Some see stained glass as the art of painting in space; to others, it is a way of transforming light into a play of colours and images. Stained glass windows allow the shaping and blending of light within architectural spaces. Colour, texture, transparency, design and composition are all elements that can be varied and explored to create new light effects and bring space to its full potential.
From the magnificent Art Nouveau ceilings of Parisian department stores, to exuberant designs from the Islamic world, and further still to the temples and palaces of India, Indonesia and Japan, stained glass becomes a medium by which the traditional and the avant-garde come together to create sumptuous decoration. Here too are striking designs by modern artists like Marc Chagall and Fernand Léger, and glass put to skilful and subtle use by master architects such as Antoni Gaudi and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The twentieth century, with its architectural revolution in methods and materials, opened up by new possibilities for stained glass. During the last thirty years, a great many projects have been created all over the world, in both new buildings and historical churches and institutions. Studies of this phenomenon have been rare until now, and this book is a pioneer in the survey of this fascinating field.
Introduction • 1. The Revival of Stained Glass: From Romanticism to Modernism • 2. The Twentieth Century: New Problems, New Solutions 3. Artists of Our Time: Geometry, Colour and Spirituality • 4. Places of Worship: a Dialogue to Renovate Stained Glass • 5. Emblems of the Everyday: New Spaces, New Projects • Conclusion
About the Author
Xavier Barral i Altet is Professor of Art History of the Middle Ages at Université de Rennes. He is the author of numerous books, including Art and Architecture of Spain and The Romanesque.