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image SG112

Madonna and Child in Glory, stained glass panel, Bavaria, South Germany, 1490-1500

Clear glass with dark brown paint with much shadow, yellow stain rays with orange beneath the moon, a matt overall

Height: 300mm
Width: 222mm

Museum number: SG112

Curatorial note

The Virgin in Glory is bare-headed with long fair wavy hair and stands on a crescent moon holding the naked infant Jesus with her right arm. She holds a fruit (an olive? symbol of peace) in her hand. The Virgin is dressed in a loose robe with deep folds and a bodice. She is surrounded by a corona composed of wavy rays which in turn is surrounded by an undulating border. The figures are taken from a larger panel, probably one in which angels hold a crown above the Virgin's head.

This composition, along with the Presentation of the Virgin became very popular in the Middle Ages and is based on a scene described in the Apocalypse of Saint John, ‘a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.’ A complete example of a similar composition from Nuremberg dated 1520 is in the Historisches Museum, Frankfurt, although Becksmann is of the opinion that the Soane version is not typical of Nuremberg and dates it at 1490. Popham dated the panel 1520/30. Another German version of the late fifteenth century is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue Images in Light: Stained Glass 1200-1550 (London: Sam Fogg, 2002, Cat. 23).

Literature

A. E. Popham’s comments are MS notes in pencil held at Sir John Soane’s Museum, c.1930
Suzanne Beeh-Lustenberger, Glasgemälde aus Frankfurter Sammlungen. Frankfurt: Verlag Waldemar Kramer, 1965, 54
Professor Dr. Rudiger Becksmann, Personal communication, 2003
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 112


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