61 x 45.7 cm (24 x 18 inches)
Mantes-la Jolie, Collegiate Church of Notre Dame
Gift of William A. Viall and William C. Dart
Stained glass windows brought dazzling colored light into medieval cathedrals. Many were designed as geometric or floral compositions, while others instructed the faithful through the depiction of saints and stories from the Bible. This stained glass fragment was originally part of a large round window (oculus) in the cathedral at Mantes-la-Jolie. When the image of the man fleeing the dragon was restored and altered around the early 20th century, it was pieced together with patterned elements to form a rectangular panel. In this scene a winged serpent is about to overtake a frightened man, who glances over his shoulder as he tries to escape. As dragons are rare in biblical sources, the story may derive from the prophesies in the Book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse.