This is one of four windows that decorated Samuel H. Kress’ home at 1020 Fifth Avenue in New York City, which was designed in the style of an Italian palazzo. The majority of Birmingham’s Renaissance and Baroque paintings also came from the Kress collection. The De Matteis firm, founded in 1859, was the first stained-glass company in Tuscany to produce reproductions of Renaissance and medieval windows for restored churches, public buildings and private homes.
The four windows are variations of those made in the mid-sixteenth century for the Certosa del Galluzzo, the Carthusian monastery outside of Florence. The central medallions in these stained glass panels depict four of the most salient events in the life of St. Bruno (about 1030-1101), the founder of the Carthusian order at Chartres, France. Three of the windows represent miracles from the funeral of Raymond Diocrès, Bruno’s teacher at the cathedral school of Notre Dame in Paris. During his own funeral, Raymond raised his head and called out three phrases, each referring to the judgment of God.
Raymond’s miraculous words inspired Bruno to retreat from the world and follow a life of asceticism. The fourth episode represents the dream of Hugo, the Bishop of Grenoble, who saw seven stars of gold fall to his feet and then fly through the sky to the Desert of Chartreuse, the predestined location of the first Carthusian house, where Bruno would settle.