This panel showing two clerics in ritual procession is from an ambitious glazing program designed for the east end of the Cathedral of Saints Gervasius and Protasius in Soissons. The windows in the five radiating chapels, begun in the early thirteenth century, contained an extensive depiction of biblical history, saints' lives, and Christological themes. Beginning with the religious wars of around 1567 much of the Soissons glass was destroyed. The two clerics here can be seen as representative of religious life in the thirteenth century. Each service at Soissons began with a procession from the sacristy to the altar, where the liturgy would be celebrated. The procession was led by a cleric carrying a candelabrum with tapers, followed by a cleric with a censer, then one carrying a cross, and then by subdeacons and deacons carrying the Gospel books.
Artist French
  • Two Clerics
Date between 1205 and 1212
Medium stained glass: pot metal, glass
Dimensions Overall: 28 3/4 × 29 1/8 inches (73 × 74 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Lillian Henkel Haass
Accession Number 59.34
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View European: Medieval C263, Level 2 (see map)
Raoul Heilbronner (Paris, France);
June 22-23, 1921, sold by (Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, France) lot 204;
(Grosvenor Thomas, London, England);
until 1924, (Roy Grosvenor Thomas, New York, New York, USA);
November 12, 1924, Julius H. Haass (Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA);
until 1959, his widow, Lillian Henkel Haass (Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA);
1959-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Catalogue des Objets d'Art et de Haute Curiosite du Moyen-Age et de la Renaissance....composant les Collections de M. Raoul Heilbronner. Paris, 1921.

Caviness, M., E. Pastan and M. Beaven. "The Gothic Window from Soissons: A Reconsideration." Fenway Court 1983. Exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 1984, pp. 10, 23 no. 18.

Stained Glass Before 1700 in American Collections: Mid-western and Western States (Corpus Vitrearum Checklist III). Studies in the History of Art, vol. 28. Washington, DC, 1989, p. 12, fig. 3, p. 156.

Raguin, V. and H. Zakin. Stained Glass before 1700 in the Collections of the Midwest States (Corpus Vitrearum United States of America, Part VII) London, 2001, vol. 1, pp. 153-159.