During the first half of the 19th century, the open window emerged as a consistent motif in German, Danish, French, and Russian painting and drawing. Rooms with a View is the first book to explore this intriguing theme in European art, with its Romantic intimations of unfulfilled longing and its associated qualities of poetry, luminosity, and interiority.
Artists depicted this intangible mood with images of contemplative figures in hushed, sparsely furnished rooms; painters diligently at work in their studios; simple, serene displays of light entering a chamber; and windows as the focal point of views in their own right.
Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century features forty oils and thirty works on paper by both well-known and largely undiscovered artists, including Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, Georg Friedrich Kersting, Adolph Menzel, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Martinus Rørbye, Jean Alaux, Léon Cogniet, and Fyodor Petrovich Tolstoy.
Sabine Rewald is Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator, Department of 19th-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.