Monday, October 6, 2008

Stained Glass Window ACEOs

An artistic highlight of our recent trip to Europe was a visit to the Fraumunster church in Zurich. Their claim to fame...5 stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall.

It's a rather fascinating story. The church had tried and failed to find a local artist to redesign colored windows for the chancel of the Fraumunster. Then a 1967 Chagall exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zurich led to the project for Chagall to do these windows. He was in his 80s at the time!

I've never been a huge Chagall fan, but these windows are beautiful. Not in the way of say Notre Dame's Rose Window, but in a more primitive, earthy, biblical yet intensely colorful way. I sat for a long time looking at these windows, and could have stayed longer. Photography was not allowed, but I got a great postcard.

Chagall's Stained Glass Windows at the Fraumunster Church, Zurich

I also got a booklet explaining the story and iconography of the five windows.

So these windows are the inspiration for my next ACEO series. Here is the first, the red window, known as the Prophet's Window.

I couldn't possibly reproduce the whole window, or even accurately render a part of it, but instead what I attempted to capture in this Artist Card are the elements which speak most powerfully to me - the colors, the shapes, and the wonderful fracturing which occurs with stained glass.

Chagall's Prophet Stained Glass Window, Diane Weber, 2 1/3" x 3 1/2"

Several different red hand-dyed fabrics were used, with touches of yellow and blue. All the shapes are hand cut and fused in place, then stitched with black thread. Stay tuned for the next window, the blue Law Window.

Continuing with my series representing Chagall's stained glass windows from the Fraumunster Church, here is my Blue Window ACEO. The blue window is known as the Law Window, since it features Moses with the stone tablets representing the eternal law of God.

In addition to 3 or 4 different blue fabrics, I added touches of green, yellow and a couple of complimentary orange pieces in the center.

I sometimes feel like it is cheating to use complements in my quilt art. It's like a trick that will always work to make an art quilt, no matter how small, look interesting and draw a second look from a viewer. I guess that's why they call them compliments?

Chagall's Blue Law Window ACEO, Diane Weber, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

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