Comfort Outside: Quick Bite Reboot

Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re heading back into the great outdoors. Please enjoy this Reboot of Comfort Outside originally posted on April 3, 2020.

Dear Readers – I hope you are well and adjusting to our new version of normal. This week’s Museum Quick Bite is all about getting outside. In this new phase of social distancing and sheltering in place, now more than ever we need a dose of outside time whether that means going for a walk, sipping cocktails on the patio, or feasting our eyes on some gorgeous outdoor art, like Norwegian painter, Thomas Fearnley’s (1802-1842) Pergola with Oranges (c1834)…

Pergola with Oranges (c1834) by Thomas Fearnley, AIC, Photo by cjverb (2019)
Pergola with Oranges (c1834) by Thomas Fearnley, AIC, Photo by cjverb (2019)

I discovered this hidden gem last year while touring the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and from the moment I laid eyes on it, I was hooked. Despite its relatively small size (11 inches by 14 ½ inches), the bright blue sky and sun-dappled walkway draw you in.

Orange trees and a pot of flowers flank the walkway. Near the end of the path is a dapper chap sporting a top hat. Initially, I thought the man was reading a newspaper, but after researching Fearnley’s work and seeing, The Painter and the Boy (c1834), I believe he is sketching this scene from the opposite direction. Perhaps Fearnley put himself in the painting. Who wouldn’t want to be there? The view is breathtaking. Every time I look at it I’m transported into this lovely, relaxed and carefree world. I can almost smell the citrus and feel a light breeze as the sun peeks through the pergola. Take a deep breath and enjoy 🙂

Thomas Fearnley painted Pergola with Oranges while on an eight-year tour of Europe. He produced a stunning collection of landscape art featuring glaciers in Switzerland, moonlit beaches on the Italian coast, and a royal procession in Amsterdam, to name just a few. If you’d like to feast your eyes on more of his work, click on this Thomas Fearnley link, courtesy of the National Gallery of Norway.

I’ll be back next week with more Museum Quick Bites. In the meantime, be safe, be kind and take care!

Kayaking, Pixabay-100px Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay.


Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago: Pergola with Oranges

Google Arts & Culture: Thomas Fearnley

National Gallery of Norway

National Gallery: Thomas Fearnley


The Gentleman’s Magazine by Sylvanus Urban, Vol. 18 (1842)

WikiArt: Thomas Fearnley

Wikimedia Commons



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