Chagall Drafts for Famous Mainz Church Windows Displayed at Last

The Chagall-designed windows in Mainz, Germany Photo:

Marc Chagall’s drafts for the famous stained-glass windows at the St. Stephen Church in Mainz, Germany, designed in 1982 will go on display in the city next week before joining the permanent collection of the Diözesanmuseum (Diocesan Museum) in Tübingen, Art Magazin reports.

The hand-sketched plans for the magnificent blue windows were purchased for €70,000 ($78,000) by a group of local businessmen and the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the St. Stephan Church. The plans became available after they failed to sell at a Sotheby’s auction in New York last year.

According to Allgemeine Zeitungthe state of Rhineland-Palatinate failed in its previous attempt to acquire the designs in 2014 after the owner—a French lawyer—and the general director of cultural heritage at the Mainz State Museum were unable to agree on the price.

At the time, the missed opportunity to acquire the designs was heavily criticized by the local media. The former pastor of the church, Monsignor Klaus Meyer, who personally convinced Chagall to design the windows in the 1970s was especially vocal in his criticism.

The windows are Chagall’s largest glasswork in the world and the last ones designed before his death, in 1985. At the time, the Jewish artist’s agreement to design the work for a Christian Church was hailed as an important symbol of inter-faith relations in Germany.

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