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Bay 20 - The Life of St Martin of Tours
(All images © Dr Stuart Whatling, 2009)
01 - St Martin divides his cloak and gives half to a naked beggar 02 - Signature panel (Cobbler preparing a hide) 03 - In a dream, Christ thanks Martin and returns his cloak 04 - Signature panel (cobbler scraping a hide with a lunellum) 06 - Signature panel (cobbler stitching a shoe) 07 - St Martin revives the catechumen who died without baptism 08 - Signature panel (cobbler trimming the sole of a shoe) 09 - Martin is appointed as an exorcist by St Hillaire 10 - Martin is attacked by brigands, one of whom saves his life 11 - Two brigands about to attack St Martin 12 - Martin escapes injury from the cutting down of a sacred pine tree 13 - Citizens of Tours debating the election of their new bishop 15 - Citizens of Tours debating the election of their new bishop 16 - Martin reveals the true identity of the unknown occupant of a shrine 17 - Eye witnesses to the miracles in the adjacent panels 18 - Martin pauses a rustic funeral to check they are not idolaters 19 - Martin expels a demon from a possessed man's backside 20 - People listening to Martin preaching 21 - Martin preaching to a crowd from a pulpitum 22 - A doctor attending the paralysed girl 24 - Relatives of the paralysed girl 25 - Martin heals a servant of the proconsul Tetradius (left half) 26 - Witnesses to the encounter between Martin and Tetradius 27 - Martin heals a servant of the proconsul Tetradius (right half) 28 - Martin kisses a leper outside the gates of Paris and cures him 29 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing 30 - Martin at the banquet of Emperor Maximus 31 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing 33 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing 34 - The people of Poitiers and Tours fighting over Martin's body 35 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing 36 - The people of Tours steal Martin's body and carry it up the Loire 37 - Martin's body is carried towards Tours 38 - Martin's soul carried to Abraham's bosom 39 - The funeral cortege in Tours awaiting Martin's body 05 - Martin is baptised 23 - Martin heals a paralysed girl in Treves 32 - Death of St Martin 40 - Christ in Majesty 14 - Martin is ordained as Bishop of Tours
Index to panels:
02 - Signature panel (cobbler preparing a hide)
04 - Signature panel (cobbler scraping a hide with a lunellum)
06 - Signature panel (cobbler stitching a shoe)
08 - Signature panel (cobbler trimming the sole of a shoe)

01 - St Martin divides his cloak and gives half to a naked beggar
03 - In a dream, Christ thanks Martin and returns his cloak
05 - Martin is baptised
07 - St Martin revives the catechumen who died without baptism
09 - Martin is appointed as an exorcist by St Hillaire
11 - Two brigands about to attack St Martin
10 - Martin is attacked by brigands, one of whom saves his life
12 - Martin escapes injury from the cutting down of a sacred pine tree
13 - Citizens of Tours debating the election of their new bishop
14 - Martin is ordained as Bishop of Tours
15 - Citizens of Tours debating the election of their new bishop
16 - Martin reveals the true identity of the unknown occupant of a shrine
17 - Eye witnesses to the miracles in the adjacent panels
18 - Martin pauses a rustic funeral to check they are not idolaters
19 - Martin expels a demon from a possessed man's backside
20 - People listening to Martin preaching
21 - Martin preaching to a crowd from a pulpitum
22 - A doctor attending the paralysed girl
23 - Martin heals a paralysed girl in Treves
24 - Relatives of the paralysed girl
25 - Martin heals a servant of the proconsul Tetradius (left half)
26 - Witnesses to the encounter between Martin and Tetradius
27 - Martin heals a servant of the proconsul Tetradius (right half)
28 - Martin kisses a leper outside the gates of Paris and cures him
30 - Martin at the banquet of Emperor Maximus

32 - Death of St Martin
29 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing
31 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing
33 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing
35 - Censing angel honouring the Saint's passing
38 - Martin's soul carried to Abraham's bosom
40 - Christ in Majesty

34 - The people of Poitiers and Tours fighting over Martin's body
36 - The people of Tours steal Martin's body and carry it up the Loire
37 - Martin's body is carried towards Tours
39 - The funeral cortege in Tours awaiting Martin's body

Overview:

St Martin of Tours - a fourth century soldier turned bishop, is one of the more familiar saints in medieval art, best known for cutting his cloak in half to clothe a shivering beggar. His extensive vita was largely penned during Martin's lifetime by his friend Sulpicius Severus - a talented writer who exemplified the late Classical panegyrist literary style. For the most part the secondary writers on Martin followed Sulpicius closely, though the fact that his vita predates the saint's death meant that details of his demise and posthumous fortunes had to be drawn from the later dialogues of Sulpiius and other sources, some of which were drawn together by Voraginus.

Martin's first position within the church was as an exorcist and it is his power to overcome demons, combined with his zeal in combatting heresy that stand out both in Sulpicius' text and in the window. The saint's popularity at the start of the 13th century was boosted by the renewed fear of heresy and by the 'muscular evangelism' of campaigns like the Albigensian Crusade (in which the Bishop of Chartres was an enthusiastic participant) which that fear fed.

The designer of this window at Chartres has followed the events in Sulpicius quite closely, in most cases retaining the original order of the episodes. The arrangement of the panels is particularly noteworthy; the window is divided into four regular square sections (plus an extra half section in the summit), each comprising a central circle and four corner-squares arranged as a quincunx. The four cardinal points are filled with smaller quatrefoil medallions surrounded by vegetal rinceaux. With the exception of the lowest section, where they house the 'signature panels', these lesser medallions contain hypotactic (to borrow Wolfgang Kemp's term) elements - pairs of figures or censing angels - which contribute to or comment upon the adjacent major panels and in one case (panel 26) act as a linkage, or 'copula' to show that to separate panels are part of the same scene..