What Are Different Styles Of Stained Glass Designs?

What are different styles of stained glass designs? The Victorian and Mediterranean are two different styles of stained glass windows. There are multiple patterns and designs for stained glass. With...

There are multiple patterns and designs for stained glass.

With Western origins in the Middle Ages and their connection to the church, early stained glass designs conformed to church theology and medieval art styles, Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, says. Stained glass originated in Eastern Asia among Muslim designers.


Stained glass enhanced traditional church architecture, Wikipedia explains. Stained glass designs often adorned the church's nave, or main part of the church, and usually depicted the lives of saints or Bible scenes.

While a house of worship was the most common place to see stained glass designs, by the 19th century stained glass increasingly began to be used in home decoration, says Wikipedia. Stained glass began to be used more frequently in the homes of the prosperous in Victorian England.

Another place where stained glass designs could be seen was in pubs, Wikipedia says. The glass, along with leaded lighting, helped make the pubs comfortable and private.

"Two of the most popular glass designs now are Victorian and Mediterranean," says David Dillon, owner of Austin Cut Glass of Austin, Texas, who has been in business for 25 years.




"Victorian style is popular mostly on the East Coast,Boston, New York, and places where they have more Victorian style homes," he says.

In Texas, Victorian-style homes are less common, he says. "Out here we are starting to build more houses like that."

The Victorian style, he says, is "just an old ruled look with very, very detailed circles and small pieces with usually a lot of very different vibrant colors."

Mediterranean stained glass designs tend to have a more subtle Spanish style, he says. The style has more scenic looks, featuring villas, pots, leaves, and plants. "It's a totally different design than the Victorian," he says.

Victorian windows are much more abstract, he says.

Some of the surviving 19th century glass, Wikipedia says, is somewhat more ornate than the modern version of the style. Some of the glass of that era depicts birds and flowers.

Toward the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, the ornate architecture of the Victorian era fell out of style, and along with it ornate stained glass, says Wikipedia. Enter modern architecture from such pioneers as Frank Lloyd Wright and his Prairie Style with its hard lines and emphasis on function-first design. Famous examples of this style are Robie House at the University of Chicago and the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.

The modern period brought Art Deco, Wikipedia says, and even a usually ornate d├ęcor such as stained glass became filled with the hard lines of modernism.

A web site devoted to the style (http://www.geocities.com/gappy21c/adstyle.html) says, "Art Deco designers use stepped forms, rounded corners, triple-striped decorative elements and black decoration quite a lot. The most important thing is that they are all in geometrical order, and simple formats."

Examples of the Art Deco style in stained glass online show the structured lines of cubism and other art movements of the early 20th century.

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