Coloured glass has been made since ancient times. Both the Egyptians and the Romans manufactured small coloured glass objects. Stained glass gained recognition as a Christian art form sometime in the fourth century as Christians began to build churches.
The spread of Christianity throughout Europe was directly related to the expansion of stained glass across the globe and made stained glass the dominant art form of the new millennium. One of the oldest recognized examples of multiple pieces of coloured glass used in a window has been located at St. Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, England, established in 686 AD. The oldest complete European windows are thinking to be five relatively sophisticated figures in Ausburg Cathedral. Stained glass was once also produced by Arab architects in the Middle East in the eighth century. Jabir ibn Hayyan, the Persian chemist described forty-six unique recipes for producing coloured glass in Kitab al-Durra al-Maknuna.
As a material stained glass is a glass that has been coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together (traditionally) by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame.