July 22, 2008

The Angels and Devils of Fairford

Recent postings on the Stained Glass Network email discussion forum have reminded me of a place I've always wanted to go - Church of St. Mary, Fairford, Gloucestershire, UK.

Though I've never visited the church itself, I've seen much of the glass though books and the web over the past 25 years, and the stained glass here is amongst my favorites. Amazing compositions and even more amazing details.

The most famous and most reproduced image from St. Mary's -
from The Last Judgement Window
I probably first saw this image in the book Stained Glass, by Lawrence Lee et al, the well illustrated, oversized and always useful book published by Crown publishers and amazingly cheap as a used book on Amazon these days.

Best web source for St. Mary's images and info - photo gallery at sacred-destinations.com.

A quick scattershot of other images from a small selection of windows
below the fold...

Last Judgement Window

The most famous of the old windows - The West Window.

full image from Flickrite robin.croft


closer in, lower right - the famous image of Satan as Monster
I've long been fascinated by this face in the torso of Satan - is this a depiction of decorated armor or does this image have anything to do with the Blemmyes, the medieval notion of a race of men with no head and a face in their torso.

Persecutors with Devils

Devils in the upper light of Window 27,
which has portraits of murderers and persecutors of the faith.

the window in full with the devils in the upper lights


Image from the Devils page by Flickrite 'Robin.Croft'

Angel Choir

From a set of Angel Choir figures of Fairford, also by Flickriste robin.croft

The Judgement of Solomon

Another West Window - even in the less famous images, there is something interesting - in this case, the visual art equivalent of breaking the fourth wall.




Resurrection Morning

In the east end of the Corpus Christi Chapel.
Again, I like these odd compositions with their shifting and disjointed perspectives.



Posted by Tom at July 22, 2008 07:10 AM