Rose windows

I know even less about stained glass than I do about solar power.

But I don’t find James’s examples of great stained-glass art especially compelling. To my eye, the pure mandalas that are the great rose windows have an impact that far exceeds any representational image. I can’t find a good photo of the window in the cathedral in Prague, which kept me rapt for about two hours one sunny day twenty years ago. But here’s Notre Dame:

And no, no photograph can do justice to the full impact of a rose window with the sun behind it in a dark church. Seriously, this stuff ought to be a controlled substance.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

7 thoughts on “Rose windows”

  1. I am sick of you looking at life through rose-colored glass.

    Sorry, couldn’t pass that up : )

  2. For a modernist window with Notre-Dame-like impact, I can recommend the great Cologne Cathedral window by Gerhard Richter.

  3. The Notre Dame rose window does in fact tell stories too: it has saints, angels, scenes from the New Testament … My vote goes to Chartres simply because it has a virtually complete set, including another two fine (and equally narrative) rose windows. The Gothic rose windows are, I agree, incomparable masterpieces, combining daring engineering – the stone tracery is very thin in relation to the area and weight of lead and glass – with a mastery of design and colour.

    Please tell me what the rabbis have against stained glass. Was it simply that the persecuting Christians got there first? Or that (on the Duby theory) Cathar-style dualism was not a temptation to Jews?

  4. I remember a passage in C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra trilogy where a young, modern woman is fuming that her life should not be constrained to a stained glass existence only to be stopped short by the mental image of sunlight through a stained glass window. Anyone know which book off hand?

  5. Nice, but they lost market share when they couldn’t figure out how
    to implement a more modern look and feel in iCathedral 7.0

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