The Great East Window

The largest expanse of medieval stained glass in Britain, the Great East Window was made between 1405 and 1408 by a team of artists and craftsmen led by master-glazierand glass-painter John Thornton of Coventry. Its subject is equally ambitious, depicting the beginning and the end of all things, arranged under the feet of God the Father and the company of heaven at the top of the window.

The beginning, the seven days of Creation, as told in the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, opens the main narrative sequence. The end and the Second Coming of Christ, basedon the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, (also known as the Apocalypse), fills the largest section of the window. The bottom row depicts historical and legendary figures associated with the history of York Minster itself, with the window’s donor, Bishop Walter Skirlaw of Durham (d.1406) in the centre panel. The window was conserved and protected by the York Glaziers Trust between 2011 and 2017.

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