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A Radiant Last Judgement in Magdalen College Chapel: A History of the West Window across Four Centuries.

I. Introduction

The West Window of the Last Judgement in the Antechapel of Magdalen College has survived many perils since it was first installed in 1640. An exemplary specimen of monochrome painted glass from Stuart Britain, the West Window exists today thanks to the coordinated efforts of artisans and members of the College across centuries.


Iconoclasm, violent storms, wartime bombing, and neglectful storage have all threatened the Last Judgement glass at different times in its history. Fittingly for an artwork devoted to the Christian promise of resurrection, however, the West Window has been revived multiple times, including through large-scale restoration projects. This online exhibition — the companion to an exhibition in the Longwall Library at Magdalen in Autumn, 2023 — draws together archival records, artworks, and printed books from the College collections. It was created together with Magdalen students at the undergraduate and graduate levels (Veronica Fu, Leif Hammer, and Eden Smith), as well as with staff across the College Archives, Chapel, and Libraries.