Mosaic and Stained Glass Essay

Mosaic and Stained Glass

Wall paintings are a form of art that uses the wall structure of a building as a base for its art. (Rosewell, p. 6) The artist uses the stone and plaster of the church as its canvas. Wall paintings are usually very large and it is meant for public audiences. This form of art is usually used as a religious art. The art is meant to show devotion and strengthen the faith of the public.

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Unlike wall paintings, wall mosaic is a form of art that uses other materials in order to form pictures. Examples of materials used for a wall mosaic are pebbles, marbles and precious stones, and smalti glass. The materials are cut using a mosaic hammer, hardie and other tools need to form the picture on the mosaic. Wall mosaic usually adorns the wall or the floor. Same with the wall paintings, wall mosaics represent religious art. However, this particular art had also been used to show other important events such as “The Battle of Isus” This particular mosaic represents the battle between Alexander the Great and Darius. Unlike the stained glass, smalti glass is only manufactured in Venice and in the Vatican Factory of the papal Rome. This particular glass is used for mosaics and vaults only. (, 2008).

Stained Glass is a form of art that wherein colored glasses are used as a base to form the picture. Stained Glass is used for the adornment of windows. The material used for this art is the glass. The glass is a matter that has the three state properties namely solid, liquid and Gas. It is a super-cool liquid that captures the light and lights from within. Glass is colored by adding metallic salts and oxides. Examples of the materials used for coloring are gold to produce a cranberry color, cobalt to produce blue, silver to produce yellow and gold and lastly copper which makes green and brick red. Stained glass is used nowadays in residences, public buildings and churches. (Art Glass Association, 2006)

These three forms of art go a long way back in history. Wall Painting has been present ever since the prehistoric times. There are evidences in the walls of prehistoric caves in Altamira Spain and Lascaux Caves in Southern France. In the East, this art have been used in China around 1700BC and this had spread to Korea and Japan. Wall Paintings had also been used in Ancient Egypt that decorated the walls, tomb and chambers of the pyramid. The decorations represent figures and motifs that represent the after world. The art had further spread and had been used in basilicas and churches in the early Christian and Byzantine Periods. By the time of the 4th century, artists had focussed more on the use of mosaic on the walls and ceilings. The revival of wall painting using fresco had happened in the 14th century. This was mainly used in the churches in Europe and this had continued on until the 16th century. In the north, Gothic Churches and Cathedrals had started to use stained-glass windows. (, 2006) At present, wall paintings are least used. Wall Mosaics are still being used to decorate buildings, churches and residences. The same as the Wall Mosaics, the stained glass windows is still being used to decorate. Modern techniques and designs are being studied in order to develop the art.

Looking at the progression of art, it is obvious that man uses images in order to preserve their ideas and express their devotion into something. This is evident in the wall paintings before. Wall Paintings are now used as wall papers to adorn rooms and residences however, the use is not that wide because wall papers had been introduced. Pictures are used  by artist and it is put on the wall to preserve the image. On the other hand, because of the creativeness of the artists, they had thought of creating images using other materials. This is then can be stated as the mosaics. Just like the wall paintings, wall mosaic adorns the walls of buildings. However, these mosaics uses different kinds of materials and is color coordinated before it is paste on the base of the mosaic. The artistic ability of the creator uses the different colors of the material to combine the materials collected to create a picture. Stained Glass on the other hand uses the windows to show their ideas and opinions using light source. This art can be appreciated when light passes through the glass. It can also be considered as a mosaic because it uses the different colors of glass to form vivid images that they could decorate on the window.

As a conclusion, wall paintings had become the basis of both the mosaic and stained glass window. The art appreciation of the people in the world had made the existence of these three forms of art. Most of these are influenced by the religious art. As stated before, these types had been used to express the devotion and strengthen the faith. Some may not appreciate the images painted or build on the wall, however, some people are influenced by this images because they are reminded of the acts that had been done by the important people in their religious history. As a decoration in public buildings and residences, it is nice for a building and a house to have something that could show the personality of the owner.  These forms of art can show what kind of person the owner of the building is.

Works Cited:

Rosewell, Roger.  Medieval Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches. New York: Boydell Press.

Di Mosaico. “Mosaic” . 2008. di Mosaico. 22 April 2008. Available at

Art Glass Association. “A History of Stained Glass”. 2008. The Store  Finder. 23 April 2008. Available at

Funk and Wagnalls. “Mural Painting” 2006.  New Encyclopedia. World Almanac Education Group.  23 April 2008. Available at <>