Across the Room
Edmund Charles Tarbell American
In Paris, Tarbell was deeply impressed by the fresh attitudes and revolutionary techniques of the Impressionists. Their preference for working out-of-doors, their high-keyed palette, and their loose, rapid brushwork became characteristics of his style. Tarbell also admired the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Vermeer, whose quiet, light-filled rooms with their timeless images of a solitary female occupant inspired many of his pictures. In this painting, a fashionably dressed recumbent young woman, silent and motionless, is seen across a wide, polished floor on which the half-light, filtering through a Venetian blind, creates a pattern of reflections. This would be a Dutch subject rendered in a French technique were it not for the flavor of innocently girlish and dreamy idleness that characterizes the pictures of several American painters at the end of the nineteenth century.