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Panel 20 - Unidentified scene (panel 2 of 2)
Description:
This is the right hand half of a two-panel scene whose identification is difficult. Most authors have identified it as an episode in the miracles of St Lubin where he visits a house infested with demons and blesses a large vat of water, which is then sprinkled over the walls of the house, driving out its unwelcome guests. There are however a number of problems with this. Firstly, Lubin gestures at the vessel with his left hand, not with his right (normally used for blessing). Secondly the setting is wrong - the artists at Chartres are normally diligent about including fictive architecture for urban settings and vegetation for rural scenes. Here, both panels include vegetation (a splendid grape vine on the right) but no buildings. Both panels also include a long white rod, which is otherwise unexplained, and the gestures of the men on the left are not typical for those of witnesses to a miracle. Finally there is the broader narrative context; in a visual hagiography one generally expects to see several miracles or none. The inclusion of one relatively undistinguished miracle (Lubin's vita generally emphasises his healing miracles, not domestic exorcisms) at the end of a visual cycle which includes no others is not impossible but it is uncommon.
Given the central role in this window of wine - it's production and it's use within the Church - plus the prominence given to the grape vine on the right of this panel, I wonder it this scene may have something to do with Lubin's role in the choosing of the new season's wine for the Cathedral cellers? The large vessel certainly resembles a wine-mixing bowl. This is of course, pure speculation - but we all slip into that error sometimes.