BSMGP Conference and Lecture
The autumn conference of the British Society of Master Glass Painters (BSMGP) offers a cornucopia of delights for stained glass lovers. Based at Lincoln University campus, the weekend will include visits to the cathedral workshop and the fifteenth-century Browne’s Hospital in Stamford, and excursions to Tattershall, Heydour and Carlton Scroop. Visits to churches (such as Ruskington and Sleaford) with important Victorian glass by artists including Morris & Co., Burne-Jones and Kempe, will complete what promises to be a fascinating – and jolly – weekend for enthusiasts of every period.
Speakers and guides include Tom Küpper from the Lincoln Cathedral workshop, CVMA (GB) Project Committee member Dr Penny Hegbin-Barnes, and Martin Harrison, the author of several books on Victorian stained glass. For further information about the weekend, including a full list of the excursions and how to book a place visit the BSMGP’s website.
For a preview of some of the medieval stained glass that will be seen, browse the images of Carlton Scroop, Heydour and Lincoln Cathedral on the CVMA (GB)’s website.
Penny Hegbin-Barnes, The Medieval Stained Glass of the County of Lincolnshire, CVMA (GB) Summary Catalogue 3, Oxford, 1996
Richard Marks, The Stained Glass of the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, Tattershall (Lincs.), New York – London, 1984
N. J. Morgan, The Medieval Painted Glass of Lincoln Cathedral, CVMA (GB) Occasional Paper III, Oxford, 1983
This year’s autumn lecture for the British Society of Master Glass Painters will be held on Friday 19 October, 6.30 for 7p.m. at the Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London, WC1. Sarah Brown MA, FSA, Hon. FMGP and Chairman of the CVMA (GB) will be speaking on ‘The Judge, the Traitor, his Wife and Her Lover: the Medieval Glass of Tewkesbury Abbey’.
Admission is by ticket only. For further details email the BSMGP, or telephone 01582 764834.
S. Brown, ‘The Medieval Stained Glass’, in R. K. Morris and R. Showsmith (eds), Tewkesbury Abbey: History, Art & Architecture, Logaston, 2003, pp. 183–96
New Series from the German CVMA (Freiburg)
The German CVMA (Freiburg) has just published the first volume in a splendid new series of beautifully illustrated studies of stained glass in particular churches. Written by Ivo Rauch and Hartmut Scholz, Sankt Peter zu Köln (‘The Church of St Peter, Cologne’) describes the outstanding Renaissance glass in the historic Cologne church, which was reopened in 1960 after suffering massive damage during the Second World War.
Most of the glass in St Peter’s was made between 1528 and 1530. Similarities in composition and design have linked the panels to the artistic circle around Bartholomäus Bruyn (1493–1555), a famous Renaissance artist who produced altar paintings and portraits in the city during the early sixteenth century.
The second volume in this Meisterwerke der Glasmalerei (‘Masterpieces of Glass Painting’) series, Der Altenberger Dom, will focus on the surviving stained glass at Altenburg Abbey. Best known in England for its cloister scheme depicting incidents from the life of St Bernard (see Vidimus 6, April 2007), this Cistercian Abbey also retains extremely important glass in its main church. At the eastern end, late thirteenth-/early fourteenth-century grisaille patterns of leaves and geometric designs fill the choir and ambulatory windows, while elsewhere the west window glows with figurative glass made around 1400. Apart from examining these schemes, Der Altenberger Dom will also describe two panels in the cloister from a life of St Bernard cycle, possibly from St Apern, a daughter house of the abbey, and discuss the discovery of ten panels scattered throughout German museums that have recently been identified as belonging to a typological scheme from the same cloisters; all traces of the scheme were thought to have been lost entirely.
‘Discovering the Alternberg typological windows was very exciting’, Dr Scholz told Vidimus. ‘Although one of the panels (now in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg) was assigned to Altenberg by Christian Geerling, one of the best-known collectors of stained glass in early nineteenth-century Cologne, nobody believed his attribution. Yet when we consulted seventeenth-century descriptions of the glass and compared the shape of the panel(s) to the window stonework (recorded in 1821 before the cloisters were destroyed), the match was perfect.’
Forthcoming volumes in the same series will include studies of glass in Nuremberg, Marburg and Oppenheim. To buy a copy of Sankt Peter zu Köln, visit our Books page.
The German CVMA is based in Freiburg and Potsdam. For CVMA (Freiburg) click here, and for CVMA (Postdam), click here.
Burrell Collection Tour
As part of a summer series, there will be a guided tour of the famous stained glass collection at the Burrell Collection Museum in Glasgow on Tuesday, 28 August at 1p.m. The lecturer will be Mr Malcolm Shaw.
For a history of the collection, see Richard Marks, Burrell: A Portrait of a Collector, Sir William Burrell 1961 – 1958, Glasgow, 1983
Linda Cannon, Stained Glass in the Burrell Collection, Edinburgh, 1991
William Wells, Stained and Painted Heraldic Glass: Burrell Collection, Glasgow, 1962
William Wells, Stained and Painted Glass: Burrell Collection, Glasgow, 1965
A major exhibition of Renaissance art from the Tuscan city state of Siena will open at the National Gallery in London on 24 October and run until 13 January 2008. The show will feature paintings, manuscript illumination, ceramics and sculpture by artists such as Francesco di Giorgio and Domenico Beccafumi. The city’s greatest icon, a painted, life-sized wooden statue of St Catherine of Siena, one of Italy’s two patron saints, and carved by Neroccio de’ Lanci in the fifteenth century, will also be displayed; this will be the first time that the statue has left Siena in more than 500 years. For further details, visit the National Gallery’s website.
Although none of the city’s stained glass will be exhibited, readers of Vidimus can view a thirteenth-century window in Siena Cathedral, executed to designs by Duccio di Boninsegna on line at the website of the Banca Ipermediale delle Vetrate Italiane.
CVMA (GB) Grant News
The CVMA (GB) has recently received a grant from the Marsh Christian Trust. The Trust has generously made the grant not towards a specific project, but towards the CVMA’s work in general. We will be putting the money to good use, and look forward to working with the Trust in future.
Return to Chastity in Marston Bigot
In the previous issue of Vidimus (8, June 2007) attention was drawn in the Feature article to panels of glass representing scenes from the life of St Bernard and other subjects at Marston Bigot (Somerset). Roger Rosewell highlighted the panels’ rather problematic nature, in terms of iconography, interpretation and provenance, but the Revd John Hodder, a careful reader of Vidimus, contacted us to point out that at least one issue can be resolved.
In the Feature article, two of the panels illustrated were the scene of the Two Spies bearing Grapes (Fig. 10), and a panel of a demi-figure holding a scroll inscribed ‘In ecclesiis benedicte deo domino de fontibus Israel’ (Fig. 11). The latter was identified in the caption as a ‘prophet’, but the scene of the Two Spies bearing Grapes in the block-book edition of the Biblia Pauperum of c.1460 was accompanied by a half-figure of King David, holding a scroll inscribed with the same words as the Martson ‘prophet’, a fact already noted in the text.
Revd Hodder points out that the two Marston panels are probably directly connected, as in the block-book, and notes that in his study of Somerset glass Christopher Woodforde, an early pioneer of stained glass research, implied that the Marston demi-figure could also be the psalmist King David, who wrote the text on the scroll (Psalm LXVII, 27, best translated as ‘In the churches bless the God the Lord from the fountains of Israel’).
Last Call for Cologne
Time is running out to catch the spectacular Rheinische Glasmalerei: Meisterwerke der Renaissance exhibition at the Schnütgen Museum in Cologne before it closes on 29 July. More than 12,000 visitors have already taken this once in a lifetime opportunity to see 119 magnificent Renaissance stained-glass panels from the monasteries of Altenberg, Mariawald, St Apern and Steinfeld reunited for the first time since they were dispersed over 200 years ago. Guido van Bral, a Vidimus subscriber, kindly provided us with some more images from the exhibition.
After the exhibition there will be an international symposium to discuss questions and ideas arising from the show. The September issue of Vidimus will include a special feature on the exhibition. For further information about the exhibition, revisit Vidimus 8 (June 2007) and the Schnütgen Museum’s website.
CVMA (GB) Database Updates
Work continues on the CVMA (GB)’s database. The dating of the nineteenth-century glass from Norfolk continues, and we shall soon be expanding the number of images from the Liverpool Museum, a treasure trove of material.
Readers will have noticed from the title of this issue of Vidimus that it covers both July and August: the team is taking a break over the summer! We will be back in September