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  • image SG31

Saint Paul, stained glass panel, German, early 17th century

Clear glass with brown paint, yellow stain

Height: 212mm
Width: 111mm

Museum number: SG31

Curatorial note

The Saint is heavily bearded and stands supporting an open book with his right arm and holding a sword in his left hand. Twisting and looking to his right, he poses on a platform before a round-headed niche which is decorated with small cartouches in the spandrels. There is much dramatic use of heavy shadows to define the depth of the niche and the deep folds of his robes. The panel is inscribed S. PAULUS on the niche floor. The influence of early Baroque artists such as Beccafumi is apparent, which may indicate a south German provenance.

Two related panels of St Luke and the Virgin and Child are in the Chapel of Farleigh Hungerford Castle (Somerset). They have similar stances, technique, lettering, and spandrel decoration and are considered by Cole to be German in origin.

Engravings depicting a Saint standing before a dark, round-headed niche are found in the work of the fifteenth century German Israhel van Meckenem (died 1503), and were widely influential.

This is a companion piece to Saint Andreas, SG25 and the missing panels Saint John the Baptist and Saint Matthias.


A Description of the Residence of Sir John Soane, Architect. Limited edition published privately, London 1835, p. 57: In the window [of the Shakespeare Recess] are ten compartments of ancient Painted Glass, among which are the Annunciation, the Prodigal Son, the Raising of Lazarus, the Last Supper, St Peter, St Paul, St Andrew and St Matthias
F. W. H. Hollstein, German Engravings Etchings and Woodcuts 1400-1700. Amsterdam: Riijksmuseum, 1954– XXIV, XXIVA 290, 291
Walter L. Strauss, ed., The Illustrated Bartsch. New York: Abaris Books, 1980
William Cole, A Catalogue of Netherlandish and North European Roundels in Britain. Oxford: OUP for The British Academy, 1993
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, pp 162, 169

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