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


  1. Beautiful!! I certainly understand trying to fit it all in! I am so sorry about your lab! Hope you can come up for air! xo leslie

  2. Hello Phyllis - Welcome back. Hope you've had a brillliant summer - it certainly sounds like you've been busy.
    Sorry to hear about Duncan. I know that as our dogs get older it's something we are going to have to face.
    Your images of the museum in Copenhagen are wonderful. The ceilings look breathtaking.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend,
    Liz x

  3. What a whirlwind summer you have had. Your European vacation sounds like such a wonderful trip and memories for a lifetime. So sorry about your lab…wishing you a relaxing weekend…

  4. Hi Phyllis: Yes, I did indeed follow your travels on Instagram. I'm headed to London next Thursday so was very interested to see your images!!! Haven't been there since the early 80's, so it's really all new to me. Cannot wait!!
    I am so so sorry about your dog: it is truly one of the hardest things we go through when we lose a family pet. It takes time to get past it, but they are certainly always a part of our life.

  5. Welcome home! These photos are really beautiful - so poetic! This is one of my favorite museums, Phyllis. Glad you made it there. I found out about Duncan last night via Instagram - very sorry for your loss. My dogs are 15 and 14, and I'm trying to enjoy every minute with them. You remember Panda and Mocha? They wouldn't stop barking when you visited....remember? Again, I'm so sorry to hear about Duncan. - L

  6. Phyllis,
    I have never been to Copenhagen but have always heard wonderful things about it. This museum is probably one of the prettiest I've seen either in person or pictures. The details are a great tribute to the artist.
    I'm so sorry for your loss of Duncan.

  7. Phyllis, I am sorry about Duncan who btw has the same name as my neighbor's dog... I hope you 're doing fine(considering). I am truly awe struck(which doesn't happen often) by the museum you featured. What a piece of art!! Everything about it is wow! There was also a quiet aura from the pics. Thanks for sharing. xx

  8. I really enjoyed following along on IG. Your pictures and experiences are lovely and thank you for sharing your trip with us. I love the sculpture and the beauty in that museum. I am so sorry for the loss of Duncan, I know the hole that is left in y our hearts. Good luck with the girls and school and getting back on track! xo Nancy

  9. Phyllis I am so sorry to hear about Duncan's passing, they are never with us long enough! The museum is beautiful and such a testament to the unbridled talent and vision of people. I hope you all settle back in to your routines and that you have a lovely weekend!

    xo Kat

  10. I was thoroughly enchanted with your entire trip. It was amazing. Best regards to you and the family on the loss of your pup ... It is just a loss that can never be made right, I just don't know how they get so deeply in our hearts.

    Karen in VA

  11. Those Europeans sure don’t like to leave any surface unadorned. What a beautiful spot that your mind can take you back to when you need a bit of escape from reality. Losing a beloved dog is so difficult, but your family will have memories of Duncan that you will share together for the rest of your lives with a laugh, a smile and perhaps a tear. Good luck with the new school year. The summer sure did fly by.

  12. Hi Phyllis who said multi tasking was easy, certainly not me! Your trip looked amazing... I loved following you throughout your travels on Instagram.
    I am so sorry about your lab, so hard to see the most faithful friends go. Best of luck as these last few weeks of summer wind down and the school year soon starts.....

  13. I tagged along with you on Instagram and love seeing these additional images, especially the angel so tenderly cradling the two babies. And my heart goes out to you over Duncan. I hope each day gets a little easier.

  14. Stunning post of images, and since I lost two of my wonderful labs in the past several years my heart goes out to you. They are the best!! I still miss my Hogan and its been 2 years. Sounds like you are college hunting, good luck have done that too and now I have two going as of this past Friday. Life doesnt stop long enough for us to catch our breath!
    Best, Karolyn

  15. Enjoyed following along on Instagram and I am so sorry to hear about your beloved dog. I don't know what we would do without Beau.

  16. Glad to have you back...sounds like a very busy summer!

  17. Ahhh, 3 weeks. I remember those days with my husband and family. I've never been to any part of Scandinavia (except Holland) and you make me want to go. That museum is beyond beautiful. I'll check out your instagram!

  18. Hello Phyllis,

    I adore Copenhagen, and fortunately it is so easy to get to, when I am visiting my Swedish relatives over the water in Lund, Sweden. I have not visited this museum, but have made a note for my next visit….thank you! Your trip sounds wonderful. Greetings from England!


  19. Dear Phyllis,
    First - I'm so sorry about your dog and I feel with you.
    This Museum looks wonderful and your images are simply stunning. Thanks for the "Tour" and the history.
    Take care - warmest greetings,


Please share your thoughts!