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Windows at Maccabees Choir, St. Andreas, Cologne

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 22 October 2008 in Art & Design.

As a result of secularization the late Gothic Maccabees shrine - it bears relics of Jewish martyrs: the seven Maccabee brothers and their mother - arrived at St. Andreas church in 1527. Because of this, the southern transept has been called Maccabees choir ever since.

In WW II the choir has been destroyed; after its reconstruction it got a transparent glazing. Since the 1990s plans for a contemporary glazing emerged. Through support from the local booster club Förderverein Romanische Kirchen Köln e.V. and many donations, Markus Lüpertz, painter and sculptor at Düsseldorf's academy of fine arts, realized seven windows for the Maccabees choir. Taking up the sufferings of the Maccabees, he contraposes them against the sufferings of the Christ, thus referring directly to the traditional shrine. Two months ago, the windows were perfected. Plannings for the opposite St Mary's choir at the northern transept are under way.

We're now going to read the windows from bottom to top:

Left window.
Bottom: The left window shows St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who finds the mortal remains of the Maccabees in the Holy Land (symbolized through the skulls). The martyrs are brought from Antiochia to Constantiople, later they arrive at Cologne via Milan.
Top: Mary Magdalene faces the risen Christ, symbolized through his bright Holy Face: the promise the Maccabees believed in is fulfilled in the Christ.

Right window.
Bottom: A tortured figure, crying. One of the Maccabee brothers after his torment, a picture of all human misery.
Top: A disrobed figure, hands bound to the back. Ecce homo, the suffering Christ in deepest humiliation. All human suffering finds its correspondence in the affliction of Jesus.

Next windows will follow soon. It was quite difficult to get a good image despite of the good light: the choir is quite small and I couldn't get a greater distance to the windows, hence the slight distortion.

Linerberry from Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand

Still an incredible image ms and great history!!! Quite fascinating:-)

22 Oct 2008 9:40am

@Linerberry: Thanks! To be continued Thursday.

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

The detail and color are fabulous. Well taken.

22 Oct 2008 10:52am

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks very much! Wished I've had a ladder with me!

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

Working with stained glass is colourful, the fine details are lost I am reminded of Picasso by the style.
I do believe that the Bush years set the tone for the difficulties where in, a personal agenda and anything goes for gain. With Enron and other corporations a few years ago we seen how greed, corruption, and lies seemed to be the driving force.

22 Oct 2008 11:34am

@JoeB: It started even earlier. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 is also responsible for the messy situation we experience today.

lucie from san francisco, United States


22 Oct 2008 3:51pm

@lucie: :-)

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

Beautiful..... a great deal of work indeed to make these windows. But the church has plenty of money to afford them.

22 Oct 2008 4:18pm

@Observing: Haha, the church! Nope! It was a booster club and many donations.

ceanothe from France

Le monde de la lumière, merci du partage !

22 Oct 2008 4:46pm

@ceanothe: De rien. :-)

MaryB from Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Oh Wow! I don't think I've ever seen stained windows like this, they are awesome!

22 Oct 2008 5:33pm

@MaryB: I'll continue this series tomorrow.

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

Beautiful stained windows. Some surprising design in them.

22 Oct 2008 11:31pm

@akarui: To be continued tomorrow.

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, CA, United States

i love stain glass!! gorgeous!!

23 Oct 2008 4:37am

@dj.tigersprout: I was very pleased to see that they still produce these masterpieces today.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

While I like the windows, I wonder how they'll be interpreted 500 years from now? Will the modern interpretations survive or will they simply be symbols of a dysfunctional age?

23 Oct 2008 3:32pm

@Twelvebit: Maybe our descendants will look at them like we do when looking at a window of the Middle Ages. Some symbols might get lost, others will remain bright and clear. As for me, I'm lucky to be one of the very first people to look at them.