William Wyler for Paramount in the early 1950s. Carrie, booked for 2:30 p.m. today in the auditorium of the East Building, was a very creditable adaptation of Theodore Dreiser’s “Sister Carrie,” but it failed to rally front-office enthusiasm and never reached an appreciative audience — unlike the Wyler movie version of “The Heiress,” a dramatization of Henry James’ “Washington Square,” a few years earlier. However, the performances of Jennifer Jones, Laurence Olivier and Eddie Albert seemed faithful to the source — powerfully so in the case of Mr. Olivier’s Hurstwood. Several scenes cut from the 1952 release have been restored. Catherine Wyler, the director’s daughter, will introduce this showing.

Mr. Wyler had one of the big hits of 1953 in Roman Holiday, the romantic comedy that elevated Audrey Hepburn from a bit player to a star, cast as the restless princess who sneaks away and falls in love with journalist Gregory Peck. The trusty Mr. Albert was a part of this system of illusion as well, playing Mr. Peck’s colleague, a photographer charged with discreetly documenting the runaway’s holiday. The movie will be shown Saturday at 3 p.m. Admission is free, but an early arrival may be advisable. 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202/737-4215.

— Gary Arnold


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