The church of Saint Leonhard was constructed in the early decades of the fourteenth century, with some of its choir and chapel windows in place by 1350. The program of the choir windows included scenes from the life of Christ as well as images of the Twelve Apostles and locally venerated saints. Seventeen panels from six different windows at Saint Leonhard are now installed in three lancet windows in the Gothic Chapel at The Cloisters. The center window contains narrative scenes, while more static, iconic images occupy the two flanking windows. Some of the figures are framed within so-called keyhole medallions: polylobed variations on the traditional circles used as framing devices in France a century earlier. The background is composed largely of foliate motifs and schematic architectural members, providing a colorful, intricate contrast to the heavyset figures often admired for their simple, childlike features.
Standing at the bottom register of the left window are two crowned figures, identified in an inscription as Holy Roman Emperor Henry II (r. 1014–24) and his queen, Kunigunde. They are the patron saints of Heinrich and Kunigunde Kropf, who paid for a window in the choir of the church. Panels with depictions of the Kropfs are still in the church today. It is believed that the glass at Saint Leonhard was made by an itinerant workshop from Judenburg, where the Kropfs lived.
Inscription: [across top of terfoil] .S. CHUNIGUNDIS
From the choir and north chapel windows of the church of Saint Leonhard at Bad St. Leonhard in Lavanttal, near Klagenfurt; sale, Sotheby & Co., London (April 27, 1965, no. 26)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Patterns of Collecting," December 6, 1975–March 23, 1976.
Hayward, Jane. "Medieval Stained Glass from St. Leonhard in Lavanttal at The Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 28, no. 6 (February 1970). p. 292.
Husband, Timothy B. "A Beautiful Madonna in the Cloisters Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 28, no. 6 (February 1970). pp. 291-292.
Hayward, Jane. "Stained-Glass Windows." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 30, no. 3 (December 1971-January 1972). p. 125.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) no. 1965/1975 (1975). p. 161.
Caviness, Madeline H., ed. Stained Glass Before 1700 in American Collections: New England and New York (Corpus Vitrearum Checklist I). Studies in the History of Art, Vol. 15. Washington, D.C.: National Art Gallery, 1985. pp. 108-9.
Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 113, pp. 122-123.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 53, pp. 89, 195.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 91.