Stained glass windows have graced homes and churches throughout Europe for centuries. Originally, the technique involved painting religious scenes on clear glass with various translucent and opaque paints. Everything changed when Louis Comfort Tiffany started working with the medium in 1870.  

Is Tiffany and Co. the Same as Tiffany Stained Glass?

Tiffany and Co. is a New York based jewelry company founded in 1837. Louis Comfort Tiffany was an art director as well as the founder's son. He went on to start his own company focusing on selling stained glass windows, lamps, and hand-blown glass vases. 

Who Was Tiffany and How Did He Change Stained Glass?

Tiffany started using colored glass pieces to create stained glass windows instead of painting scenes directly on the glass. This created a greater variety of colors and shades to use in stained glass windows as well as enhanced the perceived depth of the piece. 

Tiffany also changed the subject matter. Throughout history, churches were the main purchasers of art so they dictated the subject matter - Catholic saints, Christian scenes of the pieta, and more. Tiffany worked during a time when not only glass was more affordable, but also when scenes of nature were gaining in popularity due to the rise in the Arts and Crafts movement.

What Was the Arts and Crafts Movement?

The Arts and Crafts movement (1880-1920) was a trend in art and design to embrace hand-made items inspired by nature and with an organic, natural aesthetic. It was in direct opposition to the growth of industrialism and mass production. Think curling vines, blossoming flowers, and pastoral views that stretch for miles. 

Can I Buy a Stained Glass Window by Tiffany?

Original works by Tiffany are very hard to come by as most reside in museums around the country or are permanently affixed to buildings. In 2016, however, a Tiffany stained glass window from a church was auctioned off by Sotheby's. It was expected to bring in between 250-350K, but sold for over 2.6 million. While that price point is out of reach for the average person, you can easily buy reproduction pieces in the Tiffany style.

What are the Characteristics of Tiffany-Style Stained Glass?

Luckily, Tiffany's stained glass windows, vases, and lamps are still popular to this day. Reproduction pieces as well pieces that reflect his aesthetic are available both online and in many museum shops around the country.  

The beauty of Tiffany's stained glass has stood the test of time and people still enjoy having his works in their home. Learn more about Tiffany's stained glass from a church contractor like Church Services Group today.