Drehobl Art Glass

The Chicago OrganizerMunich Style Art Glass
The most popular and prevalent stained glass windows in Chicago churches are the so-called "Munich" windows, which can be seen by the hundreds in churches that once had large German, Bohemian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Ukrainian congregations.

A master of the style was Max Buler, who founded the Munich Studio in Chicago in 1903. Guler had studied painting in Munich, Germany and, not surprisingly, his work shows the influence of the German Baroque style in his use of elaborate ornamentation, asymmetrical figure groupings, strong contrasts between light and shadow, and abundant architectural detail.

Splendid examples of Guler's art can be seen in the windows at SS. Cyril and Methodius Church (1913) built for a Bohemian congregation. Most of the windows present biblical scenes, but some express the parishioners' strong religious ties to their native country. Among the latter are SS. Cyril and Methodius bringing the church to the Slavic people; St. Ludmilla and her young grandson Wenceslaus; St. Wenceslaus ruler of Bohemia; and the baptism of Borivoj, Bohemia's first Christian duke.

A fine example of Guler's art is The Presentation of Christ in the Temple. The principal figures in this window are the Virgin Mary robed in shimmering light gold and the slumbering Christ Child wrapped in white swaddling clothes. Subordinate and in contrast to them are Simeon, Joseph, and Anna cloaked in heavy mantles of somber brown, gray, and blue. The asymmetrical figure groupings — Mary and Joseph to the left, Simeon, Anna, and the child to the right - are adroitly balanced and joined by Mary's outstretched arms and the large palm branc, a symbol of rejoicing, held by a child.

Guler's predilection for detailed architectural ornament can be seen in the menorah deeply carved into the massive rectangular post, the egg and dart and Greek key design on the lintel behind Mary and Joseph, the deep shadows on the variegated marble floor, and the ornate decoration in the arched border of simulated marble which frames the entire composition. Although the window is heavily painted with dark oxides, as most oof Guler’s arc, the glass retains its luminosity because of his masterful brushwork.


Drehobl Art Glass

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The Chicago Organizer