We went to see the Reframed exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. The show brings together a variety of art works that use the image of a female visible at a window or other portal. This theme is traced back to classical works, and then followed in portrait paintings from the Renaissance onwards. As it gets to the later 19th century it includes works by female artists, sometimes knowingly exploiting the theme and its history. It is mostly paintings and some sculptures, though the most recent items include videos and photographs.

Carved ivory panel showing the head of a woman looking out of a window – Phoenician work, Nimrud (Iraq), c.900-700 BCE.

Bell Krater – pottery from Paestum (Italy), c.360-340 BCE.

“Girl at a Window” (1645) – Rembrandt van Rijn.

Cartes-de-visite (visiting cards) used by early photographers like business cards:

Carte-de-visite, portrait of a woman in an arched window (1860s-80s) – James Brennen, Augustus W.Wilson

“Posing with my parrot” (2021) – Ajarb Bernard Ategwa

“Woman Reading a Possession Order” (1997) – Tom Hunter.

The Possession Order referenced in the above work.

“The Virgin and Child” (c.1465) – Dirk Bouts

Saint Avia (The Jailed Woman), France c.1450-1500

“Smokin’ Jo” (1995) – Wolfgang Tillmans

“Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bondinelli” (c.1470-80) – Sandro Botticelli

“Two noblewomen at a window”, Jaipur, c.1800

“Fenster” (1990) – Isa Genzken

“The Kitchen” (1927) – Isabel Codrington

“A View from an Apartment” (2004-5) – Jeff Wall

“Hand #1, Kingston, Jamaica” (2017) – Andrew Jackson

“Girl in a Window” (1962) – Peter Blake

“The Artist in her Studio” (1894) – Catherine Caroline Cathinka Engelhart

Some works relating to life during the pandemic and lockdowns:

“Glass Kisses” (2020) – Steph James

“Dadi’s Love” (2020) – Simran Janjua

The exhibition guide available with 2 alternative selections of front image: either Botticelli or Ategwa.

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