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The Art of JAMA
June 7, 2016

Woman at the WindowCaspar David Friedrich

JAMA. 2016;315(21):2258-2259. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.14294

In Woman at the Window, painted in 1822 by the German landscape artist Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), a woman has opened a shutter to watch some boats go by. Soft gray light fills the window overhead and highlights the folds of her pleated dress. The earth tones of the dress match the shutters and the floor, and the gathers in the fabric soften the angles of the room. The woman’s head and shoulders are framed by the open shutter, which is in turn framed by the window, the alcove, and the floorboards; the edges of the windowpanes form a cross. The model for this painting was Friedrich’s wife, Caroline, and her comfortable presence in the creative sanctuary of his studio says something about the integration of work and family life and the painter’s desire to connect his interior and exterior worlds.

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