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image SG13

Saint Matthew?, stained glass panel, Netherlandish, c.1600

Clear glass with brown paint and yellow stain, much stippling of the dense brown paint and highlights scratched out

Height: 186 mm, approximate
Width: 150mm, approximate

Museum number: SG13

Curatorial note

Before a heavily draped window a bearded elderly man opens a book on a reading desk, with another large book under his right arm. A cherub, without halo, looks over his shoulder. Through the window can be seen a wooded landscape and the sky, dark with clouds. As an Evangelist, and traditionally the author of the first gospel, Matthew is frequently represented with, or writing, a book and is accompanied by a winged angel derived from one of the apocalyptic beasts. Here, the scene is presented with much dramatic chiaroscuro, the strong contrasts being obtained by bright highlights on the figures and curtain, and shadows cast from a light source behind the cherub.

The same representation is at St Lawrence, West Wycombe (Bucks.) which Cole describes as ‘An unidentified subject, late 16th / early 17th century’. Another version is in St Lawrence, Church Stretton (Shropshire). Berserik has suggested that a panel of St Luke, at All Saints, Feering (Essex), is possibly from a similar series.


William Cole, A Catalogue of Netherlandish and North European Roundels in Britain. Oxford: OUP for The British Academy, 1993.
Dr C. J. Berserik, correspondence. Sir John Soane's Museum Archive (1998-2002).
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 145

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