French Gothic Chapel and Composite Triple Window
Three rondels (Triple Window) attributed to the Master of the Life of Saint John the Baptist, French
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.
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