Stained glass is a very old art form that has been illuminating holy places and inspiring visitors for over one thousand years. Transformed by the light, stained glass is a perfect symbol of faith. Here are amazing examples, both ancient and modern of this mystical and mysterious art form.
These breathtaking scenes from the Old Testament, created by famous Russian-French artist Marc Chagall serve as a symbol of healing. St. Stephan’s Cathedral was erected between 1290 and 1335 in Mainz, Germany. Badly damaged during WWII, the cathedral was restored from 1968-1971. Sometime later Chagall was approached by Monsignor Klaus Maye and asked if he would create stained glass windows for the church. Accepting the project was a difficult decision for Chagall, as he was Jewish and had fled during the war. Thankfully he agreed to design the windows as symbol of reconciliation between Germany and the Jewish people. Bathed in peaceful, stunning hues of luminous blue the beautiful glass images project hope and optimism.
Amazingly, The Glory Window in the Chapel of Thanks-Giving is the world's largest horizontally mounted stained glass. Named from Psalm 19 " The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made," this stunnng work of art was designed in 1976 by French Glass artist Gabriel Loire. The awe-inspiring 73 stained-glass panel was inspired by the spiral shape of the nautilus. The brilliantly colored stained-glass becomes brighter as it circles into the center to symbolize life's challenges and joys.
Described as a “miracle of light” this gothic 750 year-old stained glass inspires a million visitors a year. The Saint-Chappel was commissioned by King Louise IX of France to house his collection of Christian relics including Christ’s Crown of Thorns. Built in 1238, the breath-taking stained glass was added a century later. The massive glasswork consists of 15 windows, 49 feet tall, which depict 1,113 scenes from the Bible The chapel was badly damaged during the French revolution and the relics were taken. Some were retrieved and are now held in the Notre Dame cathedral. Left in ruins, the chapel was restored in 1836 using descriptions and drawings of the original building.
This shrine located in Brasilia, Brazil honors the Italian Saint, Dom Bosco, who in 1883 dreamed of a utopian city that would provide for all the needs of a great nation. His vision helped Brazil s modern capital city, Brasilia, The Sanctuary was built and designed by Claudio Naves in the 1960s. Over 7,400 pieces colored in one dozen shades of blue create a mosaic shrine that fills the space with heavenly light.
Multi-color whimsical hues of stained glas adorn the The Nasir al-Mulk Shirazi in Iran. Known as the Pink Mosque for its many rose colored tiles, the Colorful Mosque and thee Rainbow Mosque, The Nasir al-Mulk Shiraz was completed over one hundered years ago. Designed to capture the morning light, the brilliant colorful stained glass floods the space and creates a magical experience that visitors describe as "being inside a kaleidoscope."
The colored glass on the Institute of Sound and Vision is a brilliant modern take on the stained-glass form. The entire building is encased in a cast glass coating or "skin" that features images from the the Netherland’s most famous television moments. Although the glass features individual images and scenes from the media, the overall display is a modern, abstract masterpiece of color.
Described as the world’s largest stained glass, The Cosmovitral in Toluca in Mexico is nearly 10,500 square feet of 500,000 glass pieces in 28 different colors. Created by Leopold Flores Valdes, the stained glass represents the skilled work of nearly 100 artisans. Opened to the public in 1980, the seventy-one stained glass windows contain images that explore the relationship between man and the universe, the cycle of life and the struggle between good and evil.
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