However, it was during the Middle Ages or Medieval Period from 500 AD to 1450 AD, that the art of creating stained glass was developed in Europe.
Thesis Statement: The purpose of this research paper is to investigate stained glass, its background, Medieval stained glass, the process of creating the art pieces, developments, later stained glass, and the significance of the art in the modern world.
The beauty of stained glass is magical, even before it is cut and pieced together into a project. Stained glass falls into two general categories: cathedral and opalescent or opals. Cathedral glass includes all clear and transparent colored glass. Contrastingly, opalescent glass is developed from a material that crystallizes the glass during the cooling process. This results in glass “with varying degrees of oqaqueness that refletcts light rather than transmitting it” (Stevenson 8).
The term stained glass is considered to be a misnomer, since staining is only one of the techniques of coloring used, and the best medieval glass did not employ this method. In ancient times, Muslim designers in East Asia fitted small pieces of colored glass into intricate window traceries or lacy openwork, made of stone, wood, or plaster. This type of window mosaic continues to be used. In the windows of Christian churches, colored glass was used as early as the 5th century, and pictorial glass as early as the 10th century (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2009).
In stained glass, color has been associated with emotions, through history. After entering a church, the meditative feeling that an individual gets is partly due to the interior lighting. It is believed that the rich reds and brilliant yellows traditionally used in stained glass evoked certain emotions in the viewers. Further, since many people were illiterate, books were not read to a great extent. Thus, they also