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Panel - King David

King David

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Lower Rhine, Germany (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1530 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Clear glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain

  • Credit Line:

    Given by E. E. Cook

  • Museum number:

    C.296-1928

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval and Renaissance, room 50b, case WN

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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. For example, here David relates how he escaped from the attempts on his life by King Saul. This was seen as a portent of the Holy Family fleeing from the decrees of King Herod which led to the Massacre of the Innocents. In the lower part of this window is a panel showing ‘The Rest on the Flight to Egypt’ (Museum no. C.243-1928).

Physical description

Stained glass tracery light entirely in grisaille and yellow stain, depicting David, half length with a scroll inscribed "ECCE ELONGAVI FUGIENS ET MANSE IN SOLITUDINE PSALO [LV,7]."

Place of Origin

Lower Rhine, Germany (made)

Date

ca.1530 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Clear glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain

Marks and inscriptions

Ecce elongavi fugiens et mansi solitudine Psalm Psalm 55:7 I should escape far away and find a refuge in the wilderness…

Dimensions

Height: 32.5 cm sight, Width: 64.7 cm sight, Weight: 12.36 kg in metal frame with perspex backing with C.220-1928, Height: 100.5 cm in display frame with C.220-1928, Width: 68.4 cm in display frame with C.220-1928, Depth: 3.2 cm in display frame with C.220-1928

Object history note

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 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 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.1530

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

Materials

Glass

Techniques

Painting; Silver staining

Subjects depicted

Angel; David (King); Harp; Festoon; Religions

Categories

Religion; Stained Glass

Collection code

CER

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Qr_O65285
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