13th Century Painted Mosaic - Romanesque

13th Century Painted Mosaic - Romanesque

Stained art glass mosaic in painted form of the Romanesque era.

Craftsman Style

Still, in thirteenth century work, there is frequently no evidence of such shading; the painter has been quite content with the traced line. In the fourteenth century a looser kind of handling is observed. The painter would trace a head in not quite solid lines of brown, and then strengthen them here and there with perfectly opaque colour, producing by that means a much softer quality of line. In any case, the painting until well into the century was at the best rude, and the half tint, such as it was, used, one may say, to be smeared on. Here again practice followed the line of least resistance. It was difficult with the appliances then in use to paint a gradated tint which would give the effect of modelling; and accordingly very little of the kind was at13th Century Painted Mosaic - Romanesqueted. Eventually, however, the painter began to stipple his smear of shadow, at once softening it and letting light into it.

Towards the end of the century this stippling process was carried a step further. It occurred to the workman to coat his glass all over (or all of it except what was meant to remain quite clear) with thin brown, and then, with a big dry brush, dab it until it assumed a granular or stippled surface (darker or lighter, according to the amount of stippling). This was not only more translucent than the smeared colour but more easily graduated, and capable of being so manipulated, and so softened at the edges, as readily to give a very fair amount of modelling. This shading was often supplemented by dark lines or hatchings put in with a brush, as well as by lines scraped out of the tint to lighten it. But in any case there was for a while nothing like heavy shading. Even in work belonging to the fifteenth century, and especially in English glass, as at York, Cirencester, Ross, etc., it is quite a common thing to find that the drawing is mainly in line, very delicately done, helped out by the merest hint of shading in tint. This glass is sometimes a little flat in effect, and it is not equal in force to con13th Century Painted Mosaic - Romanesqueorary foreign work; but it is peculiarly refined in execution, and it has qualities of glass-like sparkle and translucency which more than make amends for any lack of solidity in painting. Solidity is just the one thing we can best dispense with in glass.


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