Andrew Loosli wrote:
So you have a basic problem (I need light) and an aesthetical impact on the solution (how much light from what direction). The same it is with the quoted examples of paintings: Do not only look at the composition in an intellectual way, please. No painter at that time would have dared to fill a canvas with abstract forms. It had to be possible and believable what he painted. The light had to come from somewhere and it had to be 'natural'. Well - that given you have not much of a choice. A window behind the persons would lead to light in your eyes, candles are not that bright and an outdoor situation does not show the wealth of the persons as probably desired by the client. So this window, that intellectually seems a very clever choice and almost philosophical, is in fact almost the only possibility to bring natural light into an indoor-composition!
Sure you can say: 'This window brings light and it also is a vehicle to unite interior and exterior'.
Your point is very well taken, and I also appreciate the common-sense approach. The final sentence quoted above could quite aptly replace much of the article.
Still, I see one aspect of the article that the common-sense perspective does not address. I wrote the article largely in response to certain tokonoma that I had seen in the US, with windows on both sides. My understanding is that this is not the convention in Japan, and indeed I found it somewhat unsatisfying. A pair of windows also bring light and unite interior and exterior - but we don't like them. Why? The article was an attempt to suggest an aesthetic reason based in visual flow.
(An aside: Never worry about "spoiling my fun". I'll be delighted to revise any of my opinions or explanations stated in the articles, because then I will have learned something, as I already have in this discussion.)
With my best regards,