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Necessary, Not Sufficient

The Circulation of Knowledge about Stained Glass in the Northern Netherlands, 1650–1821

In: Nuncius
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The craft of making stained glass all but disappeared from the northern Netherlands in the long eighteenth century, but craft knowledge continued to circulate in texts and rare attempts at revival. This paper studies the role of artisans, natural historians and apothecaries and their use of texts in attempts to maintain and revive the knowledge of and techniques for the production of stained glass in the northern Netherlands between 1650 and 1821. I argue that their efforts contributed to the preservation of existing stained glass, and raised awareness about the cultural and historical value of stained glass and the knowledge and skills required to produce it. Although much tacit, practical knowledge was lost, basic technical knowledge circulated in a small number of texts. Combined with preserved stained glass, these texts served as the basis for reconstructive experiments that would lead to a revival of the art in the nineteenth century.

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