St. George’s Ascension Windows

These are earliest windows produced for the church in 1885 and dedicated to Rev. Edward McGuire who served as rector her for 45 years from 1813-1858 and was the rector when the current Church was built. It was produced in Germany but we do not know the maker. There are three panels increasing the drama and focus. The window is the front of the church directly in front of parishioners.

The Ascension took place 40 days after the Resurrection when Jesus led the disciples to the Mount of Olives. He raised his hands, blessed them and then was lifted up until a cloud took him out of their sight. This is shown in the middle window. He is shown, arms raised, disappearing into a cloud with his feet and the hem of his clothes visible. His feet still show scars of the crucifixion.

In the Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives, there is an indentation of a rock that is meant to be Jesus’ last footprint on earth. The rock is partially shown on the left window which depicts St. Peter. Jesus asked the disciples, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ and Peter replied ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ As a result of that declaration, Jesus said in v 19, ‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…’ You can see the keys with him

The right image is probably that of John, the beloved who was always with him. John is always depicted as a young, smooth-faced disciple.

Eight other disciples are present – three in the bottom right of St. Peter on the left panel, three in the middle, 2 in the John window. Judas was not there since he had hanged himself and neither was Thomas.

This is the old window of 18 from Germany at St. George’s. Germany has some of the oldest stained glass windows. The oldest complete European windows are thought to be five relatively sophisticated figures in Augsburg Cathedral from the middle ages. It was revived in Germany and Austria in the 19th century. The story is that these windows come from Heidelberg.

An argument can be made for Munich. Franz Mayer founded a studio in Munich, which at first, produced sculpture and marble altars. In 1860, the studio began making stained glass. The studio restored medieval windows and executed new windows all over the world, including many to the US. They are famous for heroic sized picture windows, extremely representational, with all the saints unmistakably German, that is, fair skinned, robust and hearty figures.

The Oidtmann studios for glass and mosaic were founded in 1857 by a medical doctor and student of chemistry, Dr. H. Oidtmann. Working with glass slides inspired him to study stained glass. He founded a small studio as a sideline, but it soon grew into a major enterprise with 100 employees. At his death, his son Heinrich II, also a medical doctor and stained glass scholar, took over the stained glass studio. He wrote the book: Rhenish Stained Glass from the 12th to the 16th Centuries.

  Ascension window St. George’s Fredericksburg  (full size gallery)

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