Across the Room

Artist: Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862–1938)

Date: ca. 1899

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 25 x 30 1/8 in. (63.5 x 76.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), 1967

Accession Number: 67.187.141


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.