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Featured Window

Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Building Name: Cathedral of St. Paul

City: Detroit

Window Shape: 3 (arched)

Subject/Title of Window: Saint Barbara

Brief Description of Subject: According to legend St. Barbara was the daughter of a rich man who was a pagan. When he opposed her marriage he built a tower to imprison her. While there she became a Christian and that so enraged her father that he ordered her beheaded. The richly attired St. Barbara is pictured with two of her attributes --- a tower, and a palm frond (symbol of martyrdom).

Possibly made in Spain or France, First half 16th century. Canopy and all  border are modern. Provenance: Raul Heilbronner, to 1921, Haussaire.

A notable collection of ancient stained glass has been presented to Saint Paul's Cathedral of Detroit, Michigan. There will be sufficient glass to fill twenty windows. Six double panels in the sanctuary on either side of the altar have been installed, and eight in the choir clerestory are yet to be placed.

The glass, dating from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, is thought to be of French and Spanish origin. It has an intriguing history relating to looted Spanish churches, journeys through France, and a haven with Belgian art collectors.

The panels contain figures representing siginificant characters from the Old and New Testaments. Though varied in design and scale, they are arranged to balance and harmonize well. Each panel is about two and a half to three feet wide and twelve to fourteen feet high. In the bright sunshine their colors fairly dance and sing in their ancient blues, purples, crimson and gold rays that play on the altar, throwing their radiance of changing light on the flowers there.

The light from these windows has revealed new beauties in the stone and wood carving which previously, in the dim light, were lost. They emphasize the height and vastness of the chancel, and illuminate the detail of carving of the great reredos, which is one of the mastepieces of the great Kirchmayer.

They recall the wording of the ancient prophecy that the "Earth shall be filled with the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea."
--Stained Glass, Autumn 1973

Height: 89.75"

Width: 23.75"

North Side 3, Saint Barbara
North Side 3, Saint Barbara
North Side 3, Saint Barbara, close-up
North Side 3, Saint Barbara, close-up

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