The Empty Room can be a powerful prelude to events. Through windows, doors and corridors there lurks potential action. There are however some rooms whcih are so boring, so bereft of interest, that no event could ever disturb the flaccid surface. The furniture is heavy, the atmosphere oppressive, the surfaces hard and bearing vast gravities.

I find the wood engravings used by Hirth in his large and charmless tome, Das Deutsche Zimmer, Munich 1886 triumphs of tedium. They are scanned large for you to see if you have the energy to navigate their spaces. The more the decoration and knick-knackery are amassed (in Makart's studio say) the more unendurable the empty room. Compare with say Van Gogh paintings of the single chair in hius bedroom and work by Menzel - so movingly sensitive and evocative.