Stained glass lancets

In the north bay, under the rose window.

This set depicts 5 big names of the Bible (well, 4 and one not in the Bible) with, on the bottom, a person usually serving as antagonist in their story. It’s not super clear why these 5 are depicted here, but there are artistic traditions I’m just not getting. You could seriously fall down a rabbit hole just investigating one little bit of this cathedral.

Case in point: the leftmost panel shows King Nabuchadnezzar / Nabuchodonosor and Melchizedek. The latter lived in the time of Abraham, while the former is a Babylonian king best known for destroying Jerusalem and leading Hebrews into captivity in Babylon. I have no idea what the artist is getting at in putting them together

Second panel: King David with his harp, and… Some guy named “SMISL”? 🤔 No wait, that’s an “A”, and that’s a “U”. So, Saul, and it’s more straightforward: king before David, eventually became his father-in-law, killed himself with his sword

Third panel: Saint Anne mother of Mary, who only appears in Christian apocryphal stories and Islamic traditions. Here she’s not shown with an antagonist, but the bottom bit is blue with gold fleur-de-lis. Maybe a reference to Mary who’s usually shown in blue, or maybe it’s a French thing. Or maybe it’s both, and claiming Saint Anne for France? I dunno.

Fourth panel: King Solomon and… “IHEROROA”? No, I’m told that , in the days beforeI and J had branched off from each other in medieval Latin, the “IH” is to make that letter sound like “J”. Also that second “R” is partly hidden, so we’re dealing with Jeroboam, a trusted official of Solomon’s who rebelled against his king.

Fifth panel: Aaron vs Pharaoh. That one’s pretty clear.

8 May 2022

  • Camera: ILCE-7M3
  • Aperture: f/4.5
  • Focal length: 100mm
  • ISO: 4000
  • Shutter: 1/125 s

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