Saturday, April 2, 2011

Winged Lion Window

Found this stained glass beauty in the stairwell leading to the balcony of the church. The heavy black leading really made the warm yellow and golden orange colors pop.

The winged lion caught my eye. That's a new bit of Christian iconography for me. I have no idea what it means. Lion angels???

There was a lamb in an upper section of the window. I have a vague notion that the lion and the lamb go together somehow, but the lamb didn't have wings.

Why does the lion have wings? Can someone enlighten me?

Update April 9, 2011

Received a booklet from the church explaining the symbols in this window. The winged lion represents the Gospel of Mark. The dove is actually a winged eagle, representing the Gospel of John. Apparently the lamb did have wings, but he wasn't a lamb, he was a calf or ox representing the Gospel of Luke. Somewhere higher up there was a winged man, representing the Gospel of Matthew.


freebird said...

From googling I find that this could be a griffin, part of Greek mythology. They took the strong parts of several animals to show a being that was stronger than the norm. Perhaps this is a symbol for Jesus who is God and man combined. Just a guess as I couldn't find more. It wouldn't be the first time a non-Christian symbol became a Christian one.

I like the angle of your picture. And so nice and bright!

Kamala said...

The Winged Lion is the Symbol of St. Mark. Reason you see it in Venice.

Speck said...

Kamala - Thanks! I had no idea. I learn something new every day!