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« What's Up With the Left? | Main | Visual Arts Linkage »

June 10, 2009

Stained Glass Windows, Old and New

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I'm afraid I seldom pay much attention to stained glass windows in cathedrals and churches. But I did when we stepped into the Église Saint-Séverin located in Paris' Latin Quarter.

As this Wikipedia entry indicates, the church has traditional windows along with some new ones created by Jean René Bazaine (1904-2001) who, according to the link, did a good deal of work of that kind. One of his Saint-Séverin windows (in an image I grabbed off the Web) is shown below.


Since I don't feel qualified to evaluate Bazaine's windows on their own terms, I'll simply mention that they struck me as bland and washed-out looking compared to the traditional windows in the same setting.



posted by Donald at June 10, 2009


I certainly don't find much that is appealing about the glasswork in that window. My attention is drawn to the clean curves of the masonry interstices and the vertical and horizontal lines of whatever is separating the panes, but not what's on the panes themselves.

Posted by: Laikastes on June 11, 2009 3:14 AM

It looks like the window was rained on before the paint could set and it got all runny like.


Posted by: PatrickH on June 11, 2009 10:34 AM

All you need to know.

Posted by: Faceman on June 11, 2009 12:51 PM

If you like stained glass I hope you went to see Chartres and also the Sainte Chapelle. Sainte Chapelle is an gloriously exuberant display of the very best technique, but I found Chartres to have more spiritual depth. Really profound experience.

Posted by: MQ on June 11, 2009 1:21 PM

New Stained glass, like that in your example is horrendous garbage. Why bother anymore is you don't have the skill or motivation to create beauty?

Posted by: Tim Price on June 11, 2009 4:14 PM

Saw lots of that swirly mosaic style stained-glass in 70s Catholic churches. Some of it can be nice, but the example above sucks.

Posted by: JV on June 11, 2009 8:24 PM

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