Revealed Religion : Benjamin West. 067 of 100 Bible images
The Last Supper and The Resurrection. Design for the East Window, St. George’s Collegiate Chapel, Windsor, 1781. Drawing; pen and ink on wash on paper. 635 mms x 410 mms. Royal Academy of Arts. Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. From 1779 to 1801 West became involved with the large-scale restoration of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. As part of the project, he produced an altar painting depicting the Last Supper and various designs for stained glass including the east window. The new window was created as a vast triptych, with three separate sections depicting the story of Christ’s resurrection. The central panel featured Christ emerging from the tomb, with the side panels depicting Saints Peter and John and the three Marys heading towards the tomb. The whole was intended to make a dramatic backdrop to the altar. The latest fashion for vast picture windows, with large panels of glass being painted as if on canvas, enabled designers to create images which filled the whole space expressively, without being broken up by lead supports. A design was drawn up by West, with the glass painted by Charles Forrest. The east window was replaced in 1862 to make way for a memorial to Prince Albert. The glass was removed in 1862 and packed into cases. Where the window went or what became of the cases is unknown. The final piece of Benjamin West’s vision for the Chapel, the altar painting of the Last Supper, was sold at auction in 1978.