Monday, May 26, 2014

Chartres Cathedral (#3): Good Samaritan Window, scene 4

Jesus responding to the "Grumbling" of the Lukan Pharisees and Scribes (Luke 15) 

This scene in the window portrays Luke 15:1-3 (NRSV): 

Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them." So he told them this parable. 

The rest of Luke 15 contains the three "Lost" parables: the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Lost (Prodigal) Son.

This scene is the first of five scenes that appear in the first “medallion cluster” (quatrefoil panes) of the Good Samaritan window. 

In this scene, Jesus is seated (on the right) with his hand raised, both of which indicate that he is teaching, and it appears that he is holding a book in his left hand. He is also portrayed with a cross nimbus (red background with a white cross) around his head. 

Two figures, one with a skull cap, sit on the left, listening to Jesus. One looks away from Jesus and toward the other person; the second person either returns the first person's gaze, or he might be looking at Jesus. The word Fariseus appears below them. These are the people to whom Jesus tells the three Lost parables.

Then the window’s scenes visually narrate the key events of the parable as viewers work their way up the window and from left to right when multiple scenes are depicted.  Over the next couple weeks, I will go through those windows one-by-one, and I will explain how the window interprets the parable of the Prodigal Son allegorically.

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