First Sunday of Advent

In the aftermath of the Second World War, France set about renewing the religious art that had been partly destroyed in the bombardments. In 1956, Robert Renard, the chief architect in charge of French heritage sites and historical monuments, suggested commissioning contemporary artists to restore the stained glass windows that had been damaged.  Marc Chagall was one of the artists contacted who responded positively to this request. He subsequently designed and built a number of stained glass windows in collaboration with the workshop run by master glassmakers Brigitte Simon et Charles Marq in Reims. This led to further stained glass windows being commissioned in Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Israel and the United States.

Marc Chagall is known to have been greatly inspired by biblical themes in his works, including the figure of Christ, whom he himself identified with. The stained-glass window above was a study for the Cathedral in Metz in 1959.

Marc Chagall, Nativité (Lithographie), 1950

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