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Prophet Malachi

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Lower Rhine (Germany) (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1522 to 1526 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rensig, Everhard (maker)
    Remisch, Gerhard (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

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

  • Museum number:

    C.220A-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 the Cistercian abbey of Mariawald, in Germany. Founded in 1480, the abbey was closed down in 1802. The stained glass windows had been removed and are believed to have been bought by John Christopher Hampp of Norwich. Many were subsequently purchased by Lord Brownlow and installed in his new chapel at Ashridge Park, Hertfordshire, between 1811 and 1831. In 1928 the contents of Ashridge Park were sold at auction. A private collector purchased the stained glass and gave it to the V&A.

Each cloister window was composed of two openings (‘lights’). Each light was composed of three large panels, plus one small tracery panel. So each window had eight panels. Two panels depicted scenes from the Old Testament and two panels scenes from the New Testament. Above the biblical story panels were two smaller prophet (or ‘messenger’) panels with half-images of Old Testament prophets holding scrolls, as here. At the base of each window were donor and patron saint panels. The donors helped finance 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 held the biblical text relating to the Old and New Testament stories. Here the prophet Malachi predicts the coming of Jesus Christ. The rest of the window contains scenes relating to the infancy of Christ. The inscription on the scroll is taken from the Book of Malachi and the full text reads:
Veniet ad templum sanctum suum dominator dominus quem vos queritis, et angelum testamenti quem vos vultis (The Lord whom you seek will enter His holy temple, and the angel of the convenant whom you yearn for).

Physical description

Stained glass tracery light in pale green and white, grisaille and yellow stain, depicting the Prophet Malachi, half length with a scroll inscribed "VENIET AD TEMPLUM SANCTUM SUUM".
Malachi wears a pale green robe with a white collar; the rest painted in grisaille and yellow stain.

Place of Origin

Lower Rhine (Germany) (made)

Date

ca.1522 to 1526 (made)

Artist/maker

Rensig, Everhard (maker)
Remisch, Gerhard (maker)

Materials and Techniques

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

Marks and inscriptions

VENIET AD TEMPLUM SANCTUM SUUM
He will come to His holy temple
The inscription is taken from the Book of Malachi and the full text reads:
Veniet ad templum sanctum suum dominator dominus quem vos queritis, et angelum testamenti quem vos vultis (The Lord whom you seek will enter His holy temple, and the angel of the convenant whom you yearn for).

Dimensions

Height: 107.6 cm framed, Width: 69.5 cm framed, Weight: 11.8 kg in metal frame with perspex backing with C.294-1928, Depth: 3.2 cm framed

Object history note

In the cloister of Mariawald until about 1802.
From about 1811 until 1928 it was installed in the Chapel at Ashridge Park, Hertfordshire.
(12 July 1928) Sold at Sotheby's.
The glazing of the Mariawald cloister, confined to ten windows on the west and north sides and one at the north end of the east walk, and made up entirely of two-light windows, seems to have started at the beginning of the second decade of the 16th century and probably continued until the early 1530s. From the surviving panels and the existing windows it can be seen that the programme was made up of paired Old and New Testament scenes arranged typologically one above the other (New Testament at the second level, Old Testament in the third), as in the Biblia Pauperum, with donor panels placed on the lowest level. A prophet with a scroll occupied the cusped head of each light.

Believed to be from the third 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 Napolean, 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 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 the ‘Sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham’ was a prefigurement of the New Testament ‘Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross’.

The typological arrangement was popular in the Middle Ages. The stories were reproduced in manuscripts and in engravings from woodcuts and collectively were 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

Clear and coloured glass with painted details and silver (yelllow) stain. Depicting the Old Testament prophet Malachi with a scroll. From the cloisters of the abbey of Mariawald. Made in the workshop of Everhard Rensig or Gerhard Remisch. Germany (Lower Rhine), c.1522 to 1526.

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

Rackham, Bernard, 'The Ashridge stained glass', Old Furniture, vol.5 (1928), pp.33-7
Wyatt, James, Description of the Stained Glass Panels at Ashridge Chapel, privately printed, 1906
Goerke, C., Das Zisterzienserkloster Mariawald, Mariawald, 1932
Clemen, Paul, Die Kunstdenkmaler der Rheinprovinz, Kreis Schleiden, XI, 2, Dusseldorf, 1932
Rackham, Bernard, 'The Mariawald-Ashridge Glass', Burlington Magazine, Nov. 1944, pp.266-73
Rackham, Bernard, 'The Mariawald-Ashridge Glass II', Burlington Magazine, April 1945, pp.90-4
Rackham, Bernard, 'The Ashridge Stained Glass', Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 3rd series, vol. X (1945-7), pp.1-22
Neuss, Wilhelm, ed., Die Glasmalereien aus dem Steinfelder Kreuzgang, Moenchengladbach, 1955
Wolff-Wintrich, Brigitte, 'Kolner Glasmaleriei sammlungen des 19. Jahrhunderts', in Lust und Verlust Kolner Sammler zwischen Trikolore und Preussenadler, Exhibition Catalogue (Kunsthalle Koln), Koln, 1995, pp.341-54
Kurthen, J., 'Die alten Kunstfenster', in Mariawald: Geschichte eines Klosters, Heimbach/Eifel, 1962
Conrad, M., 'Zur Geschichte der alten Glasgemalde aus dem Kreuzgang von Kloster Mariawald', Heimatkalender des Landkreises Schleiden, 1969, pp.95-102
Zakin, H., 'Mariawald:Cistercian Narrative', in Stained Glass as Monumental Painting (XIXth International Colloquium, CVMA, Krakow, 1998), Cracow, 2000, pp.273-80
MR James, Notes of Glass in Ashridge Chapel, Grantham, 1906
Hermann Schmitz, Die Glasgemalde des Koniglichen Kunstgewerbemuseums in Berlin, Berlin, 1913
E. Wackenroder, Die Kunstdenkmaker des Kreoses Schleiden, Dusseldorf, 1932
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
Raguin and Zakin, Stained Glass before 1700, part 2, pp.127-9, 170-6
Avril Henry, Biblia Pauperum, Scolar Press, 1987
Malachi 3:1 Suddenly the Lord whom you seek will come to his temple.
The prophecy about the messenger who shall prepare the way of the Lord (above) is applied to St John the Baptist.
Jakob Polius, 'Analecta sive collectanea antiquitatem', Duren, Stadtarchiv, A30, Hs. 2
MR James, Notes of Glass in Ashridge Chapel, Grantham, 1906
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

Pot metal; Silver staining; Painting

Subjects depicted

Prophet; Scrolls (information artifacts); Men; Putti; Harps (chordophones)

Categories

Glass; Stained Glass; Religion; Christianity

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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