Schnütgen Museum Reopens to the Public

New exhibition hall with stained glass. Photograph by Kerstin Ziehe.

Fig. 1. New exhibition hall with stained glass. Photograph by Kerstin Ziehe.

Panels from Altenburg Abbey. Photograph by Kerstin Ziehe.

Fig. 2. Panels from Altenburg Abbey. Photograph by Kerstin Ziehe.

Magnificent examples of German medieval stained glass have gone on show in the newly reopened Schnütgen Museum in Cologne.

More than fifty-five panels from the Romanesque to the Renaissance are on display. Highlights include windows from the sixteenth-century Life of St Bernard scheme formerly in the cloisters of Altenberg Abbey, a window from the Carmelite church at Boppard-am-Rhein, a superb window from Cologne Town Hall and many interesting roundels. [Figs.1 and 2]

The display was designed and supervised by leading conservator and CVMA advisor, Dr Ivo Rauch. The installation was undertaken by members of the Cologne Cathedral stained glass workshop. The descriptive captions were written by the eminent stained glass scholar and Acting Director of the Museum, Dr Dagmar Täube.

Further Reading

For a catalogue of the Museum collection see:

  • B. Lymant, Die Glasmalereien des Schnütgen-Museums: Bestandskatalog, Cologne, 1982

For the catalogues of two major exhibitions at the Museum see:

  • H. Westermann-Angerhausen et al, Himmelslicht: Europäische Glasmalerei im Jahrhundert des Kölner Dombaus (1248–1349), Exhibition catalogue, Cologne, 1998
  • D. Täube, Rheinische Glasmalerei. Meisterwerke der Renaissance, exhibition catalogue, two volumess, Cologne, 2007

Further Information

For further information see the Schnütgen Museum website.

Don’t Miss Fantastic Offers on CVMA Publications!

In conjunction with the Oxford University Press and the British Academy we are offering Vidimus readers exclusive recession-busting discounts on recently published CVMA volumes!

They include Penny Hebgin-Barnes’ recently published The Medieval Stained Glass of Cheshire, and its companion volume on The Medieval Stained Glass of Lancashire; David Kings’ exemplary, The Medieval Stained Glass of St Peter Mancroft, Norwich; Tim Ayers’ majestic two-volume study of The Medieval Stained Glass of Wells Cathedral; Thomas French’s pioneering The Great East Window of York Minster, and Kerry Ayre’s invaluable Medieval English Figurative Roundels.

These exclusive online offers expire on 31 December 2010.

For more details of these unmissable opportunities, please see the OUP website.

Exhibition of Mariawald Abbey Glass at Hungate Medieval Art Centre

Detail of St Christopher, formerly Mariawald Abbey. © Julia Cameron.

Fig. 1. Detail of St Christopher, formerly Mariawald Abbey. © Julia Cameron.

A small exhibition of important sixteenth-century German Renaissance glass from the nearby parish of St Stephen has opened in the Hungate Medieval Art Centre in Norwich. Accompanying explanatory notes have been contributed by the CVMA author, David King.

The glass was made originally for the church of the former Cistercian Abbey of Mariawald, south-west of Cologne, and installed in the east window of St Stephen’s church during the nineteenth century.

It is currently being cleaned and conserved after its removal from the church last year following subsidence damage to the east wall (see Vidimus 33).

As panels become available for display, they will be shown one at a time


David King writes:

The Cistercian abbey of Mariawald in the Eiffel region of Germany, south-west of Cologne, was founded in 1480 as a daughter house of Bottenbroich on the Kermeter hills between the rivers Urft and Rur. The reason for its foundation was the growing number of pilgrims coming to venerate an image of the Virgin Mary, for whom a wooden chapel had been built in 1479. The Cistercians were given the task of building a monastery on the mountain to care for the pilgrims, although this went against the normal practice of the order, which was accustomed to build its monasteries in valleys. Between 1480 and 1486 the conventual buildings were constructed and in 1487 the name ‘nemus Mariae’, ‘Mariawald’ in German, was given to them. From 1492 the wooden chapel was replaced by a stone building under Abbot Johannes von Köln, the choir being completed by 1505, the date of some of its windows.

On 11 November 1511 eleven altars were consecrated. The west window was given in 1513 before those on the south side of the nave, which was not consecrated until 1539.

Some of the windows of the cloister can be dated between 1522 and 1540. The east wing was built in 1540 and the south one in 1563. The north and west wings were rebuilt in the baroque style in the seventeenth century.

The French Revolution of 1789 and the Napoleonic Wars which followed led to the dissolution of many religious institutions in France and the Rheinland and the dispersal of their stained glass. The abbey of Mariawald was dissolved on 2 April 1795 and a few days later an inventory was made of the contents. There is some confusion in the sources, but it would appear that at an auction of the monastery goods in 1797/8 the windows of the church, chapter house and cloister were sold to an unknown buyer or buyers and then resold to an English purchaser, presumably John Christopher Hampp (1750–1825), a German-born merchant who lived in Norwich and who, in partnership with another Norwich businessman, William Stevenson, went to the continent and acquired a large amount of medieval and Renaissance stained glass from churches, monasteries and dealers, at this time.

Between them the two men held a number of sales of displaced glass in London in 1804, 1808 and 1814, supplying many of the great collectors of the period.

Stevenson was born in about 1750, trained as a miniature painter with the artist, Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792) and moved to Norwich to exercise his trade. From 1795 he was proprietor of the Norfolk Chronicle and in 1799 was sheriff of the city. In 1812 he produced a new edition of James Bentham’s History of the Cathedral Church of Ely and contributed frequently to the Gentleman’s Magazine and Nichols’s Literary Anecdotes. He also had a stationer’s shop in the city. Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1801, he died after a long illness at Surrey House, Norwich, on 13 May 1821 and was buried at St Stephen’s, Norwich, on 21 May.

William Stevenson was also responsible for helping a number of churches to acquire glass or to rearrange their own glass. For example, shortly before 1815 he organised the arrangement of most of the medieval glass of Norwich, St Peter Mancroft, in the east window there. Previously it had been in the largely invisible side windows of the chancel. He lived in the parish of St Stephen and in 1799 had given to the church a figure of St Stephen which was placed in the centre of the east window. This must have been a panel of local medieval glass and not the figure of a bearded Apostle which now normally occupies that position.

That the five panels from Mariawald which usually adorn the upper half of the east chancel window at Norwich, St Stephen’s were brought to the city by Hampp and Stevenson is as certain as we can be without direct documentary proof, but when they arrived cannot be precisely ascertained. They were probably provided without intermediary by either William Stevenson, or his son Seth William Stevenson (often confused with his father), perhaps as a gift, as both men lived in the parish and are buried in the church. Stevenson died in 1821, when the glass remaining in his house was auctioned; perhaps the Mariawald glass was given at that stage as a bequest or as a gift from Seth.

Apart from the panels at St Stephen’s, other glass from Mariawald can be seen elsewhere in Norfolk, at the parish churches of St Andrew, Hingham; St Peter, Kimberley; and St Mary Magdalen, Warham St Mary.

More glass from Mariawald can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, King’s College, Cambridge, a private residence in Scotland and in two locations in the USA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Portsmouth Abbey, Rhode Island.

The first of the panels to be shown at Hungate depicts an image of St Christopher. [Fig. 1]

According to legend, the giant St Christopher carried the Christ Child on his back across a river, and this is how he is shown in this panel.

Behind the figures at the top of the panel an interior with a leaded window can be seen and the left side of an arch frames the scene. They stand against a blue cloth hanging. At the bottom, however, the saint wades through the water, an incongruity which would not have troubled the medieval mind.

Below the saint on a shield are the arms of Manderscheid and Blankenheim (not displayed). These identify the glass as coming from the third window from the east on the south side of the abbey choir, given in 1506 by Dietrich, Count of Manderscheid and Blankenheim and lord of Schleiden and Neuerberg.

St Christopher was a popular saint who was thought to protect travellers, but also thought to help ward off the plague. There had been a serious outbreak in Germany in 1498 and monks in enclosed communities were particularly at risk.

Further Reading

  • B. Wolff-Wintrich, ‘Stained glass in the former Cistercian monastery of Mariawald, Eifel, Germany’, in the Journal of Stained Glass, Vol. XXXII, 2008, pp, 10–48
  • To see other images from the church of St Stephen, Norwich, see the CVMA website and the Norfolk Stained Glass website.

Clayton & Bell Exhibition at Harrow School

A fascinating exhibition of the work of the stained glass designers and makers, Clayton & Bell, at Harrow School has opened in the school’s Old Speech Room Gallery. It will close on 17 March, 2011. Displays include designs for stained glass lent by members of the Bell family and information about windows made for the school by the firm.

Founded in 1856 by Richard Clayton (1827–1913) and Alfred Bell (1832–95) the firm soon became one of the leading makers and designers of stained glass in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Important examples of their restoration of medieval windows can be seen at the parish church of St Michael at Doddiscombsleigh in Devon. (see Vidimus 10).

After the death of its founders, the firm continued to function under the ownership of the next three generations of the Bell family, John Clement Bell (1860–1944); Reginald Otto Bell (1884–1950; and Michael Farrar-Bell (1911–93).all of whom went to Harrow and made windows for the school. Other notable alumni of this well known school on the north-west edge of London, include Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965) and the playwright, Sir Terence Rattigan (1911–977).

Admission to the exhibition is free. Visitors are advised to telephone for further information, including dates of School holidays, exeats and other closures. Telephone: 020 8872 8205/8021/8000.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated A4 24-page catalogue, price £4, including p&p from the above telephone number.

Marc Chagall Windows Return to Art Institute of Chicago

Marc Chagall, America Windows (detail), 1977. © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Fig. 1. Marc Chagall, America Windows (detail), 1977. © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

A gift of Marc Chagall, the City of Chicago, and the Auxiliary Board of The Art Institute of Chicago, commemorating the American Bicentennial in memory of Mayor Richard J. Daley.

Important windows by Marc Chagall (1887–1985) have been restored to public view at the Art Institute of Chicago after being removed in 2005 for safekeeping during extensive building works to the museum.

Known as the America Windows, the scheme was conceived by Chagall in 1974 during a visit to Chicago. They were installed in 1977. [Fig. 1]

The America Windows celebrate the American Bicentennial, and commemorate Mayor Richard Daley, who died in 1976. Chagall created them in collaboration with the French stained-glass artist Charles Marq, who fabricated 36 coloured glass panels to Chagall’s specifications. Chagall himself painted his design onto the glass using metallic oxide paints. The windows are more than eight feet high and thirty feet wide. They contain images of familiar American icons and references to Chicago.

News in Brief

Stained Glass Museum Lectures

An interesting Lecture organised by the Stained Glass Museum at Ely will take place on Tuesday 23 November when Lucy Purvis, Archivist and Project Manager for the G. King and Son Ltd Archive Project at Norfolk County Records Office will speak on : The G. King & Son collection at Norfolk Record Office. The talk will take place at the Babylon Gallery, Waterside, Ely, beginning at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5.

For more information see the Stained Glass Museum website.

University of York Autumn Lecture on 23 November by Sebastian Strobl

Professor Sebastian Strobl, FMGP, ACR, of Erfurt University, (Germany) and vice-chairman of the International Conservation Committee of the Corpus Vitrearum, will speak on ‘From Plumber to Conservator: The Story of Stained Glass Conservation’ at the University of York on 23 November.

Organised by the University’s Department of History of Art, the lecture has been arranged by the MA in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management team in association with the Stained Glass Research School.

The Lecture will start at 5.15 pm in the Lecture Theatre (K/133), The King’s Manor, York.

Members of the public are welcome to attend. Tickets price £5, are available from Pam Ward, Postgraduate Administrator, Centre for Conservation, The University of York, The King’s Manor, York YO1 7EP, Tel: 01904 433997; or email: pab11@

Please make cheques payable to ‘The University of York’ and send no later than Monday 15 November.

Mike Dixon exhibition in Norwich

An exhibition by the accomplished stained glass photographer and Vidimus contributor, Mike Dixon, has opened at the Hungate Medieval Art Centre in Norwich. Called Stained Glass – Beyond the Medieval, the exhibition features photographs of stained glass made between 1600 and the 1980s. It has been funded and organised by Norwich Heritage Projects, a voluntary not-for-profit organisation. The same team produce the Norfolk Stained Glass website.

For more information about the exhibition see the Hungate website or the Norfolk Stained Glass website.

Vacancy for Conservator

The York Glaziers Trust is seeking a new conservator to join their team based in the historic city of York. The person appointed will work on the conservation of York Minster’s Great East Window, one of the most exciting and ambitious conservation projects of its kind in Europe. The salary will be in the region of £17,500 – £25,500, depending upon qualifications and experience. For further information and an application form, contact or telephone 01904 557228. For more information see the York Glaziers Trust website.

Salisbury Cathedral Glazing News

Vicky Burton receives her formal document marking the end of her four year apprenticeship at Salisbury Cathedral from Mark Elcomb (R) watched by Sam Kelly (L) in the Chapter House at Salisbury Cathedral.

Fig. 1. Vicky Burton receives her formal document marking the end of her four year apprenticeship at Salisbury Cathedral from Mark Elcomb (R) watched by Sam Kelly (L) in the Chapter House at Salisbury Cathedral.

Vicky Burton of Salisbury Cathedral’s specialist Glazing Department has successfully completed her four year glazing apprenticeship and recently received the formal documentation marking this accomplishment from Mark Elcomb, Chapter Clerk. [Fig. 1]

Sam Kelly, the Glazing Department Manager, said ‘It’s a real achievement for Vicky to have completed the apprenticeship. It’s not easy being a professional glazier at a Cathedral. Like learning many professional skills, what looks easy at first sight is only achieved through years of learning and practice.’

Over the four years of her apprenticeship Vicky has learnt restoration and new lead light making, restoration of existing stained glass, on-site skills of removal and reinstatement of glazing in various materials, and basic knowledge of conservation of medieval glass.

Vicky will now spend a year following the Icon Conservation Technician programme on-site but with an external mentor.

For more information about the medieval stained glass at the Cathedral see Vidimus 23.

Conservation Research Fellowship

Applications are being sought from stained glass conservators and others for the 2011 Clothworker Conservation Fellowship.

A grant of up to £80,000, over two years, is available to a UK institution to enable an experienced conservator (employed by that institution) to pursue a research project. During their sabbatical their post will be covered by an externally recruited junior conservator. The grant will meet the salary and on-costs of the junior conservator, and the project costs of the work undertaken by the senior fellow.

The deadline for applications is: Friday 4 March 2011.

For full guidelines and an application form see the Clothworkers’ Foundation website.

Reader’s Query

Reader’s query.

Fig. 1. Reader’s query.

A reader has asked if anyone can identify the glass depicted in this drawing. Please send replies to editor@

‘Gilding the Lilly’ Exhibition at Indiana University Library

An important exhibition of 100 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts belonging to Indiana University, Bloomington, has opened at the university library. The exhibition will close on 18 December 2010.

A catalogue of the exhibition has been written by Dr Christopher de Hamel, Donnelley Fellow Librarian at Corpus Christi University of Cambridge, who has also curated the event. Copies of the catalogue, Gilding the Lilly: A Hundred Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts in the Lilly Library (Phaidon Press), are priced upwards from $50 for a perfect bound softback edition. Copies can be obtained from, or at, the Friends of Art Bookshop,, 812-855-1333.

For more information about the exhibition, see the Indiana University website.

Name that Roundel!

Name that Roundel!

Fig. 1 Name that Roundel!

This month’s puzzle comes from a south aisle window (sIV) in the parish church of St Michael at Begbroke (Oxfordshire).

It measures 22.8 cm and has been dated to c.1525. It consists of black paint with light and dark yellow stain.

The panel shows a woman driving a spike (?) into the head of a sleeping man. He wears armour. She wields a mallet/hammer.

Behind the main figures a battle scene and assorted soldiers can be seen.

What subject does it show?

Roundels and other single panels of this period typically depict a range of subjects, including stories from the Old and New Testaments, the Lives of saints, and tales from ancient history and classical literature, such as Homer’s Odyssey. Moral themes can also appear.

The solution can be found at the foot of this month’s Books section.



Monday, 15 November: Worshipful Company of Glaziers Lecture, 6. 45 p.m. Painton Cowen – ‘Lesser known Medieval masterpieces in England and France’. For more information see the Worshipful Company of Glaziers website.

Tuesday 23 November: Professor Sebastian Strobl, FMGP, ACR, of Erfurt University, (Germany) and vice-chairman of the International Conservation Committee of the Corpus Vitrearum, will speak on ‘From Plumber to Conservator: The Story of Stained Glass Conservation’ at the University of York. See our main News page for more details.

Tuesday 23 November: Stained Glass Museum Autumn Lecture ‘The G. King & Son collection at Norfolk Record Office’ by Lucy Purvis, Archivist and Project Manager for the G. King and Son Ltd Archive Project, at the Babylon Gallery, Waterside, Ely beginning at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5.



Until 28 November: France 1500: The Pictorial Arts at the Dawn of the Renaissance at the Les Enluminures Gallery at the Le Louvre des Antiquaires, 2 Place du Palais-Royal, Paris.

Until 2 January 2011: The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy; forty sculptures from the tomb of John the Fearless (1371–1419), the second duke of Burgundy on loan from the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. For exhibition details see the excellent exhibition website.

Until 2 January 2011: Medieval Glass for Popes, Princes and Peasants at The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. This is an exhibition of vessel glass. For more information see the Corning Museum website.

Until 10 January 2011: France 1500: Entre Moyen Age et Renaissance, at the Grand Palais in Paris. For more information see the Grand Palais website.

Until 10 January 2011D’or et de Feu: (Out of Gold and Fire, Art in Slovakia at the end of the Middle Ages), at the Musée National du Moyen Age (Cluny Museum), Paris. The exhibition features panel paintings, sculptures and manuscripts from medieval Slovakia. For more information, see the Musée National du Moyen Age website.

Until 17 January 2011: Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Until 17 January 2011: Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA

Until 22 January 2011: Renaissance Art and the Devotional Imagination; Meditations on the Life of Christ, at the Museum of Biblical Art, New York. The exhibition consists of panel paintings, and manuscript illumination made throughout Europe between 1250 and 1550. Exhibits include the sixteenth-century Flemish altarpiece known as the Stein Quadriptych displaying sixty-four scenes from the life of Christ by the illuminator Simon Bening. For more information see the Museum of Biblical Art website.

Until 6 February 2011: Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands, Getty Museum of Art.

Until 27 February 2011: The Glory of the Painted Page, medieval manuscript illuminations from the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA.

Until February 2011: Four Ancestors of Christ (First part of a rolling exhibition); Canterbury Cathedral.

Until 17 March 2011: Clayton & Bell, Leading Stained Glass Designers and their Work at Harrow School; Old Speech Room Gallery, Harrow School, London.

Until 2013: Vitraux de la Renaissance à Chartres at the Centre International du Vitrail, Chartres. For more details see the Centre International du Vitrail website.


From 16 November 2010 – 6 February 2011: Imagining the Past in France, 1250–1500, Getty Museum of Art.

From 13 Feb – 5 August 2011: Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.

From 16 February – May 2011 : Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, National Gallery, London. Curated by Maryan Ainsworth; with catalogue. Previously at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (see above).

From 27 February – 30 May 2011: Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France, The Art Institute of Chicago. Previously France 1500: Entre Moyen Age et Renaissance in Paris.

From 23 June 2011 – 10 September 2011: Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe, at the British Museum, London.

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