The American Friends of Chartres (AFC) has launched a crowd-funding campaign in the United States of America to help conserve and preserve thirteenth-century stained-glass windows in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres, France. The AFC, an organization established in 2005 to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of Chartres, hopes to raise around $250,000 towards the conservation of lancets in the second bay from the west on the south side of the nave. The lancets depict St Peter and St James Major, and are being referred to in the fund-raising campaign as the ‘Bakers Window’ because of the scenes below the figures of the saints, which show bakers making and selling bread [Fig. 1].
The lancets contain bread imagery alongside the two most celebrated apostle figures in the cathedral; below the figure of St James, the lancet closer to the west, the two ‘bread scenes’ show in the upper register a man on a kneading table holding a baker’s tool, apparently ready to mould and shape dough, and in the lower register two men carrying a basket of bread. In the St Peter lancet, the small-scale scene depicts a bread stall – complete with display – from which a merchant sells a loaf. As Jane Welch Williams demonstrates in her book Bread Wine and Money: The Windows of the Trades at Chartres Cathedral, the bread scenes (which imply a narrative sequence from west to east, a movement towards the altar) are suggestive of offering. This glazing is a fitting recipient for a financial offering from the AFC for its conservation. To contribute to the fund-raising, click here, and to learn more about the project, see the website.