2 min

A window to the world

by Gabrielle Thierry, Marsh, 15 2020

We are confined in our homes, whether exiguous or spacious, for a few weeks. A dramatic stage we must all pass through.

My perception of this world is turned upside down, the intimacy mixes with the universality of our confinements, our fears, our struggles. Our eyes see through the window, while we are longing for our recovered freedom, in the not so near future.

Vue d’une fenêtre (Île de la Mer du Nord), P. Klee,1923

This window, a doorway to the outside world, is very precious. We look at it – through it – differently. Like at a mirror to which we project our expectations, our hopes, ..

It becomes a place of expression: we sing, applaud the front-line healthcare soldiers, we communicate, we share musical and artistic moments, we celebrate life.

Portrait de Bartolomeo Bonghi, G.B.Moroni, Circa 1553, Coll. The MET

Since the Renaissance when the idea that painting should be a window on to the world was developed by Leon Battista Alberti in his essay De pictura. Windows, carefully placed in the background of religious scenes, frame the first lush landscapes in linear perspective, adding the ground breaking new feature of the linear perspective. Windows as sources of luminosity from the meticulously soft backlighting to the dramatics of the chiaroscuro and its strong emphasis on light and shadow contributed iconic images to the history of painting. Throughout the history of art, the symbolism of the window has inspired many artists who created iconic images of the transience of things.

As a painter, windows have inspired me: the frame offers an ideal backdrop for my own composition. The space is arranged above the buildings on the other side of the street, or by juxtapositions of plans, offering a tight or airy perspective. With a little luck, the window offers a view of gardens, fields, forests and ever-changing landscapes. Herewith, some of my paintings from a window: the View of my studio in Paris, L’Amandier en fleurs on J.S. Bach concertos from the 1st floor of an house, and a window that overlooked the neighbor’s garden with a little boy with an ice cream. It was summer.

Vue de l’Atelier, rue Lecuirot, Paris, G.Thierry, 1998

There are the rooftops, and the night. These silent of the night, its dark harmonies punctuated by scattered lights.

Par la Fenêtre, un été à l’ïle d’Yeu, G.Thierry, 1997

There is also the window of our neighbors. With new attention, we may share and discover part of our respective lives.

And you, could you sketch or paint the view from your window?

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to share it?

We may share our drawings and paintings on Instagram


Harmonie – Nocturne 4, G.Thierry, 2019
L’Amandier on J.S.Bach keyboard concerti, G.Thierry 2009