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Medieval Stained Glass in the

Cathédrale St-Gatien de Tours


Back to Tours and Cathédrale St-Gatien main page


Images of St-Martin of Tours Cutting his Cloak


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Link to some early medieval French Saints, Kings and Queens


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Detail showing a Magi King (Melchior?) - a very special photo image we think! This also looks like a rare example of an "original early 1300s face" - in many medieval stained glass panels, either face colours have deteriorated to almost uniform brownness, or the glass has had to be replaced with lighter coloured "fill in" panels (for example look at St Martin's face lower down).  Anyway, whenever he was made he's our Magi star!  Now, who'se got a book he can be on the cover of?






The magnificent flying buttresses cast their morning shadows on the windows about St-James the Greater over the south ambulatory of St-Gatien's Cathedral





St-Gatien's Cathedral, North Transept Rose Window (1300 - the buttress was added 70 years later as the delicate tracery was showing signs of collapse).







SAINT MARTIN (c316 - 397 (81))


Saint Martin de Tours is also a Patron Saint of France.  He was a Hungarian who, unusually, survived life in the Roman army as a declared Christian, and went on to an apprenticeship in Poitiers under its bishop St-Hilaire, before reluctantly accepting the role of Bishop of Tours in 371.  At heart, like many of his medieval ilk, he was an aesthetic hermit monk with a lot in common with the late 1100s St-Francis, and amongst other foundations he was responsible for building up Marmoutier (Wikipedia page on Marmoutier - there's only a few ruins left today) into one of the greatest early medieval abbeys.  On the way he got a reputation for having visions and doing miracles, and after his death soon became widely venerated as a saint (like St-Hilaire, one of the earliest non-martyr saints).


Images of St-Martin of Tours Cutting his Cloak


Link to some early medieval French Saints, Kings and Queens


The panels below are from the double St-Martin window on the lower level of the apse, and date from about 1300. 









This is the first of two c1300 windows commemorating the life of Saint Martin of Tours.


The story starts with the famous cloak splitting image (bottom left of window and below) and also includes the ordination of a reluctant St-Martin (below left).


The sailing scene below below comes from the second St-Martin window to the right of the first.










St-Martin is ordained Bishop of Tours by St-Hilaire de Poitiers after a lot of popular pressure, though as one can see he was not very happy about it.




St-Martin's body is sailed back down the Loire to Tours after earlier being stolen





A soldier martyr who was in the army of Diocletian, the last and most vicious of the Christian persecutor Emperors.  A relic from his tomb is in the  beautiful Auvergne Romanesque Basilica St-Julien de Brioude, and below is a detail from the medieval memorial window (c1300) celebrating his life in the Cathédrale St-Gatien.







An Annunciation and the Magi







The front horse has been renewed in this beautiful c1300 stained glass frame, and the middle Magi has faded from memory, but what photographer Paradox really liked was the detail of Melchior (?) - see top of this page ....... we can feel another book cover coming on ....... meantime there are more Magi images here.



Adam and Eve





Adam and Eve - entry - sampling - admonishment - exit





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