Eyes to behold stunning artworks in world-class museums.

A Bedroom for Every Culture: How Art Depicts Sleeping Spaces

3 min read
A Bedroom for Every Culture: How Art Depicts Sleeping Spaces

The Metropolitan Museum has a number of artworks that depict bedrooms, many of which date back to the medieval period. These artworks provide a glimpse into how different cultures and religions have represented bedrooms over time. Some of the artworks depict beds as simple sleeping spaces, while others depict them as more luxurious and ornate spaces. These artworks offer a fascinating look at the different ways that people have viewed bedrooms throughout history.

The Annunciation

Netherlandish, Seligenstadt, active by 1465–died 1494 Bruges / The Met

    This painting is one of the largest surviving depictions of the Annunciation.
    The painting was most likely commissioned by Ferry de Clugny, whose family coat of arms - the two joined keys - decorates the carpet and stained-glass window.

Léon Pallière (1787–1820) in His Room at the Villa Medici, Rome

French, Bordeaux 1786–1864 Paris / The Met

    Pallière and Alaux received the Prix de Rome for history painting in 1812 and 1815, respectively.
    As a young pensionnaire (resident) at the Villa Medici, seat of the French Academy in Rome, Alaux painted a group of portraits of fellow laureates in their private rooms.
    Both the intimacy of the scene and its subject - an artist in his studio - capture the emerging Romantic sensibility.

The Annunciation

Netherlandish, Cleve ca. 1485–1540/41 Antwerp / The Met

    The painting is set in a richly furnished interior that would have been familiar to sixteenth-century viewers.
    The painting is influenced by Italian art, and Joos appropriated a new canon of beauty, a new repertory of rhetorical gesture, and a striking grace of movement in his figures.

The Annunciation

1440–50 / The Met

    The Annunciation is shown in a private chamber.
    The painting is influenced by early Netherlandish painting.
    The painting shows the event as a legal transaction.

Rebecca and the Wounded Ivanhoe

French, Charenton-Saint-Maurice 1798–1863 Paris / The Met

    This was Delacroix's first treatment of a subject drawn from Sir Walter Scott's popular novels of medieval chivalry.
    The eponymous hero of Ivanhoe (1819), straining to leave his sickbed, listens to the terrified Rebecca as she describes a battle raging outside the window.

The Rape of Tamar

French, Paris 1616–1655 Paris / The Met

    A pervasive classicism tempers the violence of this scene, which may represent the biblical Old Testament character Tamar about to be raped by her half brother Amnon.
    A freeze-frame effect is achieved through the use of staid yet dramatic gestures that Le Sueur derived from classical sculpture.
    They align perfectly with how fellow painter Charles Le Brun would soon theorize the best methods of representing historical narrative.

From 14th Century To 15th Century

From 14th Century To 15th Century

During the 14th and 15th centuries, artists in Europe began to break away from the traditional Gothic style. They began to experiment with new techniques and styles, resulting in a period of great creativity and innovation in the arts. Some of the most famous artworks from this period include the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the sculptures of Donatello. Box with Romance Scenes     This coffret illustrated with scenes from Arthurian and other courtly literature of the M
-5 min read
From 1819 To 1826

From 1819 To 1826

The 19th century was a time of great change in the world of art. Artists began to experiment with new styles and media, and the art world was forever changed as a result. Some of the most famous artists of the time include Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. The Falls of Niagara     The painting is of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.     The painting is based on a vignette of the falls from a map of North America published by Henry S. Tanner in 1822. Heroic Landscape w
-4 min read
From 1787 To 1800

From 1787 To 1800

The 18th century was a time of great change in the world of art. New styles and genres emerged, and artists began to experiment with new techniques and materials. The art of the 18th century reflected the changing times, and the growing interest in the natural world and the human form. Elizabeth Farren (born about 1759, died 1829), Later Countess of Derby     The Irish actress Elizabeth Farren made her London debut in 1777 and soon became one of the most popular comic performers of the day.  
-5 min read