Exhibitions/ Art Object

Noah

Date:
1178–80
Culture:
British
Medium:
Pot-metal and colorless glass with vitreous paint
Dimensions:
a: H. 81.3 cm (32 in.); W. 69.5 cm (27 3/8 in.) b: H. 67.5 cm (26 9/16 in.); W. 69.5 cm (27 3/8 in.) c: H. 28.3 cm (11 1/8 in.); W. 35.0 cm (13 3/4 in.) d: H. 28.3 cm (11 1/8 in); W. 70.2 cm (28 3/8 in.) e: H. 27.8 cm (10 15/16 in.); W. 36.0 cm (14 3/16 in.) f: H. 85.0 cm (33 7/16 in.); W. 36.5 cm (14 3/8 in.) g: H. 85.6 cm (33 11/16 in.); W. 36.8 cm (14 1/2 in.) h: H. 86.7 cm (34 1/8 in.); W. 36.0 cm (14 3/16 in.) i: H. 84.9 cm (33 7/16 in.); W. 36.8 cm (14 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Glass-Stained
Not on view
Noah, the son of Lamech and the father of Shem, represents the ninth generation after Adam. He is depicted looking upward and animated as if in conversation, alluding to the biblical account of God speaking directly to Noah, instructing him to build the ark in anticipation of the Flood. The raised left knee further animates the figure. The trilobed arch at the top, supported by two capitals on columns, is the first such architectural framing known in stained glass and may have been appropriated from illuminated manuscripts produced at Canterbury. The wide Romanesque foliate border is comparable to the rich borders that enhanced contemporary illuminated manuscripts.

Noah was originally in the bottom half of a clerestory window in the northeast transept at Canterbury below Shem. The figure was probably moved to the Great South Window in the 1790s. The border panels, which remained in the original clerestory window, have been temporarily removed and are here reunited with the figure for the first time in more than two hundred years. The upper half of the original window with Shem is indicated in outline.