Famous Stained Glass

A stained glass window is a window composed of multiple colored glasses, assembled by means of weights, representing scenes, characters, symbols. It became, in the West, from the Middle Ages, an artistic expression very used in architecture and more particularly in the religious buildings, borrowing the techniques of painting and ceramics.

History of stained glass
Glass is made since ancient times (at the time by mixing ash and sand, heated to high temperature in an oven). The glasses used for stained glass are generally colored in the mass, at the time of melting of the silica, by addition of metal oxides, or covered with vitrifiable paints baked. Various techniques have been used (paint applied with a brush, fixed with a second firing, at about 600 � C, then enamels provide a wider range of colors and allowing their mixing on the same glass). The window of 6 th century at least. St. Vital of Ravenna and the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople had colored stained glass windows.

It is from the 12 th century stained glass has really taken its importance. For example, the creation of three large stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral dates from about 1150. Thereafter, the window has been up and down, before returning to honor the 19 th and especially the 20 th , the famous painters having been attracted by stained glass, like Braque and Chagall.
A number of glassmakers are known specialists, very few of the general public.
Manufacture of stained glass
She understands:
the cutting of glasses according to the chosen drawing,
the assembly of these various parts using welded lead cords,
the realization of panels inserting in the windows,
the sealing of the panels in the openings.
Stained glass windows in Europe
The most famous are:
in Spain: Leon,
in Germany: Cologne,
in England: Canterbury, York
in Switzerland: Königsfelden,
in France: Chartres and Bourges.
Famous French stained glass
The Cathedral of Chartres has the most beautiful collection of stained glass windows in France, representing 5000 characters.
The cathedral of Bourges is considered as the second French building for the number, the interest and the antiquity of its windows.

The cathedral of Metz has the largest area of ​​stained glass in France (6500 m2), including many stained glass Chagall.

All the other great Gothic cathedrals , such as Amiens, Reims, Rouen, N.-D. from Paris, have beautiful stained glass windows.

The Sainte-Chapelle, in Paris, was built between 1239 and 1248 at the request of St. Louis to receive the crown of thorns of Christ, and a fragment of the cross. It was designed more as a museum for relics and stained glass than as a building for celebrating mass. There is a large number of stained glass windows, the interest being more the quantity than the quality of each of them.

The Le Mans cathedral has a set of eight novels windows of the 12 th century, the most important is the window of the Ascension, which dates from about 1120; he represents the apostles and Mary watching Jesus ascend to heaven.

The Cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand , built in lava stone, unique for a cathedral, has an interesting collection of stained glass, from 12 th to 20 th century.



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