The Blue of Chartres

The blue Virgin:

If you had to choose to admire only one stained-glass window in Chartres, it should be this one!



As you can see in this window, you can distinguish two kind of blue 💙 Look closer! How come??!

Stained-glass windows are made of different panels assembled together. In that case the two panels are not from the same century!

Light Blue:

This panel is from 12th Century. At this time,  the glass was made of sand from the Mediterranean sea 🌊 so full of salt. They used to travel a lot and spent money to have the best kind of glass. The blue is purely authentic because the salt preserved the color whereas the darkest blue is a bit oxidized and the colors have changed.

Dark Blue:

Panels with the darker blue are from the 13th century. At this time many stained-glass windows had to be created for the many cathedrals rising. To save money, they use sand from the rivers instead of the sea to produce glass material.

Now you know why the Chartres’ blue is so famous!💙

So , did you noticed the difference when you visited⁉️

Bonus detail:

Another detail that you probably have not noticed if nobody told you. You know in painting what is a « Trompe l’oeil »? There is HUGE one everywhere inside the Cathedrale!

You see the little stones on the roof and on the walls? The rectangular ones? It is not stones!!! It is only painting! Yes back in the time they wanted the Cathedrale to look truly perfect, so it was much easier to paint « fake » stone for the harmony!


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