Thursday, November 20, 2014

Renaissance window

Back in the days before modern techniques made large plate glass windows possible, smaller glass panes were normally fitted between leaded mullions to create intricately patterned windows that, while they let light in, did not provide the clearest of views toward the outside. Stained glass windows are a common example, but clearer glass would be used in the renaissance residences of the aristocracy.

Small pieces of relatively clear glass, but with lots of distortion, allow a decent amount of light into the castle's main stairway.

This is an example of that kind of window at the château d'Azay-le-Rideau. I don't know enough about the castle to tell you whether this is an original window or a reproduction made during one of the many renovations/restorations that have been undertaken over the centuries. Still, it's quite pretty.


  1. It looks like some pieces might be original. Old blown glass flowed downward and distorted over the years; some of the panes seem to show that movement.

  2. I'm inclined to agree with Ellen...
    from experience in science labs...
    the school I worked in possessed a 90yr old Kundt's Tube of 5ft that had sagged in the middle...
    it still worked for school science sound experiment demonstrations...
    but had been donated by a university lab that found it was unable to use it for measurements!!
    Blown glass is softer than plate...
    however, there are still blowers of window glass...
    for restoration and decorative bullseyes [mainly for pub windows!]

  3. Yes it is, it is indeed, quite pretty.
    Crazy snow up in Buffalo!

  4. So far as I know the windows are 19th century, from the Biencourt's time, but in the style of the Renaissance. Some may even be replacements from after the state acquired it in the 20th century. The glass is more or less correct for the Renaissance though -- small batch hand blown either cylinder or crown glass which is then gently flattened out and cut into diamonds for insertion into the lead cames. If it is replaced now, as Tim says, it will be made the same way. The bullseyes are the centre of the crown disc, once a waste product, but especially from the 19th century used in a decorative way in windows.


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