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ID number:  BIRRC-A0336
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Fry, Roger (1866-1934)
Title / Object name:  The Window
Object type:  Painting
Culture:  British
Date made:  1918
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  48.3 x 66 cm
BIRRC-A0336(1).jpg

This painting is one of several works by Roger Fry owned by the University Collections. It features a domestic interior with a central window looking onto the outside world. Soft dappled hues pervade the work which emanates a feeling of warmth and serenity. It calls to mind Henri Matisse's declaration that a good painting should be like 'a comfortable arm chair', which works as a 'spiritual remedy for the businessman as well as the artist'.

The palm tree glimpsed through the window may indicate that this was painted somewhere warm, like the South of France, though it is just as likely that it is Charleston Barn in Sussex, a haunt of members of the Bloomsbury Group.

Looking out of the window we are confronted with the back of an adjacent building, rather than the perspectival view of a landscape. However, Fry's choice is unsurprising given that he championed the work of Cezanne, who experimented with colour and form at the expense of accurate perspective. In the Window everthing appears flattened, even the shadows behind the cut-flowers only produce a supeficial impression of depth. Fry was evidently more concerned about the arrangment of forms an colours on the canvas than the subject matter itself.

Roger Fry was one of the most influential art historians and critics of his generation, and a key member of the Bloomsbury Group of artists and writers active in England in the early part of the 20th Century. He had close friendships with the novelist Virginia Wolf, who wrote Fry's biography, and her sister the painter Vaness Bell, with whom he had an affair. Fry coined the term Post-Impressionism in 1910.

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