This type of clear glass roundel, painted with black or brown paint, and coloured with a yellow stain derived from silver, developed towards the end of the fifteenth century, and was especially popular in the Netherlands, where this pair originate. Made for private chapels or domestic spaces, they are much smaller and more detailed than earlier stained glass, which was generally intended to be seen from a distance. Perhaps because of this more intimate scale, such roundels often drew upon contemporary engravings and book illustrations, and although no source has been identified for either of these examples it is entirely possible that these were likewise derived from engravings.
This is particularly true of the roundel showing The Triumph of Love, which is both Italianate in style, and depicts a subject that was not common outside of Italy, suggesting a printed source from that country. Derived from Petrarch's Trionfi, this scene is an allegory of the strength of love and its potentially tragic effect on humanity, and typically includes a blindfolded cupid, riding on a processional carriage with captive mortals, and surrounded by famous lovers, undone by the perils of passion. Although in this example cupid does not ride a carriage, his triumphant placement at the pinnacle of the roundel and the inclusion of a captive woman indicate the meaning of the scene. This is reinforced by the pairs of tragic lovers: to the right we see the suicide of the ill-fated Pyramus and Thisbe, as related in Ovid's Metamorphoses; and to the left a scene of Delilah cutting Samson's hair whilst he sleeps. A courting couple and Thisbe's arrival at the fountain where she had arranged to meet her lover are also visible to the left of the landscape.
The second roundel depicts a group of sinners in Hell, being tormented by various demons and devils. In the background is a pair of figures bound to a wheel, a motif lifted from Virgil's description of Tartarus in the Aeneid, but which by the sixteenth century had been adopted into the Christian iconography of Hell. Other figures are more definitely Christian, such as the sinful monk, a common trope in scenes of Hell, and perhaps especially popular in the anti-clerical atmosphere of Reformation Europe. The nude female figure, pulling her hair in desperation, relates this roundel to another example in the Cloisters Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no. 1990.119.2), which has in turn been connected with a figure in Dirk Bouts' painting of Hell, dated to the 1470s. Although the two roundels are very different stylistically, it seems plausible that both of the glass painters were familiar with the Dirk Bouts image, perhaps through a secondary source.