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A history of stained glass  

Stained glass has always been associated mainly with the beautiful church windows which depict episodes in the Bible, but is also used in many other ways. During the 60s and 70s, stained glass was more widely used with the bright colours associated with the times. Coloured glass as window decoration is of great antiquity in East Asia. Muslim designers fitted small pieces into intricate window traceries of stone, wood, or plaster, and this type of window mosaic is still in use.

 

Stained glass was used in windows of Christian churches as early as the 5th century, and pictorial glass as early as the 10th century. During medieval times and the development of medieval architecture, stained glass assumed a unique structural and symbolic importance. As the Romanesque massiveness of the wall was eliminated, the use of glass was expanded. It was integrated with the lofty vertical elements of Gothic architecture, thus providing greater illumination. Symbolically, it was regarded as a manifestation of divine light.

 

In these transparent mosaics, biblical history and church dogmas were portrayed with great effectiveness. Resplendent in its material and spiritual richness, stained glass became one of the most beautiful forms of medieval artistic expression.