Franz Xaver Zettler Stained Glass Windows

The Stained Glass Windows by F. X. Zettler Studio

The “Munich Style” In this method, the religious scenes were painted on larger sheets of glass, and then fused to the glass through firing in intense heat. This allowed for a blending of colors not attainable by the old medieval style, in which any change of color in a scene required a separate piece of colored glass. The leaded seams did not interrupt or intrude upon the scene portrayed, but were camouflaged by the design in a way that made them hardly noticeable. The new style also allowed for extremely detailed depictions of their subjects. Zettler was also credited as the first to use three-point perspective in stained glass windows.

Master painters, academic professors designed the composition and concentrated on the main figures and on most important elements of the art work; the assistants added the background figures, landscape, architecture; skilled helpers worked on less important areas. The individual design artist of the Mayer or Zettler windows in the late 19th and early 20th century normally worked anonymously. The studio meant teamwork from all design and fabrication aspects. Artistic stardom was not yet borne.

Joseph Gabriel Mayer founded his Institute for Christian Art Works in 1847 to “reactivate the idea of the Middle Ages cathedral building trades” through fine arts, sculpture, architecture, and painting. For its important contributions to church art, Pope Leo XIII gave Mayer & Co. the title “Pontifical Institute of Christian Art” in 1892.

Franz Xavier Zettler originally worked for his father-in-law Joseph Gabriel Mayer and became entrusted with the founding of the stained glass department within Mayer’s “Institute of Christian Art” in 1862 before striking out on his own in 1870.

His fledgling company achieved its first success with award-winning windows displayed at the 1873 International Exhibition at Vienna. By the end of the decade, Zettler’s firm had 150 employees.

In 1882 the company was appointed as the “Royal Bavarian Art Institute for Stained Glass” by King Ludwig II (the “Mad King”).

At the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, a Zettler window won top prize over a Tiffany!

Professor Franz,” as students and admirers knew Zettler, died in 1916 at the age of 75.

The F. X. Zettler Studio was reunited with the Mayer Studio in 1939. 

Stained Glass Windows of Corpus Christi

North Window: Jesus and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.