The first half of the 16th century was the golden age of glass painting in Northern Europe. Nuremberg, Augsburg and Cologne became the main centres of stained glass art, where windows designed to decorate majestic cathedrals, as well as small-sized stained glass panels for private collections were produced.
German painted glass is closely connected to graphic art and painting of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, from which stained glass makers drew not only inspiration and composition, but also the manner of painting. It frequently imitated pen and ink drawing, woodcut or burin engraving and was similar to monochrome painting created using grayscale (en grisaille) or brown scale (en brunaille).
The museum collection contains glass panels from the famous Nuremberg stained glass workshop of Augustin Hirschvogel (1503-1553) as well as some stained glass fragments linked to the Cologne tradition of glass painting.