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image SG109

A vision with horseman and scaffolding, the fall of the Tower of Babel?, workshop of Dirk Piertesz. Crabeth, Netherlandish, 1560

Clear glass with black paint. Two tones of yellow stain

Height: 260mm
Width: 210mm

Museum number: SG109

Curatorial note

In this dramatic and enigmatic scene, a man on a rearing horse points upwards to a celestial vision of which only the lower rays can be seen. In front of him lie two wounded or dying men clad in tight jerkins, with the head and arm of a third just visible. To the right is a brick building with scaffolding which is collapsing and from which a man falls head-first A naked child on his side lies on the ground next to an arrow, watching the scene. The background shows a pool from which protrude a pair of hands. The costumes are those of ancient Rome.

Popham gave a date of 1560 with which Berserik agrees, attributing the piece to the workshop of Dirk Piertesz. Crabeth of Gouda. This panel shows Crabeth moving away from the influence of Jan Swart, as in SG30, The Marriage at Cana, towards a more dynamic style with bold outlines and agitated poses. Another example of Crabeth’s fully mature style can be seen in SG126, Baalam and the Ass. A fuller analysis of Crabeth’s style is given by Husband.

Literature

A. E. Popham’s comments are MS notes in pencil held at Sir John Soane’s Museum, c.1930
Dr J. C. Berserik, Niet-monumentaal gebrandschilderd glas en ontwerpen uit Leiden, ca. 1480-1545, een catalogues. University of Leiden, 1982
Timothy B. Husband, The Luminous Image, Painted Glass Roundels in the Lowlands, 1480-1560. New York: Metropolitan Museum, 1995 pp. 198-211
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 242


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