What Is a Clerestory Art History?

Art|Art History

Clerestory art history is the study of the origins and development of architectural styles that feature a clerestory, a form of wall construction that consists of a window or series of windows set high in the wall. Clerestories have been used in various cultures in different regions throughout history, and as such, provide insight into the evolution of architecture as a whole.

What Is a Clerestory?
A clerestory is an architectural feature that consists of windows set high up in a wall, usually near the roof. This form of window placement allows for natural light to enter the interior spaces while still providing privacy.

The height at which the windows are placed also helps to create an airy atmosphere and enable cross-ventilation, making it ideal for hot climates. The term “clerestory” comes from the Latin words “clere” meaning “clear” and “story” meaning “level”, referring to its vertical orientation.

Uses Throughout History
Clerestories have been used throughout history in many cultures and regions. In Ancient Egypt, they were used to provide light while maintaining privacy in tombs and temples. In Ancient Greece, they were used to bring light into courtyards and other outdoor spaces.

In India, clerestories were often used in religious buildings such as temples and mosques, as well as commercial buildings such as bazaars. In Europe during the Middle Ages, clerestories were commonly seen in churches where stained glass windows provided colorful light for religious ceremonies. During this time period, clerestories also began to be incorporated into residential architecture where they served functional purposes such as ventilation or lighting while adding visual interest to homes.

Modern Uses
Today, clerestories are still widely used in both commercial and residential architecture around the world due to their ability to provide natural light while still allowing for privacy. They are often seen in modern office buildings where they help bring natural light into large open plan workspaces without sacrificing privacy between offices or cubicles. They are also popular in contemporary homes due to their ability to bring natural light into a variety of spaces without compromising views or privacy from neighboring properties or passersby on the street below.

What Is a Clerestory Art History? As we can see from its long history and wide range of uses throughout various cultures around the world, clerestories are an important part of architectural history that continue to be utilized today for their ability to bring natural light into interior spaces while preserving privacy from outside elements.