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Between and Mortarboard

UMMA Object Specific Fields

Query builder

Seraph, half of a medallion from the west rose window of Reims Cathedral

Accession Number

Seraph, half of a medallion from the west rose window of Reims Cathedral


Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
colored and painted glass and lead

25 7/8 in x 14 3/8 in x 3/8 in (65.72 cm x 36.51 cm x 0.95 cm);37 5/8 in x 25 1/2 in (95.57 cm x 64.77 cm);25 13/16 in x 14 7/16 in x 3/8 in (65.56 cm x 36.67 cm x 0.95 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art

Label copy
March 28, 2009
Located far above the main doors of Reims Cathedral, the west rose window is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who appears in the center, ascending miraculously to heaven after her death. The Museum’s panel is the upper half of one of twenty-four circular medallions that surround this central image, each with an angel witnessing and glorifying the Virgin’s ascent. Some of these angels, like the one on display, are seraphim, fiery six-winged beings that stood closest to God and were the highest order of angel. Only four wings of this seraph are visible, however; his lower extremities were lost with the bottom half of the medallion. The four leaves framing the seraph’s head are fragments of medieval glass called stopgaps that have been inserted into the panel. These alterations might have been made when the panel was separated from the window after a severe hailstorm in 1886 or following World War I, when the cathedral was devastated by German bombs.

Subject matter
A half-length figure of a seraph, the highest of all the orders of angels, appears with arms outstretched in the center of this stained glass panel, which formed the upper half of a medallion from the enormous west rose window of Reims Cathedral. A vivid blue halo encircles the seraph's head, and two of his wings open behind his arms while another pair are folded over his chest. Originally installed high above the cathedral floor, this seraph along with twenty-three other angels glorified the heavenly assumption of the Virgin Mary depicted in the center of the rose window.

Physical Description
A lunette-shaped panel composed of red, blue, white, brownish purple and yellowish brown stained glass joined together by lead cames depicting a seraph. Four leafy fronds, taken from another medieval window, have been inserted here between the seraph's head and shoulders. The panel is the upper half of a roundel originally installed in the west rose window of Reims Cathedral.

Primary Object Classification
Decorative Arts

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Decorative Arts

Collection Area

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halos (glories)
rose windows
stained glass (material)

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& Author Notes

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