The Marc Chagall Window

Marc Chagall was born into a devoutly Jewish family, in a small city in Western Russia. An early modernist, he created works in many formats, including paintings, drawings, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramics and tapestries.

Chagall drew inspiration from the mystical Hassidic sects of his home-town of Vitebsk and his works are known for their emotional and poetic associations. He has been referred to as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century”.

The strong colours and unusual imagery of this window are a celebratory representation of Psalm 150: “O praise God in his holiness… let everything that hath breath praise the Lord”. Figurative elements are shown singing, dancing and playing the musical instruments from the psalm, which is sometimes known as ‘the Musicians psalm’.  At the top of the window, King David, the author of the psalm and ruler over Judea and Israel, is shown wearing a crown.

Chagall studied in Paris and was very well travelled.  He produced stained glass windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, for the United Nations and for the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. The only other examples of his work in the UK are at All Saints Church, in Tudeley, Kent.

You can find out more about Marc Chagall here.

You can find the full text of Psalm 150 here.

Photos: Ash Mills