Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Théophile Bohl and the Chapelle St Martin in Haguenau

The Wikipedia [fr] short note on Tristan Ruhlmann indicates that he began his career in Haguenau in the studio or workshop of Théophile Bohl on the rue de la Ferme Falk. Bohl apparently (according to a couple of genealogy databases search engines turn up) was born in Haguenau on 1 August 1868 and died in Haguenau 7 December 1942. The visit guide to the Chapelle Saint-Martin prepared by the cultural services of the city of Haguenau also indicates that Bohl had his workshop on the rue de la Ferme Falk.

His windows for the Chapelle Saint Martin were made in 1924. Unlike more mosaicist artists of stained glass, Bohl painted the glass with oxides, which he then recooked (baked); a technique similar to glazing pottery (briefly described in Topic Topos note on his window depicting St Arbogast in the chapel of the Missions Africaines school in Haguenau, another very nice piece).

The Chapelle Saint Martin is the center of the hospital founded in Haguenau in 1329, rebuilt in 1614 after destruction in 1570, spared by the fire of 1677 yet replaced around 1759 by its present cupola-topped form. The round column is open at each of the upper floors (like the hall of a mall) so that patients too weak to move could hear the services.

Ruhlmann's Saint Martin

The hospital setting explains the choice of subjects for the windows. Saint Martin is central for his example of charity. The image of him offering his cloak is the work of Tristan Ruhlmann (1966) in a conventional style (as opposed to his modern glass and concrete slab technique) more in harmony with Bohl's images.

Bohl's Saints Anne and George

Saint George Saint Anne, in green for hope, in the company of the young Virgin.

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