'Cutlining'

The panels from York Minster's Great East window were dismantled as part of the conservation project. The pieces were laid out on a rubbing of the panel, in their pre-conservation positions. Conservators then examined every piece, and were able to move, reposition and realign certain pieces to recover the original arrangement of glass. They did this based on how the glass fitted together, on the iconography of the scene, and by looking at art historical sources for evidence of the original appearance of the panels. Often, conservators were able to bring pieces back together which had been moved apart in earlier restoration campaigns. Sometimes this process displaced newer glass which was put into the window at various points in its history to fill holes; these pieces were removed and archived. Once the pieces were laid out in their correct positions, conservators drew around them to show where the new lead lines will be. This drawing is called the 'cutline' and is used as a kind of template by the glazier when the panel is re-leaded.

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