October 2017

Architecture: Stain Glass Windows

F. X. Zettler

The Royal Bavarian Art Institute for Stained Glass produced the stained glass windows for Corpus Christi in Munich, Germany under the guidance of founder F.X. Zettler. This style of stained glass window is known as "The Munich Style." The Munich Style windows are unique due to their blending of colors, extremely detailed, picture-like composition similar to Renaissance paintings. Also the use of three-point perspective gave the composition a more realistic feel.

To create the "realistic" look of the windows, artisan would expertly paint on relatively large glass panels using paint made of fine granulated color glass. After the paint dried, the panel of glass would then be heated until the granulated color glass fused into the glass. In the windows of the Munich Style the leaded seams did not interrupt or intrude upon the scene portrayed, but were camouflaged by the design in a way that made them hardly noticeable.

A special note: at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a Zettler window won top prize over a Tiffany!

For an example of the value of Zettler windows, at Saint Stanislaus Kostka, in Pittsburgh the original cost for Zettler stained glass windows in 1892 was $27,672 -a major expenditure for that time. Compared with today's dollar value it would cost almost $538,000.

South Window: Depiction of Saint Clare with monstrance in hand defending Assisi against the soldiers of German King Frederick II in 1234.

North Window: Depiction of Jesus and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

East Window: Depiction of Pope Pius X in a procession with the Blessed Sacrament on The feast of Corpus Christi. In the window are the faces of Father O'Gara, the second pastor of Corpus Christi, the Sisters of Mercy, and other original members of Corpus Christi Church.