STAINED GLASS PAINTINGS IN CHURCH ARCHITECTURE IN SELECTED CHURCHES IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA

STAINED GLASS PAINTINGS IN CHURCH ARCHITECTURE IN SELECTED CHURCHES IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Stained glass painting, the most distinctive accessory in the interior repertoire of Christian ecclesiastic spaces, is the subject matter of this research in selected churches in southern Nigeria. This study attempts a recast of a continuous history of the art form. It, therefore, draws attention to the delimitation of time frames in the history of the art. Using the Nigerian genre as the cipher that undergirds the new evangelisation, the study narrates the evolution of a new sense of time in the story of the development and growth of stained glass in the constellation of Church art. The Nigerian image of the post Vatican II Church, albeit Nigerian independence era, with its peculiar Nigerian modern representation imageries is the kernel of this study. For in spite of their peculiar imageries, they recite the same Bible and Christos story that the earlier European ones served. Utilising the adage “God lies in the Details”, the iconographical details in the new evangelisation images are employed as a distinctive typology that define their style. That exploration established the place of the visual elements in the Nigerian images, as a generator of data for art historical research. The study presents a story of the implantation, growth and development of the art form. It, however, points to a story line using Christ as the central magnet that holds the entire Bible and Christos story together. That story-line emphasises the liturgical transmission of a new experience of time. It is a theological history in which the past, present and future make contact in the presence of the living Christ.