Magnificent and technically breathtaking, this remarkable stained glass window by Tiffany Studios secures Louis Comfort Tiffany's reputation as a master artist and innovator. Though he was known as a pioneer in the Art Nouveau movement, crafting outstanding objets d'art, it was his windows that proved to be the most significant of all his works. Each window is a free expression of his personal artistic vision, meaning each is unique and unlike any other he created. Figural compositions such as the present example, outside of ecclesiastical commissions, were created specifically for Tiffany's most important patrons. Those windows that are fortunate enough to stand the test of time remain installed where they were originally intended and seldom resurface, making this phenomenal example an extreme rarity and a true prize for any collector.
Louis Comfort Tiffany's pictorial works are still regarded as his most imperative. They can be found in the most prestigious institutions, including The Smithsonian and Yale University. Only the very wealthy could afford to place a private commission and among Tiffany's clients were Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Andrew Carnegie, gold and lead mining tycoon Joseph Delemar and Cornelius Vanderbilt. In fact, most accomplished stained glass artisans charged $3.00 ($2,900 today) for a day's labor, while a work by Tiffany could run, at the least, between $3,500 to $5,000 ($3.3 to $4.7 million).
Tiffany considered his "paintings in glass" to be the purest expression of the stained glass art because he chose to not use pigment. His theory and practice required the glass used in his windows to be of an outstanding quality. All color and texture was a part of the actual glass. Folds, shadows and distance affects were achieved without paint, etching or enamel, through varying combinations of his favrile with other opalescent glasses. Tiffany's innovative technique was deemed a breakthrough not only in glassmaking but fine art as well.
This window is pictured in Alastair Duncan's definitive book, Tiffany Windows, The Indispensable Book on Louis C. Tiffany's Masterworks, page 49. The window is installed in a custom-made, lighted stand.
This window is signed "Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company, New York"