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Louis Comfort Tiffany’s 1880 ‘Bella Apartment’ Stained Glass Window



Maybe just a coincidence but:-

The distinctive double bend in the Hackensack River is only around 4 miles due west of where the Bella Apartments once stood - possibly close enough for the location to be visible in the distance from the top of the building at the time.

The brownish marble effect glass in the upper middle would broadly correspond with the position of Laurel Hill. Formerly known as ‘Snake Hill’, it is a significant rocky landscape feature which used to be taller and wider before it was heavily quarried in the 1950s.

The adjacent four ‘jewels’ may represent the institutional buildings once found at the bottom of Snake Hill and their formal garden grounds.

The pale colour in the top right is generally contiguous with the extent of the urbanised area at the time.

The two ‘jewels’ within the pale area may reflect Reservoir Nos 2 & 3, (part of the latter still being in existence).

Some of the extended straight line joints may reflect a railroad crossing the purple colour for the meandering river.

The blue in the bottom left may be low lying meadowlands.

So, is it an entirely ‘abstract’ window as currently interpreted, (which would be unusual for the time given the abstract art movement is 20th century) or does it depict a local natural landscape through the bold use of colour and with built features signified by the careful positioning of the ‘jewels’ and some of the joints?

Without Louis Comfort Tiffany being around to clarify, I guess it can never be known for sure.


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