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image SG36

Pluto and Cerberus with the instruments of war (Fire), stained glass roundel, Netherlandish, c. 1600

Clear glass with a variety of yellow stains, brown paint, red, blue and green enamels

Diameter: 255mm

Museum number: SG36

Curatorial note

One of a set of related related panels with SG32, Cybele, SG33, Jupiter and SG35, Pomona (Ceres), 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.

Pluto reclines naked on a grassy bank with his three-headed dog Cerberus, his two-pronged rake in his right hand and the leash of Cerberus in the other. Instruments of war lie in the river Styx at his side, including a cannon and musket, both being discharged, and a cannon ball. He stares at the wall of hell-fire and smoke in front of him. Pluto was the god of the Underworld and consequently represents Fire.

Literature

Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, pp 171, 173


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