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The Tree of Jesse with of St Barbara

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)
    Lower Rhine (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1500-10 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stained glass

  • Credit Line:

    Given by E.E. Cook Esquire.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Devotion to St Barbara increased during the Late Middle Ages. She was thought to be able to intercede with Christ for those who prayed to her and was taken up as patron saint by a number of confraternities. The legend of her life was expanded greatly in about 1380 by an Augustinian, Jan van Aakkerzeele, and by the end of the fifteenth century printed versions of it were available in Cologne. This panel illustrates the belief - laid out in the late medieval biography - that S Barbara's ancestry, like that of the Virgin and Christ, could be traced back to Jesse. She is shown at the top right, holding her attribute - the tower in which she was imprisoned - and looking towards the Virgin and Child. The messenger panel (inv.no. C.281-1928) spells out the significance of the scene: ' Sancta barbara de virga iesse duxit origine[m]' ('St Barbara issues from the stock of Jesse').

Physical description

Stained glass panel depicting the Legend of St. Barbara: the Tree of Jesse including the figure of St. Barbara. Purple, white, blue, red, maroon and green glass. Grisaille. Yellow stain.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)
Lower Rhine (made)


ca. 1500-10 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Stained glass


Height: 26.75 in, Width: 21.75 in, Height: 68.5 cm, Width: 55.5 cm

Descriptive line

Stained glass panel depicting the Legend of St. Barbara: the Tree of Jesse. Germany, 16th century

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

Williamson, Paul. Medieval and Renaissance Stained Glass in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2003. ISBN 1851774041


Stained glass

Subjects depicted

Saints; The Tree of Jesse; Christianity; Prophets; Towers (single built works); Lineage; Halo


Glass; Stained Glass; Religion; Christianity


Ceramics Collection

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