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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/30

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

which the earlier examples gave only sparing promise. In spite of the abandonment of paint and stain, the mosaic glass has been given greater variety and greater depth of color than at any time since the Renaissance. In its present form, the mosaic picture window is a distinctively American product. It has been evolved here, and, though now somewhat copied in Europe, it is here that the process has reached its greatest extension and perfection. The history of its mode of becoming is both unique and interesting. It is one that could not have been written much earlier to advantage, for the material of which it is composed has only been gathering during recent years. Were this history to be unfolded logically, it would start with the first conception which shaped itself in the brain of the artist, and from that intangible beginning it would be traced through the colored sketch, the full-sized cartoon, the gradual replacement of colored paper by colored glass, and so on to the completed window; but that would presuppose too much. It would take for granted that the artist in glass had only to catch his fine dreams of beauty, and that the material for their expression would be found at hand ready for his use. But such is very far from being the case. In this form of art-work the real struggle has been to make the material adapt itself to the conception it is intended to express. The struggle, however, has been carried on so cleverly and so successfully that the ultimate triumph is the more enjoyable for the prelude. It is more consistent, therefore, to consider first the technical part in the history of a picture-window, the production of that adroitly wrought and daintily colored material which has made the window possible; and then, having won the material, to regard its subsequent disposition in producing the fine effects which make it so admirable.

To describe every variety of glass utilized in a mosaic picture window would be to describe nearly every form of glass known in the flat. In such a window, be it remembered, the entire picture, except the exposed portions of the figure, is brought out by the use of shaped fragments of colored glass; and one can readily imagine that, as all possible subjects are chosen for such representation, all possible shades and combinations and effects are needed in the glass employed. Draperies, vegetation, architecture, sky, earth, air, and water, are all successfully depicted without the use of either paint or stain. Such windows, except the flesh portions, are true mosaics, and of the most brilliant kind.

To acccomplish these wonders the glass has been made in all the colors of the spectrum, and has undergone a thousand different transformations. The shapes have been no less varied than the colors. The so-called "jewels," or pieces of richly colored glass, cut with facets after the manner of precious stones, have