The selection below (from France, Germany, the UK and the USA) is a tribute to artist Marc Chagall’s work with blue stained glass, a medium that transforms with light and conveys emotions like none.
‘For me a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world’
Marc Chagall, 1962
‘Peace’ – stained Glass memorial, U.N. Secretariat building in New York
‘In 1964, Chagall created a stained-glass window entitled ‘Peace’ for the UN, in honor of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN’s second secretary general who was killed in an airplane crash in Africa in 1961.
The tribute window is about 15 feet (4.6 m) wide and 12 feet (3.7 m) high and contains symbols of peace and love along with musical symbols.
The musical notes in the window are a connection to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony a favorite of Mr. Hammarskjold’s.’
St. Stephen’s Church, Mainz
‘I took this photo of a Chagall window in Mainz, Germany. It is one of a series of windows in St. Stephen’s church.
The windows depict scenes from the Old Testament. Chagall made them after World War II to help Jews and Christians to remember the part of their faith story they share.
He hoped this would aid in the reconciliation between Jews and German Christians after the Holocaust.’
‘One of the landmarks that we wanted to see in Mainz was St. Stephen’s church. Originally built in 990 atop the highest hill in the city, the current church was completed in 1340.
In 1978, the artist Marc Chagall created 9 new stained glass windows for the church.
The whole church is bathed in soft, mottled, luminous blue light.’
Vitraux de la Chapelle des Cordeliers, Héloïse and Abélard Chapel in Sarrebourg (Moselle)
– 12 x 7,5 m
All Saints’ Church, Tudeley
‘The only church in the world to have all its twelve windows decorated by Chagall.
The other two religious buildings with complete sets of Chagall windows are the Hadassah Medical Center synagogue, and the Chapel of Le Saillant, Limousin.
The windows at Tudeley were commissioned by Sir Henry and Lady Rosemary d’Avigdor-Goldsmid as a memorial tribute to their daughter Sarah, who died in 1963 aged 21 in a sailing accident off Rye.
When Chagall arrived for the dedication of the east window in 1967, and saw the church for the first time, he exclaimed ‘C’est magnifique! Je les ferai tous!’ (‘It’s beautiful! I will have them all!’)
Over the next ten years Chagall designed the remaining eleven windows, made again in collaboration with the glassworker Charles Marq in his workshop at Reims in northern France. The last windows were installed in 1985, just before Chagall’s death.’
You may also like:
Why is the Scottish flag blue? The Story of St…
Blue in Art History
Before Blue: once upon a time, when blue didn’t exist
Easter Blue, the Legend of the Turquoise
La Grotta Azzurra, the Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy
Digital artwork: a jellyfish ballet by Walter Hugo & Zoniel…
Navajo turquoise earrings, Harpo
Cobalt blue Chapel, Padua, Italy