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Cathedrals 3:
photographs 1, Poitiers

Window of the crucifixion in St Peter's Cathedral, Poitiers. image © abelard.org, 2004

 

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Cathedrals 3: Poitiers, neglected masterpiece

New translation, the Magna Carta

 

 

 

Index
Introduction

Photos:
The main east window, Cathedral of St Peter, Poitiers (end of twelfth century)
The ‘ascension’ of Jesus, with two angels
Crucifixion of Jesus
Crucifixion of Peter

Story window:
Lot and Abraham

sketch map of Poitiers city centre

Notes:
‘ascension’ of Jesus
on crucifixion of Jesus
on crucifixion of Peter

on story window: Lot and Abraham

related pages:

  • analysis of a stained glass story window at Rouen
  • Dax and church iconography
  • Introduction

    As well as the masterpiece of the main East window at Poitiers Cathedral, there are fourteen story windows dated from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. There are also four important grisaille windows further back in the church.

    the main east window,
    Cathedral of St. Peter, Poitiers
    (end of the 12th century)


    The ‘ascension’ of Jesus, with two angels
    Hover your mouse over different areas of the image section below for information, see notes for more details.[1]


    Crucifixion of Jesus
    Hover your mouse over different areas of the image section below for information, see notes for more details.[2]

    Iesus Nazarus Rex Iudeorum - Jesus of Nazarus King of the Jews, notice allegedly attatched to the cross by a Roman soldier Apostles Apostles Jesus Mary, Jesus's mother Roman soldier with spear Roman soldier with vinegar swab on a spear John the evangelist (Jesus's best friend). Note John holds his Gospel and is beardless.

     

    Crucifixion of Peter
    Hover your mouse over different areas of the image section below for information, see notes for more details.[3]


    Story window showing Lot (left side) and Abraham (right side)
    Hover your mouse over different areas of the image below for information, see notes for more details.[4]

    Here the story of Lot and his wife who turns to a pillar of salt is shown, as well that of the life of Abraham. (Lot was Abraham’s nephew.)

    Related photographs -
    Poitiers cathedral, photos page 2

    Photos:
    Cathedral of St Peter, Poitiers (end of twelfth century)
    grisaille window
    tiered stone bench
    exterior view of Poitiers cathedral
    two other Romanesque churches in Poitiers

    sketch map of Poitiers city centre

     

    Notes

    1. Jesus, flanked by two angels

    2. INRI: Iesus Nazarus Rex Iudeorum -
      Top panes (left and right): the Apostles
      Label: Jesus of Nazarus King of the Jews, notice allegedly attatched to the cross by a Roman soldier.
      In centre, on cross: Jesus
      To Jesus’s right (our left): Mary, his mother; a Roman soldier with a spear.
      To Jesus’s left (our right): A Roman soldier with a vinegar-soaked swab on a spear; John the evangelist (Jesus’s best friend), unbearded and holding his gospel.

    3. Central pane: Crucifixion of Peter. Not thinking himself worthy of a similar death as Jesus, Peter asked to be crucified upsidedown. Roman soldiers with ladders on either side.
      To left of central pane: Emperor Nero condemns the Apostles.
      To right of central pane: Paul, blindfolded, held and beaten by a soldier.
      At beneath central pane: Royal donors to the Cathedral of this stained glass, believed to be Henry Plantagenet and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine (the inscriptions - to left and right - are now unreadable).

    4. Left column of window shows the story of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. The story reads from bottom (full pane 1) to top (pane 6) :
      Pane 3: Lot (labelled) gives hospitality to two angels disguised as men.
      Pane 4: Angel warning Lot to leave Sodom.
      Pane 5: Lot's wife starts to turn into a pillar of salt as she looks back at Sodom.
      On the border of the Dead Sea, the guides will point to one or another column and tell you that it is Lot’s wife.
      Pane 6: Lot escapes with the rest of his family.
      Right column of window shows the life of Abraham, again reading from bottom to top:
      Pane 1: Abram labelled (Abraham’s original name).
      Pane 4: Sarah presents Abraham with a son (?)

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    royal donors to the Cathedral of this stained glass, believed to be Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine (the inscriptons are now unreadable) Peter, who was crucified inverted on Vatican Hill Emperor Nero condemns the Apostles St Paul, blindfolded, held by a soldier Not determined Not determined Not determined Donor's name, illegible Donor's name, illegible Donor's name, illegible Abraham Lot Lot's wife starts to turn into a pillar of salt as she looks back at  Sodom An angel warning Lot to leave Sodom Lot and the rest of his family fleeing from Sodom (represented in bottom left corner) Not determined Not determined Not determined Not determined Not determined Sarah presenting Abraham with a son (?) Not determined Angel Angel Jesus, holding book of judgement