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King David

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Lower Rhine (Germany) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1521 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Clear and coloure glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by E.E. Cook

  • Museum number:

    C.236-1928

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 50b, The Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery, case WN

This panel is one of many in the V&A that comes from the cloisters at Mariawald. These panels come from ten windows on the west and north sides of the cloister, plus one from the north end of the eastern part. The glazing of these cloisters began about 1510 and seem to have been completed in the 1530s.

Mariawald was a Cistercian abbey founded in 1480. The Cistercians were a monastic order established in 1098 in Burgundy at Citeaux. The founder of the Cistercians had broken away from the Benedictines which had been the first monastic order to be established in Europe, in the 6th century.

During the Revolutionary struggles in France and the subsequent religious upheavals under Napoleon, many monastic institutions on the continent were 'secularised' and their buildings destroyed. The abbey of Mariawald was closed down in 1802 but fortunately its buildings, including the cloisters, remain largely intact. However, the stained glass windows had been removed and it is believed that they were purchased by John Christopher Hampp of Norwich. Hampp sold the Mariawald panels to various churches and to private collectors. Many of these were purchased by the collector, Lord Brownlow who had them installed in his new chapel at Ashridge Park in Hertfordshire between 1811 and 1831.

In 1928 the contents of Ashridge Park were sold at auction and a private collector purchased the stained glass and gave it to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

W are able to reconstruct how the panels were placed in the cloister windows. Each window was composed of two openings ('lights'). Each light was composed of three large panels, plus one small tracery panel. So there would have been eight panels to each window.

From the surviving stained glass panels we can determine the theme of the cloister glazing. Each window had two panels depicting scenes from the Old Testament and two panels with scenes from the New Testament. Above the biblical story panels, were two smaller prophet (or 'messenger') panels. These contained half-images of Old Testament prophets holding scrolls with text relating to biblical passages connected with the scenes below. At the base of each window were donor and patron saint panels. These donors were the ones who contributed to the financing of the cloister glazing.

This type of narrative arrangement is known as 'typological'. Each Old Testament story was a 'type' or a prefigurement of a New Testament story ('antitype'). The prophets on each window would hold text from the Bible relating to the Old and New Testament stories. For example, here the prophet King David makes reference to being tempted. The rest of the window contains scenes relating to the Old Testament story of Jacob tempting Esau and the New Testament story of the temptation of Jesus Christ by the devil.

The typological arrangement was popular in the Middle Ages. The stories were reproduced in manuscripts and in engravings from woodcuts and collectively became known as 'Biblia Pauperum' ('Bibles of the Poor'). At the end of the 15th century the Biblia Pauperum were printed in book form and sold in their thousands. These books were used as design sources for artworks including stained glass panels.

Physical description

Stained glass tracery light in red and green with yellow stain, depicting David, half length with a scroll inscribed "TENTAVERUNT ME SUBSANNAVERUNT ME SUBSANNATIONE Pso 3."

Place of Origin

Lower Rhine (Germany) (made)

Date

ca. 1521 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Clear and coloure glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain.

Marks and inscriptions

Tentaverunt me subsannaverunt me subsannatione Ps 3
Psalm 34:16 (Douai-Reims) They tempted me, they scoffed at me with scorn: they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm, Width: 67.9 cm

Object history note

Believed to be from the sixth window in the cloisters at Mariawald.

Historical context note

Mariawald was a Cistercian abbey founded in 1480. The Cistercians were a monastic order established in 1098 in Burgundy at Citeaux. The founder of the Cistercians had broken away from the Benedictines which had been the first monastic order to be established in Europe, in the 6th century.

During the Revolutionary struggles in France and the subsequent religious upheavals under Napoleon, many monastic institutions on the continent were 'secularised' and their buildings destroyed. The abbey of Mariawald was closed down in 1802 but fortunately its buildings, including the cloisters, remain largely intact. However, the stained glass windows had been removed and it is believed that they were purchased by John Christopher Hampp of Norwich. Hampp sold the Mariawald panels to various churches and to private collectors. Many of these were purchased by the collector, Lord Brownlow who had them installed in his new chapel at Ashridge Park in Hertfordshire between 1811 and 1831.

In 1928 the contents of Ashridge Park were sold at auction and a private collector purchased the stained glass and gave it to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

This panel is one of many in the V&A that comes from the cloisters at Mariawald. These panels come from ten windows on the west and north sides of the cloister, plus one from the north end of the eastern part. The glazing of these cloisters began about 1510 and seem to have been completed in the 1530s.

As the cloisters were never dismantled we can reconstruct how the panels were placed in the architectural structure. The window openings in the cloisters were each composed of two openings ('lights'). Each light was composed of three large panels, plus one small tracery panel. So there would have been eight panels to each window.

From the surviving stained glass panels we can determine the theme of the cloister glazing. Each window had two panels depicting scenes from the Old Testament and two panels with scenes from the New Testament. Above the biblical story panels, were two smaller prophet (or 'messenger') panels. These contained half-images of Old Testament prophets holding scrolls with text relating to biblical passages connected with the scenes below. At the base of each window were donor and patron saint panels. These donors were the ones who contributed to the financing of the cloister glazing.

This type of narrative arrangement is known as 'typological'. Each Old Testament story was a 'type' or a prefigurement of a New Testament story ('antitype'). For example, the Old Testament story of 'Elisha greeted by the Sons of the Prophet' was a prefigurement of the New Testament 'Entry of Christ into Jerusalem' which occurred on what we now call 'Palm Sunday'.

The typological arrangement was popular in the Middle Ages. The stories were reproduced in manuscripts and in engravings from woodcuts and collectively became known as 'Biblia Pauperum' ('Bibles of the Poor'). At the end of the 15th century the Biblia Pauperum were printed in book form and sold in their thousands. These books were used as design sources for artworks including stained glass panels.

Descriptive line

Panel of clear and coloured glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain. Depicting the prophet King David with a scroll. From the cloisters of the abbey of Mariawald. German (Lower Rhine), c.1521

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jakob Polius, 'Analecta sive collectanea antiquitatem', Duren, Stadtarchiv, A30, Hs. 2
James Wyatt, Description of the Stained Glass Panels at Ashridge Chapel, privately printed, 1906
MR James, Notes of Glass in Ashridge Chapel, Grantham, 1906
Hermann Schmitz, Die Glasgemalde des Koniglichen Kunstgewerbemuseums in Berlin, Berlin, 1913
Bernard Rackham, 'The Ashridge stained glass', Old Furniture, vol.5 (1928), pp.33-7
C.Goerke, Das Zisterzienserkloster Mariawald, Mariawald bei Heimbach, 1932
Paul Clemen, Die Kunstdenkmaler der Rheinprovinz, Kreis Schleiden, XI, 2, Dusseldorf, 1932
E. Wackenroder, Die Kunstdenkmaker des Kreoses Schleiden, Dusseldorf, 1932
Bernard Rackham, 'The Mariawald-Ashridge Glass', Burlington Magazine, Nov. 1944, pp.266-273
Bernard Rackham, 'The Mariawald-Ashridge Glass II', Burlington Magazine, April 1945, pp.90-94
Bernard Rackham, 'The Ashridge Stained Glass', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 3rd series, vol.X (1945-7), pp.1-22
Wilhelm Neuss, ed., Die Glasmalereien aus dem Steinfelder Kruezgang, Moenchengladbach, 1955
J. Kurthen, 'Die alten Kunstfenster'', in Mariawald: Geschichte eines Klosters, Heimback/Eifel, 1962, pp.244-64
M. Conrad, 'Zur Geschichte der alten Glasgemalde aus dem Kreuzgang von Kloster Mariawald', Heimatkalendar des Landkreises Schleiden, 1969, pp.95-102
William Cole, 'A Hitherto Unrecorded Panel of Stained Glass from the Abbey of Mariawald', Journal of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, XVII (1981-2). pp.21-4
Avril Henry, ed., Biblia Pauperum, Scolar Press, 1987
Brigitte Wolff-Wintrich, 'Kolner Glasmaleriel sammlungen des 19. Jahrhunderts', in Lust und Verlust Kolner Sammler zwischen Trikolore und Preussenadler, exhibition catalogue (Kunsthalle Koln), Koln, 1995, pp.341-54
H.Zakin, 'Mariawald: Cistercian Narrative', in Stained Glass as Monumental Painting, XIXth International Colloquium, CVMA, Krakow, 1998, Cracow, 2000, pp.273-80
Raguin and Zakin, Stained Glass before 1700, part 2, pp.127-9, 170-6
Foister, Susan, Art of Light: German Renaissance Stained Glass(London: National Gallery Company, 2007), 32 p., ill., ISBN 978 185709 348 3.

Materials

Glass

Techniques

Painting; Silver staining

Subjects depicted

Temptation; Mocking; Prophet

Categories

Stained Glass

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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