The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture.
Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic leadlight and objets d'art created from came glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
As a material stained glass is glass that has been coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together (traditionally) by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are often used to enhance the design. The term stained glass is also applied to windows in which the colours have been painted onto the glass and then fused to the glass in a kiln.
Stained glass, as an art and a craft, requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design, and the engineering skills to assemble the piece. A window must fit snugly into the space for which it is made, must resist wind and rain, and also, especially in the larger windows, must support its own weight. Many large windows have withstood the test of time and remained substantially intact since the late Middle Ages. In Western Europe they constitute the major form of pictorial art to have survived. In this context, the purpose of a stained glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or even primarily to admit light but rather to control it. For this reason stained glass windows have been described as 'illuminated wall decorations'.
The design of a window may be non-figurative or figurative; may incorporate narratives drawn from the Bible, history, or literature; may represent saints or patrons, or use symbolic motifs, in particular armorial. Windows within a building may be thematic, for example: within a church - episodes from the life of Christ; within a parliament building - shields of the constituencies; within a college hall - figures representing the arts and sciences; or within a home - flora, fauna, or landscape.
Other articles related to "stained glass, glass":
... The stained glass windows in the side walls imitate the subdued colors in the windows of sun-drenched Italy rather than those in France and Germany, where the days are darker ... The beautiful high altar sits under a gorgeous stained glass window depicting the Crucifixion ...
... The stained glass in the west window dates from 1875 it was made by Clayton and Bell and depicts the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple ... In other windows on the south wall there are fragments of old glass ... The north wall of the north transept contains a window with stained glass by Kempe which incorporates some pieces of medieval glass and depicts the Tree of Jesse ...
... The church is noted for its stained glass by William Morris dating from 1865 and 1866. ...
... The rest of St Andrew’s stained glass was commissioned for the church ... There is a large stained glass window in the apse of the church to the memory of Field-Marshal, Earl Haig as well as glass commemorating the Cameron ... Additionally a number of stained glass windows have been given in memory of individual members of the congregation ...
... In the apse, behind the aaldachin, are five windows of glass more colorful than the rest, which depict the life of Christ ...
Famous quotes containing the words glass and/or stained:
“Here in the centre stands the glass. Light
Is the lion that comes down to drink. There
And in that state, the glass is a pool.
Ruddy are his eyes and ruddy are his claws
When light comes down to wet his frothy jaws”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)
“The honor my country shall never be stained by an apology from me for the statement of truth and the performance of duty; nor can I give any explanation of my official acts except such as is due to integrity and justice and consistent with the principles on which our institutions have been framed.”
—Andrew Jackson (17671845)