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Probably originally from Soissons Cathedral in France, the stained glass panel shows the bust of a regal figure, perhaps an Old Testament king or a royal saint, wearing a yellow crown and with a halo in red. The original parts of the face are in pink and the hair is a distinctive greenish white. His cloak is red, while his robe has a jewelled border in mid-blue. He is framed by two shafts of yellow against a background that was originally grey blue. There is an outer border of red to either side.

The panel is believed to have come from the clerestory of the cathedral choir, which was brought into use in 1212. It is likely to have been set in the side windows, which contained two tiers of enthroned figures, including prophets and apostles.

Donors to the clerestory windows included King Philip II of France (d.1223). In 1882, glass was taken out of the clerestory prior to restoration – much was never returned.

The choir of Soissons Cathedral was one of the first buildings to include the giant clerestory windows characteristic of High Gothic architecture. The design is likely to have pre-dated even that of Chartres Cathedral and the scale of such windows would revolutionise stained glass production in the first half of the 13th century.

The total cost of the work was £110,000, additional funding coming from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and other benefactors.