A public commission for stained glass windows
For the Notre Dame Cathedral of Reims

 

During an official visit to Reims on April 20, 2006, the then-Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, announced the commission of six windows for the Cathedral.

This creation concerns the two chapels adjacent to the axial chapel (the Chagall Chapel). The operation, at a total cost of €1.2 million, is being funded by the Foundation Gaz de France, the Louis Roederer Champagne House, and the Caisse d'Epargne of Reims.

 

 

An important project...

 

This commission is an important project of alliance between historical heritage and artistic creation on a European scale. Following Marc Chagall and Brigitte Simon, contemporary creation is once again scheduled for the Reims Cathedral, and will be entrusted to an internationally renowned artist.

The windows will be in the two apsidal chapels (three bays in each, totalling 115m2), on either side of the axial chapel which holds the triptych of Marc Chagall, a biblical homage to the genealogy of the kings of Judea and the kings of France. Currently, the windows in the apsidal chapels are simply lightly tinted. White light passes through these "gaps", interrupting the coloured path formed by all the other windows in the apse.


...for an emblematic edifice

 

During the last twenty years, the attention focused on the Cathedral by the restorations, studies and celebrations has assured a continuously fresh view of the monument. Today, more than half a century has passed since the German surrender in 1945, signed in Reims. The restorations of the Cathedral and the adjoining Episcopal Palace of Tau were only completed in the 1960s.

 

The stained glass windows of Marc Chagall, commissioned in 1969, were inaugurated in 1974. Those of Brigitte Simon were inaugurated in 1980. For almost half a century, the Cathedral has invited artistic creation within its walls at regular intervals. The symbolism of creation and life, stronger than that of destruction, is at work in these renewed invitations.