Friday, August 22, 2014

Serenity Now!

I hadn't planned on taking a summer hiatus from blogging, but following the blur of camps, colleges and Comfort Inns that July melded into, we left for a three week tour of northern Europe. I posted some highlights of our journey to Instagram along the way but didn't download the almost 2000 photos I took until we landed back at Church Street. Though it feels it like we hit the ground running (right back into work, managing the girls' schedules and losing our beloved 13-year-old Lab, Duncan) I am trying to hold onto a little of that vacation reverie it was so easy to slip into (and so painful coming out of) so am sharing some photos of an addition to my list of favorite small museums, a place that felt like a sanctuary where peace and order prevail, Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen.

Born in 1770, Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen exhibited a precocious talent and entered the Royal Danish Academy of Art at age 11. In 1796 he travelled to Rome where he lived and worked for 40 years, becoming one of the most successful artists of his day. His classical-inspired work can be found all over Europe. Among his more famous commissions is the tomb monument of Pope Pius VII, the only work by a non-Italian in St. Peter's Basilica. Prior to his death in 1844 Thorvaldsen bequeathed his entire estate, including his collection of original models, reliefs, drawings and sketches, to the city of Copenhagen which built an extraordinary museum in his honor. It opened in 1848 and is Denmark’s oldest museum. The building is exquisite - every ceiling and floor in the museum's galleries is an additional work of art.

The museum is built around a large, central courtyard. We visited on a sunny day and the immense windows flooded the galleries with natural light. The effect was magical.

Housed on the second floor at Thorvaldsens are the sculptor's own furniture, books, and his personal collection of paintings and Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities. It is truly unique among museums devoted to a single artist's work and a stunning tribute to the sculptor who was considered a national hero. For more information visit the Thorvaldsens Museum website here