Sunday, 19 February 2012

Canterbury Windows

I've posted before about some of Canterbury Cathedral's modern stained glass; today's post is an assortment of pictures of its other beautiful windows and related shafts of light. Almost all these photos were taken in December, on the eve of the anniversary of the death of St Thomas Becket; it was probably on just such a winter's day, as the light was beginning to fade, that the knights arrived at Canterbury to kill the archbishop.

December is not the best time to take pictures of church windows; high summer makes for more dramatic effects. But winter light has its own pared-down beauty.

This is the south side of the nave:

The dappled light is very pretty here, but it hardly at all reflects what it actually looked like - it was all golden in real life. The photo betrays it.

A Christmas tree, as evidence this was really December.

This, taken from the other direction, is a bit more true to the colour of the stone:

At the other side of the nave, by the pulpit, a reading archbishop and his shadow bask in the light:

One of Canterbury's most famous windows, depicting Thomas Becket:

And here, some pilgrims to his shrine (we could pretend the Clerk of Oxenford is among them):

I think these are pilgrims making offerings at his shrine:

Some miracles being performed (don't ask me exactly what):

I'm always intrigued by this scene, though I can't pretend to know what's going on in it:

Some Biblical scenes - fishing on the Sea of Galilee:

This must be the wedding at Cana:

This wonderful scene is Zacchaeus up the tree - and what a precarious tree it is!:

From the thirteenth-century Jesse window showing the ancestors of Christ, sleeping Jesse himself:

And King David:

Some philosophers:

Light on the altar in St Anselm's chapel:

And that distinctive red light from stained-glass Anselm himself:

A different Christmas tree, and light in glass; this, I think, you would only get in December:

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