Vermeer in Glass

Vermeer’s painting Inspires a new stained glass window.

Johannes Vermeer is an acclaimed 17th century Dutch painter and also the inspiration for a new stained glass window recently installed by Gilroy Stained Glass in the foyer of The Vermeer building on Fourth Avenue in Vancouver’s iconic Kitsilano neighbourhood.

The artists, John and Laura Gilroy, describe the design and creation of this project as “an exciting opportunity to use the traditional artistry of glass painting within a contemporary setting.” and explain that “the window is an homage to Vermeer’s painting The Glass of Wine, however, unlike the original seduction scene in the painting, our window depicts two figures enjoying a more subtle flirtation over a nice glass of wine.”

Painting on glass is very different to painting with oils on canvas, in that it requires techniques of stippling and shading to control how the light is viewed through jewel-like glass colours. The design incorporates a “stained glass window within a window” which contains fragments of painted glass that are over 150 years old, collected during the Gilroys’ career in the UK. As far as the Gilroys are aware, this is the only example of a Vermeer painting in stained glass.

John and Laura Gilroy AMGP have been involved in producing stained glass since 1985 when they began an intensive apprentice education in one of England’s oldest studios founded in 1788. There they mastered the traditional skills used in creating new windows and in the preservation and restoration of existing windows. They specialize in traditional and contemporary glass painting at their Vancouver studio. Please visit



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