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Where did Stained Glass Originate?

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Stained glass only came into being when Christian beliefs had spread to Europe and architecture advanced to the point where the possibility of vistas or windows in church buildings became a reality. In the meantime glass art forms such as mosaic had come to the fore. Expression of faith inspired these new art forms. In the sixth century coloured glass glazing was used in St Martin of Tours in France. This glass was not painted however, and we have to look to examples from four centuries later in Germany, including excavations at Lorsch Abbey and Ausburg cathedral to find painted and coloured glass with discernable style and technique along with leaded framework, thought to have derived from goldsmiths' techniques. So it can be said that the origins of stained glass as an authentic art form began in Europe inspired by Christian imagery and evolving glass technology, including addition of oxides in manufacture - such as Copper, Cadmium and Cobalt to create greens, reds and blues. The ... more
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