Stained glass of Chess Players from the Hotel de la Bessée (Villefranche sur Saône) (1430-1440)
‘The game of chess as a metaphor for love ritual, permeates the culture of the late Middle Ages in literature as in the figurative arts. One of the most attractive examples of this craze is offered by the stained glass of the fifteenth century.
As one of the oldest stained glass preserved civil, it recreates the lifestyle of a cultured elite. Both players wear stylish clothes and extravagant hats, as was fashionable in the fifteenth century. The lady wears a long robe of cloth lined with fur. She shaved the top of the forehead, as usual elegant women in the early fifteenth century, and wears a horned headdress so-called “split roll”. His partner is wearing a beautiful chaperone that forms a turban on his head. The gray and yellow - two favorite techniques of painting on glass - are employed on a very pure glass, of varying thickness, sometimes very thin. Its remarkable quality of execution is also one of the best artworks of the Lyons area in the mid-fifteenth century.’