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image SG65

Scene from the life of Saint Teresa: the vision of Christ, stained glass panel, after Adriaen Collaert, Netherlandish, 17th century

Clear glass with brown paint

Height: 265mm
Width: 205mm

Museum number: SG65

Curatorial note

Christ appears in a mandorla of radiance holding a staff and accompanied by two angels and a flying putto. Saint Teresa kneels before him with outstretched arms while two putti hover above her. Lattice work fills an arched window opening in the background.

The panel is after an engraving by Adriaen Collaert, printed by Joannes Galle 1630, in the series Vita St Virginis Teresiae...', Plate 10. The text follows that of the engraving in its entirety: Per tres annos continuo ferè Christum Dominum a dextris suis/ gloria praefulgidum conspicit, ipsumquae suauia haec verba, "Filia iam tota mea es, et ego totus tuus", hisque similia, magno/ cum amoris indicio proferentem audit. A speech ribbon from Christ reads Filia, iam tota mea es, et ego totus tuus. The glass painter has expanded the composition upwards to produce an arched top by completing an arch in the rear wall and extending other features. The floor has been given painted tiles. This is one of a series which includes SG 61, SG63, SG65, SG67, SG68, SG86, and SG110. SG91 presents another scene from the cycle but in a different format.

The octagonal lantern in the Breakfast Room retains seven of its original eight glazing panels with subjects set within colour glass borders. Five of these depict scenes from the life of St Teresa of Avila, the other two illustrate biblical subjects from the lives of Joseph and his brother Benjamin. Soane, in his 1830, 1832 and 1835 editions of the Description says In the Dome is an octangular [sic] Lantern with eight scriptural subjects, surmounted by a bell-light.

Teresa of Avila was born in 1515, died in 1582, and was canonised in 1622. She experienced many visions, some ecstatic and heavenly, others with devilish temptations, and she frequently heard voices. The most famous vision of the Saint was the piercing of her heart, or transverberation, by an arrow held by an angel, a scene immortalised by Bernini as St Teresa in Ecstasy in the Cornaro Chapel, Rome. Her story was well documented in her lifetime and there are extant portraits of her from life. The stained glass panels are copied from a series of prints by Adrien Collaert, based closely on her life and documented appearance, which were published in 1630. One of these, SG63, shows her levitation during the celebration of Mass which, despite causing her some embarrassment, did not prevent the bishop bringing his friends to witness the event. In another scene, SG67, she is shown writing while the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove speaks into her ear.

Literature

The complete series of 24 plates in the Witt Print Collection, Courtauld Institute Galleries, London, which is dated 1630 on the title page. Hollstein IV, Adriaen Collaert, 230-248, lists nineteen plates and a frontispiece dated 1613
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, p. 193


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