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Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago

Photograph of interior of large art gallery, visitors stand and look at paintings.

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  • Photograph of interior of large art gallery, visitors stand and look at paintings.




Thomas Struth
German, born 1954

About this artwork

As a student of the renowned photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the 1970s, Thomas Struth absorbed their objective, methodical style of making pictures, often emphasizing the camera’s single-point perspective. To his varied subject matter—city streets, rainforests, family portraits—Struth brings an acute awareness of the act of observation. His use of relatively great depth of field allows him to lead the viewer’s eye to certain details and gloss over other ones.

Struth’s celebrated Museum Photographs series is composed of monumental images of museum visitors in various stages of observation, captivation, and even distraction. As part of this series, Art Institute of Chicago II depicts a woman pushing a stroller facing Gustave Caillebotte’s famous Paris Street; Rainy Day, while another woman reads the label. The women’s clothing harmonizes remarkably with the palette of the painting, and the gallery’s marble floor seems transformed into a continuation of the wet cobblestones rendered so believably by Caillebotte’s paintbrush. As historian Hans Belting concluded of this work, “One no longer knows what is inside the painting and what is in front of it… . We feel like rubbing our eyes when the space in front of the painting transforms itself into a picture that is not separated from the painting.”


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Thomas Struth


Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Chromogenic print mounted to acrylic


3 of 10


187.4 × 222.3 cm (73 3/4 × 87 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Susan and Lewis Manilow

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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