Two years after The Balcony Room, Menzel used the same format apparently to combine two favorite motifs of the time: the interior view and the view from a window. In this work, the two both balance and compete with eachother. Contrary to expectation, the viewer’s gaze is hurried past the foreground with its large forms, broad brush strokes, and marked perspectives to the scene in the distance with its back yard and houses, which are more detailed, sharper, and more colorful than the foreground. The shape less mass of the bed, that seems to heave ponderously under the thin folds of the coverlet, takes up almost the entire lower half of the picture. The distant idyll of every day life is cut off from the viewer by a distinctly hostile zone.


  • Title: The Artist’s Bedroom in Ritterstraße
  • Creator: Adolph Menzel
  • Date Created: 1847
  • Physical Dimensions: w46.0 x h56.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on cardboard
  • Inv.-No.: A I 860
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Bernd Kuhnert
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Acquired 1905
  • Artist biography: After his father’s death in 1830, Menzel became the owner of a lithographic business in Berlin, where he lived and worked most of his live. As an artist, he lacked substantial artistic education, visiting the University of Arts in Berlin for only 6 months, and was mostly self-taught. In spite of this, he became the most renowned artist in 19th-century Germany. His most important works depict various historic events connected to the life of Frederick the Great, such as the Flute Concert of Frederick the Great at Sanssouci, or other events connected to Prussia.
  • Artist Place of Death: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Breslau, Poland
  • Artist Dates: 1815-12-08/1905-02-09

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