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image SG127

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary being converted?, stained glass oval, school of Jan de Caumont at Leuven, Netherlandish, 17th century

Clear glass with black and brown paint, yellow stain and red, blue and green enamels

Height: 237mm
Width: 197mm

Museum number: SG127

Curatorial note

An old hermit, bearded and with his rosary hanging from his belt, stands before his humble thatched dwelling. He greets a woman Saint wearing rich robes and a golden crown who is accompanied by a well-dressed maid in an elaborate head-dress who clasps her hands. This enigmatic scene has received a number of interpretations. Popham suggested ‘St Theodosus after Martin de Vos (presumably engraving)’, and Spiers listed it as A Legend of St John Crysostum. However, David O’ Connor has commented that it could well represent Saint Elizabeth of Hungary being converted. This seems the more likely, her crown symbolises her royal birth and she is seen being welcomed by a Franciscan monk, the order she entered as a nun. Related in both style and execution to SG114, Saint Elizabeth giving Money to a Beggar, there she has assumed the dress of a nun but retains her crown. These two panels appear to form a pair, although SG114 is after a print by Jan Wierix and the subject of this panel is not in the standard collection of Wierix prints.

The bright fresh enamel paints, particularly the red of the Saint’s cloak and the blue of the maid’s dress, the drawing of the greenery and its varied colouring produced with yellow stain over blue enamel paint, the clear distinction of the digits and the form of the composition are typical of the style of Jan de Caumont or his School at Leuven (Louvaine). See SG114 for another example of this School.

Literature

P. V. Maes, ’Oud Leuvens Brandglass in Engeland’, Arca Lovaniensis 1 (1972):189-201.
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, pp 270-271


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