Monumental Survey of Dutch Stained Glass Before 1795
When Vidimus readers return after their summer breaks, the fourth volume of the Dutch Corpus Vitrearum series will have been published. It is a colossal, richly illustrated, two-part survey of all stained glass pre-dating 1795 in public buildings in the Netherlands.
Although the Netherlands is famous for the windows of the St.-Janskerk (Church of St John) in Gouda, many more examples of the medium have withstood the ravages of time. In addition to the mainly post-medieval glass found in situ and dispersed panels in collections, the author, Zsuzsanna van Ruyven-Zeman, has drawn on excavated material, designs and other documentation to evoke the scope and beauty of the country’s now-lost glass.
Organized by province, this important study demonstrates the artistic pre-eminence of Holland from the mid-16th century until the early 18th century. There is a general introduction that provides an important history of Dutch glass-painting in English, as well as introductions to each province that highlight local trends, detailed catalogues of individual monuments, and three indexes that will cater for all needs. The author offers new insights into issues of patronage and the oeuvres of individual artists, be they all-round glass-painters working to their own designs, glass-painters co-operating with painters, or anonymous craftsmen catering for the average burgher. The work also highlights the international movements of patrons and artists, with discussion of issues relating to modern-day England, France, Belgium and Germany. English readers will be interested to read of the activities of Mary Tudor and William III outside England.
Zsuzsanna van Ruyven-Zeman has published extensively on Dutch stained glass, and is recognized as one of the foremost scholars on the subject. This book has been in preparation for many years, and its publication will mark a significant step forward in the field of glass studies.
Journal of Stained Glass
The latest issue of the British Society of Master Glass Painters’ Journal of Stained Glass has been published [Fig.4].
In this rich volume of articles Michael Peover and Kevin Rogers offer new insights into the glass at Strawberry Hill, while Elise Learner of Chapel Studios describes the conservation of Horace Walpole’s stained glass collection there [see Notes]. Anthony Symondson discusses Sir Ninian Comper and C.E. Kempe, and Peter Cormack provides a valuable account of Christopher Whall’s stained glass at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, Chelsea.
Other articles include a fascinating piece of detective work by Hugh Murray into the life of F. S. Eden (1859 – 1950) a prolific writer and illustrator of stained glass, particularly heraldry, in the first half of the last century [see Notes]. After cataloguing Eden’s publications and hand-to-mouth existence as a poorly paid artist, Murray reveals a series of surprises. They include Eden initially qualifying as a solicitor and then being jailed in 1899 for stealing from a client. Struck off as a lawyer, he changed both his occupation and name after his release from prison in 1904.
The achievements of Brian Clarke are highlighted by Emma Crichton-Miller and Carol Jacobs in two separate articles. Glenn Carter reviews new work by Fellows and Associates of the BSMGP in 2010.
Sale room reports and book reviews complete another interesting and well-produced volume.
For more information about Vol. XXXIV (2010) visit the BSMGP Website.
F. S. Eden’s 1927 privately printed The Collection of Heraldic Stained Glass at Ronaele Manor was featured in Vidimus 34.
New English Heritage Publication on Glass-working
Important new guidelines designed to help archaeologists recover, identify and interpret waste from the production and working of glass in Britain, from the Bronze Age to the early 20th century, have been published by English Heritage.
Apart from their practical value to archaeologists the guidelines are also an excellent resource for anyone interested in the history of window glass. There are informative chapters on glass production, a first-rate bibliography and a useful glossary.
The thirty-seven page booklet, entitled Archaelogical Evidence for Glass-working: Guidelines for Best Practice, can be downloaded as a free PDF from English Heritage here.