General Information about the Jesse Tree Window

Jesse Trees were common in twelfth and thirteenth century manuscripts, murals, sculpture and stained glass. They represent the genealogy of Christ, since they depict  the Virgin Mary as descended from Jesse, the father of King David. This was seen to fulfill a prophecy in the book of Isaiah (11:1) "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of his roots" Most Jesse trees have at their base a recumbent Jesse with a tree growing from his side or navel. On higher branches of the tree are various kings and prophets of Judah. At the top Christ and Mary are shown. Sometimes the Virgin holds the infant Jesus. At Saint Denis, however, Mary is shown in the register below Jesus. Jesus is surrounded by seven doves, which probably symbolize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesse Trees were often associated with the cult of the Virgin Mary, since they show her to be of royal blood. 

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