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Window of the South Transept, 2007

Photo: © Gerhard Richter, Köln / Dombauarchiv Köln, Matz und Schenk

Window of the South Transept from Gerhard Richter

In 2007, the window in the façade of the south transept was reglazed according to a design by Gerhard Richter (b.1932). The artist applied a pattern comprising 72 different shades of coloured squares to the entire 106 square metres of window space to be glazed. The finished window contains 11,263 squares of genuine mouth-blown glass, each of which measures 9.6 x 9.6 cm. Richter used a specially developed computer programme to determine the random arrangement of the coloured squares in each of the panes. This arrangement was only calculated for one half of the window, the arrangement in the second half being a mirror image of the computer-generated arrangement. In other words, the arrangements in lancet windows 1, 2, and 4 are mirrored in lancet windows 3, 5, and 6 respectively. The individual character of the different areas of the window–the lower triforium area, the lancets, and the tracery at the top–is accentuated by subtle variations in shading.

The original south transept window, which was installed in 1863, depicted six standing figures: three holy (albeit secular) rulers and three sainted archbishops. Completely destroyed in the Second World War, the window was reglazed in 1948 using colourless, ornamental glass. Although this window was considered too pale from the time it was installed, it took 59 years to come up with and implement a colourful alternative.


Dr. Ulrike Brinkmann


Kulturstiftung Kölner Dom Das Generationenprojekt 11.000 Sterne für den Kölner Dom ZENTRAL-DOMBAU-VEREIN ZU KÖLN VON 1842 DOMKLOSTER 4