Saint Paul, the Louisiana Window
One of the first Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios’ stained-glass works of art installed in the memorial chapel is the Louisiana window portraying Saint Paul, also known as Saul of Tarsus, who was a Jewish lawyer and convert to Christianity. He is depicted holding a sword, symbol of the martyrdom he suffered under Nero. The seal represented in the window is that of the famed Washington Artillery of New Orleans. This organization of soldiers was part of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia; thirty members of the group are buried in Blandford Cemetery and thus the window is dedicated in their memory. It was unveiled to the public at the Ladies Memorial Association’s 1904 commemoration of the June 9, 1864, Battle of Old Men and Boys, which marked the beginning of the almost ten-month siege of Petersburg in 1864-65.
The Louisiana window is the only one in which the entire area behind a saint is composed of a single piece of landscape glass rather than individual pieces of glass in mosaic-type patterns. The overall impression is striking and effective. The green tones in the glass panels blend into each other resembling the colors of a mountain scene. — Martha Wrenn Briggs, The Compass Windows of Old Blandford Church
In the contract with the Tiffany Studios for the Louisiana window, the cost was $350, with a $35 fee for “sash protection, freight and setting.” This was the standard charge for each of the now priceless compass windows installed in the church between 1904 and 1912.
Blandford Church is now managed by the Petersburg Preservation Task Force and is open for tours on Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., with the last tour each day at 4:00 p.m. After you visit Blandford, consider dining and shopping in Old Towne. Visit any of these websites to help you determine where to go and what to do next:
Restaurants: visit http://petersburgpreservationtaskforce.com/tourism/restaurants/
And remember, Virginia is for Lovers! Visit us at www.virginia.org or @virginia.org
Written by Zanspace for The Petersburg Preservation Task Force.
Featured image provided by Petersburg Preservation