Crucifix and Rose Window
I was asked to create a complex piece containing a crucifix on an existing cross and a rose window surrounding it. The circular window with its central Greek cross (arms of equal length at right angles) suggested an atypical posture of the crucified one. First, the transverse arms of the cross are lower than the well-known Latin cross, so Jesus’ arms extend in a downward position.
In ancient times the condemned person was very often positioned so that his legs were bent causing the chest cavity to collapse and making it hard to breathe, eventually forcing him to extend his legs and rise to take a breath. This exertion, coupled with his weakening condition, would eventually cause the victim to suffocate. Here Jesus is depicted as he rises and struggles to breathe.
The work was commissioned by St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Faith Community in Wayzata, Minnesota.
The work of the window and crucifix together, suggested the passage from John 1:51, as Jesus said to the Apostle Bartholomew (also called Nathanael): I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
I am not aware of another work which illustrates this passage.
Crucifix and stained glass by John Collier.