VAL D'AOSTA - Aosta
FILE : Cathedral 18
TITLE : St Stephen and a Devotee

LOCATION: Aosta, Cathedral, window nIV (choir window)

DIMENSIONS: window composed by 2 panels; h. 170 cms. x w. 78 cms.

PROVENANCE: original location in the choir, next to the Madonna and Child (the Saint is presenting a donor to Our Lady and the Infant)

CHRONOLOGY: end of the XV – beginning of the XVI century

AUTHOR: local school

PATRONAGE: Bartolomeo Pensa (?), parish priest in Saint-Etienne and magister fabricae of Aosta Cathedral from 1511.

SUBJECT: Stephen, deacon, protomartyr. 26 December first century. Stoned at Jerusalem. Represented as a young deacon martyr with a gentle expression in his eyes, wearing a red dalmatic, holding a book with stones on it. A devotee at his feet. The kneeling man dressed in a fur cloak has been identified as Bartolomeo Pensa by Orlandoni (1996). He is being presented to the Madonna Enthroned by St. Stephen, his hands joined in prayer. The background is covered with a richly patterned blue cloth.

CRITICAL NOTES: The stained glass window shows some of the stylistic and technical characteristics that can be found in the Madonna with carnations window ( see Aosta cathedral 12). The cloth recalls St. Gratus window, St. Jocundus window and Bishop De Prez window, whereas the creasy white alb is of northern influence. See Aosta cathedral 1, 4, 17)

CONDITIONS: The window has been recently restored. In 1997 the heavily damaged stained glass (lost panels, several breakings) was taken down and tranferred to Morandotti’s stained glass laboratory Milan. Many mending leads have been eliminated and substituted with resins; some tesseras have been repainted or replaced. The whole work has been documented with reports, graphic and photo surveys, also with a scheme of the previous integrations. The uncoloured frame is modern.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: see Bibl. Aosta Cathedral .

PHOTOGRAPHIC REFERENCE: Archivio CVMA Italia – Dono Mons. Garino

EDITOR: Emanuela Linda Cappa, May 2003