MEDIEVAL STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

 


Very many of the medieval stained glass windows of the Cathedral of Reims have disappeared. Their history reminds us just how fragile are the few that, through great care and effort, remain to us today.

In addition to the damage wrought by time and weather, the windows suffered from sometimes deliberate destruction, and the hazards of war.

As early as the sixteenth century, the windows were the object of occasional restoration and, after the First World War, certain of the high windows were patiently reconstituted.

Today, the preserved windows form a beautifully coherent ensemble, and contribute to make this edifice a major reference in stained glass. The audacious design of the fine network of stone in the western rose window constitutes one of the most beautiful achievements of Gothic art, and the high windows of the choir are, by their iconographic narrative, an impressive demonstration of the power of the Church of Reims.