Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Seeing through light : a selective history of architectural stained glass

Brown, Maria Florence (2004) Seeing through light : a selective history of architectural stained glass. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94240) (KAR id:94240)

PDF (Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of this thesis enables read aloud functionality of the text.)
Language: English

Download this file
[thumbnail of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of this thesis enables read aloud functionality of the text.]
Official URL:


This dissertation traces the history of glass in its architectural environment from the earliest surviving examples to the work of modern designers and architects producing new and exciting effects of light colour and form.

Chapter I: Origins

Chapter one explores the beginnings of architectural glass in the Middle Ages, investigating the ideology of the patrons and technical virtuosity of the craftsmen who created and constructed the great windows that still illuminate the interiors of many European cathedrals and churches. It follows the destructiveness of the Reformation, the re-emergence of stained glass with the 19th century Gothic Revival and the new form and expression that was found under William Morris, the Arts and Craft Movement and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Chapter II: Pre 1945

This chapter discusses Art Nouveau’s reaction to the historicism of the Victorian era. the subtle manipulation of light and space by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Britain and the innovative concepts of Frank Lloyd Wright in the United States. It moves on to investigate the pioneering spirit and lasting influence of the pre-war German artists and presents the work of John Trinick, tracing its evolution from medievalism to modernism.

Chapter III: Post 1945

The final chapter evaluates the reinterpretation of the medium from the post-war period, its place as a vital element in the sophisticated architecture of the 21st century and as an individual art form in its own right.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94240
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: N Visual Arts > N Visual arts (General). For photography, see TR
N Visual Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2022 14:35 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 15:18 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.