Fall of the Rebel Angels thumbnail 1
Fall of the Rebel Angels thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64, The Wolfson Gallery

Fall of the Rebel Angels

Panel
ca. 1522 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The New Testament Book of Revalations (Chapter 12) speaks of the battle between the Archangel Michael and Satan. St Michael cast out from heaven Satan and the angels who rebelled against God. This story was often depicted in the late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance.

The image of the 'Fall of the Rebel Angels' on this panel is similiar to that on a woodcut in the Schatzbehalter. The Schatzbehalter is a late 15th century devotional book containing 91 woodcuts illustrating the life of Jesus Christ. Albrecht Durer was inspired by the Schatzbehalter image of the Fallen Angels and adapted it for his own series depicting the Apocalypse (now in Coburg). In the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston there is a drawing depicting part of the subject of the The Fall of the Rebel Angels (Two Angels Contending with Demons) dated to about 1508. The imagery in this drawing bears a striking similarity to that in the V&A panel. The drawing was once attributed to Hans Suss von Kulmbach and has since been reattributed to Albrecht Durer. However, the style in the Boston drawing differs dramatically from the Coburg Apocalypse series known to be by Durer.

The imagery from the Schatzbehalter and the drawing in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are very similiar to that in the V&A panel.

This panel of stained glass is one of many that originally formed the glazing programme of the cloister of Steinfeld Abbey. The monastery of Steinfeld, near Cologne in Germany, was founded in the 12th century by canons of the Premonstratensian Order. Johann von Ahrweiler, abbot of Steinfeld from 1517 to 1538, commissioned a series of stained glass panels for the cloister. It is believed that the stained glass workshop that headed this commission was that of Gerhard Remisch, a celebrated glass painter. The quality of the painting would support this belief.

Two manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries give descriptions of the cloister stained glass at Steinfeld. From these, we can recreate the theme of the glazing programme. There were 27 windows and each window contained stained glass panels depicting scenes from the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ. Together, these images relate the story of mankind's redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

During the Revolutionary struggles in Europe and the subsequent religious upheavals under Napoleon, many monastic institutions on the continent were 'secularised' and their buildings sold off or destroyed. The Abbey of Steinfeld was closed down in 1802. The cloister windows had been removed in 1785 and it is believed that subsequently they were purchased by John Christoph Hampp of Norwich. Hampp sold the Steinfeld panels and another series of cloister panels from the Abbey of Mariawald (also near Cologne) to various churches and to private collectors in England. 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. A private collector purchased the stained glass panels and donated them to the V&A.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Stained glass
Brief Description
Panel with clear and coloured glass, painted in brown/black pigment and silver (yellow) stain. Depicting the Fall of the Rebel Angels. Originally from the Cloister at Steinfeld Abbey. Attributed to the workshop of Everhard Rensig or Gerhard Remisch. Germany (Rhineland), ca.1522
Physical Description
St Michael and other angels attack Lucifer and expel him and the other rebel angels from Heaven.
Dimensions
  • Wood frame height: 112.0cm
  • Wood frame width: 69.2cm
  • In wooden frame weight: 8.2kg
  • Wood frame depth: 2.0cm
  • Sight (maximum) height: 102.2cm
  • Sight (maximum) width: 59.8cm
Measurements taken from Stained Glass Handlist. Weight is approximate and includes bubblewrap and Correx packing for decant. Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries
Credit line
Given by E.E. Cook Esquire.
Object history
Originally from Window I in the Cloister at Steinfeld Abbey, near Cologne.



(1632) Abbot Norbert of Horichem composed a manuscript (in Latin) of the panels in the cloister as they came down. Were taken down to protect them from the invading Swedish army at the beginning of the Thirty Years War. This manuscript is now in the City Library in Trier but C&G have a photostat. (c.1590-1600) Note in Trier MS that windows had been removed and taken to nearby monastery of Minstereifel and put back 12 years later. Were broken in several places by the removal.



(1654) Panels reinstated - Trier MS used as a guide.



(1654-1785) Panels taken out and reinstated four times more.



The glazing programme of the cloister at the Premonstratensian abbey of Steinfeld, in the Eifel region between Cologne and Trier, was executed between about 1522 and 1557. The work was carried out consecutively, window by window, starting at the north-west and running around the cloister, taking in twenty-seven windows in all. With a few exceptions, these were three-light windows with tracery lights above. The three-panelled main lights were invariably divided into two parts, with narrative scenes occupying the middle and upper panels, and donor figures mostly filling the ‘socle’ zone below. The master glazier responsible for the windows up to about 1537-8 appears to be Gerhard Remisch (or Remsich), whose monogram appears in window no. 13, made in 1534 (see C.211-1928). The museum possesses 38 panels from this cloister.
Historical context
The New Testament Book of Revalations (Chapter 12) speaks of the battle between the Archangel Michael and Satan. St Michael cast out from heaven Satan and the angels who rebelled against God. This story was often depicted in the late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance.



The image of the 'Fall of the Rebel Angels' on this panel is similiar to that on a woodcut in the Schatzbehalter. The Schatzbehalter is a late 15th century devotional book containing 91 woodcuts illustrating the life of Jesus Christ. Albrecht Durer was inspired by the Schatzbehalter image of the Fallen Angels and adapted it for his own series depicting the Apocalypse (now in Coburg). In the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston there is a drawing depicting part of the subject of the The Fall of the Rebel Angels (Two Angels Contending with Demons) dated to about 1508. The imagery in this drawing bears a striking similarity to that in the V&A panel. The drawing was once attributed to Hans Suss von Kulmbach and has since been reattributed to Albrecht Durer. However, the style in the Boston drawing differs dramatically from the Coburg Apocalypse series known to be by Durer.



The imagery from the Schatzbehalter and the drawing in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are very similiar to that in the V&A panel.



This panel of stained glass is one of many that originally formed the glazing programme of the cloister of Steinfeld Abbey. The monastery of Steinfeld, near Cologne in Germany, was founded in the 12th century by canons of the Premonstratensian Order. Johann von Ahrweiler, abbot of Steinfeld from 1517 to 1538, commissioned a series of stained glass panels for the cloister. It is believed that the stained glass workshop that headed this commission was that of Gerhard Remisch, a celebrated glass painter. The quality of the painting would support this belief.



Two manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries give descriptions of the cloister stained glass at Steinfeld. From these, we can recreate the theme of the glazing programme. There were 27 windows and each window contained stained glass panels depicting scenes from the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ. Together, these images relate the story of mankind's redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.



During the Revolutionary struggles in Europe and the subsequent religious upheavals under Napoleon, many monastic institutions on the continent were 'secularised' and their buildings sold off or destroyed. The Abbey of Steinfeld was closed down in 1802. The cloister windows had been removed in 1785 and it is believed that subsequently they were purchased by John Christoph Hampp of Norwich. Hampp sold the Steinfeld panels and another series of cloister panels from the Abbey of Mariawald (also near Cologne) to various churches and to private collectors in England. 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. A private collector purchased the stained glass panels and donated them to the V&A.
Production
From Steinfeld
Subjects depicted
Literary References
  • Book of Revelations
  • Apocalypse, The
Summary
The New Testament Book of Revalations (Chapter 12) speaks of the battle between the Archangel Michael and Satan. St Michael cast out from heaven Satan and the angels who rebelled against God. This story was often depicted in the late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance.



The image of the 'Fall of the Rebel Angels' on this panel is similiar to that on a woodcut in the Schatzbehalter. The Schatzbehalter is a late 15th century devotional book containing 91 woodcuts illustrating the life of Jesus Christ. Albrecht Durer was inspired by the Schatzbehalter image of the Fallen Angels and adapted it for his own series depicting the Apocalypse (now in Coburg). In the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston there is a drawing depicting part of the subject of the The Fall of the Rebel Angels (Two Angels Contending with Demons) dated to about 1508. The imagery in this drawing bears a striking similarity to that in the V&A panel. The drawing was once attributed to Hans Suss von Kulmbach and has since been reattributed to Albrecht Durer. However, the style in the Boston drawing differs dramatically from the Coburg Apocalypse series known to be by Durer.



The imagery from the Schatzbehalter and the drawing in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are very similiar to that in the V&A panel.



This panel of stained glass is one of many that originally formed the glazing programme of the cloister of Steinfeld Abbey. The monastery of Steinfeld, near Cologne in Germany, was founded in the 12th century by canons of the Premonstratensian Order. Johann von Ahrweiler, abbot of Steinfeld from 1517 to 1538, commissioned a series of stained glass panels for the cloister. It is believed that the stained glass workshop that headed this commission was that of Gerhard Remisch, a celebrated glass painter. The quality of the painting would support this belief.



Two manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries give descriptions of the cloister stained glass at Steinfeld. From these, we can recreate the theme of the glazing programme. There were 27 windows and each window contained stained glass panels depicting scenes from the Life and Passion of Jesus Christ. Together, these images relate the story of mankind's redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.



During the Revolutionary struggles in Europe and the subsequent religious upheavals under Napoleon, many monastic institutions on the continent were 'secularised' and their buildings sold off or destroyed. The Abbey of Steinfeld was closed down in 1802. The cloister windows had been removed in 1785 and it is believed that subsequently they were purchased by John Christoph Hampp of Norwich. Hampp sold the Steinfeld panels and another series of cloister panels from the Abbey of Mariawald (also near Cologne) to various churches and to private collectors in England. 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. A private collector purchased the stained glass panels and donated them to the V&A.
Bibliographic References
  • Christiane Andersson and Charles Talbot, From a Mighty Fortress: Prints, Drawings and Books in the Age of Luther, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1983
  • Barbara Butts and Lee Hendrix, Painting on Light: Drawings and Stained Glass in the Age of Durer and Holbein, J.Paul Getty Trust, 2000
  • Treves Manuscript, photostat, dated 1632
  • Steinfeld Akten AD Nr.40, photostat, dated 1719, Staatsarchiv, Dusseldorf
  • Barsch, Das Pramonstratenser Monchkloster Steinfeld in der Eifel, 1834
  • MR James, Notes of Glass in Ashridge Chapel, Grantham, 1906
  • N. Reinartz, 'Die alten glasgemadle im kruezgange der abtei Steinfeld I.d. Eifel', Eifelvereinsblatt, 1910-12
  • Hermann Schmitz, Die Glasgemalde des Koniglichen Kunstgewerbemuseums in Berlin, Berlin, 1913
  • Johann Baptista Berg, Steinfeld, Steinfeld, 1928
  • E. Wackenroder, Die Kunstdenkmaker des Kreoses Schleiden, Dusseldorf, 1932
  • H. Heinrich Schmidt, Steinfeld: die ehemalige Pramonstratenser Abtei, Ratingen: A. Henn, 1951
  • Wilhelm Neuss, Die glasmalereien aus dem Steinfelder Kreuzgang, 1955
  • 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
  • David J. King, 'The Steinfeld Cloister Glazing', Gesta, XXXVII/2 (1998), pp.201-210
  • J. Kurthen, Zur Kunst des Steinfelder Kreuzgangfenster. Ein Werkstattbesuch bei ihren Meister Gerhard Remisch, Euskirchen, 1941
  • Bernard Rackham, 'The Ashridge stained glass', Old Furniture, vol.5 (1928), pp.33-7
  • Bernard Rackham, "Notes on the Stained Glass in the Lord Mayor's Chapel, Bristol," Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol.37 (1935)
Collection
Accession Number
C.307-1928

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record createdNovember 29, 2000
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