Project Development

The Chapel of John the Baptist – St. John’s College

IMG_7058 (edited)I have just revisited The Chapel of John the Baptist at St. John’s College in order to understand better the text scratched into the glass at the top right of the right hand light.  The image to the left is deliberately over-processed in order to make the lettering as clear as possible – and at last, fully understandable.

In combination with the original image, taken from a higher vantage point, it is possible to identify the characters below the twisted cobweb.   As a result, it has been possible to interpolate all of the text, as shown in this second image.  Consequently, I can conclude that the writing states BOSSANYI 1944 (followed possibly by -195) LONDON.

IMG_7058 (edited with text)The two lights are replicas of a pair made by Bossányi for a 1944 commission, which reside in the Zouche Chapel of York Minster.  Bossányi retained the copies for permanent display in his studio to show prospective clients.

Further research has revealed additional information on the context of the light: this shows St. Francis of Assisi with the leper, who, according to the story, was restored to health and reconciled to faith by the saint’s ministrations, and who appeared to Francis in a vision as his soul ascended to the heavens.  The image depicts Francis’ complete engagement with the man’s sufferings, above which the Holy Spirit hovers in the form of a dove.


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