- Stained Glass in Wales: New Free Website
- Stained Glass From Lorsch Abbey: New Exhibition
- Stained Glass at The Naumburg Master exhibition
- Exhibition of Roundels in Heidelberg
- Seventeenth-century Painted Glass in Oxford
- Replica Fifteenth-century Painted Panel Displayed at Thornhill
Stained Glass in Wales: New Free Website
A fantastic new illustrated catalogue of stained glass in Wales is avaliable online.
The free website includes around 5,000 images of windows from over 350 sites in Wales, dating from the fourteenth to the twenty-first centuries.
It features the medieval windows at Gresford, the marvellous Jesse Tree window at Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch, as well as important sixteenth-century continental glass at Llanwenllwyfo, Aberpergwm and Llanarth [Figs 1 and 2]. It also includes windows by most of the large Victorian firms, such as Clayton & Bell, Morris & Co., Kempe and Powells, and work by some of the Swansea-trained artists who have become internationally recognised in the field of architectural glass.
The windows may be searched by date, subject, maker, and position in the building as well as by place name, dedication, county or type of building. Windows may also be searched by the biblical references that are either represented in the subject matter or given in the window, sometimes offering a subtext on the main scene depicted. As well as searching by a variety of combinations, there are browsable lists of artists and makers, locations and subjects.
Photographer and researcher Martin Crampin at the University of Wales Centre prepared the catalogue at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, with assistance from Nigel Callaghan of Technoleg Taliesin. The site is hosted by the National Library of Wales and has received funding from the University of Wales Welsh Industries Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust and the Friends of Friendless Churches. It also builds on the work done on the Imaging the Bible in Wales Project (2005–8), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
(all photos © Martin Crampin)
Stained Glass From Lorsch Abbey: New Exhibition
A new exhibition at the Museum Centre in Lorsch, 10 km east of Worms in the German Rhineland, features some of the most exciting stained glass in Europe. The exhibition is entitled Kloster Lorsch Vom Reichskloster Karls des Großen zum Weltkulturerbe der Menschheit (Lorsch Abbey: from Imperial Foundation of Charlegmane to Cultural Heritage Site for All). Jointly organised by the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt and the Administration of State Palaces and Gardens Hesse, the exhibition also includes other treasures from the former imperial abbey including manuscripts, architectural sculpture, and metalwork.
The glass was among hundreds of fragments found by the distinguished archaeologist, Friedrich Behn (1883 -1970), during excavations in the south-eastern part of the monastery in 1934. The discoveries included ornamental patterns, parts of a green dragon and pieces which have been reconstructed to form the head of a bearded saint. Together with fragments depicting feet and coloured clothes the finds may be part of a sitting or standing bearded saint, painted as early as the ninth-century [Figs 3 & 4].
The glass is thought to date from between the ninth and eleventh centuries. It could have been made for a ninth-century funerary chapel, or for the chapel which replaced it in 1052. Another possibility is that it was designed for the nave clerestory of the abbey church, which was rebuilt after 1090.
Other finds from the site shown in the exhibition include unpainted glass and ornamental grisaille, possibly from 1266.
The glass is discussed and illustrated in a separate chapter by Thomas Foerster in a sumptious catalogue of the exhibition (Kloster Lorsch: Vom Reichskloster Karls des Großen zum Weltkulturerbe der Menschheit). This book is in German, has 520 pages and currently costs £24.94 from Amazon Books
The exhibition is open Tuesday – Sundays 10.00 -17.00. It will close on the 29th January 2012.
For more information online.
Tel +49 (0) 6251-103820 +49 (0) 6251-103820
Fax +49 (0) 6251-587140
empfang [at] kloster-lorsch [dot] de
Stained Glass at The Naumburg Master exhibition
Important thirteenth-century stained glass is part of a new exhibition of medieval art in Naumburg, an ancient city in Saxony-Anhalt, 60km south-west of Leipzig (Germany). The exhibition is being held at several venues in the city including the cathedral and museum. It closes on 2 November.
Entitled Der Naumburger Meister (The Naumburg Master), the exhibition focuses on the output of an anonymous sculptor/architect who created a number of stunning works of art in the first half of the thirteenth century. His work can be seen at Noyon and Mainz cathedrals and includes the relief depicting the sharing of St. Martin’s coat in Bassenheim, the tomb slab of the Ritter von Hagen in Merseburg Cathedral, the statues in the choir and the octagon chapel of Meissen Cathedral and, above all, the unique west choir of Naumburg Cathedral with its Passion reliefs on the rood screen and life-like statues of benefactors to the church, including the founders of the Cathedral, the Margrave Ekkehard II, and his wife, Uta [Fig. 6].
Completed around 1250 the Naumberg scheme is particularly important for stained glass historians as the glazing of the five windows in the apse was conceived as part of an overall scheme for the choir which also included wall paintings [Fig. 7]. One of the major pluses of the exhibition is that it gives these glorious windows the recognition they deserve. Unlike the northern gothic influences which permeate the architecture and sculptures of the choir, the glass was painted in the so-called ‘Zackenstil’ or ‘jagged style’, which had its origins in Byzantine motifs and spread to northern and central Germany from the Rhineland. The two outer windows show individual figures of saints, while the inner three depict apostles overcoming enemies of the church and personifications of virtues triumphing over vices.
St Matthew is shown trampling King Hirtacus and St Thomas standing over King Mesdeus. St Matthew was believed to have converted the Ethopians. He was martyred by King Hirtacus after the saint said that it would be unlawful for him to marry a woman he wanted, Ephigenia, as she was already ‘married’ to Christ. St Thomas was said to have been ‘speared’ to death on the orders of the Indian king, Mesdeus.
Although neither story appears in the bible, they were popularised by apocryphal accounts such as the Historia Certaminis Apostolici written around 960 and wrongly attributed to Abdias, the first bishop of Babylon. Known to scholars as the Psuedo-Abdias, the manuscript purported to be an account of the lives of Christ’s apostles following the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. The stories also found their way into the Golden Legend, a compendium of saints’ lives compiled c. 1260 which became an international best-seller during the Middle Ages.
Ideas about virtue and vice were widespread in the medieval church. The vices had been listed by Pope Gregory the Great (d. 609) as behaviour which led to evil actions. While the list of virtues had a separate origin the fact that it also enumerated abstract qualities meant that the two subjects were often depicted in direct opposition.
The exhibition also compares the Naumburg stained glass to a selection of examples of stained glass elsewhere and to illuminated manuscripts of the period.
A full account of the glazing scheme, written by Guido Siebert, appears in the exhibition catalogue. A free English-language PDF guide to the exhibition is available under SERVICE (sub-menu: Information Material) at the official website.
The exhibition is organized by the city of Naumburg in cooperation with the United Chapters Foundations of the Cathedrals of Merseburg and Naumburg and the collegiate Chapter of Zeitz and held under the generous auspices of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Angela Merkel, and the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy.
For more information, opening details of opening times and admission charges visit the website.
English translations are available.
We are extremely grateful to Guido Siebert for his help with this item.
Exhibition of Roundels in Heidelberg
Sixty-five fifteenth- and sixteenth-century roundels and additional Swiss panels can be seen in a new exhibition at the Museum für Sakrale Kunst und Liturgie in Heidelberg (south-west Germany). The roundels belong to Dr Klaus Tiedemann. They are illustrated and discussed in his excellent Gemalt auf Glas & Licht (Painted on Glass and Light) catalogue published in 2009, see Vidimus 29.
Seventeenth-century Painted Glass in Oxford
An important weekend course on seventeenth-century century painted glass in Oxford will be held in the city in May next year.
Organised by the University’s Department for Continuing Education in association with the Ecclesiological Society and the Stained Glass Research Centre at the University of York, the course will include lectures by art and architectural historians, religious historians and conservation experts. There will also be guided visits to key Oxford Colleges.
Oxford played a crucial role in the revival of glass painting in the first half of the seventeenth century as many churchmen tried to create a ‘beauty of holiness’ as part of the rituals of worship. Artists whose work survives in the city include the Emden-born painters Bernard and Abraham van Linge, as well as English figures such as Richard Greenbury.
The course takes place between Friday 11 May and Sunday 13 May 2012 at Rewley House. Wellington Square, Oxford. Further information, including details of fees and the programme, can be found here.
Replica Fifteenth-century Painted Panel Displayed at Thornhill
Previous issues of Vidimus have traced Jonathan and Ruth Cooke’s conservation of important fifteenth-century painted and stained glass at the parish church of St Michael and All Angels at Thornhill in West Yorkshire
As part of this project Jonathan Cooke recently created a replica cartoon of one of the original panels showing St Michael weighing souls, and the entry of the Blessed into the Heavenly City.
He has now produced a painted glass panel of this cartoon which has been loaned to the church as part of an ongoing programme designed to promote discussion about the best way to conserve the original glass [Fig. 12].
The panel will subsequently feature at an exhibition of Jonathan’s work at Lotherton Hall, near Leeds, later this year.
For more information about Thornhill parish church visit the website.