- Artist: Ida Lorentzen
- Creation date: 1983
- Object type: Painting
Ida Lorentzen trained as an artist in the United States and at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo. She is perhaps best known for her distinctive interior paintings, which are usually devoid of people and are often depicted with a subdued palette. The rooms are sparsely furnished, containing few or no objects. This creates a silent, melancholic atmosphere. But the seemingly reductive depictions also contain nuances that are not immediately apparent. Upon closer inspection, the viewer may become aware that the furniture arrangements, the objects’ internal relationships, and the perspective have all shifted subtly.
In Rondo the viewer sees three rooms: the one she is standing in, the one she sees through an open doorway, and the one shrouded in darkness behind the closed door in the back. The doors and walls in the two visible rooms are dissimilar, and the rooms are without furniture. This heightens a sense of mystery, and one may wonder whether anyone even lives there – in a way, the rooms almost serve as a stage without actors. The picture plane is shallow, and there is only the faintest hint of shadow. A rondo is a type of composition where the main theme is repeated, with variations occurring in the intermediate sections. In Lorentzen’s Rondo, it is the rooms that are repeated, with small variations in colouring, perspective, and the treatment of the surface.
Another painter who depicted similar interiors was the nineteenth-century Danish artist VilhelmHammershøi (1864–1916). The rooms he painted were also empty, or else they featured solitary women who often stood with their back to the viewer. The mood in his pictures is also contemplative, and at times even wistful.