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Catherine Boelen with Saint Catherine

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Amsterdam (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca.1530 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stained glass

  • Museum number:

    212-1908

  • Gallery location:

    Sacred Silver & Stained Glass, Room 83, The Whiteley Galleries, case S2

Stained-glass windows could be very expensive to produce. A church wishing to glaze its windows with elaborately painted glass would have to seek sponsorship. In large cathedrals, wealthy ecclesiastics or members of royal families would often supply the necessary funds. Smaller institutions would have to seek financial assistance from well-off members of their communities. The people who contributed these funds are known as 'donors'. If they are depicted in the window they financed, as in this example, the windows are known as 'donor windows'.

Donors may or may not have had a say in the subject matter of the windows to which they contributed. Often, the subjects, or themes, would have been determined by the needs of the church, but donors could request that they be depicted somewhere in the scheme, accompanied by their patron saint, as we see in this panel.

The donor here is Catherine Boelen of Amsterdam. She and her husband contributed to the glazing of windows for a now unknown church, but one probably in Amsterdam.

Physical description

Panel, stained glass, depicting Catherine Boelen in prayer, with her patron, St. Catherine of Alexandria standing behind her. The saint is treading upon the Emperor Maximin, whose form projects beyond her robe. A seaport is seen through an opening. SANCTA KATRINA is inscribed above on the canopy, and a Latin inscription from Daniel occupies the foot of the panel.

This was previously thought to be a representation of Geldulph de Nausnyder's wife, Martha de Nausnyder.

Place of Origin

Amsterdam (probably, made)

Date

ca.1530 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Stained glass

Marks and inscriptions

SANCTA KATRINA

None tres viros misi in fornace. Ecce ego video viros quator et spes qrti silis filio deo. Danielis. 3
Not original to this panel.

Dimensions

Height: 70.5 cm, Width: 47.5 cm

Object history note

This was previously thought to be a representation of Geldulph de Nausnyder's wife, Martha de Nausnyder. The panel depicting Martha de Nausnyder is now known to be in St Mary's Church in Shrewsbury.
Had been bought by Sir Peter Neave in the marketplace in Rouen in about 1820 and were thought at that time to have come from an old church in Rouen.
The panel originally formed the right part of a triple composition: at the centre was a panel of the Virgin and Child with St Anne, Joseph and Joachim (now in Llanwenllwyfo, Anglesey), and on the left was the kneeling figure of Catherine’s husband, Allert Andries Boelen (now in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore).

Historical context note

Stained glass windows could be very expensive to produce. A church wishing to glaze its windows with elaborately painted glass would have to seek sponsorship. In large cathedrals, wealthy ecclesiastics or members of royal families would often supply the necessary funds. Smaller institutions would have to seek financial assistance from well-off members of their communities. The people who contributed these funds are known as 'donors' and if they are depicted in the window they financed, as in this example, those windows are known as 'donor windows'.

Donors may or may not have had a say in the subject matter of the windows they contributed to. Often, the subjects, or themes, would have been determined by the needs of the church but the donor could request that he or she be depicted somewhere in the scheme and be accompanied by their patron saint, as we see in this panel.

The donor in this panel is Catherine Boelen of Amsterdam. She and her husband contributed to the glazing of windows for a now unknown church, but one probably in Amsterdam.

Descriptive line

Panel of clear, coloured and flashed glass with painted details and yellow (silver) stain. Depicting Catherine Boelen and her patron saint Catherine of Alexandria. Made in the Netherlands, c.1530

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

Williamson, Paul. Medieval and Renaissance Stained Glass in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2003. ISBN 1851774041
P.V. Maes, 'Oud Leuvins brandglas in England', Leuvons, 1972
Hilary Wayment, Oud Holland, vol.103 (1989)
attributes the panel to 'The Master fo the St. Gregory Panel'

Labels and date

CATHERINE BOELEN WITH SAINT CATHERINE

Catherine Boelen is presented by her name-saint, shown with sword and trampling on the figure of her persecutor, the Emperor Maxentius. In the spandrels of the main arch are the marks of the Boelen family of Amsterdam. The panel originally formed the right part of a triple composition: at the centre was a panel of the Virgin and Child with St Anne, Joseph and Joachim (now in Llanwenllwyfo, Anglesey), and on the left was the kneeling figure of Catherine's husband, Allert Andries Boelen (now in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore).

Netherlands (Amsterdam), about 1530
Museum no. 212-1908 [(PW) 2003]

Materials

Stained glass

Subjects depicted

Coronets; Mountains; Buildings; Saints; Columns; Headdresses; Halo; Landscapes (representations); Arches; Breastplates (body armor); Noblewomen; Windows; Gowns; Ships; Prayers; Swords; Architecture

Categories

Stained Glass; Religion; Christianity

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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