Stained Glass Window

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Cathédrale de Chartres: Death and Assumption of the Virgin

Technical Development

Stained glass is not so much a medieval craft, as a craft that was brought to perfection in the Middle Ages. (Reyntiens 1990, 8)


And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3–4)
For the evolution of stanied glass the influence of the author known as the Pseudo-Dionysius is of paramount interest. . . . Writing in the sixth century, he produced two books which, brief though they were, proved to be highly influential. His two treatises, The Heavenly Names and The Celestial Hierarchies, which dealt with the composition of heaven and angels, in their ascending degrees of importance, were the inspiration of most theologians in the Middle Ages. From the point of view of the stained-glass artist these two books triggered-off the concept of light being the main constituent, if not the bed-rock, of matter. All was made of light, and the light was the material reflection of the heavenly light, the wisdom of God. (Reyntiens 1990, 19)

Art and Architecture


Works Cited

Raguin, Virginia Chieffo. 2003. Stained Glass: From Its Origins to the Present. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Reyntiens, Patrick. 1990. The Beauty of Stained Glass. London: The Herbert Press.

Sowers, Robert. 1954. The Lost Art: A Survey of One Thousand Years of Stained Glass. New York: George Wittenborn, Inc.

Tasker, Edward G. 1993. Encyclopedia of Medieval Church Art. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd.

Tryggvadottir, Nina. 1968. Painting with Light through Colored Glass. Leonardo, Vol. 1, No. 2. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène-Emmanuel. 1990. The Foundations of Architecture: Selections from the Dictionnaire Raisonné. Translation by Kenneth D. Whitehead. New York: George Braziller, Inc.