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  • image SG32

Cybele in her chariot (Earth), stained glass roundel, Netherlandish, c.1600

Clear glass with a number of varying yellow stains with grey paint and bright red, blue and green enamels

Height: 255mm
Width: 250 mm

Museum number: SG32

Curatorial note

One of a set of related related panels with SG33, Jupiter, SG35, Pomona (Ceres) and SG36, Pluto, illustrating classical deities often used as representations of one of the four elements. All four are set in wreaths of dark green laurel leaves with fruit and a pair of masks. The enamels are particularly bright, of a depth of colour not often found in Netherlandish work and more usually associated with Swiss glass painters such as Christoph Murers. Popham suggested an attribution to Marten de Vos, c.1570, but the designs are not included in Hollstein's volumes of his work.

Cybele, wears a deep blue dress and rides her chariot, drawn by two lions whose heads are turned towards her. She rides over a bank of clouds from right to left over a verdant landscape. She wears a grey turret on her head and carries a sceptre aloft in her right hand. Her flowing scarf gives a sense of speed and movement. Cybele was the ancient Phrygian earth mother, a goddess of fertility. The landscape is finely detailed showing a broad blue river and banks of trees on low hills. The finely modulated yellow stains of the lions and chariot create modelling and a sense of volume.


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, pp 170, 172

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