Study of Stained Glass, North Clerestory of Nave, Chartres Cathedral, FranceArtist:
, British, 1852 - 1917
Material and Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 446 x 219mm
Support: 372 x 175mm
Accession Number: CGSG00446
This window is one of these dates from the early 1200s and shows the Virgin Mary crowned as Queen of Heaven. Unusually for depictions of the Virgin, she is dressed in green and purple robes, rather than the traditional red and blue robes. The alternative colours are needed so that the figure stands out from the nave window's red and blue colour scheme. The infant Christ holds a scroll, which symbolises the word of God. The area beneath shows the ‘Noli me tangere’, the Biblical story in which Christ appears to Mary Magdalene after his rise from death.
At the very base of the window, two women appear kneeling. These are ‘donor figures’ representing the people who paid for the window. Most of the donors at Chartres were trades or men, but perhaps these women were linking themselves to Mary Magdalene, who was traditionally seen as a reformed sinner .