Saturday, 23 July 2011

A View Through a Window

Many artists have been inspired by this relatively simple subject matter. It's not hard to see why, as curtains and windows naturally frame an image. Sometimes the view is iconic, such as the Parisian skyline, as in Hockney's 'Rue de Seine' (above), sometimes more homely, such as a garden or neighbourhood street, like Rachel Eardley's 'Rear Window' (below). But each artwork is always quietly thought-provoking, with as sense of solitude - was the artist content to be looking out at that view or missing somewhere else or somebody?

One artist who repeatedly came back to the subject time and again was Pierre Bonnard. 'The Breakfast Room' (above) and 'The Open Window' (below) are just two examples.

Marc Chagall loved Paris and made it his home, but was exiled from his native Russia. His paintings of Paris, such as 'Paris Through the Window' (below) often depict his longing to be in both places.
Rene Magritte saw the Surrealist potential of the subject. When we break the window, is the view also broken? He painted several works based on this idea, 'Key to the Fields' (below) is one of them.
Edward Hopper reversed the idea by looking into windows, making them look like little theatres, making us wonder about the lives of the people playing out inside. 'Nightwindows' (below) is one example.

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