Sunday, April 30, 2017

Design for Saint Ranieri Window

Saint Ranieri 

Patron Saint of Pisa

The San Ranieri window placement was already stated by the committee for position 10. This panel faces south-west and will receive very strong sun during the whole of the afternoon.  I will again use dark colors of glass appropriate to control the light.
Window 4

Some of the colors and elements in my design were inspired by the remaining fragments of the original glass in panel 10. However, this window is not an attempt to remake the original panel. Additional elements were based on the canopies and borders in the windows in locations # 4 & 5 as these panels seemed to have been treated in a similar manner in the original program.

San Ranieri rendering

San Ranieri leadline

The Figure of San Ranieri

My image was adapted from several icons and historic representations of San Ranieri located the museums and churches of Pisa. I also added some anatomical details from a contemporary citizen of Pisa who had the general physical characteristics of the Saint’s likeness.

The design elements were inspired by San Ranieri’s life story:

  • Born in Pisa to a wealthy merchant family, Ranieri abandons his rich purple and green robe and takes on the hair shirt of the penitent. 
  • The humble saint is depicted bare-footed.
  • Simple rosary beads hang from his pilgrim’s staff.
  • He carries the image of Pisa, represented by the Cathedral and Tower, in his left arm close to his heart.
  • His  gaze invites the viewer to look toward the altar

The lower panel and upper panels

The lower panel shows the iconic scene from Ranieri’s life, depicted in the fresco cycle in the Camposanto Monumentale. Inspired by his conversations with the hermit Alberto from Corsica, the young Ranieri sails from Pisa to Jerusalem where he has his conversion experience.

When I asked contemporary people in the caf√©’s, museums and the university about San Ranieri, everyone spoke of the luminaire that marks his saint’s day celebration.  The lighting of the buildings with candles recalls the holy procession that moved his remains to the Cathedral in the 16th Century. The candles I’m depicting in the border and on the architectural canopy will be a point of recognition for most Pisans.

The final element I have added to the design is the constellation Virgo above the canopy. This constellation will be present, literally, beyond the window in the western evening sky during the month of June which marks Ranieri’s festival.

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