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Seven Ages of Man Stained-Glass Window

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Seven Ages of Man Stained-Glass Window


Nicola D'Ascenzo. Seven Ages of Man. Stained glass, 1932.

Located at the west end of the Gail Kern Paster Reading Room, the Seven Ages of Man window is by the Philadelphia stained-glass studio of Nicola d'Ascenzo (1871–1954). D'Ascenzo's numerous other works include windows at the Washington National Cathedral, the Yale and Princeton university chapels, and the memorial chapel at Valley Forge.


Although the Folger window he created is exposed to exterior sunlight, it is in an interior space and is not visible from outside the building. It is accessible to the general public once a year during the Shakespeare's Birthday Celebration in April.


At Henry Folger's request, D'Ascenzo modeled the stone tracery of the window after the apse window of Stratford's Holy Trinity Church. The stained glass within the stonework depicts the Seven Ages of Man that Jaques describes in As You Like It. Most of the "ages" that Jaques describes are self-explanatory. The sixth one, the pantaloon, comes from the Italian comedy character Pantalone, and refers to a feeble old man.


See the seven window panels up close, with Jaques's speech
Nicola D'Ascenzo. "Lover" from Seven Ages of Man. Stained glass, 1932.

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Explore the seven panels and Jaques's speech

The Plays: As You Like It

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