Gothic Windows for Sale in Paris

Two mid-thirteenth-century panels said to have come from the former Dominican church of St Bartholomew in Strasbourg will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s in Paris on 20 April. The panels show the Kiss of Judas and the Crucifixion. Both panels have estimates of EUR 50,000–70,000 ($67,000–93,000). [Figs 1 and 2]

Fig. 1. The Kiss of Judas.

Fig. 1. The Kiss of Judas.

The appearance of the panels is likely to stir considerable interest, as they are reputedly the only examples of glass from this church still in private hands, having entered the local workshop of glazier Albert Sigel in 1850 for restoration before being acquired by the grandmother of the current owner in 1909.

The attribution of the windows to the Dominican church was made in 2004 by Dr Françoise Gatouillat of the Centre André Chastel in Paris, who argued that the panels were originally part of a Tree of Jesse scheme installed before 1260. She also identified other panels as belonging to the same scheme in the St Lawrence Chapel in Strasbourg Cathedral, the Burrell Collection (Glasgow), the Württembergisches Landesmuseum (Stuttgart), and the Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame (Strasbourg). A sceptical view of this attribution can be found in Victor Beyer, Les Vitraux de l’ancienne église des Dominicains de Strasbourg, published in 2007, who, unlike Gatouillat, thought that only the St Lawrence Chapel glass could be said definitely to have come from the Dominican church.

Fig. 2. The Crucifixion.

Fig. 2. The Crucifixion.

The Dominican church at Strasbourg was founded in 1224. Before it was given over to Protestant worship in 1531, at least three glazing schemes are known to have been installed, the first dating to 1254–60, the second to between 1307 and 1347, and the third to the beginning of the fifteenth century. After the Reformation, the church was incorporated into the city university and used as a library. In 1833, a considerable amount of ancient glass from the church was bought by the city authorities and put into safe storage – a prescient decision, as the church was subsequently shelled in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war and demolished.

Further Reading

Victor Beyer, Les Vitraux de l’ancienne église des Dominicains de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, 2007

James Bugslag, review of Beyer in Journal of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, xxxiii (2009), pp. 152 –57

Francoise Gatouillat, ‘La verrière typologique de la première église des Dominicains de Strasbourg’, in Hartmut Scholz et al. (eds), Glas. Malerei. Forschung. Internationale Studien zu ehren von Rudiger Becksmann, Berlin, 2004, pp. 101–107

Charlotte A. Stanford, ‘Architectural Rivalry as Civic Mirror: The Dominican Church and the Cathedral in Fourteenth-Century Strasbourg’, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, lxiv/2 (June 2005), pp. 186–203

Lincoln Cathedral Stained Glass – Special Offer for Vidimus Readers

Fig. 1. Stained Glass at Lincoln Cathedral.

Fig. 1. Stained Glass at Lincoln Cathedral.

A new book on the stained glass of Lincoln Cathedral will be published in the autumn, and Vidimus readers can receive a third off the retail price if they pre-subscribe.

The contributors include CVMA author Professor Nigel Morgan, who will describe the medieval glass; Dr Jim Cheshire, who writes on the Victorian glazing; and conservation expert, Tom Küpper, the team leader of the cathedral glazing department. Over 100 photographs by Vidimus contributor, Gordon Plumb, will add to the book’s riches.

The book will cost £15 when published, but Vidimus readers can save a third off this price by pre-ordering copies before the 30th July. Please send a postal order or cheque (made payable to ‘Lincoln Cathedral Publications’) for £14.50 to ‘Stained Glass Book Offer’, Lincoln Cathedral Library, The Cathedral, Lincoln, LN2 1PX. The amount includes postage and packing.

Keith New (1926–2012)

Almost fifty years after the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral was consecrated by the Queen, the death has been announced of one of the stained-glass artists whose contribution to its rebirth remains one of the highlights of any visit.

Keith New (Hon FRCA, BSMGP) was born in London and studied graphic design at the Royal College of Art (RCA) before was conscripted to serve in the RAF towards the end of the Second World War. On his return to the RCA in 1948, he joined the stained-glass department led by the late Lawrence Lee (1909–2011), and in the 1950s was asked by Lee to design three windows for the nave of the new cathedral, a modernist building designed by Sir Basil Spence (1907–76).

After that, New’s commissions included windows for the Royal College of Physicians in London; Bristol Cathedral; All Saints Church, Isleworth; the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Tunbridge Wells; and Christ Church, Calgary (Canada). In 1958, he was commissioned to provide windows for Sir Christopher Wren’s church of St Stephen Walbrook, which had been badly damaged during the blitz. Unfortunately, these were subsequently removed and replaced with clear glazing during a later reordering of the church funded by the property developer Peter Palumbo (b.1935, created Lord Palumbo, 1991). After being stored in the London Stained Glass Repository (LSGR, see Vidimus 50), one of the windows, depicting the Conversion of St Paul, was acquired by the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral and inserted in the centre light of the top tier of openings in the north elevation of the north transept.

Fig. 1. Norwich Cathedral: the Conversion of St Paul, by Keith New.

Fig. 1. Norwich Cathedral: the Conversion of St Paul, by Keith New.

In 1999, Norwich Cathedral commissioned John Hayward (1929–2007) to make additional windows in this area of the church and asked him to take account of Keith New’s panel in designing his own. Hayward solved what night have been a potentially difficult stylistic problem by acquiring two more of New’s panels from St Stephen Walbrook, courtesy of the LSGR, to flank the first panel, and then designing three further panels that complemented New’s work in terms of colour and approach.

In later years, Keith switched to painting large landscapes of the British countryside using a mix of acrylic paint and oil pastel. He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, whom he married in 1953, and two daughters, Clarissa and Roxanne, to whom we send our condolences.

Sarah Brown Lecture

Sarah Brown, chairman of the CVMA (GB), will be speaking at the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass on 16 April, when the subject of her lecture will be the stained glass of León Cathedral.

For further information, visit the Worshipful Company’s website.