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Kölner Dom Domfenster

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Found” Line-sestina: Cologne Cathedral’s Stained Glass Window, Gerhart Richter, 2007

Domfenster Zoom by Gerhart Richter at the Köln Dom

It could have well been placed in a mosque or a synagogue.
Cardinal Meisner, archbishop of Köln, objecting to the commission of the window.

construction began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete
a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief
used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft
could have well been placed in a mosque or a synagogue
the brightly coloured square panes were arranged randomly
a deconstruction not of the abstract but of coherent representation all together

a deconstruction not of the abstract but of coherent representation all together
construction began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete
the brightly coloured square panes were arranged randomly
a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief
could have well been placed in a mosque or a synagogue
used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft

used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft
a deconstruction not of the abstract but of coherent representation all together
could have well been placed in a mosque or a synagogue
construction began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete
a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief
the brightly coloured square panes were arranged randomly

the brightly coloured square panes were arranged randomly
used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft
a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief
a deconstruction not of the abstract but of coherent representation all together
construction began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete
could have well been placed in a mosque or a synagogue

could have well been placed in a mosque or a synagogue
the brightly coloured square panes were arranged randomly
construction began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete
used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft
a deconstruction not of the abstract but of coherent representation all together
a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief

a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief
could have well been placed in a mosque or a synagogue
a deconstruction not of the abstract but of coherent representation all together
the brightly coloured square panes were arranged randomly
used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft
construction began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete

Sources consulted:

Each line is a direct quotation from material found in one of the above sources. Based on the sequence of the first stanza, attribution is as follows:

line 1: Wikipedia Article on Kölner Dom
line 2: ibid, attributed to an article retrieved from uensco.org in 2010.
line 3: ibid
line 4: Flickr user melekalikimaka (Tom Morgan), quoting Cardinal Meisner, archbishop of Köln.
line 5: www.gerhard-richter.com (click link for exact sub-page referenced). The entire sentence reads “Some of the brightly coloured square panes were arranged randomly, while others were selected in response to the architectural context.”
line 6: ibid. The exact quotation reads “A deconstruction not of abstract painting but of coherent representation all together.”

photo credit, window of cathedral: Flickr user melekalikimaka (Tom Morgan)
image credit, sestina spiral: Wikipedia user ZooFari.

I have made a good faith effort to credit all sources, and believe I have used all material in accordance with the various representations made on the sites and conventions with respect to fair use. The Flickr image of the window is hot-linked because the site invites one to do so.

I doubt I’m the first person ever in the history of the universe to think of arranging entire unaltered lines in the sequence of a sestina, but I’m not aware of the technique being documented elsewhere.

Abstract art is harder to create than it looks.

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  1. October 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    I love this. Fascinating!

  2. October 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I agree it’s fascinating and a completely irrelevant to you piece of information Gerhard Richter is one of my favorite artists.

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