Though windows are generally viewed as a utilitarian necessity nowadays, there was a time when they were considered a rare commodity and each window was viewed as a thing of beauty. It’s a nearly lost art form nowadays, but for many centuries stained glass was one of the most prominent—and accessible—forms of artistic expression. Some of the greatest artists of the last millennium worked with stained glass, creating works of great beauty and power. Fortunately, in many cases their work still exists and it can be appreciated through photographs or visiting the sites themselves.
The art of windowsThe process of creating a stained glass window was painstaking—even a small mistake could destroy months of work. However, the effort was worth it—as you will see in these three stained glass windows, which easily rank among the most beautiful in the world:
- The Chartres Cathedral in Northern France contains many world-class examples of stained glass. These windows are known for their detail and color.
- Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral in Paris has some of the tallest stained glass panels in the world. Even though they were created more than 750 years ago, they still stand among the most beautiful in the world.
- A 21st century version of stained glass. The Netherlands’ Institute for Sound and Vision demonstrates that stained glass isn’t a completely dead art form.