Stained glass was undoubtedly the main system of window enclosures used in religious architecture in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and one of the main arts of the Middle Ages.
The origins of the stained glass windowThe use of glass, understood as a set of panels composed of glass, usually painted, and joined together by lead rods, dates back to the middle centuries of the Middle Ages, during the Carolingian and Ottonian periods. Its development, associated with Christianity, occurred gradually in the present-day countries of France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, United Kingdom, etc.
The symbolism of light
The use of stained glass with biblical representations as enclosures for church windows had a special attraction for Christianity during the Middle Ages, given the multiple decorative, symbolic, didactic and propagandistic possibilities offered by the medium, hence its success and rapid diffusion.
On the one hand, under the influence of Neoplatonic thought and the ideas of St. Augustine, the light became the main element of beauty and therefore the most important the most evident manifestation of the divine presence on earth. Light was symbolically associated with God. On the other hand, light is understood as a physical medium that fulfills an objective function of illumination, making possible the reading of the iconographic programs developed in the mural paintings or in the sculptural cycles, undisputed protagonists of the decoration of the Romanesque temples.