"Tiffany's early career as a painter directed his lifelong pursuit of beauty. Noted as a colorist, Tiffany was deeply affected by the brilliant glass found in European cathedrals and in the warm, saturated light in North Africa, where he traveled in 1870 and 1871. He later recalled to the members of the Rembrandt Club, "I returned to New York wondering why we made so little use of our eyes, why we refrained so obstinately from taking advantage of color." His ambition to communicate this boldness and purity of color most likely prompted his initial entry into the glass and shaped his vision for the mosaics produced by his company."
Quoted from, Tiffany's Glass Mosaics, Kelly A. Conway and Lindsy R. Parrott