Prophet King from a Tree of Jesse Window


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 08

This half- length figure of a prophet king almost certainly came from a Tree of Jesse window that incorporated scenes from the Infancy of Christ, four panels of which are now installed in Falkenstein Castle, in the Harz Mountains near Germany's border with the Czech Republic. The original location of the window is uncertain, but it may have come from the church in Wurzen, east of Leipzig, in the diocese of Meiseen. Although the window appears to have been made in the eastern reaches of Germany (Sachsen-Anhalt), the king depicted is stylistically similar to works from the Rhineland. The panel is an eloquent and crisp expression of the "zigzag" style (Zackenstil), characterized by sharply angled and hooked lines, that is a hallmark of both manuscript and panel painting in the mid- and late thirteenth century; the period was heretofore unrepresented in our holdings of German stained glass. With its strong affinities to the Aschaffenburg Evangelary (Aschaffenburg, Hofbibliothek, ms. 13), this work also convincingly underscores the close relationship between manuscript illumination and glass painting in this period and the consequent dissemination of styles.

Prophet King from a Tree of Jesse Window, Pot-metal glass, white glass, vitreous paint, silver stain, German

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