John La Farge was a prominent figure in the so-called American Renaissance, a late nineteenth-century cultural phenomenon that called for a unification of the arts. An extremely talented artist, La Farge came to be most admired for his work in stained glass, his most sought-after medium in the early 1880s.
This monumental window, depicting the allegorical figure of Architecture, was commissioned by the Philadelphia architect John M. Huston for the stairway landing of his suburban home. Translating into glass a bookplate design by fellow artist Edwin Austin Abbey, La Farge used several innovative techniques in the production of this work. Known for his painterly approach, he used multiple layers of opalescent glass to create naturalistic effects of shading and depth.