The Stained Glass of Herkenrode Abbey. By Yvette Vanden Bemden and Isabelle Lecocq. Hardback, 624 Pages; approx. 650 colour illustrations. (Oxford, Oxford University Press, estimated publication date: 02 December 2021), £160, ISBN: 9780197267189.
The sixteenth-century glazing from Herkenrode Abbey in Belgium constitutes the most significant body of Flemish stained glass in the world. In the early nineteenth century, an English aristocrat took advantage of the secularization of the monasteries on the Continent to purchase the abbey church’s glazing; glass from the abbess’s private chapel was acquired by another English aristocrat.
This account of the glazing, the result of a unique and fruitful collaboration between the Corpus Vitrearum in Great Britain and Belgium, has sections on the three locations in England where the glass is now located – Lichfield, Shrewsbury, and Ashtead – prefaced by a historical introduction on Herkenrode Abbey. It benefits from extensive research into artistic practice in the Low Countries (for art-historical context), draws on the rich documentation in the Lichfield Cathedral archives (for the glass’s reception in England), and presents the insights gained during recent conservation of the glass at Lichfield Cathedral (for the glazing’s execution and condition).