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  • image SG103

The Virgin and Saint Anthony of Padua with the Christ Child, stained glass panel, German, Rhineland, late 17th or early 18th century

Clear glass with black lack and brown paint, yellow stain rim, orange stain, blue and red enamels

Height: 250 mm
Width: 215mm

Museum number: SG103

Curatorial note

St Anthony wears a chasuble and mitred cap and holds a lily in his right hand, while the naked infant Jesus perches on his crooked left arm. The Virgin wears a small crown on the side of her head and is gorgeously attired. She holds a sceptre in her left hand, with her right hand outstretched. They stand on a flat plain with a distant tree and hillock and rays of light stream through the delicately modelled clouds.

Popham remarked on the influence of Rubens which is apparent in the elegant poses of the figures and in their costumes, and these characteristics, together with the low horizon and rendering of the clouds, are found in panels of pairs of saints in a number of German museums. These are: in the Historisches Museum in Frankfurt, a panel of St Peter and St Dorothea from the Rhineland dated 1713; two panels in the Schnütgen Museum in Cologne, one of St John the Baptist with St Catherine of Binoni, and one of St Paul and Mary Magdalene, both dated 1723 and from the Pfarrkirche at Olef von der Eifel; and in the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt a panel of St Ludwig and St Christina from Schloss Mespelbrunn in the Middle Rhineland, thought to be c.1600. Suzanne Beeh-Lustenberger has suggested that the Rubens-like figures derive from the St Sebastian altarpiece by Johann Hulsmann in St Gereon’s church in Cologne of 1635, in which case the date of the Darmstadt panel would be 1630-1640. Cole suggested that the date 1723 in the Cologne panels may be from a later addition but one of the saints depicted, St Catherine of Binoni, was not canonised until 1712.

In England, a related pair of saints, St Peter and St Margaret, can be found at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Berwick on Tweed, while two related panels, St Francis and St Dominic and St Joseph and the Christ Child, are in the Chantry Chapel of Farleigh Hungerford Castle (Somerset). A single figure of St Anthony holding the infant Jesus, also related to this group, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In the Schnütgen panel of St John the Baptist and St Catherine of Binoni, the figure of the Baptist is identical to the single figures in Farleigh Hungerford, dated 1728, and in Longleat House, Hornsingham (Wiltshire). The Longleat panel also has the characteristic low horizon, modelling of the clouds and panel format of an arched rectangle with yellow stain rim.

Popham suggested the saint in SG103 might be St Francis Xavier, who is usually represented as dark haired and bearded, but here this saint is clean-shaven and blonde. See also SG77, SG87, SG105, SG133 and SG135.


Bernard Rackham, A Guide to the Collections of Stained Glass, Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Department of Ceramics, 1936 C57-1919
Suzanne Beeh-Lustenberger, Glasgemälde aus Frankfurter Sammlungen. Frankfurt: Verlag Waldemar Kramer, 1965 Inv. X 17073
Suzanne Beeh-Lustenberger, Glasmalerei um 800-1900 im Hessischen Landesmuseum in Darmstadt. Frankfurt: Hans Peters Verlag, 1973 Inv. Kg 31:19
William Cole, A Catalogue of Netherlandish and North European Roundels in Britain. Oxford: OUP for The British Academy, 1993 165, 644, 654, 657, 952
Brigitte Lymant, Die Glasmalerei des Schnütgen Museums. Köln: Das Museum, 1982 M 352-354
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, pp 234, 235

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk