Thursday, November 30, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 9, Sainte-Chapelle, Paris

Welcome back!! 

Sainte-Chapelle is an extraordinary House of worship with many historical facts such as the Sainte Chapelle could be considered a huge reliquary only built to house the relics of the Crucifixion.

In 1239, Saint Louis bought the crown of thorns from Venetian merchants for 135,000 Pounds! (the relics of the crucifixion) 

This is just one interesting fact of many which surround the Sainte-Chapelle, but, this blog concentrates mostly on the churches Stained Glass., which is VERY IMPRESSIVE!!              


The church, which has two levels, was consecrated on April 26th, 1248, so it is assumed that Sainte Chapelle was finished at this time. The starting date, however, is still unknown, as is the name of the master mason is also (probably Pierre de Montreuil or Jean de Chelles). 

Sainte Chapelle suffered from several fires (1630, 1777) and one flood. Nor did the French Revolution spare it: the outside ornamentation was damaged, especially the spire, whose fleurs-de-lis were considered a symbol of the French monarchy. Then, during the First Empire, the upper chapel was used as an archive warehouse, which led to severe damage and the stained glass windows were dismantled.

The upper chapel has four bays and a seven section choir. Its walls are much taller than those of the lower chapel. They are in great part covered only by stained glasses.
The surface of the masonry is reduced to the strict minimum. The thinness of the columns between the stained glass windows is an example of an absolute mastery of gothic art. For strengthening purposes, the columns are reinforced with tie beams.
The 15 stained glasses windows (15.4 m height and 4.25 m width) are also considered as master pieces of the art of stained glass. Most of them date from the 13th century. They are composed with 1113 little pieces of glass.
Each pane is represented as:

Legend of the stained glass windows :
A : history of the holy relics
B : book of kings
C : Esther
D : Judith and Job
E : Jeremy and Tobie
F : Ezechiel's visions
G : John the Baptist & Book of Daniel
H : Passion

I : John & Christ childhood
J : Joshua tree and Isaïe
K : Book of Judges
L : Deuteronom & Joshua
M : Book of numbers
N : exodus
O : Genesis

Saint Louis held the relics and considered himself as a worthy heir to the Kings of Israel. This clear link is emphasized by one above, which shows the history of some the most famous Kings of Israel (from Saul to Solomon). Window 1

The Sainte Chapelle is thus a demonstration of the power of King Saint Louis. In window 2, the writings are not in Latin, but in French, which shows Saint Louis's will of domination over the Church.

All the windows tell stories especially to the ones who could not read.....the showed the history pane by pane.
Among the stained glass, the 16th century rose is noteworthy. Its style is flamboyant gothic. Some of its colors (especially the green) can't be found in the other 13th century stained glasses because it was not technically possible to obtain it. The rose shows the Apocalypse around an enthroned Christ in the central oculus.

Further to the religious meaning, some windows are politically significant. This is the case for windows in the upper part of the Chapelle in the Nave. The windows show the history of the Holy Relics, from the discovery of the Holy Cross by Saint Helen, to the transfer to the French Kingdom by Saint Louis.

**excepts from the English Glossary, notations J. Vadnel.

That's all for today!!  May Sunshine fill your day, stay tuned & check in often for more stained class information!!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 8, Prague

Welcome!  Here are beautiful windows in a historic church:

St Vitus Cathedral in Prague is (currently) the worlds most recent gothic cathedral, begun in 1344 in late gothic style, finally consecrated in 1929. As such, it features a mixture of late-gothic, baroque, renaissance architectural styles, and stain-glass windows from as recent as the early 20th century by Alfons Mucha, Prague’s most celebrated artist in the last century.
The Cathedral was built in two major parts. The first, the eastern, part which houses the nave and the main window at the rear of the church was completed in 1399, with additional building continuing through to the 15th century despite damages from wars, fires and religious unrest. A provisional wooden wall sealed this completed part of the church so it could be used in the centuries that followed, until plans were put in place in the mid 19th century to complete the cathedral within the spirit of the original designs.
                                                                 St. Vitus
     View of the cathedral from the north. You can see the remains of the castle walls, and the greenery below goes down to a deep           trench, that would be filled with water to act as a moat when needed.
                                                                 The Nave
                                                       One of several stained glass windows from the 20th Century.
                                                      One of several stained glass windows from the 20th Century
                                                  This window is from the artist Alfons Mucha. It was completed in 1909.
The location of the cathedral within the castle grounds also reminds one of the strong connection between church and state that existed in many, if not all, European states over the many centuries since the decline of the Western Roman empire. Prague itself was a powerful city and one-time capital within the broader Holy Roman Empire of greater Germany. This empire was a broad confederation of states, founded in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne, and was to eventually dissolve in 1806. The cathedral houses the remains of many of the Bohemian kings of the empire.
Despite the hundreds of years that was to span the beginning and end of construction of the cathedral, the building is remarkably consistent in its design and presentation, and has a rather novel feeling of looking hundreds of years old, while also looking modern, not only due to the span of artistic styles of the windows, but he obvious pristine condition of much of the building (particularly, of course, the western part).
That's all for now!! I hope you enjoyed this!  Very interesting history!  May sunshine fill your day!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Famous and Fascinating Stained Glass Windows through the years Part 7, St. Petersburg, Russia

We are back!  More on beautiful stained glass windows from around the world!

Russia has returned six medieval stained glass window panes looted by the Soviet Red Army in 1945 to a church in Frankfurt an der Oder, on the Polish border.

The 700-year-old windows were thought vanished or destroyed until 2005, when they were discovered by a Russian art historian at a cloister outside Moscow, under the jurisdiction of the Pushkin Museum.
The first 111 panels, which had been in the possession of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, were returned by Russia in 2002.
Another three years would pass before the remaining six panels dating back to the 14th century would be restored to their rightful home at the Marienkirche, the Church of Our Lady.
Completing the panel of 117 panes in the church's 20-meter (65-foot) high windows depicting scenes from the Old Testament, the panes were delivered by German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann and Russian Ambassador to Germany Vladimir Kotenev.

In 1958, some 1,5 million works of art were returned to East Germany by the Soviet Union after the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property made it illegal to use cultural property as war reparations.
Previously, Moscow declared that art seized by the Red Army was retribution for the 27 million Soviet lives lost during the Second World War.
That't all for now!!  History & Stained Glass Windows...learning all the time!  
May sunshine fill your day!