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Arms of Isabella of Bourbon with angel supporter

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Flanders (region) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1496 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Panel of clear, coloured and flashed glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval and Renaissance, room 10, case WS, shelf EXP

Until 1795, the two-light windows of the Chapel of the Holy Blood in Bruges in Belgium contained images of the Dukes of Burgundy and their consorts (wives). The sequence started with Philippe le Hardi, or Philip the Bold (ruled 1364–1404). The Habsburgs were also shown in the case of Maximilian, Holy Roman Emperor from 1493, who married into the Burgundian line. The figures were all identified by coats of arms displayed below them.

The stained glass was removed in 1795 and shortly afterwards sold to a British dealer. Some of it was later installed at Kilburn Grange, a private house in north-west London. This was demolished in 1910. The Museum acquired the present panels (inv. nos C.438 to 439, 441 to 443-1918) in 1918, together with other coats of arms and a late figure of Charles V.

The ducal figures in stained glass now in the Chapel of the Holy Blood were made in the years 1845-7. They were based on watercolours of the originals.

Physical description

Panel. Arms of Isabella of Bourbon. Grosvenor Thomas collection.
Inscription at base of panel describing her as Countess of Charolais.

Place of Origin

Flanders (region) (made)


ca. 1496 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Panel of clear, coloured and flashed glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain.

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 113.3 cm framed, Width: 79.8 cm framed, Height: 105.1 cm sight, Width: 71.5 cm sight

Object history note

Reconstruction of the windows in the Chapel of the Holy Blood:
Were 9 windows of two lights each.
19th replacements
Window 7: Emperor Maximilian & Mary of Burgundy
Window 8: Charles the Bold and Isabel of Bourbon
Window 9: Charles V and Isabella of Portugal

From the archives of the Confraternity of the Holy Blood – payments for glazing were recorded in 1483 and in 1496.

The ancient glass disappeared during the French invasion of 1797. The glass from the Chapel was sold by the municipality of Bruges to a local man for a miniscule sum who then sold them, at great profit, to an English man in the early 19th century. Believe the glass ended up with firm of Watson & Bethell.

There are coloured drawings of the windows, pre-dispersal, in the Chapel archives. In 1845 reproductions of the panels were made from these drawings by the glass painter Pluys.

In 1913 they were owned by Grosvenor Thomas. He acquired them from Kilburn Grange which was erected after 1830.

Rackham, in a letter of 1921, says panels were previously in Kilburn Grange which had been pulled down 10 or 12 years ago [presumably meaning 1909 or 1911]. The family of Major Cecil Peters of Sunbury Manor, Sunbury in Middlesex, formerly owned Kilburn Grange.

Historical context note

Isabel was the second wife of Charles the Bold of Burgundy. She died in 1465 before Charles became Duke (1467). She got her title of 'Countess of Charolais' from Charles, the Count.
She was the daughter of Charles I of Bourbon and Agnes of Burgundy.
The arms displayed in the panel are a mirror image. The arms of Bourbon appear on the left impaling those of Burgundy with an escutcheon of pretence for Flanders, the arms of the Dukes of Burgundy and thus of her husband, Charles the Bold. All of the arms are completely reversed.

In the Magie du Verre exhibition catalogue (cat.9) there is a fragmentary stained glass panel of the Deposition with these arms displayed at the base. In this instance the arms of Isabella and her husband Duke Charles are displayed correctly BUT Isabel's are prominent (displayed on the right side of the shield, or left as you face it). I think this is a strong indication that the wife's arms are intended to be prominent and that the Holy Blood arms should be examined in this light.

Descriptive line

Panel of clear, coloured and flashed glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain. Depicting the arms of Isabella of Bourbon. From the Chapel of the Holy Blood, Bruges. Made in Flanders, c.1496

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

Williamson, Paul. Medieval and Renaissance Stained Glass in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2003. ISBN 1851774041
Bernard Rackham, The Stained Glass in the Chapel of the Holy Blood at Bruges, Actes du XIIe Congres International d'Histoire de l'Art, Bruxelles, 20-29 Septembre, 1930, pp.424-431
Bernard Rackham, The Stained Glass in the Chapel of the Holy Blood at Bruges, Actes du XIIe Congres International d'Histoire de l'Art, Bruxelles, 20-29 Septembre, 1930, pp.424-431
J. Gaillard, Recherches historiques sur las chapelle du Saint-Sang a Bruges, Bruges, 1846
Aymer Vallance, 'Some Flemish Painted Glass Panels', Burlington Magazine, XIX (July 1911)
The Grosvenor Thomas Collection of Ancient Stained Glass, catalogue, New York, 1913
E.O. Coe, drawing in WID (ES 101) Place of the Holy Blood. Toison d'Or
In WID: Bruges. Belgium. X.697 Views. Vol.15
3388-1940 Tomb of Mary of Burgundy, Notre Dame
3389-1940 Chapel of St Sang
3392-1940 Tomb of Charles the Bold
David Thomas Powell (ac.1800-c.1837), copies (12) of stained glass from the Chapel of the Holy Blood, Bruges. Watercolours.
Barbara Butts and Lee Hendrix, Painting on Light: Drawings and Stained Glass in the Age of Durer and Holbein, J.Paul Getty Trust, 2000

Labels and date

Stained Glass Panels from the Chapel of the Holy Blood
Probably about 1496

These panels depict the armorials associated with the Dukes of Burgundy and their Hapsburg successors. Two of the armorials commemorate the marriages between Maximilian of Hapsburg and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy and also that of their son Philip the Fair and his wife Joanna, heiress to the Kingdom of Spain.
Maximilian probably commissioned these windows to honour his wife's devotion to the Holy Blood and to publicise his dynastic succession to the Dukes of Burgundy.

Flanders, Bruges
Clear and coloured glass with painted details and silver stain; with later restorations
Museum nos.C.443, 444, 445, 446, 447, 448-1918
Purchased from Grosvenor Thomas from the Capt. HB Murray Bequest [2008 (TAB)]

Production Note

From the Chapel of the Holy Blood, Bruges.




Painting; Flashing; Pot metal; Silver staining

Subjects depicted

Angels; Wings; Shields; Escutcheons (coats of arms); Fleurs-de-lis


Stained Glass; Royalty; Religion


Ceramics Collection

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