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My Favorite Room at the Met

View of gallery 735 showing John Vanderlyn's circular, panoramic view of Versailles

My favorite room at the Met is gallery 735 because it houses John Vanderlyn's Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles. I first visited the gallery on the recommendation of a friend, and since then I've been back many times.

Vanderlyn painted the panorama between 1818 and 1819 in both Kingston, New York, and New York City. He originally displayed it in a rotunda of his own construction in City Hall Park in Manhattan, but the installation was not as successful as he had hoped, so he ended up touring the work around in hopes of making money from it. I cannot understand how this painting could ever be unsuccessful because I'm in love with it. When you walk into gallery 735, your breath is instantly taken away, and it feels as though you're entering a whole different world. If you're anything like me, you can definitely imagine yourself being in the actual courtyard of the Palace of Versailles. The gallery itself is also easy to relax in. It's so comfortable that once you enter it, you will never want to leave.

Next time you're at the Met, don't forget to head to gallery 735 in the American Wing to experience this magnificent panorama for yourself.

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