The Sacred World of Stained Glass

the-full-stained-glass-window

Stained glass has had a 1,000 year history though throughout most of it, it was used for windows in churches (like the awesome medieval Gothic cathedrals in Europe that still stand to this day), mosques, and other significant buildings. In many ways, this makes a lot of sense since before the days of sheet glass production, glass was expensive as hell since it took a long time to make. Many buildings usually went without them. In fact, during American colonization, it was very common for many families to take their glass windows with them on the boat. Not to mention, it’s not an easy material to transport since it’s quite breakable. So you imagine how Washington and Jefferson had it when they’re building Mount Vernon and Monticello. Nevertheless, many of these large stained glass windows you see in medieval cathedrals have withstood the test of time as a form of pictoral art. Contrary to what you see in movies on the Middle Ages, walk into a Gothic cathedral during the day and you’ll find yourself in a very illuminated place with color. After all, medieval folks didn’t have access to great lighting so these magnificent cathedrals were built with large windows so it can be the brightest indoor space around. Stained glass designs can feature either abstract or figurative themes such as figures and scenes from the Bible or literature, representations of saints, or symbolic motifs. Stained glass windows within a building may also be thematic such as a church depicting scenes of the life of Christ, a mosque depicting geometrics, constituencies’ shields in a parliamentary building, figures representing the arts and sciences within a college, or images of flora, fauna, and landscapes within a home. Today, while windows continue to be the dominant work of stained glass, it can also be seen as decoration as well as as 3 dimensional objects like lamps. In fact, Charles Tiffany became very rich and famous for his stained glass lamps from the Art Nouveau period. So much so that when you look at such a lamp, you’d almost think it’s designed by him. It’s also widely used as a craft as I’ve seen a lot of stained glass panels on Pinterest or Etsy. Then you’ve seen a lot of stained glass integrated in wind chimes and suncatchers for good reason. So for your reading pleasure, I give you a treasure trove of stained glass art.

 

  1. A heron always looks great near the front door.
I know this isn't a Great Blue Heron since it has dark blue feathers. Not sure when this was made either because it seems quite stylized.

I know this isn’t a Great Blue Heron since it has dark blue feathers. Not sure when this was made either because it seems quite stylized.

2. How about a lovely forest scene outside?

This one depicts a stream with flowers and trees. And in a rather abstract style, too.

This one depicts a stream with flowers and trees. And in a rather abstract style, too.

3. A glass star looks great with blue.

Yes, you're going to see more like these, too. Love the glass star and the blue swirls.

Yes, you’re going to see more like these, too. Love the glass star and the blue swirls.

4. Flowers near your window? How about flowers on your window?

At least these flowers won't wilt after a couple of weeks. Still, these are so beautiful.

At least these flowers won’t wilt after a couple of weeks. Still, these are so beautiful.

5. Perhaps a landscape may cheer you up.

Here's another stained glass landscape. This depicts a mountain scene. Love the blue lake and sky.

Here’s another stained glass landscape. This depicts a mountain scene. Love the blue lake and sky.

6. With stained glass, you can have some fancy stairs.

Yes, these are glass that are inlaid with the wooden stairs. Sure it's beautiful. But I don't think it would look right if you try it at home.

Yes, these are glass that are inlaid with the wooden stairs. Sure it’s beautiful. But I don’t think it would look right if you try it at home.

7. If you love penguins, then this glass panel answers your prayers.

Seems like it could depict a scene from March of the Penguins. With the Morgan Freeman voiceover, this would be perfect.

Seems like it could depict a scene from March of the Penguins. With the Morgan Freeman voiceover, this would be perfect.

8. As a practicing Catholic, I tend to be a sucker for stained glass religious imagery.

Well, I have to put some religious stuff on here. This window depicts Christ on the cross. And it's an example of a stained glass masterpiece.

Well, I have to put some religious stuff on here. This window depicts Christ on the cross. And it’s an example of a stained glass masterpiece.

9. Never seen such a colored swordfish before.

You tend to see a lot of sea stuff on these windows as well. But the marlin jumping out of the water is sure a majestic sight.

You tend to see a lot of sea stuff on these windows as well. But the marlin jumping out of the water is sure a majestic sight.

10. This one has a Spanish church on the seashore.

I guess the Spanish church is on here because it looks great in the scene. Like the sun in this.

I guess the Spanish church is on here because it looks great in the scene. Like the sun in this.

11. Looks like a couple of bears are roasting marshmallows at the campfire.

I know Smokey the Bear might not approve of this. But I think it's cute, especially since it has an adult bear and cub.

I know Smokey the Bear might not approve of this. But I think it’s cute, especially since it has an adult bear and cub.

12. A stained glass sculpture can always stand out in the sun.

This looks pretty huge. Look closer and you can see a face in the details.

This looks pretty huge. Look closer and you can see a face in the details.

13. Guess this one has a lovely decorated skull.

This seems like a Southwestern or Mexican stained glass panel. Possibly for Dia de la Muertos.

This seems like a Southwestern or Mexican stained glass panel. Possibly for Dia de los Muertos.

14. Sometimes all you need are flowers and butterflies.

This is one a little 3-dimensional since the butterflies have raised wings. Love the flowers, too.

This is one a little 3-dimensional since the butterflies have raised wings. Love the flowers, too.

15. There’s nothing like seeing the hummingbirds pollinate the flowers.

Sure some people may have hummingbird feeders (like my mom). But these hummingbirds drinking nectar as nature intended.

Sure some people may have hummingbird feeders (like my mom). But these hummingbirds drinking nectar as nature intended.

16. With this stained glass panel, you can look under the sea.

I think the fish should be wary of the dolphin. But this is a beautiful work of art. Love the blue sea.

I think the fish should be wary of the dolphin. But this is a beautiful work of art. Love the blue sea.

17. On this panel, you’ll come across a magnificent dark horse.

This seems to take a more mosaic look. But it's nevertheless lovely.

This seems to take a more mosaic look. But it’s nevertheless lovely.

18. How about a some windows like your bookshelf?

I have to admit, this is very ingenious. Like how the books are different colors.

I have to admit, this is very ingenious. Like how the books are different colors.

19. This white tiger really looks magnificent.

Not sure about the stripes being pink. And I don't think the tiger looks very happy.

Not sure about the stripes being pink. And I don’t think the tiger looks very happy.

20. How about some flowers around your mirror?

Yes, these are stained glass flowers. And they only have a decorative purpose in this case.

Yes, these are stained glass flowers. And they only have a decorative purpose in this case.

21. This killer whale would certainly shine in a circle.

Like I said, stained glass ocean scenes are a thing. And orcas sure are popular.

Like I said, stained glass ocean scenes are a thing. And orcas sure are popular.

22. Just a little blue jay admiring the flowers.

Seems like the blue jay is only a small part of this panel. But the flowers are pretty.

Seems like the blue jay is only a small part of this panel. But the flowers are pretty.

23. It’s always lovely to see a cardinal on the ledge.

Like ocean life, birds are another popular stained glass motif. The northern cardinal and other backyard birds especially.

Like ocean life, birds are another popular stained glass motif. The northern cardinal and other backyard birds especially.

24. This stained glass panel is always, “Semper Fi.”

Yes, this is one for the US Marine Corps. Not sure if there are ones for the other military branches. Probably.

Yes, this is one for the US Marine Corps. Not sure if there are ones for the other military branches. Probably.

25. Get a load of this flowery lamp.

Yes, that's a stained glass lamp all right. And on a stained glass table, too. Not sure if it's a Tiffany though.

Yes, that’s a stained glass lamp all right. And on a stained glass table, too. Not sure if it’s a Tiffany though.

26. Some blue violets for the window?

I guess the owners don't use the fireplace very often. Wouldn't want to see anything happen to this. Because it's so lovely.

The flowers on this are certainly exquisite. Guess this is for decorative purposes only though.

27. How about something more geometric?

Geometric designs are also popular for stained glass windows. They're also not as difficult to produce either.

Geometric designs are also popular for stained glass windows. They’re also not as difficult to produce either.

28. This heart of butterflies is something you’re bound to love.

And here this woman stands proud at her creation, I guess. Still, this is so pretty.

And here this woman stands proud at her creation, I guess. Still, this is so pretty.

29. These 3 panels boast really colorful flowers.

I'm sure this is used as porch decoration. But the flowers stand out in bright colors.

I’m sure this is used as porch decoration. But the flowers stand out in bright colors.

30. Sometimes you can use some blue glass lighting.

Well, the style seems a bit unconventional. But you can't go wrong with the color.

Well, the style seems a bit unconventional. But you can’t go wrong with the color.

31. A glass totem will look great anywhere.

I guess this is the kind of art that comes from the Pacific Northwest. Not sure if like the color scheme though.

I guess this is the kind of art that comes from the Pacific Northwest. Not sure if like the color scheme though.

32. I’m sure a peacock has a beauty beyond compare.

Because peacocks have a large flower train display they use to attract mates. Like the flowers on here, too.

Because peacocks have a large flower train display they use to attract mates. Like the flowers on here, too.

33. I call this one “Loon on a Snowshoe.”

Didn't know they made stained glass displays in snowshoes. Guess they're for decoration, then.

Didn’t know they made stained glass displays in snowshoes. Guess they’re for decoration, then.

34. You’ve seen stained glass windows in church. But have you seen a stained glass nativity scene?

Yes, they have stained glass nativity scenes, too. May seem abstract but it does look lovely.

Yes, they have stained glass nativity scenes, too. May seem abstract but it does look lovely.

35. Never seen glass raccoons in a tree before.

I guess this is inlaid into a tree trunk slice. Still, the raccoons are so adorable.

I guess this is inlaid into a tree trunk slice. Still, the raccoons are so adorable.

36. On this tree, it’s always autumn.

Well, autumn leaves are pretty on the trees. But the autumn display doesn't last long though.

Well, autumn leaves are pretty on the trees. But the autumn display doesn’t last long though.

37. Guess you call that a rainbow surrounding a black center.

Wonder if that's supposed to be a solar eclipse or something. Might make some sense.

Wonder if that’s supposed to be a solar eclipse or something. Might make some sense.

38. This panel seems to be bursting with flowers.

Now this is certainly the kind of Art Nouveau style you might see on old mansions. This one has a spring theme.

Now this is certainly the kind of Art Nouveau style you might see on old mansions. This one has a spring theme.

39. Wonder what this is supposed to be.

This is art based on Northwest Coast Native American legend. Not something from Lovecraft, but I see your point.

This is art based on Northwest Coast Native American legend. Not something from Lovecraft, but I see your point.

40. This stained glass lamp sports radiant purple flowers.

Now this is an example of what you might see in a Tiffany lamp. However, I'm not completely sure if this is one. But I have a good idea.

Now this is an example of what you might see in a Tiffany lamp. However, I’m not completely sure if this is one. But I have a good idea.

41. What you see through this window is pure fantasy.

I guess I was right with that. Still, you'll have to look closer to get the idea. Beautiful though.

I guess I was right with that. Still, you’ll have to look closer to get the idea. Beautiful though.

42. Seems like the shepherds have a couple unexpected visitors.

This one depicts angels appearing to the shepherds and announcing the birth of Christ. It's in Luke's Gospel. But I don't think this window was used for a church.

This one depicts angels appearing to the shepherds and announcing the birth of Christ. It’s in Luke’s Gospel. But I don’t think this window was used for a church.

43. This geometric panel has a cross in the center.

Not sure on what to make out of these geometric ones. On one hand, they look cool. But on the other hand, they just consist of a bunch of shapes.

Not sure on what to make out of these geometric ones. On one hand, they look cool. But on the other hand, they just consist of a bunch of shapes.

44. Take a look at this stained glass bison from the open range.

In North America, they're also seen as "buffalo" by the way. However, you have to love this bison's expression.

In North America, they’re also seen as “buffalo” by the way. However, you have to love this bison’s expression.

45. Never came across a white palm tree in the sand.

Beach scenes are fairly common stained glass motifs for some reason. Not sure why.

Beach scenes are fairly common stained glass motifs for some reason. Not sure why.

46. This panel seems to depict a big arrowhead.

I think this style might be Southwest inspired. But I'm not sure. But I do love the colors on this.

I think this style might be Southwest inspired. But I’m not sure. But I do love the colors on this.

47. This penguin family will melt your heart.

I know this is my second penguin one on this post. But I know people will find this irresistibly adorable.

I know this is my second penguin one on this post. But I know people will find this irresistibly adorable.

48. This night scene surely has the moon shining bright.

Sure this might be a mosaic piece. But a lot of mosaics use glass for obvious reasons.

Sure this might be a mosaic piece. But a lot of mosaics use glass for obvious reasons.

49. From window, you can see 4 kinds of birds.

Consists of a Northern Bluebird, a Chickadee, a Goldfinch, and a Northern Cardinal. All these are North American birds.

Consists of a Northern Bluebird, a Chickadee, a Goldfinch, and a Northern Cardinal. All these are North American birds.

50. Have to admire the purple flowers and the chickadees.

I guess this might be fore a door. Yet, I do love the flowers on these, especially since they're purple.

I guess this might be for a door. Yet, I do love the flowers on these, especially since they’re purple.

51. A cactus flower blooming is a glorious sight.

However, you don't want to touch a cactus though. You know, because of the needles.

However, you don’t want to touch a cactus though. You know, because of the needles.

52. Does this panel depict a star or a snowflake?

Either way, it sure goes well with the winter scenery. This must've been made with a lot of care and patience.

Either way, it sure goes well with the winter scenery. This must’ve been made with a lot of care and patience.

53. Here I give you a horse close up.

And that seems to really capture one up close. Must be made by a really good artist.

And that seems to really capture one up close. Must be made by a really good artist.

54. Here we have Mary and Jesus seated and adored by all.

Here's another church window. But this one seems to be made in the Renaissance at least. But you have to appreciate the detail.

Here’s another church window. But this one seems to be made in the Renaissance at least. But you have to appreciate the detail.

55. These 4 flowers always bloom bright at any season.

Mostly because they're encased in stained glass. Love the colors though.

Mostly because they’re encased in stained glass. Love the colors though.

56. Of course, I couldn’t forget a stained glass representation of the Madonna and Child.

Because a lot of these are depicted in Catholic churches. Yet, not this well though.

Because a lot of these are depicted in Catholic churches. Yet, not this well though.

57. Bet you’ve never seen a globe in glass.

This one even looks great in the light. Of course, I don't think this was easy to pull off. But it's worth seeing.

This one even looks great in the light. Of course, I don’t think this was easy to pull off. But it’s worth seeing.

58. This view of the stream is simply breathtaking.

This one seems to have brighter colors than some of the landscapes on here. I especially like the purple flowers.

This one seems to have brighter colors than some of the landscapes on here. I especially like the purple flowers.

59. Ever had a forest inlaid in a cabinet?

Well, look no further than these cabinet doors. And yes, they'll probably put your furniture to shame.

Well, look no further than these cabinet doors. And yes, they’ll probably put your furniture to shame.

60. Never came across a vase of purple flowers in the window.

I bet this was for someone's front door. But the flowers are so lovely, too.

I bet this was for someone’s front door. But the flowers are so lovely, too.

61. How about this rose lamp for your kitchen?

This lamp of roses is for the overhead. However, not sure if it fits in a kitchen though. Dining room, maybe.

This lamp of roses is for the overhead. However, not sure if it fits in a kitchen though. Dining room, maybe.

62. This panel reminds you of an ocean breeze.

Well, this is a lovely view of the beach. Like the palm trees that seem to be gently blowing.

Well, this is a lovely view of the beach. Like the palm trees that seem to be gently blowing.

63. Here’s a scene of a night in the mountains.

You have to admire the colors on this one. Seems to use a lot of blues and whites for a snow capped look.

You have to admire the colors on this one. Seems to use a lot of blues and whites for a snow capped look.

64. Perhaps you’ve never seen a mountain view like this before.

Wonder what this mountain range is supposed to be. Looks kind of familiar for some reason.

Wonder what this mountain range is supposed to be. Looks kind of familiar for some reason.

65. Have you ever seen a stained glass guitar lamp?

I don't think these guitars are for playing since they light up and are made of glass. But I couldn't pass these up.

I don’t think these guitars are for playing since they light up and are made of glass. But I couldn’t pass these up.

66. This church window really brings out brilliant colors.

Some church windows might have a lot of abstract imagery like this one. However, the symbols on this one are hard to see from this photo.

Some church windows might have a lot of abstract imagery like this one. However, the symbols on this one are hard to see from this photo.

67. This stained glass room divider has a rather abstract feel.

Wonder if this is Art Nouveau or Art Deco. Sometimes it can be very hard to tell.

Wonder if this is Art Nouveau or Art Deco. Sometimes it can be very hard to tell.

68. Behold, the beauty of the snowy owl.

Of course, you might see one in places like Alaska and Canada. Or in Harry Potter since Hedwig is this.

Of course, you might see one in places like Alaska and Canada. Or in Harry Potter since Hedwig is this.

69. I’m sure you might want to take a look at this woman in green.

Now this has to be Art Nouveau for obvious reasons. However, wonder what room this was used for.

Now this has to be Art Nouveau for obvious reasons. However, wonder what room this was used for.

70. This glass panel comes with wings.

You see windows in that kind of style, too. However, this is just a pair of white wings.

You see windows in that kind of style, too. However, this is just a pair of white wings.

71. I’m sure anyone would find this scene of Jesus and the children very endearing.

Well, this is a very well known biblical scene in the gospels. Still, I know this wasn't made for a medieval cathedral.

Well, this is a very well known biblical scene in the gospels. Still, I know this wasn’t made for a medieval cathedral.

72. Some doors open to trees. Some doors have trees on them.

Yes, this is another forest scene. But this one makes you feel like you're in the forest. That's different.

Yes, this is another forest scene. But this one makes you feel like you’re in the forest. That’s different.

73. Here we come across the Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra.

Because who else is depicted like she's way too overdressed for Ancient Egypt? Also, there might be a pyramid in the background.

Because who else is depicted like she’s way too overdressed for Ancient Egypt? Also, there might be a pyramid in the background.

74. This dove has come across a grapevine.

Christian symbolism might be at work there. However, what's with the ivy leaves? Because I don't know if grape leaves look like that.

Christian symbolism might be at work there. However, what’s with the ivy leaves? Because I don’t know if grape leaves look like that.

75. In these folding doors you’ll find a tree.

And there's the tree encased in stained glass. Seems to be very wide.

And there’s the tree encased in stained glass. Seems to be very wide.

76. Nothing like a mountain view on a country road.

With an orange sky, this has to be a mountain sunset. And I see a fence near the dirt path, too.

With an orange sky, this has to be a mountain sunset. And I see a fence near the dirt path, too.

77. Some might appreciate a view of a sunset on the beach.

Yes, a stained glass sunset on the beach. Notice how the sky is in yellow, orange, and purple.

Yes, a stained glass sunset on the beach. Notice how the sky is in yellow, orange, and purple.

78. So many birds, so many branches.

Not sure if these birds would hang out together in real life. But this makes a nice window to look at.

Not sure if these birds would hang out together in real life. But this makes a nice window to look at.

79. Didn’t know there were so many different color daffodils.

Because they usually come in yellow and white. Then again, these may not be daffodils.

Because they usually come in yellow and white. Then again, these may not be daffodils.

80. These flowers look wondrous on a trellis.

I think this might be a rocky seashore scene. But the flowers on the vine get more attention and add to the color.

I think this might be a rocky seashore scene. But the flowers on the vine get more attention and add to the color.

81. Here we come to some trees on an island.

Well, within a body of water, of course. Hope they have enough soil to spare.

Well, within a body of water, of course. Hope they have enough soil to spare.

82. This panel shows the splendor of a winter night.

Because the trees are covered in snow. Then again, it might just be another night scene.

Because the trees are covered in snow. Then again, it might just be another night scene.

83. From a mountain, out sprouts a stream.

Yes, that's a view of a mountain stream. And it's somewhat seems like a painting for some reason.

Yes, that’s a view of a mountain stream. And it’s somewhat seems like a painting for some reason.

84. Now she must be a fine beauty in the spring.

Wonder if she's a nymph or something. Because I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Wonder if she’s a nymph or something. Because I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

85. This lamp is covered with branches and chickadees.

Well, this is a tall lamp that has stained glass on it. But it's a cool lamp nonetheless.

Well, this is a tall lamp that has stained glass on it. But it’s a cool lamp nonetheless.

86. If you like the American Southwest, this panel is for you.

This depicts a longhorn with Indian feathers on a desert scene. You can't get more Southwest than that.

This depicts a longhorn with Indian feathers on a desert scene. You can’t get more Southwest than that.

87. For homey types, this winter house near a bridge is perfect.

Or is it a barn. Because it looks pretty big. Then again, I don't think it matters.

Or is it a barn? Because it looks pretty big. Then again, I don’t think it matters.

88. In this window, you’ll see a great colossus.

This is definitely something you'll find in some rich person's house. That's for sure. Have to admire the detail.

This is definitely something you’ll find in some rich person’s house. That’s for sure. Have to admire the detail.

89. These two dolphins will greet you at the door.

Well they're in the door. But they're sure to delight visitors. So cute.

Well they’re in the door. But they’re sure to delight visitors. So cute.

90. These stained glass flowers look perfect in any window.

And you don't have worry about watering them or wilting after a few weeks. Because they're made of glass. But be careful around them, though.

And you don’t have worry about watering them or wilting after a few weeks. Because they’re made of glass. But be careful around them, though.

91. As they say, geese mate for life.

But there are some people who wish Canadian geese won't mate at all. Because they can be a nuisance.

But there are some people who wish Canadian geese won’t mate at all. Because they can be a nuisance.

92. Guess, this one is from the Pacific Northwest.

Because the totem pole on this is a dead giveaway. Because it's from the Northwest Coast.

Because the totem pole on this is a dead giveaway. Because it’s from the Northwest Coast.

93. A peacock surely has a beautiful tail.

Yes, this is my second peacock stained glass panel. But this one has a more vivid tail. Love the feathers.

Yes, this is my second peacock stained glass panel. But this one has a more vivid tail. Love the feathers.

94. Wouldn’t want to run into a pack of wolves in the winter.

And it doesn't seem that the wolves are having much luck here. Still, this is a beautiful scene.

And it doesn’t seem that the wolves are having much luck here. Still, this is a beautiful scene.

95. A moose in the woods is a magnificent sight.

A moose on the road, on the other hand, is a traffic hazard to avoid. Because moose are said to kill more people than bears.

A moose on the road, on the other hand, is a traffic hazard to avoid. Because moose are said to kill more people than bears.

96. For yuletide joy, this snowman lamp is a delight.

I know it's a Christmas one. But the snowmen on this are so adorable. And most stained glass lamps usually have flowers and shapes on them.

I know it’s a Christmas one. But the snowmen on this are so adorable. And most stained glass lamps usually have flowers and shapes on them.

97. Now that’s one great buck.

Okay, it's an elk. But elk are technically deer but bigger. And no, they're not like Bambi. Neither are deer.

Okay, it’s an elk. But elk are technically deer but bigger. And no, they’re not like Bambi. Neither are deer.

98. These windows have a lovely view of a violet field.

I think this might be for a mausoleum. But the light really shines through this. Like it.

I think this might be for a mausoleum. But the light really shines through this. Like it.

99. Here this woman in red ventures to a river.

This woman seems to be in medieval dress. Or what the Victorians saw medieval dress as. Yet, it really stands out.

This woman seems to be in medieval dress. Or what the Victorians saw medieval dress as. Yet, it really stands out.

100. The woodpecker is on the shade while the lamp is its tree.

Another lamp I like. Love how the trunk is made to resemble wood. Wouldn't mind owning this.

Another lamp I like. Love how the trunk is made to resemble wood. Wouldn’t mind owning this.

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