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Picturing a World

Visualizing comfort

Up to now, many of us who blog have tried to offer cheering ways to occupy minds during this time of isolation and stress. As things worsen, a different approach is to seek out quiet consolations. On the cheering side, I have been searching for on-line versions of images reproduced in Jeremy Banks's Strangers and Pilgrims to file away their detailed depiction of everyday life. It gives me one of those pings! of pleasure to find a good, clear example like this one of Buytewech's Interior (the map, the clogs, the bedwarmer!). On the consoling side, this lovely domestic scene also offers a suggestion: the calming, meditative quality of lacemaking and knitting. Two friends who do needlepoint have reported that they are stitching a lot these days. May we all find the right activity to stay safe and sane.

 

NB: Bangs points out (pp. 345–345) that the artist has manipulated perspective so that more of the room can be shown than could be depicted from a single vantage point. Converging lines in the floor, which look rather like tiles, show how the side walls have been swung around. To be historically correct (or if you like cozy), think of the floor space as much more constricted than it appears to be in the picture. If you want a gracious ease, feel free to let your imagination flow out with the picture!

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