Recently, I sat down with the Stained Glass Zealot to talk about the beauty of stained glass, and how it draws you in. Check out his Twitter account here or his Substack to see what he’s doing to show how beautiful this art is. Mostly, we discussed the beauty of churches. But, we dove into several other topics like the Lindy Effect, Divine Light by Abbot Suger, fashion vs. eternal beauty, and much more. Listen here or subscribe below to watch the interview:
One theme that came up again and again in this interview was that beauty draws us in. We know this from our own experience, if we stop to reflect. Generally, when we fall in love, it starts with some attraction to beauty. In a grocery isle, our eye jumps to bright, beautiful packaging. Beauty captures our attention. It captivates us, pulling us in.
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“My interest in art must have started with my Catholic upbringing. Art was everywhere: churches with its paintings, sculptures, stained glass, textiles, and fine metalwork.”Cheech Marin
Stained Glass and the Lindy Effect
According to Wikipedia, the Lindy Effect, “is a theory that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.” Basically, the longer something has been around, the longer it will last into the future.
Therefore, much of the beauty we find in stained glass windows, some hundreds or a thousand years old, will remain beautiful for a long time. Obviously, they have to be maintained for that. to be the case. But, the principles of beauty they follow will last.
The Origin of Stained Glass
This art was largely inspired by Abbot Suger of St. Denis. His work of Divine Light was meant to encourage the use of beauty to inspire people to pursue Christ. In essence, he believed that beauty could be used to bring people into the Church. In fact, people took this idea even further and used the art itself to teach the faith. Today, many churches have stained glass windows that teach the gospel and of the saints.
Inscription on the bronze doors made by Suger for the Abbey of St. Denis: