Medieval artists (some would call them craftsmen, but they are creative beings in my book) used the three elements of line, color, and luminosity to produce incredible stained glass windows, some of which are still around to this very day. What’s interesting about this art form is, it was an experimental and ever changing medium. Artists would play with transparency, thickness, color combinations, detail inscription, along with shape, size, and composition. Just like contemporary art today, art guilds (groups of artists) would come together and discuss each other’s work and how they could make it more interesting, more ‘modernized’, and more beautiful.
Stained glass, while considered an antiquated medium, is still inspiring art in many different forms today. Its unique qualities of light and color move artists to try and recreate it in both modern and traditional media.
‘Stained Glass Bloom’ by Peggi Wolfe (Wolfpaw on Deviant Art) Graphic Design 1 [image source: deviantart.net]
Abstract Painted Glass Photo Experiment by Photographer Daliana Pacuraru [image source: blogspot.com]
Media like graphic design and photography have been used to discuss the physicality of stained glass in a new way. Peggi Wolfe’s graphic contortions of color and space are reminiscent of the traditional quatrefoil’s and rose windows found in massive cathedrals like Notre Dame de Paris. Daliana Pacuraru’s photo prints focus in on the color and lava-like quality in colored glass, abstracting the subject matter altogether in a scientific-like approach.
Stained Glass by Carolynne Coulson Painting [image source: carolynnecoulson.co.uk/]
Intervention by Dian Turner [image source: deviantart.net]
Modern painters like Carolynne Coulson and Dian Turner use rich colors and abstracted shapes to capture the essence of what a stained glass window is. Turner’s Intervention , while industrialist-like in form, discusses the spiritual message that this type of art form is meant to hold. Coulson’s Stained Glass completely restructures the shapes into long rectangles that overlap, emphasizing the translucency of color and the important role that light plays in the media of painting and stained glass.
Christiane Vleugels (Raipun on Deviant Art) Painting [image source: mayhemandmuse.com]
Christiane Vleugels (a Belgian artist) piece is an elegant translation of stained glass into an art work about light and beauty. The crown-like structure above the maidens had is a culmination of her qualities and the light bulbs she is holding. You can almost say that Vleugel’s painting is about inner beauty and the light bulbs are the ideas and thoughts that shine through, making the figure even more lovely.
While there are many more modern pieces we can speak of, the visual escapades of these artists have truly allowed this subject matter to shine.