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The intimate interior settings in Melchers’ series Rooms with a View are among her most successful and noteworthy. This series is inspired by Pieter de Hooch, the Dutch Golden Age artist famous for his paintings of quiet domestic scenes that show glimpses of everyday life through open doors or windows. While De Hooch was more interested in depicting people and their relationships to one another, Melchers seeks to convey a more enigmatic narrative through the objects and panoramas she portrays. Her rooms are always devoid of human figures, yet traces of their lives are there for us to see.

The staging of these settings is superb, giving the viewer a multitude of delightful details to revel in — the luxuriously draped and crumpled fabrics, the ornate objects, the comfortable furniture, the opulent patterns and colors, the glorious panoramas. Astute observers will recognize the geographic location of each room, as well as the time of day and the season — even rooms that at first glance don’t seem to offer a view, have one that can be discovered through careful observation.

Although Melchers’ rooms are composite scenes created in the artist’s eye and devoid of human figures, the objects and elements suggest a real-life narrative. Most show little hints of a solitary presence, while others suggest companionship. Yet despite the breathtaking locations and an exciting aura of wanderlust, there’s a poignant sense of melancholy and longing in these paintings — a bittersweetness that originates with departures, farewells, and absence… the intense nostalgia of love lived and lost.

(Lorena Kloosterboer in her essay “Kloosterboer on Melchers” on Medium.com)





Yvonne Melchers

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