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image SG94

A bishop saint in armour, Saint Gereon?, stained glass panel, German, c.1600

Clear glass with brown paint, the painting is monochromatic

Height: 275 mm
Width: 145mm

Museum number: SG94

Curatorial note

Wearing armour under his cloak, the bearded Saint holds a pastoral staff in his left hand and in his right hand holds a staff with an implement at the end (possibly a hay fork?), usually an instrument of martyrdom.

Examples in the Rhineland of images of Bishop-saints wearing armour include St Gregory and St Gereon. According to some accounts the latter was martyred in Cologne by beheading and thrown into a well. The background of the panel shows a river with a landscape of hills with a town and castle or church.

The narrow windows at E and W ends of the South Drawing Room loggia originally contained a set of ten sepia panels depicting bishops and saints c.1600 set within ball enrichment and coloured glass borders of which SG94 is one. Both windows were severely damaged by bomb blast in September 1940 and boarded up from that time until 1951. In that year, Powell’s repaired the W window, incorporating into it the three surviving subject panels (SG92, SG94 and SG95) from the E window and the one surviving panel from the W window (SG101), along with a panel with an inscription recording these alterations. Surviving fragments of the border of the E window were used in the repair of the W window which explains the truncated ‘ball’ pattern on some of the horizontal strips. The E window was re-glazed with clear plate glass. In 1992 the stained glass borders to the E window were re-created by Philip Crook, Vitrail Studios, Newcastle, as part of the restoration of the front façade of the Museum.

The style of the glass-painting in this series of panels is similar to two panels depicting St Helena and a Bishop-saint, which are thought to come from Cologne, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. There are also similarities with panels of a Bishop-saint and St Wendelin (?) from the Middle Rhineland in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, and a panel of Kaiser Karl der Grosse in the Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt

Literature

Heinrich Oidtmann, Das rheinische Glasmalerei von 12 bis 16 Jahrhundert. Vol 1: Cologne, 1912; Vol 2: Dusseldorf, 1929
Bernard Rackham, A Guide to the Collections of Stained Glass, Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Department of Ceramics, 1936 C 54, 56-1919
Suzanne Beeh-Lustenberger, Glasgemälde aus Frankfurter Sammlungen. Frankfurt: Verlag Waldemar Kramer, 1965 Inv. 13445b
Suzanne Beeh-Lustenberger, Glasmalerei um 800-1900 im Hessischen Landesmuseum in Darmstadt. Frankfurt: Hans Peters Verlag, 1973 Inv. Kg 30:24, Inv. Kg 31:20
Catalogue of the Stained Glass in Sir John Soane's Museum, Special Issue of the Journal of Stained Glass 2004, pp 227, 229


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