Detail of the America window in Chicago

Marc Chagall made many stained glass windows all over the world besides other large artworks like the ceiling of the Paris Opera. Below I will give you an overview of all his stained glass windows at many locations. These were all made in the last years of his life when he was already very old, past 70 years old.

Abbel Synagogue, Jerusalem Israel

The synagogue

The first commission Marc received was for a yet to build synagogue on the grounds of the Hadassah hospital from Miriam Freund (the president of the hospital) and Joseph Neufeld (architect of the hospital). His mission was to create 12 stained glass windows representing the 12 tribes of Israel. He worked for 2 years on these windows. At first these windows were exhibited in museums first before being placed In the synagogue. It was exhibited at MoMA in New York and at the Louvre in Paris. These windows were his gift to the Jewish people, his people.

From left to right: Naphtali, Zebulon, Benjamin

Union Church of  Pocantico Hills, USA

The church was built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1921 as part of his plans to develop the town of Pocantico Hills. When his wife died in 1948 their son Nelson commissioned Henri Matisse to design the church's Rose Window in honour of here. Shortly before Henri's death in 1954. 

Good Samaritan Window

When John died in 1960 his children commisioned Marc Chagall to design a Good Samaritan Window in his honour at the other end of the church.

St. Etiene Cathedral - Metz France

The Metz Cathedral

Marc was commisioned by André Malraux, french minister of culture, to decorate the central dome of the Paris Opera and also 3 windows for the St. Etienne cathedral of Metz. 

1st window representing Genesis

The first one was made ready in 1960 representing Genesis: Noah and the rainbow, virgin and child, Abraham’s sacrifice, Jacob fighting the angel Jehovah, Jacob’s dream and Moses and the burning bush. 

Second windows - Adam and Eve/ Eden

The second one was ready in 1963 displaying the creation of Adam and Eve, The garden of Eden, the original sin and Adam and Eve expelled from Eden. 

Final window - flowers and birds

The final one was made between 1968 and 1970 representing Grand Bouquet and Petit Bouquet displaying birds and flowers.

United Nations, NYC USA

Headquarters of the United Nations

In 1964 Marc was commissioned to create a window for the building of the United Nations in honour of Dag Hammarskjöld, UN’s second secretary general who was killed in a plane crash in Africa. The window was named “The Peace Window”.

Peace Window

Fraumünster church, Zurich Switzerland

Fraumunster church in the middle

The clergy of the Fraumunster church was desperately searching for someone to create beautifully coloured stained glass windows for their medieval church. But when Chagall had an exhibtion in the Kunsthaus of Zürich in 1967 he found the right person. Marc was already 80 years old by then when he created 5 stained glass windows for the church 10 meters tall.

Part of the Christ Window

Each window displays the following biblical stories:

  • The Prophet’s Window, with Elijah carried away to heaven
  • The Law Window in which Moses holds the ten commandments and is looking down upon his suffering people
  • Jacob, displaying his combat, and dreams of heaven
  • The Zion Window, depicting King David and the descent of Jerusalem from heaven to earth
  • The Christ Window, illustrating the life of Jesus

Reims cathedral, Reims France

Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral

The gothic Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral was built over 300 years between 1211 and 1516. Here french kings were crowned.From the inside and the outside it is very impressing. Marc created windows in the axial chapel of the cathedral. He started working on it in 1968 together with skilled glass maker Charles Marq. They completed the windows in 1974. 6 windows of 10 meters high and above them 3 small rose windows. 

All the 3 windows

The following scenes are visible:

The window on the left portrays the Tree of Jesse, David and Solomon and virgin Mary holding baby Jesus.  

The central window depicts the history of Abraham and the last moments of Christ on earth. 

The window on the right tells the history of the cathedral, such as the crowning ceremonies of the French kings.  

Art Institute of Chicago, USA

The Art Institute of Chicago

Marc created The America Windows in honor of the American Bicentennial titled America Windows. He presented the beautiful windows to The Art Institute of Chicago in 1977. He always felt very welcome in the United States.

America Windows

The first panel depicts the rich Chicago history of blues and soul music

The second panel aims to portray the cooperation and unity found within many neighborhoods of Chicago. The panel also serves as a prayer and remembrance to Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley who died in 1976.

The third panel aims to highlight the importance of religious freedom in America.

All Saints’ church, Tudeley UK

All Saints' Church

In 1963 the daughter of Sir Henry and Lady D'Avigdor-Goldsmid drowned in a sailing accident. In honour for their beloved daughter they commmissioned Marc Chagall to design and install one stained glass windows for their local church. 

Memorial Window for Sarah d'Avigdor Goldsmid

Marc was overwhelmed by the beauty of this church an decided to do all 11 windows of this church during the remaining 10 years. The windows were installed in 1985 before his death. It's the only building where all windows were created by Marc.

Green leaf, angel and moon

Chichester Cathedral, UK

Chichester Cathedral

Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester, saw the exhibition at the Louvre in 1960 displaying Chagall's 12 Tribe windows. He commisioned Chagall to create 1 window and he agreed. It was unveiled in 1978.

The window tells about Psalm 150: “O praise God in his holiness…Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Psalm 150 window

This dominating red window is festive in spirit. You can see in the window musicians playing horns, drums, flutes, strings and cymbals as mentioned in the psalm.

St. Stephan’s church, Mainz Germany

St. Stephan's Church

At first Marc didn't want to start a project in Germany because of the crimes committed against Jewish people during the Second World War. Marc and his family were forced to flee Nazi occupied France and lived in the US during the war.

But he decided to do it in order to reunite with the people of Germany. This project was his last one and he didn't see his works installed inside the church. He died after creating the last major window at the age of 97.

Chagall's windows in the church

The glass-maker who worked with Chagall for decades, Charles Marq, completed the other windows around the sides of the church in homage to his mentor, Chagall.

Chapelle de Cordeliers, Sarrebourg France

Chapelle de Cordeliers

This Franciscan chapel in Sarrebourg is perhaps not known by many people but also includes a window by Chagall. Musée du pays de Sarrebourg (Museum of Sarrebourg and its surroundings) was created in 1905 first as an archaeological museum. Nowadays it holds a space dedicated to Marc Chagall and an exhibition of earthenware and porcelain from the Niderviller manufacture. The Chapel is part of the museum. The chapel holds a window by Chagall titled La Paix which is 12 meters in height. The museum also has a tapestry with the same title by Chagall.

The Peace - window