The Virgin Mary and Five Standing Saints above Predella Panels

Date: 1440–46

Geography: Made in Rhine Valley

Culture: German

Medium: Pot-metal glass, white glass, vitreous paint, silver stain

Dimensions: Each window 12 ft. 4 1/2 in. x 28 1/4 in. (337.2 x 71.8 cm)

Classification: Glass-Stained

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1937

Accession Number: 37.52.1–.6


These windows were originally placed in the north nave of the former Carmelite church at Boppard-am-Rhein near Koblenz. The slender, elongated figures enveloped in soft, trailing drapery and placed under soaring canopies suggest that the glass painter was well versed in the prevailing style of the Lower Rhineland, particularly that of Cologne. The marked preference for grisaille (shades of gray), both in drapery and flesh tones, further indicates a Cologne connection. At the left, Saint Servatius, bishop of Tongres, holds a key presented to him by the pope in recognition of his fight against heresy, symbolized by the dragon he tramples. The antiheretical reference is echoed below by Saint Michael, who weighs souls and tramples evil. The Virgin appears in a robe adorned with representations of corn or wheat, an iconographic type stemming from litanies of the Virgin likening her to a field of grain nourishing humankind with the bread of life. Beneath her are the arms of the bishop of Liège, whose diocese may have donated the window. Below Saint Catherine are the arms of the coopers' guild of which she was patron saint. Saint Dorothy is shown accompanied by the Christ Child.