Reforming iconography through Victorian stained glass

Cheshire, Jim (2010) Reforming iconography through Victorian stained glass. In: Victorian Forms and Formations, British Association of Victorian Studies Annual Conference, 2-4 September 2010, University of Glasgow.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


In the Victorian period stained glass became a useful vehicle for reformulating the icono-graphical scheme of a church: new stained glass windows in medieval churches offered an ideal opportunity for Gothic enthusiasts to overlay medieval material culture with Victorian iconography. This potential appealed to people interested in reforming Victorian religion, especially ‘ecclesiologists’ who sought to translate the theology of the Oxford Movement into ornate churches designed for sacramental worship. This group dominated the debates about stained glass in the early Victorian period but as the popularity of stained glass spread beyond this narrow circle all sorts of people started to express themselves through Christian imagery. In many cases this lead to a personal use of iconography which clashed with the overall scheme of the church: the private and commercial set up of the stained glass studio clashed with the public message that many clerical authorities wanted their churches to convey. This problem was particularly pronounced in big churches: this paper will consider the specific example of Lincoln Cathedral and how arguments over the style, content and form of the Victorian glazing scheme echoed wider tensions within Victorian culture.

Keywords:Gothic Revival, Stained Glass, Lincoln Cathedral
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
W Creative Arts and Design > W290 Design studies not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
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ID Code:3626
Deposited On:10 Nov 2010 13:26

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