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Wharton, Edith (1862-1937); Codman Jr., Ogden (1863-1951) / The decoration of houses
(1898)

V: windows,   pp. 64-73


Page 67

                            Windows                           67
is less objectionable.  If mullions are required1 they should be so
placed as to divide the window into three parts, thus preserving
an unobstructed central pane.   The window called Palladian illus-
trates this point.
  Now that large plate-glass windows have ceased to be a novelty,
it will perhaps be recognized that the old window with subdi-
vided panes had certain artistic and practical merits that have
of late been disregarded.
  Where there is a fine prospect, windows made of a single plate
of glass are often preferred; but it must be remembered that the
subdivisions of a sash, while obstructing the view, serve to estab-
lish a relation between the inside of the house and the landscape,
making the latter what, as seen from a room, it logically ought to
be: a part of the walL-decoration, in the sense of being subordi-
nated to the same general lines.  A large unbroken sheet of plate-
glass interrupts the decorative scheme of the room, just as in verse,
if the distances between the rhymes are so great that the ear can-
not connect them, the continuity of sound is interrupted.   Deco-
ration must rhyme to the eye, and to do so must be subject to the
limitations of the eye, as verse is subject to the limitations of the
ear.  Success in any art depends on a due regard for the limitations
of the sense to which it appeals.
  The effect of a perpetually open window, produced by a large
sheet of plate-glass, while it gives a sense of coolness and the
impression of being out of doors, becomes for these very reasons
a disadvantage in cold weather.
  It is sometimes said that the architects of the eighteenth century
would have used large plates of glass in their windows had
they been able to obtain them; but as such plates were frequently
used for mirrors, it is evident that they were not difficult to get,


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