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“Masterwork by a French stained glass artist”

Christ Episcopal Church
Reviewed 22 July 2016

In 1984 Gabriel Loire, a renowned stained glass artist from Chartres, France visited California He loved the area and was particularly impressed by the wide variety of trees, from palms to redwoods. Loire had two major commissions: one was the great rose window of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, but even larger are the "Four Seasons" window walls of Christ Episcopal Church in Los Altos.

Done in "Dalle de Verre" style, where faceted chunks of glass are embedded in resin, the windows cover almost 2000 square feet (185 square meters) and form the four walls of the church, they depict the Bible story using a theme of the seasons of the year.

Starting with Spring in the south window, we find flowers, birds, fish and animals, representing creation, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Virgin Mary, and the tree of Jesse, the House of David.

The west window, "Summer", has the bright sun, heads of wheat, the burning bush, the symbols of the four evangelists (marked by small crosses) and Zacchaeus the tax collector, climbing a sycamore tree. In the bottom right corner is the signature of the artist.

The north window, "Fall", is the most abstract of the four. We find seven crosses representing the seven churches of Asia that Paul founded. There is a chalice, and many trees.

The west window, "Winter", .shows a fish, a chalice, and a lamb then the elements of Christ's passion: a huge, bloody crown of thorns, the three crosses of Golgotha, and the sepulcher. Also included are the crosses of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew.

Don't miss the tall lancet windows behind the altar. Way at the top, look for the dove of the Holy Spirit.

1  Thank Fritz S
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