Saturday, 9 February 2013

Beautiful Stained Glass (Jesus College)


Photos courtesy of TheRevSteve on Flickr. 
How TheRevSteve took such great photos: 
Music by Jesus Choir at Compline
Stained Glass designs mainly by William Morris & Edward Burne-Jones

(in order of appearance)

Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon

Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham

Four Cardinal (Human) Virtues: Temperance, Justice, Fortitude, Prudence & their opposites: anger, slander, timidity, stupidity

Three Theological Virtues: Hope, Faith & Charity, with corresponding vices underfoot

Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Powers, Dominions across the first row. Principalities, virtues, archangels, angels, imago dei across the second.

St. Ursula, St. Dorothy, St. Radegund around whose convent now the chapel Jesus was built, St. Cecilia, St. Catherine across the first row. St. Jerome, St. Gregory, Bishop Alcock the founder, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine.

Bishop Alcock of Ely, founder of Jesus College

Angel playing violin

Angels playings cymbals & harp

Angels playing dulcimer & double-pipe

John, sibyls alongside

Luke, sibyls alongside

Mark, sibyls alongside

Matthew, sibyls alongside

Crest of Hugo de Balsham who founded the first Cambridge college (Peterhouse) in Bishop Alcock's chapel in Ely Cathedral

The baby Jesus, with mother Mary and shepherds adoring

The young Jesus confounding the scholars in the temple of Jerusalem

Inner chapel window, Agnus Dei (lamb of God) at the centre of a cinquefoil rose

Patience, Obedience & Docility

The original stained glass designs were destroyed by Puritan fundamentalists under Cromwell during the English Reformation. The new designs were done mainly by William Morris & Edward Burne-Jones in the 19th century. Notice the duality, good often literally stepping over evil. Notice the female saints are positioned superior to the male. Perhaps this is because they were literally there first — Jesus Chapel was originally a convent of St. Radegund (6th century) before it was appropriated to be the centrepiece of Jesus College, founded by Bishop Alcock (16th century). We might conjecture that the ordering left to right is chronological, but interesting that the right-most (right sometimes considered dominant) of these windows reads out: Solomon, Wisdom, Love (in the sense of charitas, or agape in Paul's letter to the Corinthians). Love is indeed the highest theological virtue, Wisdom the highest cardinal (human virtue) and Solomon a symbol of wisdom. All very fitting for a place of learning!

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