The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 22, 2018

The Artist in His Room at the Villa Medici, Rome, 1817

oil on canvas, Framed: 58 x 51 x 7.5 cm (22 13/16 x 20 1/16 x 2 15/16 in.); Unframed: 44.5 x 37 cm (17 1/2 x 14 9/16 in.). Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1978.51

In 1817, Cogniet won the Prix de Rome for history painting, a state prize that allowed him to live and work at the Villa Medici for a period of five years. The helmet, shield, and swords depicted on the left wall near the doors that lead to the studio refer to the expectation that Cogniet would produce a history painting each year to send back to Paris for review. On the back of this painting the artist wrote (in French): "My room at the reception of my first letter from my family, 1817." The open window with the landscape view may reveal Cogniet's true interest, however, for shortly after arriving in Rome he wrote: "You ask me what struck me the most, ancient sculpture, painting of the masters, or the physiognomy of the Romans. What struck me more than all that were the beauties of nature, not only of the country I now live in, but of all those I passed through since the French frontier."

London, Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox. From Revolution to Second Republic (1978), no. 24 (repr.).
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; Brooklyn Museum; Saint Louis Art Museum. In the Light of Italy: Corot and Early Open-Air Painting (1996-97), no. 59 (repr.).
Paris: Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (4/3/01 - 7/9/01); Mantova, Italy: Palazzo Te (9/1/01 - 12/9/01) "Paysages d'Italie. Les peintres du plein air (1780-1830), exh. cat. no. 6, pp 14-15.
French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici (3/5/2003 - 6/29/2003): "Maestá di Roma, da Napoleon all'Unita d'Italia: Da Ingres a Degas: Les artistes francais a Rome", exh. cat. no. 50, p. 219.
New York, Dahesh Museum of Art (September 3 - November 2, 2003): "French Artists in Rome: Ingres to Degas, 1803 - 1873"
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY (3/28/2011 - 7/4/2011): "Rooms with Views: The Open Window in the 19th Century"

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