A Brief Note On Stained Glass Art And Where To Find Them
The popularity of stained glass art has its origins in the spread of Christianity when churches were being built throughout Rome and other parts of Europe somewhere in the 14th century. It won’t be wrong to say that the stained glass art was popularised by Christianity, as most of the ancient churches you’ll see in Europe exhibit decorative glass stained windows, doors and ceilings.
One of the oldest examples of coloured glass windows is the St. Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, England, which was built in 686 AD. In the Gothic architecture, stained glass art found its way into numerous Cathedrals and monuments in the 13th and early 14th centuries, but it was later replaced by the discovery of painting in the latter half of the 14th century by the Renaissance artists.
However, you can still find some of the famous coloured glass art, which are carefully preserved for tourist attraction, in Europe. Scroll on to know more about these popular monuments and buildings that flaunt the stained glass art of the pre-Renaissance period.
Christ of Wissembourg
Developed in the late 11th century, the stained glass windows of this ancient cathedral narrate the stories of The Gospel, apparently for the poor people, who couldn’t read Latin. The original piece of this beautiful Wissembourg Christ now rests in a museum in Notre Dame, Paris, while a replica is set up for tourist attraction in the building.
Popularly known as the ‘Jewel of Rayonnant Gothic Period”, the Chapelle was developed by King Louis IX in the 13th century to store and preserve precious relics. However, the building became famous because of its stunning stained glass windows that depicted a Biblical scene with sparkling colours and beautiful interpretations. A total of 15 windows about 50 feet in height attract tourists from all over the world to Paris, and they also find the kaleidoscopic effect of the rose window quite mesmerising.
One of the masterpieces in stained glass art, the giant window of this European Cathedral features the coming Apocalypse, as narrated in the Bible, and was developed by John Thornton, the first artist, who was known by his name in the 15th century. This is undoubtedly one of the largest expanses of coloured glass art before the modern era and is considered to be a Gothic masterpiece as well. The depiction of the apocalypse is so realistic and vivid that it will blow your mind away.
King’s College Chapel
This beautiful gothic building was developed in the 15th and 16th centuries in the King’s College at the University of Cambridge. The glass stained windows were designed and painted by Peter Paul Rubens, the then famous baroque master and stand as one of the greatest narratives of this form of art today. Displaying both religious and royal instances, the windows illustrate the journey of artistic development in the Gothic period in England.
You can also witness some greatest stained window art at the Vence Chapel, a beautiful Catholic Chapel located in the town of Vence, King Arthur and Sir Lancelot illustrations by William Morris in the Gothic revival buildings in Europe, and the Augsburg Cathedral in Germany. Take some time out to explore these places when you visit Europe the next time, especially if you have a thing for art history.