Stained Glass Windows: Radiant Light and Colour

Stained glass windows in Saint Denis in France, 12th century.
It may be hard to imagine now but stained glass was at one time considered and respected as a form of painting. It was not only a way to decorate church interiors, but also used to tell stories and to emotionally engage with people. The way stained glass has historically been made has not changed much today. The artist first produces a ‘cartoon’, an initial sketch of the desired pattern. Irregularly shaped pieces of coloured glass are then joined with lead to replicate the sketch and details are later refined with a fine brush. The colours of glass were determined by glassblowers who included various metal oxides to the molten glass, producing definite hues in the finished sheets. The technique of glassblowing is age-old. [More]
Radiant, delicate and bejewelled: Sainte Chapelle in Paris (1239-1248). Commissioned by Louis IX to house his collection of religious relics. A wonderful example of the Rayonnant style of Gothic architecture with fifteen massive stained glass windows of fifteen metres high.