1 Madonna of the Flowers
1899, Sarah Guild Memorial Window
Signed at lower right: Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company
Window 2 is to the left, towards the entrance
The Madonna is depicted in the company of two unworldly youths, similar to the personifications of the Beatitudes on the balcony level. Each holds a musical instrument— one a set of pipes, the other a violin and a bow. Instead of portrait of a specific mother, this figure embodies the universal qualities of the feminine and motherhood. She is enthroned by flowers— lilies on the lower left and a vine of passionflowers on the right. Pink blossoms cascade from a flowering tree; bright magenta accents present an ideal example of Tiffany’s confetti glass technique. These floral elements encircle the Madonna, forming an oval-shaped halo, and the overlapping of figure and flora may be regarded as emblematic of man and nature’s spiritual interconnectivity. The border is comprised of a continuous trellis embraced by flora and vines, a theme and variations that run throughout this window series.
This is the oldest of the Church’s windows, donated by Curtis Guild after the death of his wife, Sarah Crocker Cobb Guild. Curtis, a publisher, advocated for preserving the Boston Common after a local business proposed buying the land. Their son, Curtis Guild, Jr., served as the Governor of Massachusetts (1906-1908) and Ambassador to Russia under the Taft Administration (1911-1913).