Sacred Sunday: 16th Century Architecture

Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, 1502, by Bramante. This small temple marks the place where St Peter was put to death.

Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, 1502, by Bramante. This small temple marks the place where St Peter was put to death.

By the 15th century, Gothic architecture in Christian building began to give way to a newer design – Renaissance architecture. This new wave of creativity in building design is considered to be the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe. It demonstrated a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, and if you remember your high school art appreciation class, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture.

Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschias one of its innovators, the Renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities. The style was carried to France, Germany, England, Russia and other parts of Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact.

Italy of the 15th century, and the city of Florence in particular, was home to the Renaissance. It is in Florence that the new architectural style had its beginning, not slowly evolving in the way that Gothic grew out of Romanesque, but consciously brought to being by particular architects who sought to revive the order of a past “Golden Age”. The scholarly approach to the architecture of the ancient coincided with the general revival of learning. A number of factors were influential in bringing this about.

Chiesa dell'Incoronata: Interior of the dome 1586-88 Photo Piazza Garibaldi, Sabbioneta

Chiesa dell’Incoronata: Interior of the dome
1586-88
Photo
Piazza Garibaldi, Sabbioneta

This church has an octagonal plan and is topped with a dome and contains the bronze mausoleum of Vespasian Gonzaga whom Leone Leoni (1509-1590) made a statue of in bronze, dressed as a Roman emperor.

Galleria degli Antichi: Exterior 1583-84 Photo Galleria degli Antichi, Sabbioneta

Galleria degli Antichi: Exterior
1583-84
Photo
Galleria degli Antichi, Sabbioneta

Galleria degli Antichi: Interior 1583-84 Photo Galleria degli Antichi, Sabbioneta

Galleria degli Antichi: Interior
1583-84
Photo
Galleria degli Antichi, Sabbioneta

Sabbioneta is about 30 kms north of Parma. Built in the 1580s, this Italian town is the work of Vespasiano Gonzaga. His plan was to create the ideal city and base it on the ideas of ancient Athens and Rome. When Vespasiano died this dream died with him. The Galleria degli Antichi was built between 1584 and 1586 by Duke Vespasiano for his collection which contained mostly ancient marbles purchased from collectors and dealers of Rome and Venice.

Palazzo Albrizzi 1590s Photo Rio di San Cassiano, Venice

Palazzo Albrizzi
1590s
Photo
Rio di San Cassiano, Venice

This palace, built in the 16th century in Venetian Gothic style (at that time becoming an outated and misplaced style), overlooks the canal San Cassiano at the Ponte delle Tette. On the façade there is a three-mullioned central arched window, flanked by pairs of single lancet windows with projecting stone cornices which act as a small roof.

Between 1690 and 1710 the interior space was totally redefined with an excessive use of decoration and stucco-work, which makes the palace one of the most ostentatious in Venice.

San Giovanni a Carbonara: Cappella Caracciolo di Vico 1516 Photo Via San Giovanni, Naples

San Giovanni a Carbonara: Cappella Caracciolo di Vico
1516
Photo
Via San Giovanni, Naples

The Cappella Caracciolo di Vico has a central plan and is covered by a dome. This is one of the most notable products of the architecture of the sixteenth century in southern Italy. Begun in 1499 and completed in 1516, this is a remarkable structure, with great equilibrium among its various elements, revealing, at a very early date, the presence in Naples of the earliest forms of the Roman Renaissance. The design should be ascribed to an architect who was well informed concerning the work then being done by Bramante and Sangallo. The tombs of Nicolantonio and Galeazzo Caracciolo is the work of Annibale Caccavello (1515-1595) and Giovanni Domenico d’Auria (d. 1573).

Italian architects had always preferred forms that were clearly defined and structural members that expressed their purpose. Many Tuscan Romanesque buildings demonstrate these characteristics, as seen in the Florence Baptistery and Pisa Cathedral.

Italy had never fully adopted the Gothic style of architecture. Apart from the Cathedral of Milan, (influenced by French Rayonnant Gothic), few Italian churches show the emphasis on vertically, the clustered shafts, ornate tracery and complex ribbed vaulting that characterize Gothic in other parts of Europe.

The presence, particularly in Rome, of ancient architectural remains showing the ordered Classical style provided an inspiration to artists at a time when philosophy was also turning towards the Classical.

Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts as they are demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture, of which many examples remained. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aedicules replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings.

Next week, we head to Rome for 12th century mosaics of the church San Clemente on Sacred Sunday.

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Sacred Sunday: 14th Century Cathedral Architecture

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: Interior begun c. 1330 Photo Campo dei Frari, Venice

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: Interior
begun c. 1330
Photo
Campo dei Frari, Venice

The great Franciscan church of the Frari was begun in about 1330, replacing the earlier church which stood on the site of the nave of the present one. Its construction took more than a century. The tall campanile, second only to that of San Marco, was completed in 1396. The presbytery, choir, and transepts must have been erected by the 1410s, and the nave was built last after the demolition of the previous church.

The high altar was dedicated in 1469, just after the installation of the ornate wooden choir stalls with their Gothic canopies embellished with perspective intarsia scenery the time that the stone pulpitum was completed by Pietro Lombardo in 1475, the Gothic style had already been superseded by an elegant early Renaissance classicism. Titian’s famous Assumption, executed in 1516-18 for the high altar, provides the final unifying element in this dramatic artistic ensemble. The completed church was consecrated in 1492.

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: Choir of the friars begun c. 1330 Photo Campo dei Frari, Venice

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: Choir of the friars
begun c. 1330
Photo
Campo dei Frari, Venice

The picture shows a view of the choir toward the entrance wall.

Palazzo Ariani: Façade 1350-1400 Photo Rio dell'Angelo Raffaele, Venice

Palazzo Ariani: Façade
1350-1400
Photo
Rio dell’Angelo Raffaele, Venice

The palace of the Ariani family was reconstructed during the second half of the 14th century in a unique style. The six-mullioned window, perfectly framed by the indented frieze, is not linked to any architectural sequence, while the section made up of three columns and two pillars and the parapets are part of the Venetian tradition, the innovation lies in the filling of the upper band above the windows. An uncommon feature is the wooden architrave at the corner, creating a low portico held up by columns which look out over the courtyard from which the external two-flight staircase departs.

The design is attributed to a stone-worker architect coming from the outside environment.

The picture shows the Gothic façade on Rio dell’Angelo Raffaele.

Palazzo Priuli all'Osmarin: Façade 1300-10 Photo Fondamenta de l'Osmarin, Venice

Palazzo Priuli all’Osmarin: Façade
1300-10
Photo
Fondamenta de l’Osmarin, Venice

The palace is a typical product of Venetian Gothic art, built at the beginning of the 14th century for the Priuli family which gave three doges and numerous cardinals, magistrates and generals to the city. It faces onto the Osmarin canal, but in the 15th century it was extended along the San Severo canal. The beautiful two-lancet corner windows were constructed during this time.

The façade facing onto the canal was completely covered with frescoes by Palma Vecchio, but unfortunately they have completely disappeared.

The picture shows the palace on Rio dell’Osmarin.

Palazzo Ariani: Façade (detail) 1350-1400 Photo Rio dell'Angelo Raffaele, Venice

Palazzo Ariani: Façade (detail)
1350-1400
Photo
Rio dell’Angelo Raffaele, Venice

Palazzo Dandolo: Façade 14th century Photo Riva dei Schiavoni, Venice

Palazzo Dandolo: Façade
14th century
Photo
Riva dei Schiavoni, Venice

The Palazzo Dandolo was built in the 14th century in Gothic style. In 1822 the palace was purchased by Giuseppe dal Niel, known as Danieli, who transformed it into what is today considered one of the most prestigious hotels in the city, the Hotel Danieli. The interior of the hotel was decorated in neo-medieval style by Tranquillo Orsi.

Palazzo della Fraternità dei Laici 1375-1434 Photo Piazza Grande, Arezzo

Palazzo della Fraternità dei Laici
1375-1434
Photo
Piazza Grande, Arezzo

The Fraternità was endowed in 1262 for the purposes of Christian charity. Its building was planned in 1363, the centenary year of the confraternity. Building work started in 1375 by two Florentine stone-workers, Niccolò di Francesco and Baldino di Cino.

In 1384 the construction came to a stop because of lack of funds. The building of the walls started again in 1434. Bernardo Rossellino continued the façade in a Renaissance style that fits admirably with the Gothic first floor. The gallery was added in 1460 by Giuliano and Algozzo from Settignano. The vaulted campanile, designed by Vasari, was built hundred years later.

The picture shows the façade of the Fraternità (right) and the Palazzo del Tribunale (left).

Interior view c. 1310 Photo Cathedral, Exeter

Interior view
c. 1310
Photo
Cathedral, Exeter

The present building was complete by about 1400, and has several notable features, including an early set of misericords, an astronomical clock and the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England.

During the 14th and 15th centuries Gothic architecture ceased to be international and split into definable regional styles. In England, the first Gothic style (Early English) was succeeded by Decorated and Perpendicular styles. The nave of Exeter Cathedral, shown here, exemplifies the English Decorated style, the piers formed of thick clusters of shafts, the vaulting-ribs multiplied so that eleven spring from one point.

Exterior view 14th century Photo Cathedral, Canterbury

Exterior view
14th century
Photo
Cathedral, Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the twelfth century, and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170.

The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late fourteenth century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures. From the late fourteenth century the nave and transepts were rebuilt, on the Norman foundations in the Perpendicular style under the direction of the noted master mason Henry Yevele.

Exterior view 14th century Photo Cathedral, Canterbury

Exterior view
14th century
Photo
Cathedral, Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the twelfth century, and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170.

The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late fourteenth century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures. From the late fourteenth century the nave and transepts were rebuilt, on the Norman foundations in the Perpendicular style under the direction of the noted master mason Henry Yevele.

Next week, a two-part series begins – 15th Century Architecture.

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Sacred Sunday: 13th Century Italian Cathedral Architecture

Exterior view of the Cathedral 1270s (completed) Photo Duomo, Siena

Exterior view of the Cathedral
1270s (completed)
Photo
Duomo, Siena

The present cathedral replaced two earlier ones, one dating from the 9th or 10th century and a second that was consecrated in 1179. It was built during the first half of the 13th century and completed, with the exception of the façade, in the early 1270s in the early 1270s.

The cathedral is built with two colors of marble, white from Carrara and very dark green from Prato. The elaborate striping of much of the exterior and interior reveals the communal content of this monument in its reference to the black-and-white coat of arms of the Sienese commune.

The lower half of the façade was designed by Giovanni Pisano. The bell tower dates from before 1215 and is the only surviving part of the earlier Cathedral dedicated in 1179.

Interior view of the Cathedral 1270s (completed) Photo Duomo, Siena

Interior view of the Cathedral
1270s (completed)
Photo
Duomo, Siena

The interior shown in the picture was built during the first half of the 13th century and completed in the early 1270s.

Palazzo Pubblico Begun 1298 Photo Piazza del Campo, Siena

Palazzo Pubblico
Begun 1298
Photo
Piazza del Campo, Siena

Unlike the brute stony strength of Florence’s Palazzo della Signoria, in Siena brick walls gently bend to embrace the amphitheatre-shaped Piazza del Campo which it faces. Thin marble columns supporting Gothic arches decorate the windows.

An astonishingly tall bell tower – clearly surpassing the height of the civic tower of their rival city Florence – extends from the left wing of the building. A later chapel beneath the tower extends out into the public square and indicates the fusion of Church and state in this city dedicated to the Virgin.

Exterior view of the Cathedral 1270s (completed) Photo Duomo, Siena

Exterior view of the Cathedral
1270s (completed)
Photo
Duomo, Siena

View of the nave and choir began c. 1246 Photo Santa Maria Novella, Florence

View of the nave and choir
began c. 1246
Photo
Santa Maria Novella, Florence

The very large church of the Santa Maria Novella was the first important and independent church in truly Italian style. Its construction began in about 1246 for the Dominican Order. The exact dates of the various parts of the church are still controversial but it certainly took a very long time to build it. The nave was not begun until 1279, and the façade, began in 1310, was not finished until 1470. Nevertheless, the interior and the plan make it the most important church of its date.

This church is perhaps the best example of the simplicity of plan, organization, and detail that characterizes Italian Gothic architecture. The relatively high side aisles are typically Italian.

The Renaissance façade was designed by Leon Battista Alberti in the 1460s.

Palazzo Mastelli del Cammello: Façade 13th century Photo Campo dei Mori, Venice

Palazzo Mastelli del Cammello: Façade
13th century
Photo
Campo dei Mori, Venice

This palace in the Cannaregio district of Venice owes its name to a relief carving set into the wall of the façade representing a man in oriental dress riding a camel. It is the symbol of the owners, the Mastelli family, who came from the Orient in the 12th century.

The most important features on the façade of the Gothic building are the ogival central gallery on the second floor, enriched with quatrefoils and a dentate frame, the corner two-lancet windows on the second floor, and a squat column, standing in the corner window on the first floor.

The palace was rebuilt in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Palazzo Mastelli del Cammello: Façade 13th century Photo Campo dei Mori, Venice

Palazzo Mastelli del Cammello: Façade
13th century
Photo
Campo dei Mori, Venice

Palazzo Corner Loredan Piscopia: Façade 13th century Photo Canal Grande, Venice

Palazzo Corner Loredan Piscopia: Façade
13th century
Photo
Canal Grande, Venice

This palace located on the Canal Grande just after Rialto bridge is now the site of the Municipio di Venezia. While representing a modification of the sixteenth-century building, it still followed the pattern of the Venetian-Byzantine house-storehouse.

Architectural and decorative elements, such as the five-arch loggia directly over the water, and, on the main floor, the façade completely covered by the many-lancet window with round arches on pilasters mean that the architecture is undoubtedly inspired by the thirteenth-century model.

Palazzo Morosini Sagredo: Façade 13th century Photo Canal Grande, Venice

Palazzo Morosini Sagredo: Façade
13th century
Photo
Canal Grande, Venice

This palace was constructed between the 12th and 14th centuries. The four-lancet window on the upper floor is remarkable, framed by an elaborate frieze and adorned with polychrome patera made in precious marbles. The façade was decorated with frescoes. The interior was modernized in the 18th century and richly decorated.

Entrance to the castle 1240 Photo Castel del Monte, Andria

Entrance to the castle
1240
Photo
Castel del Monte, Andria

Castel del Monte (Italian for “Castle of the Mountain”) is a 13th-century citadel and castle situated in Andria in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. It stands on a promontory, where it was constructed during the 1240s by the Emperor Frederick II, who had inherited the lands from his mother Constance of Sicily.

The picture shows the classical entrance in the otherwise purely Gothic castle of Frederick II.

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Sacred Sunday: 15th Century Gothic Stained Glass

Sacred Sunday Title

With the advent of Gothic architecture, stained glass flourished as the expansion of immense window spaces in Gothic cathedrals demanded a new approach to the medium. Red and blue remain the predominant color choice and the tendency to fuse white glass in the composition allowing for more light gives way to completely filling up of space with ornate designs consisting of darker glass. A wide variety of geometrical shapes emerge as narrative becomes more important and complex juxtaposition of events are recorded in compartmental sequences. Decorative borders and foliage become more formalized and intricate while experimentation with more naturalistic and volumetric forms appears in figurative work. The flashed glass technique is introduced, offering glaziers a means to achieve a variety of color gradations in a single piece of colored glass. The emergence of the Rose Window at St. Denis Cathedral and Chartres Cathedral, both in France, greatly influences the field throughout Europe as providing a means to depict more complex ideas as embellishments in Biblical narrative become prevalent.

Toward the end of the thirteenth century a desire for more illumination surfaced with an increase in non-figurative windows and concentric patterning that incorporated more transparent glass. One of the finest examples of this shift in taste is York Minster’s Five Sisters Windows, a remarkable display of grisaille glazing. Grisaille glazing was first favored by the Cistercian Order under St. Bernard, who found that figurative windows distracted monks from religious responsibilities. This labor intensive technique consisting of complex formalized leaf-like forms relying on an intricate pattern of lead and a great deal of painted detail and crosshatching became widespread throughout England and France. As the palette became increasingly lighter, horizontal layers of colored glass and grisaille, or band windows, were incorporated in the figurative windows. As widespread adoption of elaborate stone window tracery occurred, figurative groupings fall out of favor and the individual figure resurfaces, but now framed by architectural canopies. Stained glass witnessed its greatest diversity in design, style, palette and sentiment during the Gothic period. This diversity in approach combined with the skilled artistry that developed with the formation of regulated guilds and a wide array of technological advances elevated the medium to a position of preeminence that would remain unsurpassed.

Charles VI c. 1400 Stained glass window Cathedral, Évreux

Charles VI
c. 1400
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Évreux

The Royal Window in the choir of Évreux Cathedral is outstanding representative of the International (or Soft) Gothic style, developed by 1400. The donation by Charles VI was probably commissioned from a workshop in Paris. The king occupies the centre of the four-panel window. Shown kneeling in a small vaulted space, he turns, with St Denis near by, toward the Virgin. The artistic virtuosity and lavishness of these panels exceed everything that is known elsewhere in France from this period.

Jacques Coeur Window 1451 Stained glass window Cathedral, Bourges

Jacques Coeur Window
1451
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Bourges

Toward the middle of the 15th century, the influence of Flemish panel painting became increasingly noticeable in stained glass. In 1451, the rich and ennobled French merchant Jacques Coeur provided a liberal endowment for expensive stained glass to go in his chapel in Bourges Cathedral. The glass bears the stamp of Jan van Eyck’s style.

The central scene is divided into two panels. One contains the Archangel Gabriel, who is announcing the good news, the other contains the Virgin. Two further panels show the patron saints of the donor and his wife (not shown on the picture). The glass was produced by a workshop in the artistic tradition of the Paris school of stained glass, working to drawings by a Flemish painter.

The Annunciation c. 1450 Stained glass window Cathédrale Saint-Étienne, Bourges

The Annunciation
c. 1450
Stained glass window
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne, Bourges

Charlemagne and King Arthur c. 1410 Stained glass window Town Hall, Lüneburg

Charlemagne and King Arthur
c. 1410
Stained glass window
Town Hall, Lüneburg

Lüneburg Town Hall conserves one of the very few examples of monumental stained glass with secular subject matter. The “Nine Worthies,” who include Charlemagne and King Arthur, were considered in the late Middle Ages as models of good government and were therefore often depicted in town halls.

Annunciation c. 1430 Stained glass window Cathedral, Ulm

Annunciation
c. 1430
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Ulm

After the mid 14th century, stained glass was increasingly found in urban parish churches. Enticed by commissions from leading citizens, glass painters came to towns where there had hitherto been no tradition of stained glass, for example to Ulm, where the choir of the minster was reglazed between 1390 and 1420. Around 1430-31, stained glass was provided for the chapel of the Besserer family on the south side of the choir.

The picture shows the Annunciation from the Besserer Chapel. Someone who was familiar with the output of the Master of Flémalle (Robert Campin) from Tournai must have worked on the Besserer commission.

Window with Saints 1440-47 Pot-metal and white glass with vitrous paint, 377 x 73 cm (each panel) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Window with Saints
1440-47
Pot-metal and white glass with vitrous paint, 377 x 73 cm (each panel)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

These three windows of stained glass are from the Carmelite church of Saint Severinus at Boppard-on-Rhine in Germany. They are part of an ensemble of six that were originally installed three over three to form a single tall window. After Napoleon invaded the Rhineland and secularised its monasteries, the stained glass of the church was removed and dispersed.

The three panels represent St Catherine of Alexandria with the wheel and sword of her martyrdom, St Dorothea receiving a basket of roses from the Christ Child (in the centre), and St Barbara holding the tower in which she was imprisoned.

Adoration of the Magi (detail) c. 1453 Stained glass window Cathedral, Berne

Adoration of the Magi (detail)
c. 1453
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Berne

The first stained glass window in the Gothic choir of the Berne Cathedral was provided by the Ulm workshop in 1441. However, subsequent work, such as the Adoration of the Magi on the north side of the choir, was made by local artists. The design was by a painter who worked in the tradition of the Master of the Upper Rhine, Germany active in 1410s. Another of his works included “The Garden of Eden” in Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.

Adoration of the Magi (detail) c. 1453 Stained glass window Cathedral, Berne

Adoration of the Magi (detail)
c. 1453
Stained glass window
Cathedral, Berne

Transept Window 15th century Stained glass window Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

Transept Window
15th century
Stained glass window
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

This Gothic style window with fined coloured glass is on the end wall of the right transept of the church. The cartoons for St Paul and the upper part are attributed to Bartolomeo Vivarini, those for the Virgin, St John the Baptist and St Peter to Cima da Conegliano, and those for the lower part to Gerolamo Mocetto.

The Creation 1490s Stained glass window Duomo, Milan

The Creation
1490s
Stained glass window
Duomo, Milan

This stained glass panel in the Cathedral Museum in Milan was executed for the apse of the Cathedral. The Cathedral Committee, on account of a competition announcement, selected three glaziers, Franceschino Zavattari, Maffiolo da Cremona, and Stefano da Pandino, and commissioned to execute the three apse windows; but without assigning a precise stained glass to each glazier.

Artists arose from obscurity and began to be patronized by a new wealthy mercantile class. Individual artists were sought out across regional boundaries for specific skills and traits. Glass work was no longer anonymous and begins to be attributed to specific artists and workshops. Additionally, the depiction of artists and glass guilds within windows reflects stained glass’ increasingly elevated status. Taste for jewel-like color, open space no longer constrained by architectural divisions and an increase in secular usage reflects new riches. Architecture is emphasized less as it takes on a new organic quality, foliage becomes more loose and warmer colors are used while greater attention is given to textile rendering. Images depicting secular activities such as masonry and glazing were juxtaposed next to sacred imagery.

During the sixteenth century a rise in the production of glass panels for private contemplation and personal devotion ensued, thus the narrative stained glass window now served as moralizing images. Beginning in the sixteenth century with the Reformation, the creation of religious imagery had severe penalties and glass makers had to seek secular commissions like moralizing roundels or heraldic panels in order to make a living.

Decline and Destruction

Political upheavals and religious unrest jeopardized the survival of stained glass beginning in the sixteenth century, making decline and destruction eminent. Calvinist iconoclasm ended production in the North, while Reformation attacks on Catholic churches destroyed a tremendous amount of glass, particularly in England. In 1547 the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered the destruction of all decorative glass in churches. In 1633, many of the glass factories in Lorraine, France were devastated by war. From 1642 through 1653 the Commonwealth of England destroyed thousands of stained glass windows.

Concurrent with the widespread destruction, Renaissance styles began to take precedence over Gothic style. Murals and frescoes were in higher demand and Italy was quickly becoming the cultural center of Europe. With the emergence of enamels in the sixteenth century, glaziers began to imitate Renaissance painters and applied thick coats of enamel to the surface, as if painting a canvas. Also, transparent glass gave way to heavily painted opaque glass. The more this was practiced, the more distant old stained glass techniques became. The artistry and skill, that had reached their zenith during the Gothic period, became a lost art. During the nineteenth century Sir Joshua Reynolds and other luminaries completely disregarded the medium and continued using enamel in this vein. For approximately two hundred years stained glass fell out of favor due to massive destruction, religious iconoclasm, preference for Renaissance styles, the rise in enamels usage, and a lack of knowledge of old techniques. Stained glass was not widely produced and did not again receive critical attention until its revival in the nineteenth century.

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