Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Jesse Window Definition

History and Architecture

Jesse Window

A common theme in medieval symbology was the Biblical 'Tree of Jesse', a representation of the family history of Jesus. The family tree supposedly began with Jesse, father of King David, as outlined in the Book of Isaiah. The Tree of Jesse was used in medieval stained glass windows, and such windows were naturally caled Jesse windows. The best surviving Jesse Window that I am aware of in Britain is the 13th century example at Selby Abbey, in Yorkshire.

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