Stained glass history

Stained glass window historyStained glass has a long history dating back to the ancient Rome, Egypt and Babylon. Later Byzantine glassblowers laid the foundation of the stained-glass windows history in Europe, and it became an important part of the interior design.

  1. Intro
  2. Europe
  3. The Renaissance
  4. Decline
  5. New round


If we want to talk about stained glass history, firstly we need to know what it means. Stained glass is a pane of glass, and is a kind of decorative and artistic creativity, ornamental composition of colored glass. And of course, it has very deep historical roots, into the centuries. Even the Sumerians used a real vitreous glaze when they colored their huge canonical temples tiles. According to archaeological research, people tried to make stained glass in the ancient Rome, Egypt, Babylon and Greece. In fact, the production process of stained-glass windows was not the invention of medieval Europe. As historians say, in the VI century Byzantine glassblowers created architectural masterpiece in the Hagia Sofia, Constantinople - here they laid the foundation of the stained-glass windows history.

The stained-glass art started to flourish from about the XI century, when it was closely connected with architecture. in the dim glow, multi-colored glass filled temples with a shimmer on the walls and people was in awe of that multi-colored scatter glare.

At the beginning of the XII century German monk Theophilus had written the first book on the art of stained glass. To date this ancient description of manufacturing techniques is a classic one.


Stained glass historyAt the end of the century in Europe, the Byzantine style transformed in the Gothic style. It involves a lot of windows, which are decorated with stained glasses. There are new elements and architectural forms, such as round windows - a rosette. The technology of stained glass production was perfected.

The flowering of stained glass art was in many European countries. The scenes of stained-glass windows have mostly religious way, pictures of icons and other historical themes. Most of the Gothic cathedrals were built until the middle of the XIII century. The most famous monuments of the stained glass in the Gothic style are the cathedrals of Chartres, Sens, Bourges and Notre Dame.

The Renaissance

And the last flowering of stained glass art was in the middle Ages, as you know it was the Renaissance in Italy. New techniques in this art, new technologies of production of stained glass allowed such masters as Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Botticelli create a stained glass window of an absolutely new type, they made it look like the picture.

Indeed, the Italian Renaissance of stained glass art took its rightful place in Europe. Workmasters of England and Netherlands contributed to the southern style of stained glass their decorative northern restraint. Today, for example, Brussels Cathedral and the Church of St. John are worthy monuments of the Renaissance.


Stained glass history

Then, starting from the XVI century there was a decline of stained glass art. Painting replaced many pictures made-up of colored glass pieces, with the help of different reforms of the Protestant Church, the struggle of the bourgeoisie against feudalism, the French Revolution. Moreover, those pictures were destroyed and defeated. Glass workshops was closed and destroyed too.

New round

Around the beginning of the XIX century was marked by a new round of development of stained glass art. It was like a reborn of glassmaking and was changed attitudes to the stained glass. Now, they are not the only temple decor. People begin to decorate other architectural structures with the stained glass paintings.

Today, the production of stained-glass windows becomes one of the main part in the design of the interior and exterior, to create many exclusive projects.