The Peace Window
The Restoration
Maecenas World
Patrimony Foundation
Marc Chagall
Dag Hammarskjöld
Other Projects:
The Celestial Sphere
Le Reve de la Paix
The Peace Window
The History - The Bible Text - The Music - List of all Chagall windows

The 'Peace Window' was a gift from the United Nations staff memebers, as well as Marc Chagall himself, presented to the United Nations as a memorial to Dag Hammarskjøld.

The 'Peace Window' was dedicated to his memory on 17 September 1964, exactly three years after Dag Hammarskjøld, then the second Secretary-General of the UN, and 15 other people with him died in a plane crash.

In the centre the contours of the paradisiacal tree divide the panel in two parts. On the left side, in a peaceful universe, nude humans and animals float at random in blissful ignorance. Near to the tree's root is the snake. More to the top, a red bunch of roses, of which the base is formed by a nude male figure, catches the eye.

On the right side of the panel is an energetic group of human beings, which towards the right top corner amasses around the cross of Christ. The group appears to come from a walled city in the distance, one holding the lighted menora .

Above this city from the top part of the tree a large angle hands out the Ten Commandments. The right part of the panel centers on the fully clothed feminine figure. which bows towards the tree in grief. Behind her is a couple with a child. On the base of the tree is a small nude baby waiving at the spectator; its head possibly reflecting Marc Chagall's own portrait.

The Music

The musical symbols in the panels evoke thoughts of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which was a favorite of Dag Hammarskjøld. The panel itself inspired to music and dance.

The Text

Marc Chagall was inspired for the design of the 'Peace Window' by Isaiah IX, 1-6 .

Including the border the size of the window measures 358 cm high by 538 cm wide. Today, it is located in the Eastern side of the Visitors' Lobby of the United Nations Building.

The images from the window are inspired by the Bible text

Isaiah 9, 1 - 7
  1. Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
  2. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
  3. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
  4. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
  5. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
  6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
  7. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

List of all Windows by Marc Chagall

For a full description, please see 'Chagall, L'Oeuvre Monumental: Les Vitraux' by Sylvie Forestier, Jaca Books, Milan 1987.

  1. Assy, France
    Notre-Dame de Toute Grace
    1956 - 1957

  2. Moissac, France
    Eglise Abbatiale Saint-Pierre
    Chapelle du Saint Sacrement

  3. Metz, France
    Cathedrale Saint-Etienne
    1959 - 1960, 1962, 1963 - 1964, 1968

  4. Jerusalem, Israel
    Synagogue of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre
    1960 1962

  5. New York. USA
    UN Building, United Nations
    1963 - 1964

  6. Tarrytown, USA
    Pocantico Hills, The Union Church
    1963 - 1966

  7. Tudeley, United Kingdom
    All Saints Church
    1967, 1974, 1978

  8. Zürich, Switzerland Fraumünster
    1969 - 1970

  9. Nice, France
    Musée National Message Bibliotheque
    1971 - 1972

  10. Reims, France
    Cathedrale Notre-Dame
    1973 - 1974

  11. Chicago, USA
    The Art Institute
    1976 - 1979

  12. Chichester, United Kingdom
    Catherdral of the Holy Trinity
  13. Sarrebourg, France
    Chapelle des Cordeliers
    1976 1978

  14. Mainz, Germany
    Sankt Stephan Kirche
    1977 1984

  15. Le Saillant, France
    Eglise Paroissiale
    1978 1982

  © 2005 Maecenas World Patrimony Foundation