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Flashcards in Gothic Stained Glass Deck (22)
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Gothic stained glass

-Abbot Suger started fashion for large stained glass windows
-He believed a divine mystical light shone thru


function of stained glass

-teach Bible + lives of Christian saints to illiterate
-provide spiritually uplifting experience
-Glorify Christian Church


composition + design

-designers had to consider:
-imagery to reflect ideas of patron
-colours, materials + techniques available
-scale + format of window openings


window formats

-large circular rose windows
-smaller circular medallion windows
-pointed arch windows
-geometric patterns formed by stone tracery, dividing windows into sections


use of colour

blue used throughout to create unifying effect


how stained glass related to architecture

-architectural design focused on providing framework for stained glass
-cathedrals -> taller + more openings to accommodate
-flying b supported weight of roof - allow greater areas of stained glass


stages of stained glass process

1) Glass made by melting mix of sand + woodash

2) coloured by adding powdered metal oxides (to molten glass)

3) pieces of glass laid out over design

4) pieces cut + shaped

5) fine details painted w/ dark, blackish-brown enamel paint

6) fired in kiln to fuse dark enamel to glass

7) assembled w/ strips of lead reinforced by iron frame

8) finished stained glass mounted in window opening


development of stained glass

-12th + 13th century -> vividly coloured w/ deep rubies and blues. Stood out in dark interiors
-14th + 15th centuries -> colours more muted due to increased daylight (larger windows)
-stone window tracery more ornate


examples of stained glass

The Blue Virgin (Chartres Cathedral)
North Rose Window (Chartres Cathedral)


The Blue Virgin - location

south side of Chartres Cathedral


The Blue Virgin - theme/subject matter

-Mary dressed in blue against 3 deep red panels
-represented as seat of wisdom, presenting her child Jesus + dates from mid 12th century
-survived fire of 1194 + inserted into early 13th century lancet or pointed arch window


The Blue Virgin - overall plan + design

-tall lancet window design
-24 panels
-3 panels @ bottom -> depict 3 temptations of CHrist
-next 6 tell story of Christ's first miracle
-next 4 central panels show 4 angels upholding throne + the Virgin Mary + her son, Jesus
-8 narrow side panels depict angels doing homage to Mary + Jesus
-central panel above Mary's head show Holy Spirit as dove


The Blue Virgin - composition

-traditional frontal composition
-Mary seated on throne, feet resting on footstool, covered w/ rug
-head (surrounded by blue nimbus bordered w/ pearls) is surrounded by rich crown
-white veil falls in folds on either side of head
-hands rest on shoulders of her Son
-right hand raised in blessing
-in left hand: open book


The Blue Virgin - colour

-Mary dressed in bright, luminous blue garment
-innovations in Gothic stained glass included experimentation w/ colour
-blue known as Chartres Blue first used on 3 Romanesque stained glass windows of west front
-involved blue tones enhanced w/ traces of red
-contrasting colours such as red, yellow, green helped render biblical stories more vivid
-contrast effectively used in windows of nave clerestory at Chartres (portray enthroned Virgin)


The Blue Virgin - what the colours stood for

blue = heaven
red = passion
white = purity
green = fertility
yellow = presence of god


The Blue Virgin - treatment

-images drawn w/ greatest care
-garments w/ their symmetrical folds, ornaments along borders, architecture of throne, all treated w/ minute attention to detail


North Rose Window - location

North side of Chartres Cathedral


North Rose Window - theme/subject matter

depicts Glorification of the Virgin: Virgin and Child surrounded by doves + angels, then Old Testament kings and prophets


North Rose Window - overall plan + design

-consists of large circular section sub divided into smaller shapes
-window tracery help unite diff. parts within circle
-5 major lancet windows below circular rose window
-8 minor lancet windows to left + to right of rose window
-window 12 meters in diameter


North Rose Window - composition

-rose itself has seated Virgin + Child at centre
-centre surrounded by 12 circular panels depicting 4 doves w/ halos (gifts of Holy Spirit) + angels w/ censers + candlesticks
-beyond is circle of diamond-shaped panels showing Old T kings
-outermost circle shows Old T prophets
-in small panels: arms of royal houses of France + Castile


North Rose Window - colour

-vibrant blues + reds thru window


North Rose Window - what colours stood for

blue = heaven
red = passion
white = purity
green = fertility
yellow = presence of god