Panels of Grisaille Glass with Grostesques

Date: ca. 1320–24

Geography: Made in Paris, France

Culture: French

Medium: White and pot-metal glass with vitreous paint

Dimensions: 22 13/16 x 17 5/16 in. (58 x 44 cm)

Classification: Glass-Stained

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.433.3


Traditionally thought to have come from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, this grisaille panel (one of a pair, see acc. no. 1982.433.4) is now attributed to the Chapel of Saint-Louis at the royal abbey of Saint-Denis. Its distinctive features, the inclusion of the small fleurs-de-lis, which sprout, budlike, from the stems of the foliage, is unique to this panel and to four other related examples—a detail that may well indicate that the glass was created for a royal foundation. The most likely candidate is Saint-Denis, the royal necropolis, where a nave chapel dedicated to Louis IX—who was canonized as Saint Louis in 1297—was completed by 1324. The rebuilding of the abbey church began shortly after Louis ascended to the throne and continued throughout most of his reign (1226–70).