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Bay 38 - Miracles of the Virgin (mostly 20th century)
(All images © Dr Stuart Whatling)
01 - Signature panel (butcher eviscerating a pig) 02 - Signature panel (butcher stunning a pig) 03 - Signature panel (the butcher's market stall) 04 - People pulling a waggon loaded with sacks ('Cult of Carts' I) 05 - Worshippers at a shrine to the Virgin and Child 06 - People pulling a waggon laden with an enormous barrel ('Cult of Carts' II) 07 - The Virgin and Child with adoring angels 08 - Unidentified miracle 09 - Unidentified scene (man bringing two pigs to an altar) 10 - An architect at work on his plans (ENTIRELY MODERN) 11 - Preparing the stone (ENTIRELY MODERN) 12 - Building the Cathedral (ENTIRELY MODERN) 13 - Carpenters at work on the building site (ENTIRELY MODERN) 14 - Masons at work on the building site (ENTIRELY MODERN) 15 - Theophilus asks a Jewish magus to arrange his pact with the Devil 16 - Despite his new success Theophilus regrets having sold his soul 17 - Miracles worked by the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN) 18 - Procession of the relics of the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN) 19 - Procession of the relics of the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN) 20 - Procession of the relics of the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN) 21 - Miracles worked by the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN) 22 - Now genuinely repentant, Theophilus prays to the Virgin for aid 23 - The Virgin forces the Devil to surrender his contract with Theophilus 24 - Chartrain Bishop Saints (ENTIRELY MODERN) 25 - Old Testament Prophets (ENTIRELY MODERN) 26 - The Virgin and Child enthroned (ENTIRELY MODERN) 27 - Old Testament Prophets (ENTIRELY MODERN) 28 - Censing angels (ENTIRELY MODERN)
Original panels:
02 - Signature panel (butcher stunning a pig)
01 - Signature panel (butcher eviscerating a pig)
03 - Signature panel (the butcher's market stall)
04 - People pulling a waggon loaded with sacks ('Cult of Carts' I)
05 - Worshippers at a shrine to the Virgin and Child
06 - People pulling a waggon laden with an enormous barrel ('Cult of Carts' II)
07 - The Virgin and Child with adoring angels
08 - Unidentified miracle
09 - Unidentified scene (man bringing two pigs to an altar)

15 - Theophilus asks a Jewish magus to arrange his pact with the Devil
16 - Despite his new success Theophilus regrets having sold his soul
22 - Now genuinely repentant, Theophilus prays to the Virgin for aid
23 - The Virgin forces the Devil to surrender his contract with Theophilus

Panels added by Charles Lorin in 1928:
10 - An architect at work on his plans (ENTIRELY MODERN)
11 - Preparing the stone (ENTIRELY MODERN)
12 - Building the Cathedral (ENTIRELY MODERN)
13 - Carpenters at work on the building site (ENTIRELY MODERN)
14 - Masons at work on the building site (ENTIRELY MODERN)
17 - Miracles worked by the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN)
18 - Procession of the relics of the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN)
19 - Procession of the relics of the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN)
20 - Procession of the relics of the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN)
21 - Miracles worked by the Virgin (ENTIRELY MODERN)
24 - Chartrain Bishop Saints (ENTIRELY MODERN)
25 - Old Testament Prophets (ENTIRELY MODERN)
26 - The Virgin and Child enthroned (ENTIRELY MODERN)
27 - Old Testament Prophets (ENTIRELY MODERN)
28 - Censing angels (ENTIRELY MODERN)

 

Overview:
It is particularly tragic, given the generally assumed importance of the Virgin's miracle-working to medieval Chartres and its cathedral, that so little of the one window specifically dedicated to that subject is original. Only 13 of the 28 panels here (the lowest quatrefoil and the lateral semicircular medallions) are remotely authentic and even these are heavily restored. The remaining panels came entirely from the imagination of Charles Lorin, who completed the renovation of this window in 1928. Compared with the usual historicising work of Atelier Lorin, these panels are relatively modern in style (there is a distinctly Art-Deco flavour to the muscular builders in panel 12, for example). Surviving descriptions of the window prior to its partial destruction in the early 19th century are insufficient to accurately reconstruct the original form, though they do make it clear that Lorin's replacements bear no relation to their forebears, lost a century earlier.

It has generally been assumed that the surviving bottom panels show one of the so-called 'cult of carts' episodes recorded at Chartres, though the more I look at these scenes, the less convinced I am about this - see the description of panel 04 for more on this. The other surviving panels (15, 16, 22 & 23) show the familiar story of Theophilus, the proto-Faustian Bishop of Adana, who sells his soul to the Devil but then recovers it through the intercession of the Virgin. The remaining 15 panels, lost in the early 19th century, would probably have depicted some of the other miracles of the Virgin, such as one finds scattered around the lower clerestory windows at Le Mans.