University of Cambridge > > Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series > Colours in Medieval stained glass: The Canterbury story

Colours in Medieval stained glass: The Canterbury story

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Rosie Crawford.

This talk presents work on Early Gothic stained glass from three series of windows in Canterbury Cathedral dated to the late twelfth to early thirteenth centuries. Using a recently developed methodology, the glass was analysed for diagnostic constituents using hand-held portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF).

The results elucidate the relationships between the three main series of stained glass installed after the Cathedral fire of 1174 and allow insights into the sequence of the glazing scheme. We reveal a chronological change in glass supply in the late twelfth century and differentiate two glass origins: France and the Rhenish region. Interestingly, we found that the use of these two types of glass is determined by their colour, with French glass favoured for blues, whites, and greens and Rhenish glass for reds and yellows.

Finally, we comment on the account of Theophilus, a key source for the production of coloured glass for windows.

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This talk is part of the Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series series.

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