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image SG129

Saint Bridget and other saints, stained glass panel, Netherlandish, c.1600

Clear glass with brown paint

Height: 232mm
Width: 181mm

Museum number: SG129

Curatorial note

St Bridget is named S. BIRGITTA in script above her head. She wears a nun's habit and kneels on a flower-strewn hummock. From her chest six vines grow, leading to flowers holding demi-figures named GUDMARUS, BENEDICTUS, BIRGERUS, CAROLUS, MERITA, S CATHARINA, INGEBURGIS, CAECILIA. Above, the Virgin and Child sit on clouds and Jesus holds an banner inscribed: Hanc religionem ad honorem Matris meae per mulieres primum et principaliter statuere volo. I found this order in honour of my Mother, first and foremost for women. (Transcript and translation provided by Ulla Sander Olsen). Below St Bridget is another inscribed banner: Filia Joachim quae est Mater Dei vult esse pro Matre Liberis Vlphonis et Birgitta. The verse at the base of the panel, neatly taken out of the brown matt, reads: Terrum nacta bonam Fructum feci orta gemellum Creuia(?) Plebem crescoq(?) Christe fu?? Bridget of Sweden is often shown kneeling before a vision of the Virgin and Child and her religious life was guided by her visions. The reason for the choice of demi-figures is not clear, though she bore a large family before entering the Church and founding the Order of Bridgettines.

The scene is reminiscent of engravings by Wierix and Collaert, although Popham suggested an earlier date of 1500. Ulla Sander Olsen points out that the design of the panel is based on a print at the Birgittankloster in Altomünster near Augsburg.

Literature

A. E. Popham’s comments are MS notes in pencil held at Sir John Soane’s Museum, c.1930.
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 274


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