Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Lake Como 1894

In 1894 Levitan went abroad to Europe for the second time: to Venice, Nice, Paris and Lake Como in Northern Italy, And while he created only a very few pieces on that trip, along the way he worked on several versions of Lake Como. Perhaps he was not feeling well, as later that year he was diagnosed with serious heart disease.

Lake Como is known for its dramatic scenery in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The coastal village on the right gives us an idea of how monumental these mountains are. Low wispy clouds are rolling through a splendid sky. Psalm 121 comes to mind; let us pray it with care.

I lift up my eyes unto the hills;
  from where is my help to come?
My help comes from the Lord,
  the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot to be moved
  and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.
Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel
  shall neither slumber nor sleep;
The Lord himself watches over you;
  the Lord is your shade at your right hand,
So that the sun shall not strike you by day,
  neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
  it is he who shall keep you safe.
The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in,
  from this time forth for evermore.


  1. The Lord shall preserve us from all evil and keep us safe. This Psalm is the perfect prayer for us in today's world. I will lift my eyes to heaven and pray it every day until I have it memorized so I can keep it in my mind always.

  2. It's a very good idea to have one or two psalms memorized. And this is a particularly good one.

  3. Thank you for this. Have a blesses Holy Week Father Stephen.

  4. I long to to take a trip lie this. The serenity of thr mountains, the lakeside village where time stands still and one can leave the city rush behind. I hope that Isaak Levitan was able to enjoy the solace and rest. His paintings have brought be great peace to me this Lent.

  5. When visiting a place like this check out first when the "high season" shapes up. These days, Lake Como high season means tourists, movie "stars" and high roller$. Maybe it was that way even in Levitan's day, but today going to the "ends of the earth" is more possible for more people. You sound like an off season kind of guy.

  6. I find listening to John Michael Talbot helps me memorize scripture, particularly the Psalms. I can just hear him singing Psalm 121 to God!