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Chartres Cathedral Medieval Stained Glass Windows

 

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At last a book of brilliant close up photos of story panels from the medieval stained glass windows of Chartres.  Commentary in French but 95% of the space is pictures! (c23x23cm).  The cover illustration shows a medieval seduction from the lower middle panel of the Joseph window.

 

 

 

This pocket sized guide (in English) to Chartres Cathedral is the best detailed guide we have come across.  It covers almost every window scene and individual statue inside and outside the cathedral, even including archivolt cycles.

 

 

Link to map of Chartres Cathedral window locations and subjects and their donors

Following a couple of days of photography we have a large stock of close up photos of most panels in the following windows

North Rose and Lancet Windows
West Rose and West Lancet Windows - Passion, Incarnation, Jesse
Incarnation Window Passion Window
Tree of Jesse
The Window Donors - Illustrations of Medieval Tradesmen at Work
St Thomas Becket (25) Joseph (61)
Ste-Marguerite & Ste-Catherine (26) Life of Mary (16)
Charlemagne (38) Mary Magdalene (5)
Saint James the Greater (37) Good Samaritan (6)
Story of Eustace (62) Blue Virgin (14)
Zodiacs and Monthly Labours (17)

For further information email afletch at paradoxplace dot com

Back to Paradoxplace Chartres Cathedral Page Directory

 

 

 

 

THE BLUE VIRGIN (14)

 

The famous "Blue Virgin" window, now in the south ambulatory, was one of the four windows rescued from the old cathedral after the disastrous fire of 1194 (the other three are in the west facade).  Here the early sun and shadows have a dramatic highlighting impact.

 

 

THE WEST END WINDOWS

 

West Rose

 

Along with the Blue Virgin window, the three west facade windows predate the great fire of 1194. 

They illustrate the Passion (left), the Incarnation (centre) and the Tree of Jesse (right).

 

Passion, Incarnation, Tree of Jesse

 

Link to photos of the Passion Window (3)

 

 

 

The Incarnation Window (1100s) detail left to right from bottom:  Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Angels appear to Shepherds, Herod meets the Magi (2 panels), Adoration of the Magi, departure of Magi and the dream of the magi (on the next row, not shown here). 

 

THE INCARNATION WINDOW - CENTRAL LANCET WINDOW - WEST FACADE

 

LINK TO PHOTOS OF ALL THE FRAMES IN THE INCARNATION (LIFE OF CHRIST) WINDOW (2)

 

 

 

Tree of Jesse Window - West end, right lancet window

 

 

 

Zodiac / Labours of the Month Window (south ambulatory)

 

 

 

February man warms his feet in the Zodiac window, first half of the 1200s, which shows all the signs of the zodiac and the typical activity at that time of year.  In addition to this there are two sculptured Zodiac / Labours of the Month cycles - one in the West Porch, the other in the North Porch. The Vine Growers' Guild was one of the window's donors.

 

THE ZODIAC WINDOW (17)

 

LINK TO PHOTOS OF THE CHARTRES ZODIAC / LABOURS OF THE MONTH WINDOW

 

 

 

There are nearly 200 medieval stained glass windows in Chartres Cathedral, most dating from the 1200s with various restorations and glass replacement over the years.  However many photos you take there are always going to be plenty of opportunities still on the table for the next visit!  In most cases the narrative windows should be read 'line by line' left to right starting at the bottom.

 

There is a great map of all of the window locations in Holly Hayes' Sacred Destinations

 

While you are there don't miss the outstanding photos of the Noah window which Team Paradox left till next time!

 

 

 

 

 

THE NORTH ROSE

 

Maximum Nikon Grunt gave us this photo of King David sitting on top of a circle of 12 Kings of Judah, assorted minor prophets and angels, all centred on their relative, the Virgin Mary and her Child.  And that's just the Rose part of the 1230s North Rose - underneath it are 5 huge lancet windows also dating from 1230ish. The windows were given to the Cathedral in 1230 by Queen Blanche of Castile (grand-daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Queen Consort of French King Louis VIII "The Lion" and subduer of Cathars).

 

 

LINK TO MORE PHOTOS OF THE NORTH ROSE ENSEMBLE

 

 

 

 

STORY OF SAINT THOMAS BECKET (25) - PHOTOS OF ALL THE SCENES IN THE CHARTRES BECKET WINDOW

 

This is the top frame of the window, first half of the 1200s, showing the murder of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canteerbury, in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170.  Images of Becket, his troubled relationship with Plantagenet King Henry II, and his murder spread rapidly across Europe in the 1200s on reliquary caskets, wall paintings and stained glass. This window was donated by the Tanners' Guild.

 

 

 

 

STORIES OF CHARLEMAGNE (38) - LINK TO MORE PHOTOS

 

The Charlemagne window and the St-James window next to it date from the 1200s and  are amongst the most beautiful in a church packed with beautiful windows, particularly because of the quality of the blue colouring.

 

 

 

At the base - the Charlemagne Window was donated by the Furriers

 

 

Charlemagne Window - Chartres Cathedral

 

Charlemagne Window - the most beautiful blues of them all

 

 

St-James Window - Chartres Cathedral

 

St-James Window - second in the blue stakes to Charlemagne

 

 

 

The Furriers and Drapers Guild, Donors of the St-James Window

 

 

STORIES OF SAINT JAMES THE GREATER (37)

 

The frames above and below are at the bottom of the Saint James' window, and are messages from and about the window's donors - the furriers and drapers guild.

 

 

 

 

STORY OF JOSEPH (61)

 

This is the first of the four sections of the Joseph window (below left) - 1200s.  The two semi-circular base panels illustrate the window's donors - the Bankers' Guild.

 

 

 

Joseph Window

 

 

 

Good Samaritan Window

 

 

 

Lower middle panel of the Joseph window

 

 

 

In this case the donors are the Shoemakers' Guild

 

 

STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN (6)

 

Scenes in the story of the Good Samaritan - 1200s.  After this lower panel the window moves on to Adam and Eve.  The whole window, which was donated by the Shoemakers' Guild (illustrated in the bottom three frames), is shown above above right.

 

 

 

 Les vitraux legendaires de Chartres: Des recits en images

 

 

 

This pocket sized guide to Chartres Cathedral (in English) is the best detailed guide we have come across.  It details almost every window scene and individual statue inside and outside the cathedral, even including archivolt cycles.

 

The book on the left is the reference work for the stained glass of Chartres.  Photos, layout plans and descriptive narrative (in French) for all the Chartres windows worth talking about!

 

 

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