Upper Subject: Angel at the Empty Tomb
Description: Window was reported to be in position by the Daily Star in an article on March 28, 1908
Donor: Wistar Wallace was responsible for this window through his will and for investment in what would become the Wallace Library just across George Street.
Upper Inscription: “Now Is Christ Risen From The Dead And Become The First Fruits Of Them That Slept” (1 CORINTHIANS 15:20).
The Resurrection subject of this window is the same as The Resurrection Angel at the Empty Tomb. The window depicts the shock of the tomb being open and Jesus not being there. As with that window, the story is told through the Gospel of Mark.
The figures are positioned differently than in our empty tomb window (“Three Women at the Tomb”) and they are solitary – there is no comforting between Salome and Mary mother of James. Mary Magdalene is on the left with the longer hair. Mary the mother of James is traditionally depicted in blue and she is praying. Salome is carrying the anointing vase perfumes and ointments to perform their own rites on Jesus’ body in preparation of burial, traditionally performed by Jewish women. The angel is clearly male and adheres to Mark’s account wearing robes of white but is not seated. However, there are overtones of the book of John with Mary Magdalene as she is reaching out to touch the angel as she will try to do with Jesus. Mary the mother of James clearly has the most disbelief. The angel is the center of attention as compared with the other window where it was split between the Angel and Mary Magdalene. As it is, there is less dramatic tension.
Mary the mother has a halo and is praying fitting Luke’s account of a praying woman. Salome is transfixed, staring at the vacant tomb, in shock while at the same time comforting Mary the mother. They function as important witnesses of the event. At the bottom of the window is the white burial garment, more vases and white flowers which may be lilies.