The Art of Stained Glass – by Jessica Kilmer


Today we visited King’s College Chapel, and it was definitely a sight to see. The construction of the stained glass windows was completed in 1531! Before entering the chapel, I never really thought about how stained glass related to mass communication. When I exited the chapel, I realized that stained glass has the ability to depict a very powerful story.

Mallory Wober guided us through the chapel and explained the meanings behind some of chapel windows. He explained that purple represents Jesus and his family because it symbolizes royalty. After he mentioned the use of purple, it was amazing the amount purple I saw in each window! Mallory also told us that the top portion of the windows tells stories from the Old Testament, and the bottom portion tells stories from the Old Testament.

We looked specifically at a few windows and tried to decipher the theme of each one. The first window was the arrival of the angel who gave Mary a very special message. Once I saw the outline of the angel, I was able to determine the entire theme of the scene. The next window was the well-known nativity scene. The troughs of the manger could easily be deciphered in the window. The nativity scene came together as soon as I recognized the manger.

Stained glass windows have the ability to tell a story just like books or music, but the windows strictly appeal to a person’s sense of sight to convey a message. It is amazing that the glass managed to remain pristine after nearly 500 years!

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