The Stylish Stain Glass Window

Nothing improves the look of a foyer or entrance like a beautiful stain glass window. This type of architectural detail adds both color and significant value to any home. To understand why stained glass windows are considered unique and desirable additions to any home, it is important to have some knowledge of the history behind stained glass.

Most people do not realize that glass is essentially a liquid. Man had learned long ago to make glass by heating sand. Eventually he realized he could color it by mixing in oxides and various minerals. The origins of stain glass windows probably came when jewelers were experimenting with cloisonné. It was not until a massive church building effort overtook Europe that stained glass windows came into use.

Over one thousand years ago religious images of Christ and various bible scenes were created in European churches. During the Gothic period many of the great cathedrals were built and can still be seen today. Enormous windows were filled with stain glass in the belief that this beauty would bring people closer to the spirit of God. To the unsophisticated medieval man these images of glowing color and light must have seemed almost miraculous when viewed from within.

Eventually the glass became quite heavily painted and most critics feel that much of the intrinsic beauty of the stain glass windows was lost. Sadly, some fine early examples of the art form were actually removed from ancient churches and replaced with the more fashionable painted glass versions.

Two of the most famous names in art history are John LaFarge and also Louis Comfort Tiffany. These two Americans experimented with glass creating amazing visual displays in the windows of wealthy homeowners across North America. Today, the Tiffany style remains an incredible popular and admired art form.

Adding stain glass windows to your home makes a strong statement about your tastes, your affection for color in decorating and your love of good historical design.

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