Christian Stained Glass Windows and Their Importance During Medieval Times
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Collin_Davis/373526]Collin Davis
Medieval stained glass windows refer to works produced between the tenth and sixteenth centuries in Europe. Created using painted or colored pieces of glass, these windows--like ones made today--were breathtaking works of art that produced a warm glow when placed in front of an opening through which light could enter. While Christian stained glass windows are still found in many places of worship today, they were particularly important during the Medieval period. This article discusses some key characteristics and uses of these extraordinary works of illuminated art during this time.
Those who have a strong knowledge of stained glass history know that most works produced during the Medieval period were in fact religious in nature. Secular works appeared only in the homes of the very wealthy and in buildings frequented and owned by the public, such as town halls.
Glass works featuring religious themes had two main purposes. The first was to add aesthetic appeal to places of worship. This certainly does not require much elaboration--anyone who has been in churches or cathedrals featuring works of colored glass is well aware of the beauty they can add to a space. The second reason why these windows were so popular was more practical: they were an educational tool for those attending services at the church. At this point in history, many of the people found in church on an average Sunday could not read or write. Detailed glass works were a way to illustrate important themes, lessons, and stories from the Bible to make them more accessible to a population that was, at the time, largely illiterate. These works were so important to the religious education of the masses that they were alternatively known as the "poor man's Bible."
The Medieval period was a vital one in the history of stained and colored glass. It was at this time that many famous works designed to inspire and educate the churchgoing population were created, and it was also when new techniques for coloring glass and using silver stain were developed. The Middle Ages were important for another reason as well: the style, rich color, and intricate detailing that characterized Medieval windows still inspire modern artists who specialize in the creation of works honoring the teachings of Christianity. Today, however, there are innovations that allow for the production of panels that have the authentic look of windows produced during Medieval times, but are shatter resistant, less expensive, and much faster to manufacture.
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Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Christian-Stained-Glass-Windows-and-Their-Importance-During-Medieval-Times&id=6296477] Christian Stained Glass Windows and Their Importance During Medieval Times