The Windows of Brigitte Simon

 

 

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Born in Reims in 1926, Brigitte Simon first worked with her father, the master stained glass artist Jacques Simon, before moving to Paris where she met, and in 1949, married, Charles Marq.

In 1961, she created her first stained glass window for the Reims Cathedral, followed by works for the nave of Saint Philibert of Tournus, the collegial Notre Dame of Vitry-le-Francois and the cathedral of Nantes.

Between 1971 and 1981, she again created several windows for the Reims Cathedral, in the north and south arms of the transept.

 

 

Brigitte Simon

The Water of Life (1961)
© Pascal Stritt, 2007

 

 

The Baptismal Font Window (1961)
L'eau vive, The Water of Life

 

In the early 1960s, Brigitte Simon deliberated on a project for a window to be installed over the baptismal fonts in the south arm of the transept.

Despite heated opposition from the citizens of Reims, her project was first supported by Jacques Dupont, General Inspector of Historic Monuments, then seconded by André Malraux, who gave the Ministry of Culture's official approval during a visit to Reims.

 

Influenced by the Ardeche area, which she had recently discovered, Brigitte Simon produced an abstract work combining the light tones of Courville stone with the grisaille tones of the upper windows from the thirteenth century.



Entitled L'Eau Vive, The Water of Life, the window's blue-grey tones evoke light reflecting on a river. Funding for this window was shared between the Society of Friends of the Reims Cathedral, and the State.

Brigitte Simon

Grisailles (1981)
© Pascal Stritt, 2007

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The grisaille windows of the north and south arms of the transept (1971-1981)
Le Feu, la Terre et l'Air, Fire, Earth, and Air

 

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In 1971, following a proposition from the Singer-Polignac Foundation, Brigitte Simon produced two models for windows for the south arm of the transept, and received the approval of Jacques Dupont, General Inspector of Historic Monuments, to proceed.

Between 1978 and 1981, she fulfilled a request from a donor who wanted to offer a stained glass window for the first northern chapel of the Cathedral's ambulatory.

The grisailles she created for these two commissions evoke fire, earth and air, the three elements which complement the fourth element, water, depicted earlier in the windows of the baptismal fonts.

 

 

 

 

Brigitte Simon

Detail of stained glass window
© Pascal Stritt, 2007