Sunday, February 25, 2018

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 15, 10 of the Greatest Stained Glass Windows

Hello Every Stained Glass Lover out there!

I have put together a group of 10 beautiful stained glass pieces adopted by the BBC piece adapted by  Jason Farago, enjoy!

Augsburg Cathedral, late 11th Century
The practice of staining glass for decorative purposes dates to ancient Rome, but the oldest examples in situ are from this Romanesque church in Augsburg, Germany, in the heart of Bavaria. Portraits of Moses, Daniel and other biblical figures gaze down from the south clerestory – the prophets stand rock-solid in their hats and robes, ringed by marbled borders that have grown more elegant with age. (Hans Bernhard (Schnobby)/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0)

Christ of Wissembourg, late 11th Century
Stained-glass windows served as a ‘poor man’s Bible’ in the Middle Ages, allowing believers who could not read Latin to learn the story of the Gospels. This portrait of Christ, now in a museum in Strasbourg, France, is believed to have come from a Benedictine abbey in the north of Alsace, where its somber expression and harsh frontal gaze would have had a terrific force. (Cancre/Head of Christ from Wissembourg/Wikipedia)

Chartres Cathedral, early 13th Century
Demand for stained glass reached its height in the late Middle Ages. The cathedral at Chartres, France, features sturdy flying buttresses that allowed for huge windows, including the glorious rose window detailing the birth of Christ. The density of the compositions bathes the interior of the cathedral in a deep, colorful glow. (Eusebius/Rosace Nord/Wikipedia)

Sainte-Chapelle, mid-13th Century
To modern viewers stained-glass windows may seem purely decorative, but in the Middle Ages they illustrated not only biblical narratives but also local history and political authority. The 15 tall windows of Sainte-Chapelle, on Paris’s central Ile de la Cité, depict tales from the Old and New Testaments – and also holy relics being brought to Paris by King Louis IX – now known as Saint Louis. (Michael D Hill Jr/Sainte Chapel Stained glass Interior/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0)

York Minster, 15th Century
One of the greatest of all European cathedrals, this Gothic masterpiece of northern England incorporates a giant east-facing window that is the largest expanse of stained glass anywhere before the modern era. Designed by John Thornton (the first named artist in British history), it features at its heart an intense depiction of the coming apocalypse. It’s currently undergoing repairs. (Asterion/York Minster West Window/Wikipedia/CC BY 2.5)

King Arthur and Sir Lancelot, 1862
Stained glass went into decline during the Renaissance, when the techniques we now call “Gothic” came to be seen as naive if not barbarous. It wasn’t until the 19th Century that artists began to look afresh at the medium. William Morris, an innovative designer and a radical socialist, executed not only religious scenes but secular commissions like King Arthur and Sir Lancelot for the Gothic Revival buildings of the day. (William Morris/King Arthur and Sir Lancelot/Wikipedia)

Frank Lloyd Wright’s stained-glass window, 1912
America’s first great architect believed in the total unity of the design of a home, and that included not only the building and the furnishings but the windows as well. Directly inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of Morris and others, Wright’s Prairie style sought to create an organic, seamless architecture through abstract glass compositions. (Frank Lloyd Wright/Richland Center, Wisconsin 1867–1959 Phoenix, Arizona/

Brown Memorial Church, 1915
Louis Comfort Tiffany’s career spanned nearly every medium in the decorative arts, from jewelry design to pottery – but it was stained glass where he made his deepest impact. By blending colours while the glass was still molten, his studio could produce milky or opalescent effects. It permitted greater pictorial sophistication than ever before, and defined the look of the American elite for a generation. (James G Howes, July 26, 2007/Annunciation to the Shepherds/Wikipedia)

Vence Chapel, 1949-51
Amid the stark white expanses of the small Dominican chapel, Henri Matisse’s three sets of stained-glass windows are ablaze with the colours of the south of France: sunny yellow, deep green and a bright Mediterranean blue. While the palette has some liturgical significance (blue is the colour of Mary, yellow stands for the light of God), Matisse opts for abstract compositions; he lets the solid panes of coloured glass do the ecclesiastical heavy lifting. (Hemis/Alamy)

Grossmünster Zürich, 2006–2009
The slippery polymath of postwar German art, currently subject of an outstanding retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, spent years designing new windows for Zurich’s thousand-year-old cathedral, which was stripped of its ornaments during the Reformation. While five of the windows depict biblical scenes, the most breathtaking are Polke’s abstract compositions made of thinly sliced agate, which break up the church’s solid walls with pools of light. (Ikono TV)

Well, my computer went crazy when I was drafting this & this is how it cam out...kind of strange but the content is wonderful!!

May sunshine fill your day!  Stay tuned for more in the near future.

Best regards!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 14, The Teatro Colon in Romantic Buenos Aires

Welcome back!!!  

One of the world’s best opera houses is found in Buenos Aires. Built in 1908 at the height of the city’s Golden Age, the Teatro Colón is a grandiose testament to the rivers of money that once flooded the Argentine capital.
The French Renaissance building on Plaza Lavalle is impressive enough from the outside, but it has a magnificent interior. It begins in the theater’s foyer, with stained glass windows on the ceiling that depict allegories of music and mirth, antique statues and polished floors exuding pure elegance. Then there is the staircase, made of three different kinds of marble. Just imagine wealthy turn-of-the-century ladies ascending to the theater, gowns flowing behind them while admiring on-lookers watched from the balconies. The scene is surprisingly easy to picture.
                                                            The foyer
                                                The picturesque staircase

                                            More Stained Glass in the Foyer

As awesome as the foyer is, the theater is even better. With five rows of golden balconies arched around the stage, it’s little wonder that the Colón is considered among the world’s most beautiful. It’s also said to have some of the best acoustics in the world. 
                                                     The stuning theatre

If you are on tour in Buenos Aires and have the chance, make sure to take the tour of the theater. It really is a beautiful, very romantic, and incredible piece of work.

That's all for now!!  May sunshine fill your day!

I'll be back with more very soon so stay tuned!!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 13, Halifax, N.S.

Hello and welcome back!

In all of my research to find fascinating Stained Glass, I do find that stained glass was predominately through our religious past.  Here is another to share with you!

The windows at St. James Anglican Church tell the story of Christ’s life from the Annunciation to the Ascension.  The man responsible for their existence is Rev. Canon George W. Findlay, rector of the parish from 1927 to 1951. It all started with the East Window …

By the 1940s, mortgages had been paid off and the parishioners decided to turn their attention to beautifying the ‘new’ church.  Rev. Findlay suggested that stained glass be installed in the East Window, to honour “the men and women who served, suffered, and died in the service of God, King, and Country.” Rev. Findlay had been impressed with windows he had seen in Toronto and invited their creator, Meikle Studios, to submit a design. When he visited the church, the studio representative suggested that stained glass be installed in the 14 aisle windows as well. Conceptual designs were drawn up for them, with the upper and lower panel designs being formalized, and the center panel left for a Biblical scene that would be designed when the window was commissioned.
Fundraising for the East Window began in September of 1944, and the window was unveiled on November 11, 1945; a fitting gift from the congregation. The cost was $1,460.17

Canon Findlay drew up a list of 14 pivotal events in Christ’s life to suggest to parishioners who wanted to donate a window and stipulated that they had to be installed in the correct order in the story sequence. The first aisle windows to be donated were the pair illustrating ‘The Women Come to the Tomb” and ‘The Emmaus Road’. 

This was the beginning; interest and excitement increased as the remaining windows were installed over the next decades. After Canon Findlay’s death in 1952, his family donated ‘The Birth of Christ’ and ‘The Presentation at the Temple’ in his memory.



Behind the Baptismal Font, at the nave entrance, is a double panelled Baptistery Window designed and created by Winnipeg’s Leo Mol, the world-renowned artist and sculptor. These are not part of the story sequence but are important representations of periods in Christ’s life. The left panel shows John the Baptist baptizing Christ with water from a scallop shell (the symbol for St. James); the right shows Jesus welcoming three children to Him.
The most recent windows to be added are two small panels beside the Baptistery Windows (Abbey Most windows were created by Meikle Studios (of Toronto), but it no longer exists. Westmacott Art Glass Studio of Winnipeg created two of the aisle windows as well as the large West Window in the gallery (balcony).

Art Glass). As all of the story windows are complete, these illustrate concepts in Christianity:
        •    The chalice symbolizes faith, sacrifice, redemption, the Eucharist, the cup of salvation 
        •    The dove expresses innocence and purity and signifies the Holy Spirit and presence of God; rays of light of divine power indicate the Holy Spirit, and also declare the innocence of the departed.

Adapted from Through a Glass Brightly —
The Heritage Windows of St. James Anglican Church
by the late Reverend Canon John D. Caird

That's all for now folks!  May sunshine fill your day!! Please check back often!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 12, Panama

Welcome Back!  I hope everyone had a great Holiday!  More about Stained Glass & some history:

Travel & Tourism One of the things you might want to see when you visit Panama is the famous golden altar of the Church of San Jose in Casco Viejo. The Inglesia de San Jose (the Church of San Jose) is a small almost nondescript building on a narrow street in the San Felipe district of Panama City. Inside is the famous Golden Altar, which is made of carved wood and is covered in gold flake. Commonly known in Spanish as the "Altar de Oro" (Golden Altar), it was originally in a church in "Old Panama." When English pirate Henry Morgan attacked the city the jesuits painted the altar black to hide the gold. The pirates left it alone, thinking it was worthless. After Morgan sacked and burned "Old Panama" the Jesuit monks of the Order of St. Agustine moved the altar to the new church and its present location.

The church is filled with beautiful side altars, also hand-carved wood and enhanced with gold flake.

"The Church of San Jose" Initially constructed between 1671 and 1677, was remodeled in the 19th Centrury, is custodian of the Golden Altar, built in the 18th Century. Rotary Club, Panama"
And here's what you came to see. This church gets quite a bit of tourist traffic, and they are kind of accustomed to it. But you should tread lightly and show proper respect if there is a mass being celebrated when you happen to drop in. It's fine to take pictures of the altar, but not during a church service. Some blundering tourists pull some irritating moves in this place. As long as you understand that this is a functioning church and more than just a tourist attraction and show a little respect, then you'll have no problems at all. And, you'll find that people are very proud of the church and like to show it off.

A detail shot of the Golden Altar of the Church of San Jose in Casco Viejo, Panama City. The altar is actually made out of hand-carved wood, and then covered in gold flake.

The church also has some very nice stained glass windows, this one dedicated to Saint Rita of Cascia, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.  Very interesting!!

                                                          And this one to Saint Augustine of Hippo...

This does not have as many Stained Glass windows to shhow, but the few that are in the church are worthy of mentioning!

That's al for now!  May sunshine fill your day!
Happy New Year to all of you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 11, Shiraz, Iran

Hello everyone!  Welcome back!

More wonderful Stained Glass for our history and viewing pleasure:

The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Persian: Masjed-i Nasir al-Mulk), also known as the Pink Mosque, is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It is located in Gawd-i Arabān quarter, near Shāh Chérāgh Mosque.

The exterior of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, while decorative, hints only vaguely at the colorful splendor held within. When you step inside, especially if it’s early in the morning, the mosque truly becomes a vivid and glorious kaleidoscope.

The mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade, and displays other traditional elements such as the Panj Kāse("five concaved") design. It is named in popular culture as the Pink Mosque, due to the usage of considerable pink color tiles for its interior design.**
The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is heavily decorated with stained glass – something very rare in mosque architecture. It was built during the Qājār era by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al Molk in 1888. The mosque is famous for its extensive usage of stained glass and the divine feast of colours that it casts with the help of the morning sun. The mosque is often referred to as the “Pink Mosque” due to the dominance of this colour in the intricate and colorful tiles decorating its arches and niches.

The mosque was built during the Qajar era, and is still in use under protection by Endowment Foundation of Nasir ol Molk. It was built from 1876 to 1888, by the order of Mirzā Hasan Ali (Nasir ol Molk), a Qajar ruler. The designers were Mohammad Hasan-e-Memār, an Iranian architect, and Mohammad Rezā Kāshi-Sāz-e-Širāzi.  Restoration, protection, and maintenance of this monument is being continued by the Endowment Foundation of Nasir ol Molk. Colorful windows and doors handcrafted by carpenter master 'Hajj Mirza Ayat'**

If you ever have a chance, go visit this majestic, one-of-a-kind mosque and don’t miss the chance,  you won’t regret it!

Spectacular Mosque In Iran Becomes A Glorious Display When The Sun Rises
**From Wikipedia

That's all for now!!  May sunshine fill your day!  Visit often for more great stained glass!!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 10, Troyes, Champagne, France

Hello and Welcome back! Some good history to see and read!

The site has been used for religious buildings since at least the 4th century, when an oratory stood on the site. A cathedral was built in the 9th century, but was badly damaged by Norman invasions and was replaced in the 10th century, from about 940, when bishop Milo built a Romanesque cathedral. This building was the location of the Council of Troyes that opened on 13 January 1128/29, at which the Order of the Knights Templar was confirmed and its rule established. The Romanesque cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1188.
Construction of the present Gothic cathedral was ordered in about 1200 by bishop Garnier de Traînel and begun under bishop Hervé in 1208. Work continued until the 17th century. The cathedral only has one tower, St. Peter's; St. Paul's tower to the south was never built, and the building is thus still in fact unfinished. A steeple, with a height of 110 metres, once stood over the crossing: it was ruined by a tornado in 1365, and struck by lightning in 1700, after which it was not rebuilt.
The cathedral structure has suffered other natural disasters: part of the choir was destroyed in a hurricane in 1228, and the roof was set afire by lightning in 1389.
The earliest part is the 13th century choir. The elaborate façade dates from the beginning of the 16th century. The three main portals are the work of the architect Martin Chambiges. The cathedral escaped destruction during the French Revolution, but was de-Christianised and turned into a Temple of Abundance for several years.
It is particularly noted for its exceptional stained-glass windows of dates from the 13th to the 19th century, with a surface area of 1,500 m, and for the magnificent treasure containing among many other important works the reliquary casket or shrine of Saint Bernard de Clairvaux and his closest friend Saint Malachy of Ireland.
The cathedral, containing the nave, two principal aisles and two further subsidiary aisles, is 114 metres (379 feet 6 inches) long and 50 metres (162 feet 6 inches) wide (across the transepts), with a height from the top of the vault of 29.5 metres (96 feet); the height of the cupola and the tower is 62.34 metres (202 feet 7 inches).

The Stained glass above shows much of the birth of Jesus.


In May 1420, the Treaty of Troyes was signed in the cathedral between Henry V of England, his ally Philip of Burgundy and Queen Isabel, wife of the mad Charles VI of France whereby the throne of France would pass to Henry on the death of Charles rather than to Charles' son the Dauphin. Henry married Catherine of Valois, the French king's daughter, shortly afterwards in Troyes, either at the cathedral or the church of St Jean.
In July 1429, Joan of Arc escorted the Dauphin to mass in the cathedral en route to proclaiming him Charles VII of France at Reims cathedral, in contravention of the recently signed Treaty of Troyes.


  • Balcon, Sylvie, and Philippot, Jacques, 2001. La cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Troyes. Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux, Monum (Éditions du Patrimoine). ISBN 2-85822-615-6 ISBN 978-2-85822-615-3

That's all for now!  May sunshine fill your day!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 9, Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Welcome back!! 

Sainte-Chapelle is an extraordinary House of worship with many historical facts such as the Sainte Chapelle could be considered a huge reliquary only built to house the relics of the Crucifixion.

In 1239, Saint Louis bought the crown of thorns from Venetian merchants for 135,000 Pounds! (the relics of the crucifixion) 

This is just one interesting fact of many which surround the Sainte-Chapelle, but, this blog concentrates mostly on the churches Stained Glass., which is VERY IMPRESSIVE!!              


The church, which has two levels, was consecrated on April 26th, 1248, so it is assumed that Sainte Chapelle was finished at this time. The starting date, however, is still unknown, as is the name of the master mason is also (probably Pierre de Montreuil or Jean de Chelles). 

Sainte Chapelle suffered from several fires (1630, 1777) and one flood. Nor did the French Revolution spare it: the outside ornamentation was damaged, especially the spire, whose fleurs-de-lis were considered a symbol of the French monarchy. Then, during the First Empire, the upper chapel was used as an archive warehouse, which led to severe damage and the stained glass windows were dismantled.

The upper chapel has four bays and a seven section choir. Its walls are much taller than those of the lower chapel. They are in great part covered only by stained glasses.
The surface of the masonry is reduced to the strict minimum. The thinness of the columns between the stained glass windows is an example of an absolute mastery of gothic art. For strengthening purposes, the columns are reinforced with tie beams.
The 15 stained glasses windows (15.4 m height and 4.25 m width) are also considered as master pieces of the art of stained glass. Most of them date from the 13th century. They are composed with 1113 little pieces of glass.
Each pane is represented as:

Legend of the stained glass windows :
A : history of the holy relics
B : book of kings
C : Esther
D : Judith and Job
E : Jeremy and Tobie
F : Ezechiel's visions
G : John the Baptist & Book of Daniel
H : Passion

I : John & Christ childhood
J : Joshua tree and Isaïe
K : Book of Judges
L : Deuteronom & Joshua
M : Book of numbers
N : exodus
O : Genesis

Saint Louis held the relics and considered himself as a worthy heir to the Kings of Israel. This clear link is emphasized by one above, which shows the history of some the most famous Kings of Israel (from Saul to Solomon). Window 1

The Sainte Chapelle is thus a demonstration of the power of King Saint Louis. In window 2, the writings are not in Latin, but in French, which shows Saint Louis's will of domination over the Church.

All the windows tell stories especially to the ones who could not read.....the showed the history pane by pane.
Among the stained glass, the 16th century rose is noteworthy. Its style is flamboyant gothic. Some of its colors (especially the green) can't be found in the other 13th century stained glasses because it was not technically possible to obtain it. The rose shows the Apocalypse around an enthroned Christ in the central oculus.

Further to the religious meaning, some windows are politically significant. This is the case for windows in the upper part of the Chapelle in the Nave. The windows show the history of the Holy Relics, from the discovery of the Holy Cross by Saint Helen, to the transfer to the French Kingdom by Saint Louis.

**excepts from the English Glossary, notations J. Vadnel.

That's all for today!!  May Sunshine fill your day, stay tuned & check in often for more stained class information!!