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Stained glass

Stained glass, pieces of colored glass held in place by a framework usually of lead strips, to form patterns or pictures in a window. The earliest Western windows date from the 5th century, but the art reached its highest development in the period of Gothic architecture (1150–1500): The series of windows made (1200–40) for the cathedral at Chartres is a well-known example. Huge circular windows became common during this period. These windows, because of their flowerlike shape, were known as rose windows. Interest revived in the 19th and 20th centuries with the work of Edward Burne-Jones, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and John La Farge. Later masters of stained glass were the painters Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Georges Rouault, and Marc Chagall. The glass is colored during manufacture by mixing it with metallic oxides, then cut according to full-scale cartoons. Details may be painted onto the glass with colored enamels, which fuse to the surface when it is heated.

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