Glowing with translucent brilliance in gemlike colors, a 25-foot-high stained-glass window in a small, shadowy bay of the superb Gothic cathedral of the Episcopal diocese of the City of New York (left) pays a tribute in ecclesiastical art to the world of sport. Its eight large medallions contain Biblical characters engaged in celebrated feats of strength and courage (see page 48). The lesser medallions depict the modern sports of bowling, auto racing, swimming, figure skating, sculling, tobogganing, sailing and bicycling. Vignettes along the sides show other figures of young modern athletes. Done in the great tradition of 13th century French stained glass, the window rises above a small altar, near which the names of sports' immortals will be graved in stone.
Esau the hunter and Jacob wrestling with the Angel are shown in this large detail of the lower half of left lancet of the great sports window in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Small medallions show (from bottom) bowling, auto racing, swimming. Clockwise (from lower left) vignettes are of boxing, ice hockey, baseball, basketball, football.
COURTESY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
THE LEGEND OF ST. HUBERT
Once upon a time, during the Middle Ages, a young nobleman courtier of Belgium went into the forest of Ardennes, as he often did, to hunt. His reputation as a fearless and skilled huntsman was second to none, but this day he searched the forest for many hours before he sighted his first stag. Suddenly it stood before him—a magnificent creature, bearing a crucifix in its antlers. The young nobleman was so moved by this heavenly manifestation that he immediately renounced his worldly pursuits and entered a monastery. He later rose to a great eminence in the church, and since his death in 727 A.D. has been venerated as St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunters. Albrecht D√ºrer's beautiful engraving (left) records the awesome moment of his vision.