Jim Cheshire
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The revival of stained glass
How and why the market spread
in Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival
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This chapter examines how the enthusiasm for stained glass spread from clerical circles into a more secular territory. The fact that the market for stained glass grew enormously in the 1840s and 1850s is not in dispute, but the ways in which it spread needs clarification. To see a display of the work of over thirty different stained glass studios in a secular context was unprecedented, and has important implications for the relationship between stained glass and Victorian culture. Exhibitions were held quite regularly before the Victorian period but they were normally small-scale shows designed to promote the work of one glass-painter. The consistent Gothic style in the Medieval Court must have provided just the context that many of the other English glass-painters needed, though the glass was not as well lit as that in the stained glass gallery.

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