Trinity Church - Table of Contents  ......................  Architecture Around the World

2013 photos
Four stained glass windows - Trinity Church (Boston)
206 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116
Official Website

On this page, below:

Christ Preaching, by John LaFarge

Presentation of the Virgin, by John LaFarge

David Removing the Ark to Jerusalem, by Clayton & Bell of London

David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris

The most striking thing about the stained glass windows at Trinity is the varying styles, techniques, and interpretation. Individual windows, or groups of windows, have dramatically distinct artistic "personalities." But taken together, these windows mark a significant crossroads in the evolution of 19th century stained glass work and represent almost all of the major stained glass studies of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

While much of the glass is European, Trinity Church also holds several important examples of John La Farge's groundbreaking stained glass work. La Farge revolutionized stained glass design with his technique of layering opalescent glass. Opalescent glass has a translucent, milky appearance resulting from the suspension of opaque particles within the glass. Its surface may be textured or smooth, and its structure allows different colors to be blended in a single sheer. Opalescent glass had existed for centuries and was commonly used to make containers for toothpowder and other sundries. La Farge was the first to explore its application in stained glass work.

It has puzzled historians why American John La Farge - who had worked so closely with Brooks and Richardson in the painted decoration of the sanctuary - wasn't given an early window commission. After all, La Farge's first commission, Christ Preaching of 1883 (the stunning three panel clerestory window with the brilliant turquoise background on the west end of the church), and the La Farge windows that followed - The New Jerusalem, The Resurrection, and The Presentation of the Virgin - are extraordinary, radical in technique, vision, and treatment, and infinitely appropriate for Brooks' ministry and the mission of his parish.

But La Farge didn't patent - or perfect - his use of layered opalescent glass until 1879, and the experiments he had completed at the time Trinity was constructed, including those at Memorial Hall at Harvard, hadn't been particularly successful. But Christ Preaching demonstrated the brilliant effects that could be achieved by La Farge's technique of layering ["plating"] up to eight sheets of different types, colors, and magnitudes of glass.


Christ Preaching
AKA Christ in Majesty / Christ Blessing
By John LaFarge
1883
3-lancet window located in the west clerestory





Christ Preaching, by John LaFarge
Four windows were exceptional commissions by John La Farge, and revolutionized window glass with their layering ["plating"] of opalescent glass.



Detail - Christ Preaching, by John LaFarge
Composed of several layers of glass.  Heavily painted in both flesh and drapery areas.

But Christ Preaching demonstrated the brilliant effects that could be achieved by La Farge's technique of layering ["Plating"] up to eight sheets of different types, colors, and magnitudes of glass. - Trinity Church in the City of Boston (online July 2013)

Presentation of the Virgin
David Removing the Ark to Jerusalem





Left: Presentation of the Virgin (after Titian), by John LaFarge, 1888
Center: The Visit of Nicodemus to Christ, by John LaFarge
Right: David Removing the Ark to Jerusalem (Ref. 2 Sam, 6:1-19, by Clayton & Bell of London, 1878
Presentation of the Virgin (after Titian)
By John LaFarge
1888


Presentation of the Virgin, by Titian (photo in public domain).
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice



Presentation of the Virgin (after Titian), by John LaFarge, 1888
Details below:


Detail - Presentation of the Virgin (after Titian), by John LaFarge, 1888


Detail - Presentation of the Virgin (after Titian), by John LaFarge, 1888



Detail - Presentation of the Virgin (after Titian), by John LaFarge, 1888



David Removing the Ark to Jerusalem
(Ref. 2 Sam, 6:1-19)
By Clayton & Bell of London,
1878

2 Samuel 6:1-19 - New International Version:

David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah[a] in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. 3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7 The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

8 Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.

9 David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.

12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.

17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. 18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.


Detail - David Removing the Ark to Jerusalem (Ref. 2 Sam, 6:1-19), by Clayton & Bell of London, 1878



Detail - David Removing the Ark to Jerusalem (Ref. 2 Sam, 6:1-19, by Clayton & Bell of London



David's Charge to Solomon

By Burne-Jones & Morris
1882

David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882
Details below:



David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882



Detail, upper left - David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882



Detail, lower left - David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882



Detail, upper center - David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882



Detail, upper center - David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882



Detail, upper right - David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882



Detail, lower right - David's Charge to Solomon, by Burne-Jones & Morris, 1882



Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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