Return to the Chartres index page
Bay 45 - Life of St Lubin
(All images © Dr Stuart Whatling)
Subsidiary panels (wine cryers and their clients) Subsidiary panels (wine cryers and their clients) Subsidiary panels (wine cryers and their clients) Subsidiary panels (wine cryers and their clients) Subsidiary panels (wine cryers and their clients) 01 - Signature panel (Wine cryers) 02 - Procession; a nobleman and his retinue (?) 03 - Procession; a group of laymen and clerics departing from a church 04 - The young Lubin working as a shepherd 05 - A monk gives Lubin a belt with the alphabet written on it 06 - A barrel of wine being transported to the Cathedral 07 - Lubin receiving instruction from a cleric 08 - Lubin spends his spare time learning to read, while his companion idles 09 - Lubin is accepted into a monastery 10 - Nileffus advises Lubin to visit other monasteries to broaden his knowledge 11 - A cellerer draws sacramental wine into a cruet 12 - Lubin, Nileffus and another monk, approach a new monastery 13 - Lubin and his companions leaving a monastery 14 - Lubin and his companions receive the blessing of St Avitus 15 - Lubin is appointed as Bishop of Chartres 16 - Celebration of a Mass (blessing of the sacramental wine) 17 - Avitus appoints Lubin to the office of cellarer 18 - Bishop Lubin sets off on a pastoral visit, riding an ass 19 - Unidentified scene (panel 1 of 2) 20 - Unidentified scene (panel 2 of 2) 21
Signature panels:
01 - Signature panel (Wine cryers)
02 - Procession; a nobleman and his retinue (?)
03 - Procession; a group of laymen and clerics departing from a church

Central axis - the wine sacrament:
06 - A barrel of wine being transported to the Cathedral
11 - A cellerer draws sacramental wine into a cruet
16 - Celebration of a Mass (blessing of the sacramental wine)
21 - Christ in Majesty with the Alpha and Omega

The Life of St Lubin:
04 - The young Lubin working as a shepherd
05 - A monk gives Lubin a belt with the alphabet written on it
07 - Lubin receiving instruction from a cleric
08 - Lubin spends his spare time learning to read, while his companion idles
09 - Lubin is accepted into a monastery
10 - Nileffus advises Lubin to visit other monasteries to broaden his knowledge
12 - Lubin, Nileffus and another monk, approach a new monastery
13 - Lubin and his companions leaving a monastery
14 - Lubin and his companions receive the blessing of St Avitus
17 - Avitus appoints Lubin to the office of cellarer
15 - Lubin is appointed as Bishop of Chartres
18 - Bishop Lubin sets off on a pastoral visit, riding an ass
19 - Unidentified scene (panel 1 of 2)
20 - Unidentified scene (panel 2 of 2)

Subsidiary panels
Panels a-s (wine cryers and their clients)

 

Overview:
Lubin, or Leobinus, was a 6th century bishop of Chartres. He was born into a rural family near Poitiers and worked as a shepherd, learning to read and write from local monks. Through diligence and devotion he overcame his poor origins, took religious orders and eventually worked his way up to to the episcopacy. As Bishop of Chartres he was credited with many of the reforms and developments that formed the basis of the Cathedral's later success and was therefore one of the most important local saints in the Chartrain litany, with two feasts (one a duplex) in his name. The fact that he had been a cellarer (the man within the monastic community or cathedral chapter responsible for all its provisions, including the wine cellar) gave him a particular association with wine production. A church in his honour was built nearby the Chapter's vineyards - the starting point of a much celebrated annual procession which brought the new season's wine in to the Chapter's magnificent stone-vaulted storehouse (the Loewens), just to the north of the cathedral close.

Quite a lot has been written about this window, with some authors perhaps falling deeper than usually into the trap of over-interpretation. Nevertheless it remains a highly distinctive and sometimes enigmatic visual narrative which merits research.