All of the glass was put in place in a very short time – just over thirty years.
The windows of the aisles and the nave (ca. 1205-1215) precede those of the upper choir and the ambulatory (ca. 1210-1225) and those of the transepts (ca. 1225-1235).
A unity emerges and we understand all of the components as one, even if a stylistic study leads to the conclusion that several workshops worked on it together. Each master artisan thus expresses his artistic signature and his sense of storytelling. The choice of colors and graphic processes, the staging and the drawing of the faces change from one window to the next.
Several bays date from the XIIth century : the three huge stained glass windows on the western facade, which have remained in their original placement, and ‘Our Lady of the Beautiful Window’ three panels magnifying the ‘Chartres blue,’ which have been reassembled in a window of the southern ambulatory.
Some grisailles, those with a vegetal motif, were made in the 13th century, while others were made at different times to replace missing windows.
The XXth century left only two windows:
– A stained glass window dedicated to Fulbert, visible in the south transept, was commissioned by the Association of American Architects.
– A more abstract composition, evocative of peace, takes place in the north transept: it was offered by the German friends of the cathedral.
See: Dating of the stained glass windows (pdf – French)