Many worlds

Carl von Bergen takes us to the Piazza Barberini, Rome, 1830 Public domain work, via Wikimedia Commons

Carl von Bergen takes us to the Piazza Barberini, Rome, 1830
Public domain work, via Wikimedia Commons

“Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists…”
Marcel Proust

How are you feeling today?  I hope it’s a happy day for you, with agreeable weather and time to enjoy a few small pleasures.  But you might be feeling a bit sad, or overwhelmed, or fed up with the world.  Maybe this is one of those days that is so busy, you wonder how you will fit everything into your tight schedule.

In any case, I invite you add a spark of color to your day.  Step out of your immediate surroundings for a moment or two, and enjoy visiting another world entirely — maybe several other worlds — through the vast riches of online art that are available with just a click or two. Whether you like pastoral landscapes or lively city scenes, portraits or still life studies, there is something for everyone in the many worlds made available to us by the lovingly crafted work of artists we have never met.

If you have a favorite painter, sculptor or photographer, or if you know the name of a work you admire, try a quick internet search for it.  In most cases you’ll quickly find at least one digital reproduction of it to enjoy.  If you can’t find it, let me know what you’re looking for, and I’ll try to help you. Or just take a virtual stroll through the Louvre,  or the Hermitage, or the National Gallery of Art, or any of the countless museums and galleries available to explore online.

We are surrounded by so many pleasures, joys, obligations and responsibilities that it’s easy for art to get lost in the sea of urgent or obvious distractions.  But even a few minutes of appreciative contemplation can provide a refreshing break.  If you have a busy day today, set a timer and limit yourself to just five minutes.  Feel free to share a link or two in the comments below, if you’d like to share your experiences with us.  And if you happen to be an artist yourself, here’s your chance to introduce us to your work.

I wish you delightful discoveries!


  1. Good morning, Julia! The painting that you posted today is so enticing that I jumped right in, even before reading your invitation. First, I wondered at such tall buildings in that year. Wow! I wonder who lived there? I don’t imagine it’s the first time that they hung out the sheets to dry against the warm, sunny brick wall. I wonder how the sheets smelled when they were taken down dry. I imagine the launderer breathed in deeply to catch the warm baked sheet fragrance when taking them in, and that the fragrance lasted into the night as the lucky recipient of clean sheets tumbled wearily but happily into bed at the conclusion of a sunny day filled with the everything and nothing of daily living in a bustling city.
    I could go on ….
    Thanks for yet another fun mini-vacation!

    • Susan, thanks for taking me back there tonight! Wow, through your words, I experienced the place in the painting in a whole new way. I could almost hear us joining in the laughter around a dinner table laden with delicious fare (maybe lots of pasta?) served up with lots of love, stories, maybe even some singing. Mi è piaciuto molto!

  2. blseibel

    I tend to like pastoral landscapes but one of my favorite painting is not one… Or maybe it is. It is Starry Night by Van Gogh. I am not generally a big art gallery fan, I do like sculture gardens that have the big outdoor kind of art.

    Maybe I should take a mental vacation and get lost in some art today, thanks for the idea.

    • I think Starry Night is probably my favorite too, despite there being loads of great competition. There is something about that painting that just reached out and grabbed me the moment I saw it (in childhood) and it never loses its magic. If you haven’t already seen this post (or even if you have) you might enjoy the video at the end. I’d advise watching it full screen if possible. I need to make time for an art vacation myself, very soon! Coming by here to read the comments is today’s mental vacation for me.

      • blseibel

        Wow, I had not thought of or heard that song in a long while, very touching, thank you, there were some of his painting in that montage that I do not remember seeing before,

        • I remember hearing that song for the first time many years ago, and instantly loving it. When the announcer said the title was “Vincent” by Don McLean, my impression was confirmed that it was about Van Gogh — of course it is fairly obvious from the words. I too saw many “new to me” paintings in the video. As with so many popular artists, we tend to see mostly the very well-known ones that Vincent painted, but there is an entire museum in Amsterdam filled with his work; if you haven’t been there, I think it’s worth a visit.

  3. Loved the photo at the top. I’m looking at some form of art everyday. It fills the soul with wonder. My son very often connects his laptop to the TV and has a slide show of photos he has taken. He would love to be a professional photographer as he sees the beauty is the smallest of things. He sends me lots of links to art he thinks is beautiful. I tend not to be sitting still all that long. 🙂 Maybe that’s why I sew and quilt. I see fabric as art. I fall in love with it and must have it around me. Needlework is the same. Beautiful post and a good reminder to stop and see the rest of the world. Hugs.

    • Marlene, how wonderful that you have a son who shares art and photography with you! Most of us who love to take photos will never be professionals, but all of us, whether pro or not, are greatly enriched by our joy in photography. I think I see things quite differently from having spent so much time behind a lens. At times people have suggested that taking too many photos can prevent us from seeing our surroundings as completely, and I suppose that is sometimes true, but for me the opposite is also true; I notice things more acutely because of the years I’ve been happily snapping away.

      I agree with you that fabric is art! Though I ceased doing anything but mending years ago, I still love to browse in fabric stores and dream of one day sewing some of my own clothes or curtains again. I’ve never been good at needlework, though I did do some counted cross stitch years ago, and perhaps I will pick that up again too, someday. Some people call useful art “crafts” but I see no such distinction. I think it’s wonderful when we can surround ourselves with all kinds of beauty, not just in the frames hanging on our walls, but in all sorts of objects that are part of everyday life. Hugs to you too! 🙂

  4. Julia, our trip to Paris (just four months ago) included going to the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay. Both were overwhelming, especially since I never imagined that I would have this experience. As wonderful as that was, the virtual stroll this evening was a real luxury, and much easier on the feet! The Renoir paintings were probably my favorite, although it’s really hard to choose. Thank you for these links that could give me many “5 minute breaks”! I hope that you’re doing well. It sometimes seems we’re just doing the best we can. I really wish I could say the many things in my heart concerning your loss. I think you know. 🙏 Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, I love Paris. It is quite possibly my favorite city (although it would be hard to say for sure) and the Musée d’Orsay is one of the highlights for me. I just fell in love with it, including the beautiful building (what a great way to use an old railroad station!) and the statues outside, not to mention the truly fabulous art inside. Yes, huge museums such as the Louvre can be very hard on the feet! I do remember one night in particular (in December 2005) when my feet were absolutely KILLING me but Drew and I still stayed until the Louvre closed; it was the one night of the week it was open late and we couldn’t bear not to take advantage of it. I agree that the virtual version is much easier on the feet as well as the pocketbook. How wonderful to have experienced both.

      This is definitely a “doing the best we can” kind of week. And month. Hard to believe it’s been three weeks ago today that Daddy died. They say time flies whether you’re having fun or not, and that has certainly proven true lately. There is so much to do to help Mama adjust to her new life, including getting some sort of care arranged for her; that’s still not settled. I’ve been on the go so much, I’d almost forgotten about our HUGE building project here at home, until we spent many hours with the builder and related providers today. It’s exciting but SO stressful in so many ways, especially to someone such as I am, for whom decisions are always a challenge. I’m exhausted, but sleep hasn’t come easily lately. And a full week ahead. I guess I’d better get to bed! Thanks for being here, and for understanding. Can’t wait to meet you back at Club Verandah when things calm down a bit. Til then, TTFN! ❤ ❤ ❤

  5. You too, Julia!

    • Hi Alys, so happy to see you here tonight. My discoveries today were mostly of the UNdelightful kind, but I figure this just means I’m due up for some of the delightful ones. Thanks for being with me through all this. ❤ ❤ ❤

  6. Julia, with the hours I work 4am till 12 noon plus helping my wife out with her aunt” I hope my vacation will be different this year.( Only if I “spin the Wheel of Fortune or the one on The Price is Right Lol… Wonder if I could talk my wife into going to Longwood Gardens or The Winterthur Museum( please dont get me started on Downtown Abby I digress..Might have 3 more cakes to bake for the year.. Hope all is well your way and ” I will be stocking up on those cookie tins like the one I put your cake in I baked for you. I think my next cake might be a autumn brown and orange velvet cake with a salted caramel frosting.. yum yum.. Be blessed

    • Hey Raynard, 4 am would be a hard shift for me. The one good thing about it would be going to sleep after lunch. 😀 I am usually sleepy in the afternoon. Jeff and I are looking forward to the new season of Downton Abbey. I even bought some Downton Abbey tea. It would be perfect with that salted caramel frosting. The autumn colors will be an added bonus. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this comment. I’ve been busy with medical stuff – Jeff, Matt and now Mama. All labors of love, but exhausting. My little brother Al is doing the heavy lifting (literally and figuratively) since he is now full time caretaker for Mama, but we are making a little progress on finding an agency to help out. Mama was “in” the minute they told her they would clear out her fridge and clean the oven. 😀 The weather here is wonderful, cool with a little bit of breeze. Let me know if you want me to send the cookie tin back or maybe a substitute of the same size. Buying the tins would be the most fun part of it for me. Hope you have a wonderful weekend coming up! Give Mary and Ms. Ella a hug from me. “And your little dogs too” as the wicked witch might say.

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