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image SG113

Sheltering the strangers, stained glass oval, after Maerten van Heemskerck Netherlandish, c.1600

Clear glass with brown paint, yellow stain

Height: 228mm
Width: 175mm

Museum number: SG113

Curatorial note

To the right, a bearded man standing in an open doorway welcomes a pilgrim who steps up to meet him and grasps his hand. The pilgrim wears a cockleshell on the front of his hat and carries a gourd, a wallet and a staff. Behind him stand two other pilgrims in an archway, one carrying a staff. Inside the doorway is a man sitting on a bed (partly obscured).

The panel is after Maarten van Heemskerck in an engraving by Dirk Volkertsz. Coornhert, Sheltering the Strangers, No. 4 in a series of Six Acts of Mercy (dated 1552 on No. 1). The roundel omits the upper floor over the left doorway and part of the figure sitting on the bed is cropped on the right. A drawing based on the print would probably been used in the glass painters workshop as the cartoon. The outlines of the figures have been emphasised so as to facilitate copying and the shading simplified. The glass painting in this panel has been further simplified, but a version illustrated in the exhibition catalogue Images in Light: Stained Glass 1200-1550 (London: Sam Fogg, 2002, Cat. 50) is very close to the cartoon drawing.

Other versions of this scene are at St Mary, Addington (Bucks.), and with less detail at St Lawrence, Church Stretton (Salop.) and at Oxburgh Hall (Norfolk). SG59 and SG60 are two other scenes from this series.


Walter L. Strauss, ed., The Illustrated Bartsch. New York: Abaris, 1980 LV, 039.4
Dr C. J. Berserik, correspondence. Sir John Soane's Museum Archive (1998-2002)
William Cole, A Catalogue of Netherlandish and North European Roundels in Britain. Oxford: OUP for The British Academy, 1993, 52, 519, 1426
F. W. H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts ca. 1450-1700. Amsterdam: Rijksmusem, 1949– VIII, 165
The New Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish Etchings Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700. Rotterdam: Sound and Vision Publishers, 1993– 333
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, pp 248-250

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