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French Gothic Chapel and Composite Triple Window

Three rondels (Triple Window) attributed to the Master of the Life of Saint John the Baptist, French

Made in Rouen, France [Composite triple window], Europe
And made in Norroy, France [altar], Europe
And made in France [Salome quatrefoil], Europe
And made in France [Female figure quatrefoil], Europe
And made in France [Angel quatrefoil], Europe

15th - early 16th century

Stone, stained glass

St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness (Rectangular Panel): 53 × 26 3/4 inches (134.6 × 67.9 cm) Baptism of Christ (Rectangular Panel): 53 × 26 3/4 inches (134.6 × 67.9 cm) The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Rectangular Panel): 53 × 26 3/4 inches (134.6 × 67.9 cm) Salome and Male Figure (Quatrefoil): 36 1/4 × 26 inches (92.1 × 66 cm) Female Figure (Quatrefoil): 35 × 26 3/4 inches (88.9 × 68 cm) Angel with a Beam of the Cross (Quatrefoil): 36 × 25 5/8 inches (91.4 × 65.1 cm) Doorway: 13 feet 2 inches × 11 feet 6 1/2 inches, 38 inches (401.3 × 351.8 × 96.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 316, European Art 1100-1500, third floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Albert L. Smith, Edward B. Smith, Jr., Geoffrey S. Smith, and John Story Smith in memory of Edward B. Smith and Laura Howell Smith, 1929

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This chapel is composed of elements from two buildings that were part of a large religious community at Aumônières near Dijon in central France that was administered by the Knights of Saint Anthony. This nursing order, which was founded in the eleventh century, established many hospices. The community at Aumônières was one of the earliest, and grew to include a hospice, law court, and farm. Today almost nothing survives of the original structures at Aumônières, which were severely damaged in the wars of the fifteenth century.

In the Museum's installation, the stone entrance portal with the T-shaped cross associated with Saint Anthony at the top and the rose window over the altar are from the façade of the community church at Aumônières. The stone ribs of the four-part groin vault also probably came from this church. Old photographs indicate that this vaulted ceiling would have risen approximately twenty-five feet above the floor, almost twice as high as in the Museum.

Another building at Aumônières, the chapel of the hospice, was the source of the two large windows and the stone piers and brackets incorporated in the reconstruction of the chapel's exterior façade. The altar is from a church in Norroy, France, and the recessed niche and the small doorway are twentieth-century additions in the Gothic style.

The stained glass was acquired by the Museum to fill the empty window frames from Aumônières. Two elements of the glass are especially noteworthy: the fragment of Saint Nicholas in the center of the rose window, which dates from 1320, and the three panels from the life of Saint John the Baptist in the middle of the triple window from the early sixteenth century.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.