Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century at The Metropolitan Museum of Art focuses on the Romantic motif of the open window as first captured by German, Danish, French, and Russian artists around 1810–20.
This exhibition focuses on a subject treasured by the Romantics: the view through an open window. German, French, Danish, and Russian artists first took up the theme in the second decade of the nineteenth century. Juxtaposing near and far, the window is a metaphor for unfulfilled longing. Painters distilled this feeling in pictures of hushed, spare rooms with contemplative figures; studios with artists at work; and open windows as the sole motif. As the exhibition reveals, these pictures may shift markedly in tone, yet they share a distinct absence of the anecdote and narrative that characterized earlier genre painting.
Presented in four galleries, Rooms with a View features the works of about forty artists, most from Northern Europe. The first exhibition of its kind, it ranges from the initial appearance of the motif in two sepia drawings of about 1805–6 by Caspar David Friedrich to paintings featuring luminous empty rooms of the late 1840s by Adolph Menzel. Many of the artists are little known on these shores, their works unseen until now.
Woman Embroidering, 1811
Oil on canvas; 18 5/8 x 14 3/4 in. (47.2 x 37.4 cm)
Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Goethe Nationalmuseum
Woman at the Window, 1822
Oil on canvas; 17 3/4 x 12 7/8 in. (45 x 32.7 cm)
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Alte Nationalgalerie
Studio Window, 1823–24
Oil on canvas; 11 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (28.8 x 20.9 cm)
Die Lübecker Museen, Museum Behnhaus Drägerhaus
A View of Naples through a Window, 1824
Oil on paper, mounted on canvas; 18 1/2 x 13 1/8 in. (46.8 x 33.5 cm)
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Constant Moyaux (French, 1835–1911)
View of Rome from the Artist's Room at the Villa Medici, 1863
Watercolor on paper; 11 5/8 x 9 in. (29.4 x 22.7 cm)
Musée des Beaux Arts, Valenciennes