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Proceedings Paper

Potential and challenges of interdisciplinary research on historical window glass, stained glass and reverse glass paintings
Author(s): Stefan Trümpler; Sophie Wolf; Cordula Kessler; Jürg Goll
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Paper Abstract

The interdisciplinary study of ancient materials has become an increasingly common strategy, mainly because it has proved to be a highly rewarding approach to studying the age, provenance and production of archaeological objects. The results of such an approach sometimes also provide answers to questions relating not only to socio-cultural, economic or technological developments in a particular region or period (trade, innovation, production etc.), but also the conservation of the materials or artefacts in question. A number of analytical methods, ranging from microscopic to elementary analyses, have been successfully applied to determine the nature of materials and technologies used in the production, as well as to identify the provenance of ancient glass. As far as window glass and stained glass is concerned, the study of architectural context and art history – as well as the technological characteristics of materials – has proved to be most helpful in determining history, production and artistic importance of the objects under study. This paper discusses some of the multidisciplinary studies that the Vitrocentre Romont has conducted on early medieval window glass, stained glass and reverse glass paintings and illustrates the potential of a holistic approach in solving questions about materials, techniques, window design and conservation. It also addresses the limitations of the approach, which are often related to finding appropriate (i.e. non-destructive and possibly portable) methods for the analysis of sometimes extremely fragile stained glass windows.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 November 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8422, Integrated Approaches to the Study of Historical Glass, 84220B (7 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.978231
Show Author Affiliations
Stefan Trümpler, Vitrocentre Romont (Switzerland)
Sophie Wolf, Vitrocentre Romont (Switzerland)
Cordula Kessler, Nationale Informationsstelle für Kulturgütererhaltung Bern (Switzerland)
Jürg Goll, Bauhütte und Archäologie (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8422:
Integrated Approaches to the Study of Historical Glass
Hugo Thienpont; Wendy Meulebroeck; Karin Nys; Dirk Vanclooster, Editor(s)

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