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Title: Stained Glass of the Middle Ages in England and France
Author: Arnold, Hugh
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

                         205 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE

                         ST. MARTIN'S HOUSE, 70 BOND STREET, TORONTO

                         MACMILLAN BUILDING, BOMBAY
                         309 BOW BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA

  [Illustration: PLATE I
   Possibly Eleventh Century]






The Cathedral verger, conducting his flock of tourists round the
building, while giving them plenty of really interesting and valuable
information about it (for the verger of to-day is a different man from
his predecessor, and is often very intelligent and well informed),
remarks briefly, "The glass is of the thirteenth century"--or
fourteenth or fifteenth, as the case may be; the procession gazes
carelessly at it, and passes on. Yet from out of that dazzling and
glowing labyrinth of coloured jewels a past age is speaking far more
articulately, if one stops to unravel the message, than ever in stone
or wood, and it is for those who can be induced to take that second
look which will be followed by a third and a fourth and many more that
I have written this book.

It is impossible in a book of this size to give an adequate review of
all the important windows even within the limits of place and time
which I have set myself. I have therefore chosen for study certain
typical windows in each century, and have written about them some of
the things which interest me and which, I hope, will interest others.

The work of the countries and period I have chosen is of course the
most important of all. There is beauty, it is true, in much
Renaissance work (only a prig could resist the gaiety and charm of the
windows of St. Vincent at Rouen), but it is for the most part beauty
achieved in spite of, and not through, the material. There is
beautiful mediæval work in Germany and Italy, but the Germans, till
the Renaissance, clung to a rather lifeless and archaic convention,
and the Italians were hampered by their greater knowledge of painting.
The art has found its noblest expression in the work of the great
school which for nearly the whole of the Middle Ages was common to
France and England.

There is especial reason why we English should study the work of our
own mediæval glass painters. They are the chief representatives of our
primitive school of painting. It is true that there are English
manuscripts in the museums, and there are the painted rood screens of
Norfolk, including the superb example at Ranworth, and there is the
portrait of Richard II. at Westminster; but of the painting which must
once have covered the walls of our churches, there is little left but
patches of faded colour clinging here and there to the plaster, and
the occasional dim outline of a figure. Of our glass, on the other
hand, in spite of four hundred years of destruction, a considerable
quantity remains, and is worth far closer study than it has ever had.

I must gratefully acknowledge the help I have had from my brother, Mr.
T. K. Arnold, especially in writing of the Canterbury glass of which
he has made a very close study. My thanks are also due to Mr. Noel
Heaton for information on the chemical composition of glass.

The publishers are fortunate in having been able to reproduce, for the
illustrations, the very beautiful coloured drawings of Mr. Lawrence B.
Saint, which are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

     H. A.


     CHAP.                                                    PAGE

     1. THE MAKING OF A WINDOW                                   1

     2. THE BEGINNINGS OF STAINED GLASS                         11

     3. THE STYLE OF THE FIRST PERIOD                           29

     4. TWELFTH CENTURY GLASS                                   41

     CANTERBURY AND LINCOLN                                     67

     CHARTRES                                                   85

     GRISAILLE                                                 109

     8. THE STYLE OF THE SECOND PERIOD                         123

     MERTON COLLEGE AND EXETER                                 151

     10. FOURTEENTH CENTURY GLASS AT YORK                      161

     11. FOURTEENTH CENTURY GLASS IN FRANCE                    183

     THE WINCHESTER SCHOOL                                     195

     13. THE STYLE OF THE THIRD PERIOD                         211

     14. FIFTEENTH CENTURY GLASS AT YORK                       225

     15. FIFTEENTH CENTURY GLASS IN FRANCE                     241

     16. MALVERN AND FAIRFORD                                  251

     INDEX                                                     267



     1. The Ascension Window, Le Mans. Possibly eleventh
     century                                            _Frontispiece_

                                                           FACING PAGE

     2. Part of Crucifixion Window, Poitiers. Late twelfth
     century                                                         8

     3. Methuselah, Canterbury, originally in choir clerestory.
     Twelfth century                                                16

     4. "Noë in Archa," from the north choir aisle, Canterbury.
     Twelfth century                                                24

     5. The Entombment, from the east window, Canterbury.
     Twelfth or early thirteenth century                            32

     6. Scroll-work, from the east window, Canterbury.
     Twelfth or early thirteenth century                            40

     7. Border, from the Trinity Chapel, Canterbury. Twelfth
     or early thirteenth century                                    44

     8. Border and Mosaic Diaper, from the Trinity Chapel,
     Canterbury. Thirteenth century                                 48

     9. Western Lancets and Rose, Chartres Cathedral.
     Twelfth and thirteenth centuries                               56

     10. The Big Angel, from the clerestory of the apse,
     Chartres Cathedral. Thirteenth century                         60

     11. David, from the clerestory of the apse, Chartres
     Cathedral. Thirteenth century                                  64

     12. Amaury de Montfort, from the choir clerestory,
     Chartres Cathedral. Thirteenth century                         72

     13. The Flight into Egypt, from the south aisle, Chartres
     Cathedral. Thirteenth century                                  76

     14. Work of Clement of Chartres in Rouen Cathedral.
     Late thirteenth century                                        80

     15. The Flight into Egypt, Poitiers. Late thirteenth
     century                                                        88

     16. Heraldic Panel, from the clerestory of the nave,
     York Minster. Early fourteenth century                         92

     17. Details from windows in the north aisle of nave,
     York Minster. Fourteenth century                               96

     18. Border and Shields, from Peter de Dene window,
     north aisle of nave, York Minster, with details
     from window in south aisle and sketch of clerestory
     window. Fourteenth century                                    104

     19. St. Margaret, west window of north aisle of nave,
     York Minster. Fourteenth century                              108

     20. St. Stephen, from south aisle of nave, York Minster.
     Fourteenth century                                            112

     21. The Nativity, upper part of east window of north
     aisle, All Saints', North Street, York. Fourteenth
     century                                                       120

     22. St. John, from east window of south aisle, St. Martin's,
     Micklegate, York. Fourteenth century                          124

     23. St. Barnabas, from clerestory of nave of St. Pierre,
     Chartres. Early fourteenth century                            128

     24. St. Luke, from choir clerestory of St. Ouen, Rouen.
     Fourteenth century                                            136

     25. Window with Life of St. Gervais, from south choir
     aisle, St. Ouen, Rouen. Fourteenth century                    140

     26. Grisaille pattern and boss from Plate 25                  144

     27. Bosses, from Plate 25                                     148

     28. Borders, from Plate 25                                    152

     29. Details, from Plate 25                                    160

     30. Angels in canopy work of Plate 25                         164

     31. The Annunciation, from St. Ouen, Rouen. Fourteenth
     century                                                       168

     32. Window in St. Bartholomew's Chapel, St. Ouen,
     Rouen. Fourteenth century                                     176

     33. Details, from St. Ouen, Rouen. Fourteenth century         180

     34. Canopy, from All Saints', North Street, York.
     Fifteenth century                                             184

     35. Canopy, from All Saints', North Street, York.
     Fifteenth century                                             192

     36. Nicholas Blackburn and his wife, from east window
     of All Saints', North Street, York. Fifteenth
     century                                                       196

     37. Priest, from "Acts of Mercy" window, All Saints',
     North Street, York. Fifteenth century                         200

     38. Kneeling Donors, from "Acts of Mercy" window,
     All Saints', North Street, York. Fifteenth
     century                                                       208

     39. Figure, from "Visiting the Prisoners," in "Acts of
     Mercy" window, All Saints', North Street, York.
     Fifteenth century                                             212

     40. Small Figures in White and Stain, from All Saints',
     North Street, York. Fifteenth century                         216

     41. Heads, from All Saints', North Street, York.
     Fifteenth century                                             220

     42. Head, from St. Michael's, Spurriergate, York.
     Fifteenth century                                             224

     43. Head, from St. Michael's, Spurriergate, York.
     Fifteenth century                                             228

     44. Head of an Archbishop, Canterbury. Fifteenth
     century                                                       232

     45. Head of Patriarch, from window in south aisle of
     nave, St. Patrice, Rouen. Fifteenth century                   236

     46. Head of St. Catherine, from window above altar in
     north-west corner of St. Vincent's, Rouen.
     Fifteenth century                                             240

     47. Drapery from sleeve of Virgin, from west end of St.
     Vincent's, Rouen. Fifteenth century                           244

     48. Angel's Head, from Great Rose Window in north
     transept of St. Ouen's, Rouen. Fifteenth century              248

     49. Angel's Head, from Great Rose Window in north
     transept of St. Ouen's, Rouen. Fifteenth century              256

     50. The Prophets Joel, Zephaniah, Amos, and Hosea,
     from the north aisle of the nave, Fairford. Late
     fifteenth century                                             260



The making of stained-glass windows is one of the arts which belong
wholly to the Christian Era. Its traditions do not extend back beyond
the great times of Gothic architecture, and it is to the work of those
times that the student must turn, as the student of sculpture and
architecture turns to that of the ancient world, to learn the basic
principles of the art.

In the Middle Ages stained glass formed an important part, but still
only a part, of that interior colour decoration without which no
church was considered complete; but in spite of its fragile nature it
has on the whole survived the attacks of time, the fury of the
Puritan, the apathy and neglect of the eighteenth century, and the
sinister energies of the nineteenth-century restorer better than the
painting which once adorned the walls and woodwork, and for this
reason has come to be considered in these days as peculiarly
appropriate to churches. So much so, indeed, that whereas I have
sometimes found in country parishes a certain amount of opposition to
any attempt to revive wall-painting as savouring of popery, no such
feeling seems to exist with regard to coloured windows.

[Sidenote: The process.]

Stained glass is not one of the arts in which the method of production
reveals itself at the first glance. Indeed, so few people when looking
at a stained-glass window, whether a gorgeous and solemn one of the
thirteenth or fifteenth century, or a crude and vulgar one of the
nineteenth, realize the long and laborious process by which the
result, good or bad, has been obtained, that a short description of
that process as finally perfected some five hundred years ago may not
be out of place here.

One hears it so often spoken of as "painted glass"--Mr. Westlake calls
his book _A History of Design in Painted Glass_--that it is not
surprising that there should be a good deal of misconception on the
point. It must be clearly understood then that the colour effects
which are the glory of the art are not directly produced by painting
at all, but by the window being built up of a multitude of small
pieces of white and coloured glass--glass, that is, coloured in the
making, and of which the artist must choose the exact shades he needs,
cut them out to shape, and fit them together to form his design, using
a separate piece for every colour or shade of colour.

In twelfth and thirteenth century windows many of these pieces are
only half an inch wide and from one to two inches long, and few are
bigger than the palm of one's hand; so the reader can amuse himself,
if he wishes, in trying to calculate the number of pieces in one of
the huge windows of this date in the Cathedral of Canterbury, York, or
Chartres, and the labour involved in this, the initial stage of the

When the window is finished these pieces are put together like a
puzzle and joined by grooved strips of lead soldered at the joints,
just as any "lattice" window is put together (and until glass was made
in large pieces this was the only way of filling a window); but before
this is done the details of the design--features, folds of drapery,
patterns, and so on--are painted on the glass in an opaque brownish
enamel made of oxide of iron and other metals ground up with a "soft"
glass (_i.e._ glass with a low melting-point). This is mixed with oil
or gum and water in order to apply it, and then the glass is placed in
a kiln and "fired" till the enamel is fused on and, if well fired,
becomes part of the glass itself. This is the only "painting" involved
in the production of a stained-glass window, and its effect, in the
hand of an artist, besides enabling him to express more than could be
done merely with glass and lead, is to decorate and enrich what would
otherwise be somewhat crude and papery in effect.

[Sidenote: The two parts of the process.]

The process thus consists of two parts. The cutting and putting
together of the glass is called _glazing_, and it is this that gives
the window colour; while the enamel work is spoken of as _painting_,
and gives detail, richness, and texture.

I shall presently show that the glazing and painting are really two
separate crafts, having separate origins and development, and that
stained glass as we know it, or as it should be called in strict
accuracy "stained-and-painted" glass, is the product of their union.

There is another method, far inferior in the beauty of its results, by
which pictures can be produced in glass, which is to paint on white
glass with transparent coloured enamels. As, however, this method was
not used till the seventeenth century, and is now once more almost
wholly abandoned, it does not concern us here.

The softness of lead which makes it the only practicable metal for
joining pieces of glass of complicated shapes, has the disadvantage
that a stained-glass window when leaded up has a considerable degree
of flexibility, and, if held by the edges alone, would be quite unable
to resist the pressure of the wind, which on a big window is
enormous,--think of the power even of a fresh breeze on a boat's sail.

[Sidenote: The iron-work.]

It would not even be able to support its own weight for long, and so
it follows that it must be held up by a system of short metal bars
fixed firmly into the stone-work. Naturally the design of the window
must be so arranged that these bars either do not interfere with it or
form an integral part of it. In early windows, especially those of the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries and even to some extent in those of
the fourteenth, the bars are sufficiently important to form the
governing factor in the design.

It must not be thought that stained glass loses in beauty by the
presence of these black lines of lead and iron. On the contrary it
gains enormously. Large pieces of unrelieved colour in windows are
thin in effect and trying to the eye, which needs the continual
contrast of the solid black of the lead all over the window to enable
it to appreciate the colour and brilliance of the glass. The painting
when rightly used is directed to the same end, for it may be said that
the smaller and more divided the spaces of clear glass, the more
brilliant and jewel-like is the effect.

[Sidenote: Silver stain.]

To the rule that a separate piece of glass must be used for every
change of colour, there are, in later work, two exceptions. The most
important, which was discovered early in the fourteenth century, is
the use of silver stain. It was then found that if white glass is
painted with a preparation of silver--either oxide or chloride of
silver will do--and then "fired" in the kiln used for the enamel
painting, it will be stained a clear and indelible yellow, varying
from pale lemon to deep orange, according to the strength of the

[Sidenote: Abrasion.]

The other exception was Abrasion, effected by the use of what is
called "flashed" glass. Flashed glass is glass so made that instead of
being coloured all through, it consists of a thin film or "flash" of
colour on a backing of white. With this glass it is possible to chip
with a burin, or grind away, the coloured film in places (we do
it now with hydrofluoric acid) so as to get white and colour on the
same piece of glass.

  [Illustration: PLATE II
   Late Twelfth Century]

In the Middle Ages only red and certain shades of blue were made in
this way, so the use of the process was very much restricted. The
invention of silver stain, on the other hand, by enabling the artist
to decorate his white glass and make it interesting, led him at once
to use a larger quantity of white in his window, and so, as will be
seen later, had a considerable influence on design.

These, however, are the exceptions which prove the rule, and, broadly
speaking, a stained-glass window must consist, to the eye, of flat
patches of colour, large or small, worked on with dark monochromatic
line work and shading. These patches of colour must each be separated
from the next by a black line--the leading--varying from a quarter to
half an inch in thickness, and crossed at intervals by still thicker
black lines--the iron bars.

[Sidenote: Limitations of the art.]

It follows from this that anything like illusion is impossible in
stained glass, and no artist with any sympathy for the medium would
attempt it. Unwise persons in decadent times have wasted much
ingenuity in the endeavour, but the result has always been disastrous
and ridiculous. Apart from its higher mission,--the expression of
ideas and emotions,--which it shares with every other branch of art,
the mission of stained glass is to beautify buildings and nothing
else. It is the handmaid of architecture, and can only justify itself
by loyal service of its mistress. The ideal of the stained-glass
artist must not be a picture made transparent, but a window made

Let no one suppose, however, that the artist is hampered by these
limitations on the higher side of his work. On the contrary, they set
him free to tell his story his own way. Ruskin--poor Ruskin, out of
date, ridiculed, forgotten--pointed out long ago, in writing of
Giotto's frescoes, the advantage which the pure colourist has over the
chiaroscurist in his power of telling a story. In our times the fact
has been rediscovered with a flourish of trumpets by the
Post-Impressionists. I have no great enthusiasm, I confess, for the
way in which they have carried out their principles, but I do know two
perfect tellings of the story of the Creation. One is in mosaic on the
ceiling of the narthex of St. Mark's at Venice, and the other is in
the upper part of the east window of York Minster; and in each case
the language used consists of flat forms and colour only.



I have said that stained-glass work is the product of the union of two
crafts, the glazier's and the enameller's. The glazier's work being
the groundwork of a window, I will take it first.

[Sidenote: Glass-making.]

What, to begin with, is glass? It is sand melted and run together. The
best sand for the purpose is that which is most largely composed of
the substance called silica, such as sand formed of powdered quartz,
or flint. For some reason, the silica when melted does not
recrystallize on cooling as might have been expected, but forms an
even transparent substance, plastic while still hot. Think of the
tremendous effect this one natural fact has had on the architecture,
dress, and, probably, the physique of the nations of northern Europe.

Given sufficient heat, glass can be made by this means alone, but the
heat required is so great that it has only been done in recent years
for special purposes by means of the electric furnace. Failing this,
the sand must be induced to melt at a lower temperature by means of a
flux, for which either potash or soda may be used, and to which lime
or lead must be added, to enable the glass to resist moisture.
(Theophilus, describing the process in his Treatise, certainly no
later than the thirteenth century, recommends the use of beech twigs
calcined in an earthen pot, whence the name "Pot-ash.")

[Sidenote: Colouring.]

Glass may be coloured or "stained" while in a molten condition by the
admixture of various substances, mostly metals, gold, copper,
manganese, and so on, the result depending on the temperature to which
it is subjected and on the exact composition of the glass as well as
on the colouring matter used.

[Sidenote: Blowing.]

Glass is made into vessels, as most people know, by "blowing." The
workman takes a dab of molten glass on the end of a long metal pipe,
and putting his mouth to the pipe blows the glass--soap-bubble
fashion--into a hollow bulb. Then by a rapid and dexterous series of
alternate and repeated heating, blowing, and spinning, and
manipulation with tools, most fascinating to watch, he shapes it into
the form required. If a flat sheet be required for window glass it may
be run out flat when liquid, or blown as described above, and worked
into a cylindrical form, split open, and unrolled. This is called
"muff glass." But glass can also be formed, by rapidly spinning it
while soft, into a large flat disc, called a "crown," and is then
known as "crown glass." It was by these last two methods, the "muff"
and the "crown," that all the material of the windows we have to
consider in this book was made.

[Sidenote: Cutting.]

When cold, the sheet or disc of glass may be cut to the shape
required, either, as in the old days, by running a hot iron slowly
along the proposed line of fracture, in which case a crack will follow
the iron, or by scratching it with a diamond and then bending it so as
to break along the line of the scratch. The latter is a comparatively
modern invention, and has in its turn been superseded by the use of a
little steel wheel with a sharp edge.

[Sidenote: Pliny's story.]

Pliny gives a story of the invention of glass which, if false, is
still so picturesque that I cannot resist quoting it here.

A certain merchant-ship touched on the coast of Syria, and the crew
landed near the mouth of the river Belus, on a beach of fine white
sand which, Pliny says, was still in his day of great repute for
glass-making. The ship's cargo consisted of natron,--a natural
alkaline crystal which was much used in ancient times for
washing,[1]--and the crew having lighted a fire on the sand used lumps
of it from the cargo to prop up their kettle. What was their surprise
to find afterwards a stream of molten glass running down from their
camp-fire. In this case the natron acted as a flux and enabled the
sand to melt in the heat of the camp-fire, which, however, must have
been a very large and hot one.

[Sidenote: Egyptian glass.]

Now, whether this story is true or not, it cannot have been the
beginning of more than a local industry, for the art of glass-making
was known in Egypt from very early times indeed.

Its earliest use seems to have been in the imitation of precious
stones, and perhaps for this reason it seems from the first to have
been made in colours as well as in white; but the art of blowing it
into vessels was certainly known in the fourth dynasty, and in
some of the paintings in the tombs the process is actually

  [Illustration: PLATE III
   Twelfth Century]

It was not, however, till the first century of the Christian Era that
any one seems to have thought of using glass to fill windows. In Egypt
naturally the climate made it unnecessary, and even in Italy, where it
can be cold enough in winter, civilization had evolved a style of
architecture independent of glass.

[Sidenote: Roman windows.]

Nevertheless it was introduced in Rome under the first emperors.
Caligula had his palace windows glazed, and Seneca mentions it as one
of the luxuries which had been introduced into life in his time, but
which did not really add to a philosopher's happiness. Its
introduction was, however, very gradual, and even two centuries later
its use was still quoted as evidence of excessive luxuriousness.

Remains of these Roman windows have been found at Pompeii and
elsewhere. At Pompeii they are in the form of small panes of glass
held, in one case in a wooden, and in another in a bronze lattice.[2]
It must be remembered that large panes were not available. Another
method seems to have been to set panes of glass directly into small
openings in stone-work.

When coloured glass was first used in windows we have no evidence to
enable us to say. As, however, the manufacture of coloured glass was
already a flourishing art it cannot have been long before the idea
came of using it to decorate windows.

[Sidenote: St. Sophia.]

Whether the windows of St. Sophia at Constantinople originally had
colour in them or not, is not quite certain. That they were glazed we
know, from the description of the church by Paul the Silentiary, an
officer of Justinian's court, but his language about them is
tantalizingly vague. From his enthusiasm at the effect of the sunlight
through them I am inclined to suspect that they were coloured, though
he does not definitely say so. Of this glass, which seems to have been
fixed in small rectangular openings in a slab of alabaster, nothing, I
believe, remains; but similar work--coloured--is to be seen in other
mosques, the only difference being that the openings in the slab are
formed into patterns and kept very small. (I have already mentioned
the necessity, when dealing with _clear_ coloured glass, of keeping
the pieces small and contrasting them with plenty of solid dark.)

[Sidenote: Mahommedan windows.]

This was as far as stained glass in the East ever got. The Mahommedan
conquerors seem to have taken the art as they found it, and continued
it down without much change almost to modern times. Their religion
debarred them from any attempt to represent living forms, so that the
art as it stood sufficed for the needs of their architecture. Visitors
to Leighton House may see some of these pierced and glazed lattices
from Damascus, and very beautiful they are. In them the pieces are not
much larger than a penny, and are set in holes cut in plaster slabs,
bevelled on the inside, the glass being set at the outer edge of the
hole. The glass is not really of very good quality, but treated in
this way even thin poor glass looks rich and jewel-like.

[Sidenote: Glass in the West.]

What course the glazier's art first followed in the West it is
impossible to say, for nothing of it remains earlier than the eleventh
century, if as early. Nevertheless, in spite of repeated barbarian
invasions, it seems never to have quite died out.

The Church, the refuge of the arts and civilization in the general
debacle, sheltered it, and from being the luxury of the Roman
millionaire it became the ornament of the house of God. From time to
time we get allusions to glazed windows, but never a description that
can throw much light on their construction or design. Enough is said,
however, to show that coloured glass was sometimes used. For instance,
we read that St. Gregory of Tours placed coloured windows in the
Church of St. Martin in that city in the sixth century.

One or two facts, however, lead me to think that whereas, in the East,
glass was set in stone or plaster, in the West it was usually set in
metal. At Pompeii, as we have seen, panes of glass are set in a bronze
lattice and fixed with nuts and screws. As colour was introduced it is
probable that from the necessity, already spoken of, of keeping the
pieces small, several bits would be joined together with lead to fill
one opening of the rigid lattice, and so patterns could be formed. Leo
of Ostia says his predecessor, the Abbot Desiderius, filled the
windows of the Chapter-House at Monte Cassino in the eleventh century
with coloured glass, "glazed with lead and fixed with iron"; and
certain it is that the earliest existing windows consist of a large
rigid lattice of massive rebated iron bars, in which leaded panels
have been placed separately, and held there by light cross-bars passed
through staples and keyed with wedges.

If this conjecture is correct, we may assume that the art of the
glazier had for some time been perfected, and had progressed as far as
was possible for it unaided, when its union, probably in the tenth
century, with that of the enameller gave birth to the art of
"stained-and-painted" glass--that is, stained glass as we know it.

[Sidenote: The opaque enamel.]

Without the use of enamel the glazier's craft must always have been
strictly limited to patterns in glass and lead, or, as we now call it,
"plain glazing." What was needed to convert it into the art as we know
it was the addition of painting in the black or brown monochrome
enamel described in the first chapter.

Only one who has worked in glass, and seen his work grow from a
map-like combination of white and coloured glass to the finished glass
painting, knows the power the enamel gives him of controlling,
softening, and enriching his effects of colour. The power it gives of
suggesting form is only one, and not the most important, of its
functions, and it was as vital to the work of the twelfth and
thirteenth as of the fifteenth century. With its introduction the
glorious windows of the Middle Ages became possible.

Exactly when and where the application of the enameller's craft to
glass windows first took place it is impossible to say with
certainty; but there is some reason to suppose that it was in France,
and not earlier than the tenth century.

[Sidenote: Venetian enamellers.]

Enamel--the art of painting on metal with an easily fusible glass
ground to powder, which is then fused on to its groundwork in a
furnace--was of ancient invention, and had been carried to a high
state of perfection in Constantinople in the eighth and following
centuries. Thence by way of Venice it had come to France, where a
colony of Venetian craftsmen had established itself before the end of
the tenth century.

[Sidenote: Monkwearmouth.]

France was already famous for its glaziers: for instance, when in A.D.
680 the Abbot, Benedict Biscop, glazed the windows of the monastery at
Monkwearmouth, we read in Bede that "he sent messengers to Gaul to
fetch makers of glass (or rather artificers) till then unknown in
Britain.... They came, and not only finished the work required, but
taught the English nation their handicraft"; and it is probable that
the French glaziers, chafing under the limitations of their art,
called in the aid of the Venetian enamellers. It is noteworthy that no
attempt seems to have been made to use transparent coloured enamel on
glass. That mistake was reserved for the decadence of the art seven
hundred years later. Perhaps experiment convinced them that enamel
colour could never hope to rival the depth and richness of coloured
glass, and the glazier would realize that what he wanted of the
enameller was not colour but black, to modify and enrich the colour
which his glass already gave him in full measure. In this book,
therefore, the word "enamel," when used in connection with glass, must
be understood to refer, unless coloured enamel is specifically
mentioned, to this brown opaque enamel or "paint," as glass-workers
call it.

[Sidenote: Cloisonné.]

But the enameller's art had another influence on that of stained
glass. A form of enamelling developed at Constantinople and practised
at Limoges was that known as "cloisonné." In this, narrow strips of
metal are soldered edgeways to the groundwork and the spaces between
are filled with differently coloured enamel, the different colours
being thus separated by strips of metal.

When the enameller's attention was first turned to glasswork, in which
different coloured pieces of glass were separated by strips of lead,
he must have been struck with the similarity of the two arts, and have
perceived that the style of design already developed in enamel could
be applied with little change to glasswork.

This probably explains not only the apparently sudden birth of the art
fully formed, but the strongly Byzantine character of the design in
the earliest work, the enameller's art having been brought, as we have
seen, from Constantinople by way of Venice.[3]

What, then, is the oldest "stained-and-painted" glass in existence? At
Brabourne in Kent there is a small window, of which a coloured tracing
may be seen in South Kensington Museum, which may belong to the
eleventh century. It consists of a simple pattern of white glass and
leading, with small pieces of colour inserted at intervals. Some of
these latter, however, have been formed into rosettes of simple design
by means of opaque enamel, which is the only painting in the window at
all. Whatever the actual date of the window, I think it is not
unlikely that it shows the manner in which enamel painting and glazing
were first combined.

  [Illustration: PLATE IV
   Twelfth Century]

[Sidenote: Early window at Le Mans.]

Almost the earliest glass, however, to which any date can be
approximately assigned are the panels in Le Mans Cathedral,[4]
which are illustrated by a sketch of Mr. Saint's in Plate I.

In a thirteenth century manuscript preserved at Le Mans it is recorded
that Bishop Hoel, who occupied the See from A.D. 1081 to 1097, glazed
the windows of the Cathedral with stained glass, "sumptuosa artis
varietate," and it is just possible that this glass, which was found
in 1850 scattered and glazed up among fragments of a later date, may
be part of the glass referred to.

It seems to have formed the lower part of a window representing the
Ascension, and consists of figures of the Virgin and the Twelve
Apostles "gazing up into Heaven."

The arrangement is very simple. There seems to have been little or no
ornament in the window, and the figures in white and coloured
draperies, standing on conventionalized hillocks which represent the
top of the "high mountain," are relieved against a background of plain
colour in alternate panels of red and blue. In this window and for
long afterwards the background represents nothing in nature, but
merely serves the purpose of throwing up and isolating the figures.

As the glass is not in its original position, one can only guess at
its original construction and design. All early windows, as I have
said, consisted of separate leaded panels inserted into the openings
of a massive metal framework, an arrangement which of necessity
governed the design. In this case one would expect the six panels,
with their differently coloured backgrounds, each to have filled a
separate opening in the framework.

If this is so, however, the panels must have been somewhat cut down,
since as at present glazed the limbs and drapery of the figures
occasionally overlap into the neighbouring panels. I think it very
probable indeed that the glass has been so cut down, and that the
window at Poitiers, illustrated in Plate II., though of later date,
gives a true idea of the original relation of these panels to the
iron-work. It is probable too that the upper part of the Le Mans
window was filled with a figure of the ascending Christ on the same
plan as that of Poitiers. It is, indeed, only fair to say that the
Poitiers window, which is of the end of the twelfth century, throws
some doubt on the greater antiquity of that at Le Mans.

There is little or no ornament in the latter, and perhaps there was
never much, though it may have once had simple borders between the
panels and a rich border like that at Poitiers (not shown in the
drawing) surrounding the whole. The technique followed in the painting
is precisely that which obtained for nearly three hundred years after.
That is to say, as far as possible the effect is obtained by glazing,
and the features and folds of drapery are put in with strong, dark,
sweeping lines of enamel. The style of the drawing, however, both in
the figures and the drapery, is perhaps more purely Byzantine than any
later work. The sweeping lines of the drapery are graceful and
decorative, but the action of the figures is absolutely conventional.
There is none of that feeling for motion which, expressed in line,
gives so much vigour and animation to the subject windows of the
thirteenth century.

In colour, however, which after all is the most important thing in a
window, this glass is splendid, and for the quality of the material
and the way in which it has resisted the attacks of time it is
superior to much glass of a later date.


[1] Pliny's word "nitrum" does not mean what we call nitre, which is
potassium nitrate, but natron, or natural carbonate of soda, of which
deposits are found in the Nile Delta. It is this that is meant in the
passage in Jeremiah: "Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee
much sope...."

[2] These panes are, I believe, of cast glass; but I have seen Roman
window glass found at Silchester that was obviously "blown" glass and
of very good quality.

[3] By some writers it has been claimed that the whole idea of
stained-glass work was derived from cloisonné enamel; but from the
fact that the glazing of windows in glass and metal had been known
long before, I think the course of events I have suggested above to
have been more probable.

[4] There is some at Augsburg and at Tegernsee in Bavaria which may
perhaps be a little earlier, but it is not certain.



[Sidenote: The three periods.]

Stained glass from its birth to the Renaissance has been divided by
Winston into three main periods, each having broad characteristics
peculiar to itself, and which he named after the corresponding
architectural styles, Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular. As,
however, these terms only apply to English work, and as the
architectural styles do not altogether correspond in date with those
of the glass, I prefer to speak simply of the First, Second, and Third

The First lasts from the earliest examples almost to the end of the
thirteenth century, and might be subdivided again into twelfth and
thirteenth century work, between which there is a distinct difference.

The Second covers nearly the whole of the fourteenth century.

The Third lasts down to the end of the fifteenth century, by which
time the influence of the classic Renaissance began to be felt in
glasswork, but lingers on in belated examples well into the sixteenth.

Between each of these periods there is a very short transitional
period lasting hardly a decade, and occupying the closing years of
each century.

It must not be thought, however, that at any time design in stained
glass stood still. Its history is rather one of periodic impulses, due
no doubt to the work of individual genius, followed in each case by a
long and gradual decline, towards the end of which artists began to
grow restless and feel about for new modes of expression, and so
prepare the way for the next impulse of genius.

[Sidenote: The First Period.]

The broad characteristics then which distinguish the First Period

     (1) Its rich colour.
     (2) Its mosaic character.
     (3) The importance of the iron-work and its influence on the design.
     (4) The method of painting.

       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: PLATE V
   Twelfth or early Thirteenth Century]

[Sidenote: Its rich colour.]

(1) _Its Colour._--The colour of the glass in this First Period is of
a barbaric richness, unequalled in the succeeding periods. A very deep
and splendid blue is used, in contrast with the greyish-blue of
later glass, and it is of an uneven tint, which greatly adds to its
quality. The ruby,[5] too, is often of a streaky character and of
great beauty. These two usually form the dominant colours in the
window, the greens, yellows, and purples being used rather to relieve

So much is the artist in love with his deep reds and blues, which he
nearly always uses for the backgrounds of his figures, that he seldom
insults them by painting on them except in so far as is necessary to
the drawing, reserving his enamel mainly for the decoration of his
whites and paler colours, keeping them in their places by a delicate
fret of line and pattern work.

It is only towards the latter part of the period, when the quality of
the glass began to fail a little, that he ever covered the whole
surface of a blue background with an enamelled diaper, to give it a
depth and richness which was lacking in the glass itself.

Except in the grisaille windows to be described later, in which a
definitely white effect is aimed at, the amount of colour used in
proportion to the white glass is considerably greater than in
succeeding periods. Nevertheless the white is always present, running
everywhere among the colour like a silver thread, relieving and
beautifying it. In fact it was not till modern times that any
glass-worker ever thought he could do without it.

[Sidenote: Its mosaic character.]

(2) _The Mosaic Character of the Glass._--The designer depends for his
effect primarily upon glass and lead, and builds up his window out of
tiny pieces. He had learned the jewel-like effect this gave to his
work, and seemed to grudge no labour in it. Take, for example, the Ark
at Canterbury in Plate IV. Where a fifteenth century painter would
have been content to make the ark of perhaps only one piece of glass,
probably of white, getting his detail in enamel and silver stain only,
our thirteenth century craftsman has used over fifty pieces, purple,
blue, red, yellow, green and white, and that in a space less than a
foot square! He was a colourist par excellence, and his waves, too,
are blue, greenish-blue and green, with caps of white foam--all a
mosaic of glass and lead.

From this dependence for its effect on the actual material used, it
follows that the work of no period is more easily damaged than this by
so-called "restoration." The introduction of only half a dozen pieces
of crudely coloured modern glass is often enough to upset the whole
harmony of the colour and to make the window irritating instead of
restful to the eye. In France, indeed, so few windows of this period
have been left unrestored that the period does not always get justice
done it. I doubt if many people honestly get much pleasure from the
effect of the windows of the Sainte Chapelle at Paris taken as a
whole; but if you notice how much of the original glass is in South
Kensington Museum you will understand the reason.

[Sidenote: The iron-work.]

(3) _The Influence of Iron-Work._--The windows of this period
consisted from the first, as we have seen, of separate leaded panels
inserted into the openings of an iron lattice. This lattice was formed
of iron bars of a =T= shaped section, the head of the =T= being
outwards, and having staples at intervals on the inner rib, through
which light iron bars were thrust and keyed with wedges, to hold the
glass in its place.

In the absence of any tracery to assist in the support of the glass,
this iron-work in large windows was of a massive character and could
not be disregarded in the design. In figure work there were two
possible ways of dealing with it: one was to make the figures so large
as to be independent of it; and the other was to make the figures so
small that a complete figure-subject could be included in one opening
of the frame work.

Both these methods were used by the artists of the early period. Where
the work is far from the eye, as in the clerestory windows, we usually
find large single figures--far larger, often, than life--filling the
whole window, like the big angel from Chartres on Plate X. and the
smaller and older figure of Methuselah from Canterbury on Plate III.
When, on the other hand, the work is near the eye, as in the aisle
windows, they used the other method, filling each opening of the
iron-work with a small subject-panel like that of Noah and the Dove in
Plate IV., thus producing what is called the medallion window.

[Sidenote: Medallion windows.]

At first the lattice work consisted merely of upright and horizontal
bars. These, it is true, sometimes, as in the twelfth century window
at Poitiers in Plate II., were manipulated to fit the subject, but
more usually the subject fitted the bars.

[Sidenote: Bent iron-work.]

In the earliest form of medallion window, such as those in west
windows at Chartres and some of the earliest ones at Canterbury, the
window is divided by the iron-work into a series of regular squares,
each of which alternately is filled with a square and a circular
figure-subject. Later, however, in the thirteenth century, the
iron-work itself was bent into geometric patterns which the medallions
were shaped to fit, producing the elaborate designs shown in the
insets of the whole windows in Plates IV. and VIII. from Canterbury.

Even when in the latter part of the thirteenth century there was a
return, prompted no doubt by motives of economy, to iron-work composed
of straight bars, the influence of these elaborate lattices is still
seen in the shapes of the medallions, though these are no longer
outlined by the iron-work which now passes across or between them. An
example of this is shown in Plate XIV. from Rouen Cathedral.

[Sidenote: The method of painting.]

(4) _The Method of Painting._--This consists of vigorous line work in
the brown enamel, laid on with a brush in beautiful, firm, expressive
strokes on a ground of clear glass. Lettering and patterns are formed
by being scratched out clear from a solid coat of enamel. There is no
attempt at modelling in planes or at light and shade, and half-tone
is only used, as I shall presently explain, to soften the edges of the
line work.

[Sidenote: Irradiation.]

Now the optical law which most affects the technique of stained glass
is that of which the effect is known as "irradiation." In an
unscientific work it is enough to say that it is the law which causes
the filament of an electric light, in reality thin as a hair, to
appear when incandescent as thick as a piece of worsted. In the same
way it makes the clear spaces of glass appear larger than they really
are in proportion to the obscured parts, and also tends to make them
look rounded.

From the fact that the glass between the line work was left nearly
clear, the work of this period is more affected by irradiation than
any other, and the artist had to make his line work very black and
thick in order to tell at all, especially in work far from the eye.
For instance, if he wished to distinguish the fingers of a hand he
separated them with solid black spaces as thick as the fingers

[Sidenote: The line work.]

The glass between the line work is left nearly clear, but not quite;
for if quite clear the intensity of the light would have bitten into
the edge of the black line and made it appear what engravers call a
"rotten" line, or even be invisible altogether at a little distance.
Therefore the painter softened the edges of his line work by one of
two methods. The first, described by Theophilus, though I cannot say
for certain that it has been used in any glass I have examined, was to
slightly smear the painting when wet with a soft brush. The other,
which seems to have been more used, was to edge the dark line work, so
to speak, with fainter strokes in semi-transparent half-tone. In work
that was meant to be placed near the eye the line work is
extraordinarily fine and delicate, while in work that has to be seen
from a distance, such as the clerestory windows of a cathedral, we
find the whole scale of the execution increased. Lines are there used
from half an inch to an inch thick, but in every case the work is
equally admirable for its precision and vigour.

[Sidenote: The "Matt."]

In the later periods the half-tone shading became developed into the
"matt" or thin coat of enamel laid evenly all over the surface of the
glass, from which, when dry, the lights were brushed out and the line
work became more and more delicate. Still, as long as technique
remained sound, the strength of shading was really obtained by line
work, the matt or half-tone serving its true use in softening the
light and making the line work visible.

Renaissance glass painters, in their efforts to produce the effects of
oil painting in glass, tried to get rid of the effect of irradiation
altogether by dulling the whole surface of the glass, with fatal
results to the beauty of the material.

To sum up, although the work of this period may suffer in popular
esteem from the drawing being conceived in an archaic convention,--a
convention different to our own,--and from having suffered from
restoration, the fact remains that at no time did the artist
understand better the possibilities and limitations of his art and
adopt a sounder technique in regard to them.


[5] It seems to have been the practice of glass-workers in the Middle
Ages to describe the different colours in glass by the jewel they most
nearly resembled. A survival of this at the present day is their
universal habit of calling red glass "ruby."

  [Illustration: PLATE VI
   Twelfth or early Thirteenth Century]



The few examples I have mentioned are the only ones which can with any
probability be dated from the eleventh century, but of twelfth century
work much more remains.

[Sidenote: Poitiers.]

The window at Poitiers in Plate II. shows little if any change in
style from the Le Mans window in Plate I. It is still almost pure
Byzantine, and if I were to judge by style alone I should place this
window very early indeed. A fragment of an inscription has, however,
been found on it--DITHANC ... BLAS,--which has been thought to mean
that the window was the gift of one Maurice de Blason, who became
Bishop of Poitiers in 1198. If so, and if we are right in identifying
the Le Mans window with Bishop Hoel's glazing, a whole century
separates the two.

The probable explanation is that the Byzantine style had lingered on
in the south-east of France, as it may well have done, whereas north
of the Loire a school had by this time arisen, and had been
flourishing for many years, which was producing work both in France
and England of a very different and far more advanced character.

[Sidenote: The school of Chartres, St. Denis, and Canterbury.]

The twelfth and early thirteenth century windows at Chartres, St.
Denis, Canterbury and Sens show such resemblance to each other that
there can be little doubt of their common origin. As, however, their
execution covers a period of at least seventy years, one man cannot
have been responsible for them all.

Probably they represent the work of a group of men working
together--perhaps never more than half a dozen at one time--under a
master who was trained by his predecessor, and who in turn would be
succeeded in the leadership by the best of his pupils. Several of
these masters in succession must have been men of genius, and thus
between them they evolved a style which, carried on by a succession of
lesser men, governed design in stained glass for a century to come.

  [Illustration: PLATE VII
   Twelfth or early Thirteenth Century]

The rise of this school is the first of the periodic impulses to which
I have referred, and the work they produced was, for its dignity and
grandeur, unequalled for two hundred years--if it has ever been
equalled at all.

The figure of Methuselah or "Matusale" in Plate III., which is one of
the few remaining of the original figures once in the choir clerestory
at Canterbury (it is now in the S. Transept), is a good example of
their work, and a comparison of it with the Poitiers window (which is
actually later in date but in the older style) shows the greatness of
the change they effected. The change is, in fact, that from ancient to
modern art: from Byzantine, the last lingering survival of the great
classic tradition of Greece, to Gothic, the first expression of the
art of the modern world.

Who were these men and where did they come from? Some would have it
that there was a great central school at Chartres, but there is little
evidence for it. When Abbot Suger built the great abbey of St. Denis,
which was dedicated in 1142, he filled it with glass, "painted," says
his secretary, Monk William, "with exquisite art by many masters of
_divers nations_" ("de diversis nationibus"). Does this mean that some
of them were English or Germans, or only men from other provinces than
the Ile de France? No one can say; but they must have been working
together to produce the results they did. One statement of the Monk
William's leads me to think that the work was done on the spot. He
says the work was very costly, because they "used sapphires to colour
their glass." Now this is an obvious misunderstanding, due to the
practice, in those days, of describing coloured glass by the name of
the precious stone it resembled, and such a mistake is most likely to
have been made in conversation with the artists themselves.

It is, of course, always possible that they had no permanent
headquarters but took up their abode in whatever city their chief work
was for the time being, there erected their furnaces, which the
description of Theophilus shows to have been simple affairs, and
remained there till their work was completed--which must have taken
some years in every case--and then moved on to the next work.

Much has been made of the fact that a window in Rouen bears the
signature of one Clement of Chartres,--"Clemens vitrearius Carnutensis
me fecit,"--but that window is a hundred and forty years later than
St. Denis. By that time the whole Cathedral at Chartres had been
filled with glass, a task which extended over thirty years; and
Clement may well have learned his trade and passed from apprentice to
master there. No other artist of the school has signed his name
anywhere, nor has Clement anywhere else.

One can tell pretty well the order in which the most important of
their work which remains was done. First Chartres and St. Denis,--so
near together that one cannot say which came first,--then Canterbury,
Sens, and then back to Chartres again, where a fire had destroyed all
but the west windows. This, however, probably represents only a small
portion of their labours, of which the rest has disappeared. For
instance, a few fragments set among later work in York Minster have
all the characteristics of this school; and we know that Prior
Conrad's choir at Canterbury, which was completed in 1130 and
destroyed in 1175, was renowned for the splendour of its glass, which
may have been their work too.

A window at Le Mans, rather later than the one illustrated, and which
Mr. Westlake thinks may be dated about 1120, shows signs of the new
movement. It consists of a series of subjects from the stories of SS.
Gervasius and Protasius, and already shows the arrangement of small
medallions of simple shape, surrounded by ornament filling the
rectangular openings of the iron-work, though from the fact that some
of the medallions seem to have been cut down, they are probably not in
their original position. In the drawing of the subjects the artist is
breaking away from the Byzantine tradition. The new wine is bursting
the old bottles. He is a man in love with life, and when he depicts a
group of men stoning a saint he likes to make them really throwing,
and to show in their faces, as well as he knows how, that they are
thorough ruffians.

Next in antiquity to this window, and some twenty or thirty years
later (1142-1150), come the earliest of the windows at Chartres and at
St. Denis.

[Sidenote: Chartres.]

In the year A.D. 1134 a terrible fire destroyed the town of Chartres
and so damaged the west end of the Cathedral that it had to be pulled
down and rebuilt--a work which took some fifteen years to accomplish,
while the towers were not finished till twenty years later still. The
three windows over the west door were filled with glass some time
between 1145 and 1150.

  [Illustration: PLATE VIII
   Thirteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The west windows.]

In early times churches seem to have been peculiarly liable to
destruction by fire, owing perhaps to the number of wooden buildings
by which they were surrounded. The early history of every great
cathedral is one of successive disastrous conflagrations, after each
of which the building rises once more, larger and more splendid. Thus,
in 1194, another fire completely destroyed the whole of the Cathedral
with the exception of the newly built west end, which included the
three windows in question. These escaped damage, protected perhaps by
the immense depth of their embrasures, and still remain almost
unimpaired to this day, the largest and most perfect windows of their
time that have come down to us. In them one feels that the new
movement has found itself and produced a great man.

Two of them, the central one, which is the largest, being some 30 feet
high and 10 wide, and that on the south, are medallion windows,
containing scenes from the life of Christ. The bars of the iron-work,
which are about 3 feet apart, divide them into a series of regular
squares, which are filled with square and circular medallions; in the
central window the figures in the medallions are relieved against
alternate backgrounds of ruby and blue. The ruby of the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries is a wonderful colour. It is never of a perfectly
even tint, each piece having, as it were, its own character, and the
colour seems to have a slightly granulated or "crumbly" texture,
which gives it a quality unknown in later glass. So beautiful was it
evidently considered that the artist seldom or never attempted to
enrich it with painting.

[Sidenote: The Jesse tree.]

The third window, that on the north, is filled with a "Tree of Jesse."

The subjects of stained-glass windows in this First Period were chosen
with one object--the exposition of the Christian Doctrine, and of this
the human descent of Christ was an essential part. Accordingly, at all
periods in the history of mediæval stained glass we find windows
devoted to the representation of "the Tree of Jesse."

The arrangement is always the same as in this window at Chartres. The
figure of Jesse lies recumbent at the foot of the window, and from his
loins rises the "Tree"--a mass of branching scroll work with
conventional foliage, spreading over the whole window, carrying on its
branches David and other human ancestors of Christ, and culminating in
the Virgin and Christ Himself at the top of the window. On either side
are ranged the Prophets who foretold His coming, and the whole,
surrounded by a rich border, forms, at Chartres, a mass of jewelled
colour some 9 feet wide and 25 feet high.

This window and the one of which a part, identical in design, remains
at St. Denis, are the oldest examples I know of a Jesse tree in
stained glass, and whether or not they were the first to be made,
their design formed a model for others for long after.

[Sidenote: La Belle Verrière.]

The remainder of the windows in the Cathedral, including the western
rose, are of the thirteenth century with one exception--the one in the
south choir aisle, which contains the great figure of the Virgin known
as "Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière": the only window, as far as I
know, to which in former times people knelt by hundreds in adoration,
and before which they still occasionally burn a candle.

The Virgin with the Child on her knee sits enthroned in the upper part
of the window, and surrounded by angels, on a much smaller scale,
incensing and holding candles, while below are medallions illustrating
the Marriage at Cana and the Temptation. The angels and the medallions
are of the thirteenth century, but the figures of the Virgin and Child
with their background are almost certainly of the twelfth. Probably
the veneration in which they were held caused them to be rescued from
the fire,--hurriedly broken out, perhaps, from the surrounding
glass,--and then reset in thirteenth century work after the Cathedral
was rebuilt.[6] The Virgin is dressed in a robe of pale greyish-blue,
of a colour one seldom sees in later work, relieved against a
background of deep ruby, set with jewels of a darker blue. The
precision of the colour harmony is wonderful, and no drawing I have
seen of the window gives, even in outline, the beautiful poise of the
head, bent in gracious benediction.

Although I have said that the workers of this school were breaking
away from the Byzantine tradition and looking at life with their own
eyes, yet it is never possible for men suddenly to produce work wholly
independent of tradition, even when they are foolish enough to try; so
we find in this case Greek art, through Byzantine, retains enough
influence with these men to give to their work a dignity and restraint
which is lacking in that of the thirteenth century. This is very
noticeable wherever one gets the two in close juxtaposition, as at
Chartres and also at Canterbury. There is an impressive severity of
design and a feeling for proportion in the figure of the Virgin in La
Belle Verrière which one misses in the surrounding work, which,
though very beautiful, is by comparison small and fussy in treatment.

[Sidenote: St. Denis.]

In the meantime, in 1142, while the west front of Chartres Cathedral
was still in progress, the great Abbot Suger had finished the
construction of his abbey of St. Denis, near Paris. He was a great
patron of the arts, as well as a good man and the first statesman of
his age, and he seems to have spared no pains in the decoration of the
church and especially in the filling of the windows with stained
glass. Of this glass, alas! only the merest remnant is left,
consisting of several medallions and part of a "Tree of Jesse." They
have been collected and placed in the chapels of the apse of the
church, embedded in garishly coloured ornament--the work of M.
Gérente, acting under the orders of the great and terrible
Viollet-le-Duc--which effectually prevents one taking any pleasure in
their beauty. They are, however, very interesting to study. Whether or
not they were done before or after the three windows at Chartres it
is, I think, impossible to say for certain. The history of the two
buildings shows that they must have been done within a few years of
each other (two of those at St. Denis contain figures of Suger as
donor, and he died in 1152), and they are certainly the work of the
same school. The Jesse tree in particular is either a copy, or the
original, on a smaller scale, of the one at Chartres, being almost
identical in design.

Many of the medallions are interesting from their deeply symbolical
character. In one, for instance, is Christ, with the seven gifts of
the Holy Spirit, represented, as in the Jesse tree, by doves, each
contained in a circle and connected with His breast by rays. With His
left hand He unveils a figure labelled "Synagoga," and with His right
He crowns another figure labelled "Ecclesia."

Another very curious medallion represents the _foederis arca_, "ark
of the covenant." A figure of the Almighty supports a crucifix which
rises from the ark,--a square box on four wheels,--while round about
are the four symbols of the Evangelists. The cross is thus shown as
the symbol of God's new covenant with man as the ark was that of the
old. A quaint feature is that the artist, while feeling that all four
wheels had got to be shown somehow, has been in some difficulty as to
how to show the farther pair, and has therefore placed them above the
ark, as if resting on it, as an ancient Egyptian artist might have
done in his place.

In most of the medallions the teaching of the subject is emphasized
and the application pointed out by rhyming Latin hexameters, doggerel
in style and innocent of prosody, such as:

     Quod Moyses velat, Christi doctrina revelat.

The same feature is found in the glass at Canterbury. None of the
verses are identical, but the literary style is the same.

[Sidenote: Angers and Chalons.]

At Angers there are some remains of twelfth century windows which are
thought to be about the same date as those of Chartres and St. Denis,
or even a little earlier, and there are some at Chalons, but they
cannot be dated with any exactitude, and I have had no opportunity of
examining them. Next after these in point of date should, I think,
come the earliest of the windows at Canterbury, though nearly thirty
years must separate the two.

[Sidenote: Fragments at York.]

A few fragments in York Minster, however, show where the artists may
have been occupied meantime. There are some scraps in the
clerestory--scraps of a Jesse window of which the details are almost
identical with the St. Denis work--and a medallion representing Daniel
in the Lion's Den, which is glazed into the foot of the centre light
of the great thirteenth century grisaille windows in the north
transept, known as "the Five Sisters." It is a circular medallion
filled out to a square form with ornament, no doubt to fit a square of
the iron-work, and strongly resembles the St. Denis work.

[Sidenote: Canterbury choir.]

Of the stained glass of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which
was once the glory of Canterbury Cathedral, only a remnant has escaped
the zeal of the Puritans. The minister placed in charge of the
Cathedral under the Commonwealth, one Richard Culmer, known to his
enemies as "Blue Dick," though I do not know why, relates with glee
how he stood on a ladder sixty steps high with a whole pike in his
hand and "rattled down proud Beckett's glassie bones."

I own I feel less resentment against "Blue Dick," who at least thought
the windows important enough to smash, than against that later vandal
Wyatt, who in the eighteenth century sold the glass at Salisbury for
the price of the lead in it, or those who even now in many places are
letting old glass perish for want of proper care.

  [Illustration: PLATE IX
   Twelfth and Thirteenth Century]

Even "Blue Dick" seems to have tired of his pious labours before they
were quite finished, for, of the early windows, he has left us two in
the north choir aisle, and four in the Trinity Chapel east of the
choir, in which most of the old glass remains. Besides these there are
many medallions and numerous fragments scattered about in other
windows and embedded in the work of the modern restorer, and several
large figures from the clerestory, of which the Methuselah in Plate
III., now in the south transept, is one.

In the year 1174, four years after Becket's death, the splendid choir
built by Prior Conrad in 1130 was completely destroyed by fire, and
the monks immediately set about building a new one. Gervase the monk
has left a detailed account of the progress of the great work, year by
year and pillar by pillar, for the space of ten years, first under the
French master-builder, William of Sens, and then under his successor,
William the Englishman ("little in body but in workmanship of many
kinds acute and honest"), so that we know just when each part of the
work was finished. Now in the spring of 1180, he relates, the monks
had a great desire to celebrate Easter in the new choir, and to
gratify them the master, by a special effort, succeeded in getting the
building finished and roofed in almost to the east end of the choir,
where he placed a hoarding to keep out the weather.

Since we are told that in this hoarding there were three glass
windows, it seems reasonable to suppose that the other windows were
glazed too. Now since both the windows in the north choir aisle and,
when in its original position, the Methuselah on Plate III. were well
to the westward of the point at which the hoarding was erected, I have
no doubt that they were in position by this date, in which opinion I
am confirmed by the character of the glass itself. That in the Trinity
Chapel to the east of the hoarding would naturally be later.

The same arrangement seems to have been followed at Canterbury as
elsewhere of having large figures in the clerestory and small
medallions in the lower windows.

The Methuselah, which seems to have formed one of a series of
Patriarchs,--of which three others remain, which filled the windows in
the clerestory of the choir,--is a particularly dignified figure, and
it is noticeable that the throne he is seated on is of somewhat the
same type as that of Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière at Chartres. As
in all windows of this date, the flesh is executed in glass of a
brownish-pink colour instead of white, which later on became the

This illustration shows very well the early method of painting. Where
possible, as in the rich blue of the background, the glass is left
quite clear. The folds of the drapery and the features are drawn in
sure and vigorous line work. Diaper is used very sparingly, only when
it is necessary to "keep back" and subdue a piece of glass, as in the
case of the green cushion to the throne and the border of the tunic.
If you can imagine the glass with these pieces left clear or with any
other piece diapered, you will see how unerring has been the artist's

The letters of the inscription are scratched out of a dark ground of
enamel. This is the invariable method used in early glass, which
indeed is always (except in grisaille, of which more later) conceived
as a light design on a dark ground. In the fifteenth century the
reverse was the case, and then we get inscriptions in dark lettering
on a light ground.

The arched form of the top of the background shows how it once fitted
a clerestory light, though doubtless with a border, and the space
above has been filled with scroll work of, I think, the same date,
which may have come from some of the medallion windows in the choir

The two medallion windows in the north choir aisle formed part, as we
know from an old MS. still in existence, of a series of twelve dealing
with the life and parables of our Lord.

In style they very closely resemble the St. Denis work, perhaps a
little further developed. Some of the medallions, indeed, are almost
identical with those at St. Denis, notably that of the Magi on
horseback following the star. The figures are tall and dignified, and
both for drawing and decorative placing are far better than much work
of the succeeding century. The Calling of Nathaniel is a particularly
good panel.

The westernmost of the two windows still retains the early arrangement
found at Chartres, the iron-work consisting simply of straight bars
dividing it into a series of regular squares, which are filled
alternately with circular and square medallions.

  [Illustration: PLATE X
   Thirteenth Century]

The other one of the two has bent iron-work of a very simple design,
consisting simply of four circles connected by straight bars, thus
marking the transition from one form to another; which is another
reason for dating these windows between the west windows of Chartres,
where the iron-work is all straight, and those at Sens, where it is
nearly all bent. The small scale-sketch in the corner of Plate
IV. shows the arrangement of the iron-work and the medallions. The
panel of Noah in the Ark is from one of the semicircles on the left
side of the window. The spaces between the medallions are filled up
with beautiful foliated scroll work, on a ruby ground of the same
character as that round the head of Methuselah.

The arrangement of their subjects is so interesting, forming one of
the first and most complete examples of a "type and antitype" window,
that I shall describe it in some detail.

In each of these two windows the upper two-thirds, or thereabouts, of
the glass is in its original position, while the lower panels, smashed
by the pike of "Blue Dick," who seems at this point to have got tired
of going up his ladder, have been filled with subjects from other
windows of the series.

Down the centre run the subjects from the life of Christ, while on
each side are the "types" or subjects from the Old Testament which
illustrate it. Thus the westernmost of the two, once the second of the
series, begins at the top with the Magi following the star, while on
one side is Balaam, with the words of his prophecy, "There shall come
a star out of Jacob, etc.," and on the other Isaiah, with the words,
"The Gentiles shall come to Thy light, and kings to the brightness of
Thy rising."

Next below we see in the centre the arrival of the Magi before Herod,
illustrated on the left by the Israelites coming out of Egypt, led by
Moses, and on the right by the Gentiles leaving a heathen temple
containing an idol--a naked blue figure (blue merely because the
artist wanted some blue there), and following Christ, by way of a
font, towards a Christian altar, while a demon above their heads urges
them to return to the idol. As at St. Denis, each of the medallions
has a Latin rhyme attached, explaining and enforcing the lesson. Here,
for instance, it runs:

     Stella Magos duxit et eos ab Herode reduxit,
     Sic Satanam gentes fugiunt te Christe sequentes.

Next we see the Magi making their offerings to the infant Christ, on
one side of which is the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon and on the
other Joseph in Egypt receiving his suppliant brethren.

And so the series goes on. The twelve windows when complete formed one
of the most elaborate sets of types and antitypes known, and included
not only the life of Christ but eight of His parables--for some reason
a very rare subject in mediæval glass. Two panels of the Parable of
the Sower--the seed falling among the thorns and the seed falling by
the wayside--remain, and have been used to fill up the gaps at the
bottom of this window. Above is a curious subject--the Church with the
three sons of Noah, who hold between them the world, divided into
three regions. From the MS. above mentioned we know that this was the
type to the "leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of
meal till the whole was leavened"--an idea taken, I think, from St.

The subject of Noah and the Ark from the other window was originally
alongside the Baptism of Christ, the purging of the world by the flood
of waters serving as the type for the purging of the soul by baptism.

Altogether as one studies these windows one is almost as much struck
by the subtlety of thought and earnestness of the teaching they embody
as by the glory of their colouring and grace of their design.

In one of the triforium windows is some glass which may perhaps be
earlier even than this. It consists of three medallions, only one of
which is at all perfect, which seem to be part of a life of St.
Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was martyred by the Danes. In
the one perfect panel which represents the storming of Canterbury by
the Danes, the warriors wear the long coats of mail and kite-shaped
shields of the Norman period as shown in the Bayeux tapestry, and a
ship in one of the other medallions is exactly like those in which
William the Conqueror and his knights are there shown crossing the
sea. The obscure position of this glass in the triforium is not where
one would expect to find a window devoted to St. Alphege, who before
the death of Becket was the most important saint that Canterbury could
boast; it may be therefore that the medallions have been moved from
elsewhere, perhaps from Archbishop Lanfranc's nave, or it may, for all
we can tell, be some of Prior Conrad's glass that has survived the

[Sidenote: Vendôme.]

Of other twelfth century work there is not much in existence. There is
a Virgin and Child at Vendôme which somewhat recalls Notre Dame de la
Belle Verrière but has none of her grace, and I have already referred
to the window at Poitiers illustrated in Plate II.

  [Illustration: PLATE XI
   Thirteenth Century]

[Sidenote: Poitiers.]

This remarkable and impressive window, which is over 26 feet high and
nearly 10 wide, is one of three, and occupies the central light of
the Cathedral apse. The illustration does not show the whole of
it, for it is surrounded by a rich border, which in its arrangement of
alternate bunches of foliage and knots of interlaced work resembles
that of the Jesse Tree at Chartres, and below the Crucifixion is a
four-lobed medallion showing the Martyrdom of St. Peter, and the donor
offering a model of the window.

The design, as I have said, seems to show that the Byzantine style had
lingered on south of the Loire, where no doubt the influence of the
Limoges school would be strong, and in view of this fact it is rash to
take the age of the Le Mans "Ascension" altogether for granted.


[6] Some critics have thought the figure merely a copy from an earlier
design, but I cannot agree with them.

[7] The little piece of white with yellow stain under the right toe
is, of course, a fifteenth century scrap.




In passing from the twelfth to the thirteenth century one notices a
certain loss of the restraint and sense of proportion which gives such
dignity and refinement to the earlier work, but on the other hand a
certain gain in vivacity and facility of expression. The Greek
influence is dying out, but the artists, though with less sense of
design than their predecessors, were accomplished at story-telling, in
which, however, they seem less serious and more gossiping. Their
figures are less tall, and the lines of the drapery from being
straight and severe become agitated and flowing.

[Sidenote: The Trinity Chapel, Canterbury.]

East of the choir in Canterbury Cathedral is the Trinity Chapel, of
which the building was finished in 1185 and to which the body of St.
Thomas was translated with great pomp in the year 1220 and placed in
a marvellous jewelled shrine, the position of which can still be
traced on the pavement by the hollow worn round it by the knees of
pilgrims. All around were gorgeous windows which, with the exception
of those in the little circular chapel at the east end, known as
"Becket's Crown," were filled with the stories of his posthumous

It is a little difficult to date these windows. They cannot of course
be earlier than 1185, but I do not think that any of them are much
later than 1220, though from the fact that one of the medallions, and
one only, contains a representation of the famous shrine--everywhere
else it is the martyr's tomb in the crypt that is shown--the
particular window containing it cannot have been executed before the
latter date, as the shrine would not have been in existence. It may,
however, have been done in that year. This window and the one next it
seem to me to be by an inferior hand, and contain certain features not
found in the others, but common in later glass of the thirteenth

Whether this represents a gap in the execution of the windows it is,
however, impossible to say without the evidence of the windows which
have been destroyed. Seeing that from 1208 to 1213 the country was
under an interdict, the existence of such a gap would not be

None of the windows are entirely filled with their original glass, but
four of them are nearly so. The gaps have been filled up with most
ingenious imitations of the old glass, executed from 1853 onwards by
Mr. Caldwell, under the direction of Mr. G. Austin, and so cleverly
are they done that they are very difficult to detect by the eye alone.
I do not think that "restoration" of old glass, by which is usually
meant filling up or replacing it by imitation of the old work, is ever
justifiable, but I am obliged to admit that, if it ever could be so,
it has been justified here at Canterbury. I think there is not much
doubt that in these four windows, at least, one can see the old glass
better for the gaps being filled up with colour than if they had been
left white. The principle, however, is a bad one, and I have seen
little "restoration" elsewhere that did not disfigure the window.

Fortunately a most indefatigable lover of stained glass, the Rev. J.
G. Joyce, has left a series of coloured drawings of the glass as it
was in 1841 before restoration. These and his manuscript notes are now
in South Kensington Museum, together with some coloured tracings by a
Mr. Hudson, and enable us to trace what has been done. From these we
learn that in his time the place of the Crucifixion in the east window
was occupied by a figure of the Virgin from a Jesse window, proving
that there was once a Jesse window at Canterbury as well as elsewhere.
Judging from the tracing, the scroll work of the "tree" follows
closely the lines of those at Chartres and St. Denis, but is a little
more elaborate and very beautiful. It seems to me more in keeping with
the earlier than the later work at Canterbury. Unfortunately no one
seems to know what has become of it; but Winston who saw it, quotes it
in a lecture as "some of the oldest glass in the country." If the
Cathedral authorities have got it stowed away anywhere I hope they
will some day place it in one of the empty windows where it can be

  [Illustration: PLATE XII
   Thirteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The east window.]

This east window, which is in "Becket's Crown," is one of the best
preserved, only four or five of its four-and-twenty medallions being
new. It is an example of an arrangement of subjects which occurs also
at Bourges and at Chartres, and to which PP. Cahier and Martin in
their work on Bourges give the name of "La Nouvelle Alliance." It
represents, in fact, the foundation of the Church of Christ, as
embodied in His Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, in the
coming of the Holy Ghost, and in the reign of the Son of Man on high,
each subject being accompanied and illustrated by "types" from the Old
Testament. Here, at Canterbury, on one side of the Crucifixion--which,
though new, is doubtless a correct restoration as far as the subject
goes--is the sacrifice of the Passover, and on the other is Moses
striking the rock in the desert, from whence, as from the side of
Christ, gushes the life-giving stream. Above is the sacrifice of
Isaac; and below, the spies returning from Eshcol carrying the great
cluster of grapes--a type of the wine of the Sacrament.

Above this group come the Entombment (which is reproduced in Plate
V.), the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Ghost,
and Christ in Glory, each with its four types surrounding it. The
Resurrection is modern, and so is the Escape of the Spies and the
"Majesty." Noah and his Ark is a modern copy of the one in the north
choir aisle, but the rest of the panels are original.

The work seems to me fairly early in character, but it is not so well
drawn as that in the north choir aisle, and there is not, to me, the
same feeling for line in it. It is, however, very beautiful, and the
whole window is a shimmer of iridescent colour. Plate VI. shows some
of the scroll work that fills the spaces between the medallions.

[Sidenote: The Becket windows.]

The windows in the Trinity Chapel itself are all devoted to the tale
of the posthumous miracles of the Blessed St. Thomas as related in the
Chronicle of Prior Benedict, which affords a key to the pictures. The
Chronicle is fascinating reading for the homely light it throws upon
everyday life in England at the end of the twelfth century. By its
means we can trace in the glass the story of the little boy who fell
in the Medway while throwing stones at frogs, three of which, very
large and green, are shown in the glass; of the workman William, who
was overwhelmed by a fall of earth while digging a conduit near
Gloucester; of the physician of Perigord and many others, who were one
and all restored to life and health through prayer to the Blessed
Martyr. There, too, is the tale of Eilward, whose eyes were put out by
the magistrate for having, when drunk, broken into the house of Fulk
(with whom he had quarrelled over a debt) and taken a pair of hedger's
gloves and a whetstone; to whom St. Thomas, who seems to have thought
the sentence excessive, appeared in a vision, and with a touch
restored his eyesight. Here, too, we see the awful vengeance of the
saint on the knight, Jordan Fitzeisulf, who, when his son was restored
to life, meanly neglected to make the offering he had vowed at the
Martyr's tomb.

Three of the windows on the north side are fairly perfect, and two on
the south side contain many of their original medallions. Of those on
the north, one, the sixth from the west, is the best, and might be by
the same hand as the east window. An interesting point about it is the
border, of which the design is identical with that of a window at Sens
which also deals with the history of St. Thomas à Becket. As this
window contains the story of Jordan Fitzeisulf, I shall refer to it,
if I have to do so again, as the Jordan Fitzeisulf window.

The other two, the fourth and fifth from the west, are, I think, by an
inferior hand, and contain, as I have said, certain features not found
in the other windows, but common in later glass of the thirteenth
century. One of them, the fifth from the west, is divided by the
iron-work into four great circles, each of which contains four
pear-shaped medallions, their points meeting in the middle. The
spandrils between them are filled with scroll work on a ruby ground,
not quite so good as those in the east window; but outside the large
circles--and this is the important point--the ground is filled in with
a regular mosaic of little pieces forming a repeat pattern as shown in
Plate VIII. This is the only instance at Canterbury of this "mosaic
diaper," as it is called, which is so common in glass a little later,
and which from the fact that it could be done "by the yard," and if
necessary by an apprentice, was a much cheaper method of filling in a
background than by scroll work, which it soon completely superseded.

It is noticeable that it is this window which in its uppermost
medallion contains the representation already mentioned of the famous
shrine, from which the saint is issuing and addressing a sleeping
monk, who is thought to be the Prior Benedict, the chronicler of the

In all the other medallions of the series it is the tomb of St. Thomas
in the crypt, easily recognizable from the descriptions that remain,
at which the sufferers pay their vows, so that it seems probable that
the window was executed in, or soon after, the year 1220, in which the
saint's body was removed to the shrine, but while the memory of the
tomb in the crypt was still fresh.

  [Illustration: PLATE XIII
   Thirteenth Century]

The other, the fourth from the west, has a very remarkable
peculiarity, very seldom met with in glass of the Early Period at all.
The blue background to the figures in the medallions, which is of a
paler and poorer quality than in the other windows, is covered all
over with a thin "matt" of enamel, from which a delicate diaper
pattern has been scratched out. Presumably the artist had for some
reason been unable to get any more of the splendid deep blue glass,
and used this means to give richness and texture to his background.
The only other thirteenth century glass I know of in which at all the
same thing has been done is at St. Urbain at Troyes, but that belongs,
I believe, to quite the latter part of the century. It was a common
device in the fourteenth century, but the patterns used then were of
quite a different character.

[Sidenote: Lincoln.]

Except for the grisaille windows at York and Salisbury, the only other
extensive remains of thirteenth century work in England are those in
Lincoln Cathedral, which, however, are little more than wreckage, and
consequently very difficult to date with any attempt at precision. The
only window in which any of the glass is in its original position is
the great rose window in the north transept, and even this, though the
original design can still be made out, is much mutilated.

The lancets under the rose in the south transept and the east windows
of the choir aisles contain a miscellaneous collection of medallions,
separated from their surrounding ornament and glazed in with remains
of thirteenth century grisaille. Other medallions, too, have been used
to fill gaps in the north rose, and the south rose is filled, with the
exception of one light which retains its original fourteenth century
foliage pattern, with scraps of thirteenth century ornament of which
the effect, with the sunlight twinkling through, is wonderfully

The medallions are not, I think, all of one date, which is not
surprising, for the filling of the windows of a big cathedral must
always have taken many years. The difficulty of dating them is
increased by the fact that much of the painting does not seem to have
been so well "fired" as at Canterbury, and in many cases has perished
altogether. This seems to have happened in recent years, for Mr.
Westlake shows many details in his drawings of the glass which I
cannot now distinguish. Where the painting remains we find that in a
few of the medallions the drapery is drawn in the stiff manner of the
twelfth and very early thirteenth century, but in most of them the
later more flowing treatment prevails. In some, too, the blue of the
backgrounds resembles that used at Canterbury, but in many, and
notably in the north rose, it is of a purplish colour and much less
agreeable. In a few it is of quite a grey blue.

Nowhere can I trace the same hand as at Canterbury, and the borders
and ornament are quite different; but that the artist had access to
some at least of the same designs is shown by a medallion in the south
choir aisle which represents Noah receiving the Dove, and is
practically a replica of the Canterbury one in Plate IV., with a
boat-like hull added to the Ark. It is not, however, nearly so good.
According to Mr. Westlake the work at Lincoln strongly resembles that
at Bourges, and to me it has something in common with that in the
Sainte Chapelle at Paris.

Lincoln Cathedral was not finished till after St Hugh's death in 1199,
so none of the glass can be older than that. On the whole, I think the
bulk of the glass is a little later than any but the very last of the
work at Canterbury, that it is by a different hand, and shows less
taste both in colour and design. Probably it was done between 1220 and

[Sidenote: The south rose.]

I am confirmed in this view by the examination of the fragments which
fill the great south rose, which consist entirely of thirteenth
century ornament and most probably once formed the setting of these
same medallions. A little of it is scroll work, but the greater part
is "mosaic diaper" of the kind shown in Plate VIII., and which is so
characteristic of French work after 1220, whereas we only find it
beginning at Canterbury.

Some of the medallions are, however, very interesting, the best being
those in which the drapery shows the earlier treatment. In the north
choir aisle is a good one of the Israelites crossing a Red Sea of a
fine streaky ruby, and in the south choir aisle is one of St. Thomas à
Becket being conducted to Heaven by angels and carrying the damaged
top of his head in his hands. By a touch of realism both parts of his
head have been made of glass that has slight ruby streaks in it,
giving it a gory appearance. This is the earliest example I know of
the deliberate use of an accident of colouring in the glass to produce
a realistic effect.

  [Illustration: PLATE XIV
   Late Thirteenth Century]

Among the medallions which have been glazed into the north rose is one
representing the funeral of St. Hugh of Lincoln in 1199, the coffin
being carried by three archbishops and three kings. One of the
kings was William of Scotland, and the other King John of England (the
only occasion on which I know of that monarch appearing in a pleasant
light), but the artist must have put the third king in for the sake of
symmetry as there is no record of his presence.

A curious medallion in the south transept shows Salome dancing before
Herod, not in the languorous Oriental fashion one would have expected
of her, but turning a somersault worthy of the music-hall stage, with
a lavish display of red stockings. A similar treatment of the subject
occurs at Bourges, and also in sculpture over one of the west doors at
Rouen Cathedral.

[Sidenote: The north rose.]

The north rose still retains about three-quarters of its original
glazing, and enables one to make out the design. In the centre is
Christ, and in the four petal-like lights which surround Him are, or
were, figures of the Blessed seated, not in circles but in horizontal
rows. Filling the spandrils between these lights are four trefoils, of
which two still each contain an angel swinging a censer, in an
attitude ingeniously fitted to the shape of the light. Outside these,
sixteen circular lights form a ring round the whole, and once
represented the Second Coming of Christ. At the top is Christ seated
on the rainbow, and in two lights on either side of Him are angels
carrying instruments of the Passion. Next come St. Peter and the other
Apostles, six in one light on each side, and below them, in the lights
level with the centre, are the four archangels sounding trumpets. The
lower half of the circle was probably devoted to the resurrection of
the dead and perhaps their judgment, but of these only one light
remains, showing the dead rising from their graves, the rest being
filled with single figures from elsewhere.

The spandrils between these circles are filled with little triangular
lights forming an inner and an outer ring of sixteen each. Of these
the inner ring is filled with white wavy pointed stars on a red ground
and the outer with similar red stars on a dark blue ground, thus
suggesting the idea--in _colour_ alone, without use of light or shade,
of light and warmth radiating from the centre.[8]

According to Mr. Westlake the central Christ has no stigmata, while
the one in the outer circle has them; but the painting has now
perished too much for me to see this even at close quarters. His
theory is that the centre represents Christ as "The Word,--the
uncreated Wisdom, as Creator, resting,"--and the outer circle shows
His last coming as Judge.


[8] Were it not for the difference in the source of the light one
would be reminded of Kipling's lines:--

     "The first are white with the heat of Hell and the second are
     red with pain,"


     "... Tomlinson looked up and up, and saw against the night
     The belly of a tortured star blood-red in Hellmouth light;
     And Tomlinson looked down and down, and saw beneath his feet
     The frontlet of a tortured star milk-white in Hellmouth heat."




[Sidenote: Sens.]

It was at Sens that Thomas à Becket took refuge during his exile. His
mitre and chasuble are still preserved there, and the connection
between the two places seems to have remained very intimate.

It will be remembered that William of Sens was the first architect of
the choir of Canterbury, and it is not surprising to find the
resemblance between the cathedrals at the two places very marked
indeed. Not only does one at once perceive the same hand in the
architecture, but what remains of the early glass at Sens is quite
incontestably the work of the same artist who gave us the east window
and the Jordan Fitzeisulf window at Canterbury.

[Sidenote: The Good Samaritan.]

There are four of these windows at Sens, all in the north choir
aisle. They have suffered a little from restoration but not very much.
Their subjects respectively from left to right are, the Life and Death
of St. Thomas à Becket, the Story of St. Eustace, the Parable of the
Prodigal Son, and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. This last is
another "type and antitype" window, and corresponds exactly in the
arrangement of its subjects with one of the lost windows in the choir
of Canterbury as described in the manuscript catalogue before
mentioned. The verses, however, which were in the Canterbury window
are omitted at Sens. To the mediæval mind the parable of the Good
Samaritan was much more than a mere illustration of "neighbourliness."
To them the "man who went down from Jerusalem"--the City of God--"to
Jericho," was Adam leaving Paradise, the thieves were the seven deadly
sins, the Priest and the Levite were the law of Moses, and the Good
Samaritan was Christ Himself. It is this reading of the subject which
is here illustrated. From the fact that at Sens it is isolated, while
at Canterbury it was, as we have seen, one of a series, I think we may
conclude that Sens is the later of the two. The drawing of the
medallions resembles that of the older work at Canterbury, whereas the
setting of them is a little later in character, showing the
beginnings of "mosaic diaper." It seems to me probable, therefore,
that for the subjects the actual drawings from Canterbury were used in
a fresh setting. We know from the Treatise of Theophilus that designs
for windows at this time were drawn out in full size on whitened
boards, which also served apparently as the bench on which the window
was put together. Not much would be left of the drawing when the
window was finished, and the bench would be re-whitewashed for the
next window; but from the fact that similar treatments of the same
subject repeatedly occur, it seems to me not unlikely that drawings of
figure subjects for medallions were kept on separate sheets of
parchment, or in a book, and used again.

  [Illustration: PLATE XV
   Late Thirteenth Century]

To the scene of the Good Samaritan rescuing the traveller there are
four scenes showing as a "type" the Passion of Christ. Of these the
Crucifixion is treated in the most striking and original way, which I
rather think occurs also at Bourges. On one side of the cross stands a
female figure wearing a crown and with a nimbus, and receiving in a
chalice the blood which flows from the side of Christ; on the other, a
six-winged seraph is sheathing a sword. The latter is, no doubt, a
symbol of the peace made between God and man by the atonement on the
Cross,--I think PP. Cahier and Martin identify him with the angel that
guarded the gates of Paradise,--while the crowned female figure is, of
course, the Church.

[Sidenote: The Prodigal Son.]

The next window, containing the Parable of the Prodigal Son, differs
from the others in having straight iron-work and a more formal
arrangement of the medallions. I do not think, however, that it is
older. One charming panel in it is a good illustration of the attitude
of the artists of that day on the question of colour. The Prodigal Son
is feeding pigs, of which one is white, two blue, one green, and one
red! The next scene shows him making his way homeward, undeterred by
the efforts to hamper him of several devils as gaily and variously
coloured as the pigs. There is considerable dramatic power shown in
this figure of the Prodigal. Let no one call the drawing of this
period _bad_ drawing. It would be as true to call Japanese drawing
"bad." It is drawing in a convention--a convention different from our
own, but which, once mastered, set the artist free to express action
and emotion without being further hampered by technical difficulties.

[Sidenote: The Becket window.]

Of the other two, the one dealing with the story of St. Thomas à
Becket is the one which most reminds me of Canterbury. Here there is
no doubt that we have the same hand that gave us the Jordan Fitzeisulf
window there. The border is identical,--an unusual thing at that time
even in the same church,--and the representation of Becket's tomb in
the crypt is precisely the same.

[Sidenote: The story of St. Eustace.]

I am less certain about the St. Eustace window. Its general effect is
very different from the others, being flatter and less sparkling; but
this may be due to the work of a restorer. The figures, however, do
not fit and decorate the medallions as well as in the other windows or
in those at Canterbury; in many cases part of a figure has to project
into the border.[9] The medallions themselves, too, are of rather
awkward shapes, and the design of the iron-work not very restful. The
scroll work, however, is very like that in the east window at
Canterbury--so like that one can hardly doubt their common origin. It
may be that here, too, the artist has used some one else's figure
designs, less successfully than in the Good Samaritan window.

There is a Life of St. Eustace at Chartres in which the scenes bear a
general resemblance to those at Sens, but decorate their spaces much

To sum up, I think that these windows at Sens, with the possible
exception of the Life of St. Eustace, are the work of the same artist
as the Jordan Fitzeisulf window and the east window in "Becket's
Crown" at Canterbury; that in the Good Samaritan window he was using
the cartoons of his master, who designed the windows in Canterbury
choir, of which two, as we have seen, remain. He may have come from
Canterbury at the time of the interdict in King John's reign
(1208-1213), when all work there must have been suspended, and not
returned, leaving another to finish the work after the interdict was
removed. It would be a very probable date for the Sens work, but in
the absence of the destroyed windows at Canterbury it is pure

  [Illustration: PLATE XVI
   Early Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: Chartres.]

Meanwhile, ever since the fire in 1194, the people of Chartres,
careless of their personal losses, had been working in a flame of
enthusiasm and devotion at the rebuilding of their Cathedral. Every
one, nobles, merchants, craftsmen, and peasants, gave what they could.
Some gave money, some materials, some provisions for the workmen.
Those who had nothing else gave their labour, even harnessing
themselves to carts to drag stone for the building. Heaven itself
seemed to lend its aid, for it is said that Our Lady worked many
miracles of healing at her shrine at Chartres, which soon became a
thirteenth century Lourdes, to which pilgrims came from all countries,
leaving offerings of money or jewels.

Finally, in 1210 the main part of the building seems to have been
finished. "Entirely rebuilt in hewn stone," says William le Breton
some years later, "the Cathedral of Chartres has nothing to fear from
temporal fire from now till the day of judgment, and will save from
eternal fire the many Christians who by their alms have contributed to
its reconstruction."

The great church was now ready to receive its decoration: The altars,
the painting, the sculpture were still to be done, and above all the
one hundred and twenty-five great windows, with the three great roses,
and forty-seven lesser ones had to be filled with the glass which
still makes Chartres Cathedral one of the wonders of the world. In the
year 1226 Saint Louis came to the throne. Eight years later he
acquired the Comté of Chartres, and lent his powerful aid to the work,
giving the great rose window in the north transept and the five
lancets below it, as well as other windows. The King of Castile gave a
window too, and following these royal donors a crowd of princes,
seigneurs, and churchmen added their gifts, while forty-seven windows
were given by the Guilds of Chartres alone. Yet even so it was thirty
years more before the bulk of the work was completed, and the actual
consecration did not take place, for some reason, till October 17,
1260, when it was performed with great pomp and rejoicing before Saint
Louis and his family and an immense concourse of prelates, nobles, and
common people.

There is nothing in the world quite like the Cathedral of Chartres. In
the quality of its work Canterbury is as good or even better, but for
the proper appreciation of the glass of the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries it is necessary to have _every_ window of the building
filled with it in order that the eye may get used to the gloom and
attuned to the pitch of the colour; and it is only at Chartres that
this is even approximately the case. I know nothing like the effect on
one of several hours spent in the building, the awe and wonder,
mingled with a strange sort of exaltation, which it produces.

Even when its windows were complete, Canterbury can hardly have had
quite the same effect, for its clerestory is much smaller, and it has
not the splendid width of nave and choir which enables one to see the
great clerestory windows of Chartres so well. In the thirteenth
century the nave at Canterbury was still the old Norman nave of
Lanfranc, of which the windows were, as an old drawing shows,
comparatively small; nor indeed do we know for certain if they had
coloured glass in them.

York is almost as complete as Chartres, but the glass there is nearly
all of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and though it is in a
sense quite as beautiful, with all its great windows twinkling with
lovely colour, yet the subjects are too small to be seen from below,
and there is nothing like the awe-inspiring majesty of the ranks of
colossal saints which fill the clerestory of Chartres.

That the master or masters of Canterbury and Sens came to Chartres is,
I think, certain; the Canterbury tradition is traceable in so much of
the work. Here I imagine he or they ended their life's work, leaving
their pupils and their pupils' successors to carry it on in the later
style which they developed as they went along. One of these, no doubt,
was that Clement of Chartres who signed his name in the window at
Rouen which Mr. Saint has sketched in Plate XIV. I think I can trace
his hand in some of the windows on the south side of the nave at
Chartres, in the treatment of the mosaic diaper in which various
shades of blue have been so skilfully blended as to produce, as at
Rouen, a lovely play and ripple of colour over the whole surface of
the window.

Perhaps the most notable development of the style at Chartres is the
increase in the use of mosaic diaper, of the kind illustrated in Plate
VIII., as a setting for the medallions, instead of the leafy scroll
work formerly used.

At Canterbury the mosaic diaper setting is the exception, only
occurring in one window; at Sens it is introduced tentatively, but at
Chartres it is the rule. The scroll-work filling only occurs, I think,
in three windows of the lower tier. One of these is the St. Eustace
window already mentioned, which to me is strongly reminiscent of
Canterbury work--more so, indeed, as far as the medallions go, than
the similar one at Sens.

  [Illustration: PLATE XVII
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The four extremities.]

It is only at the four extremities of the Cathedral at Chartres that
we find any connected idea governing the choice of subjects. The three
twelfth century windows were already, as I have said, devoted to the
ancestry and life of Christ, and the thirteenth century rose
window above them shows His second coming. The seven great lancets of
the apse are given up to the glorification of the Virgin, the especial
patroness of Chartres. The north rose and the lights below it seem to
show the human ancestry of Christ culminating in Saint Anne and the
Virgin, while opposite in the south transept is the Christ of the

In other parts of the church the choice of theme seems to have been
left to the taste of the donors, subject only to the general
arrangement of medallion windows in the lower tier and huge single
figures in the clerestory lights. Thus in the lower windows we find
the story of Noah next to that of St. Lubin, Bishop of Chartres; the
story of St. Eustace next that of Joseph.

One or two of the clerestory windows are medallion windows, the
medallions being on a very large scale, but most of them are filled,
as I say, with single figures of saints, nearly twice life-size. So
large are they that their faces have had to be composed of several
pieces of glass. A brownish pink is used for the flesh, and the eyes
are separate pieces of white with the pupil painted in. As the flesh
colour has in many cases darkened considerably from the effects of
time and weather, the effect of the brilliant whites of the eyes is
somewhat weird and startling.

Here again there seems to be no special idea governing the order of
subjects, which were probably left to the donors, who would choose
their patron saints.

[Sidenote: The Guild windows.]

It is at Chartres that for the first time, as I believe, the donors of
the windows are made much account of in the glass. It is true that at
St. Denis there are two very tiny figures of Abbot Suger,--in one
case, prostrate, in simple monk's dress, at the feet of the Virgin in
the Annunciation, and in the other, holding up a model of the Jesse
window,--and there is a donor at Poitiers, but at Canterbury and Sens
there is nothing to show by whom the windows were given. At Chartres,
however, it is far otherwise. Partly, perhaps, because of the
emulation that had been shown in presenting windows, nearly every one
contains some record of its donor. In the case of those given by the
Guilds this takes the form of a little panel introduced into the
bottom of the window, showing members of the Guild at work--bakers,
butchers, tanners, furriers, money-changers and so on--charming and
valuable little pictures of the everyday life of the time. More noble
donors are represented by their portraits, either kneeling at the
foot of the window or, as in the clerestory of the choir, where the
rose-lights of the tracery are filled with a splendid series of
princes and nobles armed and on horseback, each recognizable by his
shield and banner.

[Sidenote: Amaury de Montfort.]

The one illustrated in Mr. Saint's sketch in Plate XII. is Amaury de
Montfort, brother of our own Simon de Montfort who led the rebellion
of the barons against Henry III., and son of that Simon de Montfort
who led the crusade against the Albigenses and was made Lord of
Languedoc for his pains. Amaury, who succeeded him in 1218, finding
himself not strong enough to hold the country, had ceded his rights
six years later to the King of France, and was made in return
Constable of France.

[Sidenote: Pierre Mauclerc.]

The great rose window of the south transept and the lancets below it
are the gift of Pierre Mauclerc, Count of Dreux and Duke of Brittany.
His arms are in the trefoils of the rose and in the central lancet. At
the foot of the lancets on either side are portraits of himself, his
wife, Alix de Thouars, and his son and daughter, all kneeling. From
the fact that his wife died in 1226 it has been argued that the window
must have been executed, or at least designed, before that date. I do
not know that the argument is absolutely conclusive, but the fact
seems probable. The window, however, cannot be many years older than
this date. The choir would almost certainly be the first part of the
church to be glazed, and the windows in the clerestory there were
certainly not finished till after 1220. One, indeed, has the figure of
a king of France on horseback as donor, who has always been called St.
Louis. It is, however, quite possible, as far as I can see, that the
figure is his father, Louis VIII., or even Philip Augustus, who died
in 1223, for he bears the lilies of France only, without the castle of

[Sidenote: St. Louis.]

Assuming therefore that the date of the south rose is shortly before
1226, then Pierre Mauclerc, at the time he gave this and the other
windows in the church which bear his arms, was practically an
independent sovereign. When St. Louis ascended the throne as a boy in
1226, under the Regency of his mother, the wise and beautiful, if
somewhat imperious, Blanche of Castile, Pierre Mauclerc, in company
with Thibault of Champagne, who was Count of Chartres, and many other
barons of France, took up arms against his sovereign, scorning to
acknowledge the overlordship of a boy and a woman. Eight years later
the boy and the woman, aided by the devoted support of the Commons,
had brought them all to submission, and Thibault had yielded up
Chartres to the Crown. It seems to me not unlikely that this latter
event is marked by the gift of the north rose and the lancets below,
which contain St. Louis's own arms and those of his mother. If so, the
glass of Chartres may be considered as a landmark in the history of
the growth of France into a nation. Whether this is so or not, the
north rose cannot in any case be earlier than 1226, the year of St.
Louis's accession.

[Sidenote: The north rose and lancets.]

This north rose, or Rose of France as it is called, has in its centre
light the Virgin with the Child, in a purple tunic with a blue robe
and nimbus against a ground of rich ruby. In the twelve radiating
lights round her are: above her head, four doves; on her right and
left, four angels,--two on either side,--two incensing and two holding
candles; and below, four six-winged seraphs. Outside these are twelve
kings of Judah, the Virgin's ancestors, and outside these again is a
ring of the Prophets who foretold Christ's coming. Below, in the five
great lancets, is a huge figure of Saint Anne carrying the infant
Virgin, having on her right King David and on her left Solomon, and
beyond these Melchizedek and Aaron, types of Christ as King and High
Priest. Below St. Anne is a great shield with the arms of St. Louis,
but under each of the four other figures is a kind of "predella," in
which are shown, as a contrast: below David, Saul falling on his
sword; below Solomon, Jeroboam worshipping the golden calves; below
Melchizedek, Nebuchadnezzar; and below Aaron, Pharaoh being whirled
away, horse and man, in the Red Sea. In this last scene the artist has
been in a dilemma. The backgrounds of these lancets are alternately
red and blue, and Pharaoh's should have been blue, but it represents
the _Red_ Sea, and the artist has had to get out of the difficulty by
making it a kind of maroon purple.

[Sidenote: The south rose and lancets.]

The idea of the window is the same as that of Jesse Tree: Humanity
preparing, through the ages, for the coming of Christ, and culminating
in His Mother. The rose and lancets opposite show the fulfilment. Here
Christ is seen enthroned in the centre of the rose, as St. John beheld
Him, surrounded by angels and by the four great beasts, and by the
four-and-twenty elders seated on their thrones, in a double ring round
the whole.

In the five lancets below are, in the centre, the Virgin and Child,
and on either side the four Evangelists, borne, by a quaint conceit,
like children on the strong shoulders of the major Prophets. The
general arrangement of the windows is the same, but the detail seems
to me to bear out the supposition that the southern rose is by some
years the earlier of the two. In both windows the outer and the inner
ring of figures are contained in circular medallions, but where in the
south rose the "filling in" is done by means of scroll work, in the
north transept "mosaic diaper" is everywhere used. The borders of the
lancets, too, are of an older type, and more beautiful in the south
transept than in the north.

Both, however, are very lovely, and the more I look at them the more I
admire the nameless workers who could so use red and blue--such
difficult colours to combine well. For red and blue are everywhere the
groundwork of the colour scheme--green, purple, brown, and yellow
being only used in small quantities to relieve them. It must be
remembered, too, that the artist _could never see the effect of his
work till it was finished_. Nowadays the stained-glass painter can put
his work together temporarily by fastening it with beeswax to a large
sheet of white glass, and can work on it so; but the artist of the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, as we know from Theophilus, and as
was probably the case for long after, did all his work "on the bench."
The most he could do would be to hold a few pieces together in his
hands up to the light, but for the rest he had to trust to his
experience and training.

Not quite always did he succeed. Much depended upon his getting just
the right quality of blue, and sometimes this seems to have failed
him. I have already noticed the rather purplish blue which is found in
some of the windows at Lincoln, and this occurs again at Chartres in
the central lancet of the apse, and the one next it on the north
containing the big angel illustrated in Plate X. This purplish blue
when interspersed with red produces at a distance the effect of a
rather unpleasant mauve, making these two windows less attractive in
colour than the others. This purplish blue occurs again in the north
rose of Notre Dame at Paris, but there the artist has countered it by
the use of a good deal of a rather sharp pale green, which completely
balances it and turns the window into perhaps the most glorious of all
the great rose windows of France.

  [Illustration: PLATE XVIII
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The apse.]

Five of the seven great lancets of the clerestory of the apse are
devoted to the glorification of the Virgin Mother, or perhaps one
should say, to the fact of the Virgin Birth. This is what one would
expect at Chartres. Not only is the church dedicated to Notre Dame,
but the place in the Middle Ages was held sacred to her above all
others in France.

Tradition says that the Church occupies the site of a grotto in which
the Druids worshipped "the Virgin that shall bear a child," of whom
they had set up a wooden image, which was preserved by the Christians
when the grotto became a Christian church. Certain it is that down to
the Revolution a very ancient and quite black wooden statue was
worshipped in the Chapel of Notre Dame Sous-terre--the ancient
grotto--where it had been at all events since the days of Fulbert, who
built the eleventh century Cathedral. The Sansculottes burnt it, and
its place has been taken by a modern work which professes to be a copy
of it.

Chartres, too, can boast of the possession of the Holy Veil. Given to
Charlemagne by the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Porphyrogenitus, it
has escaped successive fires, and though cut in two at the Revolution,
is still preserved in the Treasury.

Owing to the great height and narrowness of the lancets, each contains
several figures or figure subjects, one above the other. In the head
of the central lancet is Our Lady enthroned, with her Child on her
knee, and below her are the Annunciation and the Salutation. In the
head of the light on either side is an angel incensing, and in the
lights beyond these, a cherub and a seraph. Below these are Moses,
Aaron,[10] David, and the four major Prophets--Isaiah, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel--and Daniel. The arrangement of these figures seems, however,
quite haphazard, and as if the original design had not been carried
out. The two remaining lancets, on the extreme right and left,
contain, respectively, scenes from the lives of St. John the Baptist
and St. Peter. How far these are meant to have a bearing on the
central subject I am not quite sure. The uppermost subjects in them
are the Baptism of Christ and the "Domine, quo vadis?"

[Sidenote: The big angel.]

The Big Angel (Plate X.) on the north side of the Virgin is especially
puzzling. The other six lights of the apse have each three figures or
figure subjects, set one above the other in elongated medallions,--Plate
XI. shows two of them, King David and Ezekiel,--and at the foot of
each is a panel showing the donors. The other figures are so set as to
form regular tiers round the apse, but this angel is twice the size of
any of them and forces the figure below--Aaron--down out of line,
leaving no room for another figure between him and the donor.

Perhaps this light represents part of a design for the apse which was
afterwards modified in order to get more figures in. The donor is one
Gaufridus, who has been identified with a certain Godfrey d'Illiers, a
gentleman of the neighbourhood, whereas the rest are given by the
Guilds--the bakers, butchers, money-changers, and furriers, which
latter are seen actually bringing their window.

The Prophets bear a good deal of resemblance to the figures from the
clerestory at Canterbury. The Isaiah at both places wears the same
curious headdress--a little round hat, not unlike the latest form of
"bowler" of our own days. The figures are not from the same drawings,
for the attitudes are different, but the Chartres artist has at least
remembered Canterbury choir, which was probably the work of his
master, thirty or forty years earlier.

[Sidenote: The canopy.]

Notice the simple architectural canopy over this angel. All the single
figures at Chartres and in most other thirteenth century windows have
them, and their counterparts may be found in the canopies over the
sculptured figures on the porches outside. They occur also at
Canterbury over some of the surviving figures from the clerestory, but
it is noteworthy that whereas at Canterbury the canopies are round
arched (and the same is true of the architecture in the medallion
windows), at Chartres they are nearly all either cusped or pointed,
which I take as additional evidence in support of my opinion that the
Canterbury work is the older of the two.

  [Illustration: PLATE XIX
   Fourteenth Century]

In thirteenth century work these canopies are a fairly unobtrusive
feature, but in the next period they were destined, as we shall see
later, to be developed out of all reason or proportion.


[9] This is a later feature, and found at Bourges and elsewhere.

[10] The miraculous budding of Aaron's rod was considered a type of
the Virgin Birth.



[Sidenote: Salisbury and Peterborough.]

A single band of craftsmen might, as far as we can now tell, have been
responsible for nearly all the stained glass that was produced at any
one time in the twelfth century in England and the north of France;
but by the time the Trinity Chapel at Canterbury was finished, a great
many such bands must have been at work, yet all deriving their art
from the same source--the school of Chartres, St. Denis, and
Canterbury. The output was enormous, especially in the first half of
the thirteenth century. I have already spoken of Lincoln, but
Salisbury and Peterborough were once rich in glass of the thirteenth
century, that of Peterborough--now destroyed--being known to have been
given, some of it at least, as early as 1214, and York has the famous
"Five Sisters."

[Sidenote: Bourges.]

In France, Bourges is only second to Chartres for the quantity and
interest of its early glass, which was certainly begun long before the
windows of Chartres were finished. Every one knows the rose windows of
Notre Dame at Paris, and besides these Amiens, Beauvais, Laon, Rheims,
Tours, Soissons, Auxerre, and in fact nearly all the great cathedrals
of France, contain glass of the period, while fragments of it are to
be found in many parish churches both in England and France.

[Sidenote: Westwell.]

At Westwell in Kent, for instance, is a Jesse Tree of 1240-1250 which
is well worth study, in which the details of the foliage resemble
fragments of one at Salisbury and another at Troyes, and show the
development that had taken place from the Jesse Trees of Chartres and
St. Denis.

It is impossible, however, in the limits of this work to describe even
all the important windows of this period, and I have taken those I
have already described as typical of their time and as together
showing the progress of the development of the art.

  [Illustration: PLATE XX
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The Sainte Chapelle.]

The most complete example of the work of the latter part of the
thirteenth century is the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, built by St. Louis
to contain the Crown of Thorns, which he had purchased with other
relics from the Emperor of Constantinople, who was then in need of
ready money. The Chapel was consecrated in 1248, but although some at
least of the windows are said to have been prepared beforehand and to
have been in their place on that occasion, yet the series was
certainly not completed till after the death of St. Louis in 1270, as
that event is represented in one of them.

The glass has unfortunately suffered a good deal from restoration, and
it is difficult now to say quite how much beauty it once had, but it
must be confessed that at present it gives one none of the joy and
wonder of Chartres. Yet the very design of the Chapel shows the
importance which the art had now attained, for the building is
constructed entirely with a view to being filled with stained glass,
being in fact a mere glass-house with no wall spaces at all. If the
colour effect may be judged of from the specimens of the original
glass now in South Kensington Museum, the place must have been a
wondrous Aladdin's cave of jewels, but at the same time it may be
doubted whether the arrangement was a wise one. The windows at
Chartres gain immensely by the spaces of gloom between them, whereas
here the eye gets no rest.

In detail, apart from colour, the work shows a certain falling off.
The artist seems to have been cramped by the necessity of adapting the
medallion window to such narrow lights. One misses the fine broad
border which does so much to "pull together" the earlier medallion
windows. The borders at the Sainte Chapelle are narrow and
uninteresting, and even so the medallions have sometimes to overlap

[Sidenote: Work of Clement of Chartres at Rouen.]

On the other hand, the work of Clement of Chartres in Rouen Cathedral,
which is as late as 1290-1295, is as good as anything that was done in
the thirteenth century. Besides a great many broken remains of
thirteenth century work in the nave, there are five complete windows
in the ambulatory of the apse. Two of these between them illustrate
the story of Joseph, and are particularly beautiful. One of them
(Plate XIV.) is signed by Clement of Chartres, and the other is
obviously by the same hand. I should hesitate, however, to say
positively that the other three are his work too, but I think two of
them may be. Of these, one contains in its lowest section the story of
the Good Samaritan, with other subjects above which I have not
identified, and the other--a very good one--the story of St. Julian,
which is a parallel to that of Oedipus except that, being Christian,
it ends with atonement and forgiveness.

The fifth window illustrates the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension
of Christ. It is hardly as good as the others, and is very red and hot
in general colour. The filling in, of yellow suns on a blue ground, is
very unlike any other thirteenth century work. On the whole this
window seems to me to show a certain restlessness, indicative of the
change of style that was so soon to follow. The redness, however, may
perhaps be intentional, as being appropriate to the subject, for of
the three twelfth century windows in the west end of Chartres
Cathedral, the one which illustrates the Passion is far redder than
the others.

The iron-work of these windows shows a return to the straight-bar
system, but the relation of the medallions to the iron-work is, as may
be seen by the illustration, wholly different to what it was in the
twelfth century. By the end of the thirteenth century the bent
iron-work has wholly disappeared.

Before leaving the Early Period I must touch upon another of its
developments, namely, the grisaille window.

[Sidenote: Grisaille windows.]

Side by side with the richly coloured windows which we have been
considering, there had grown up during the thirteenth century a style
of window in which a wholly different effect was aimed at. These are
what are called grisaille windows, in which the bulk of the glass is
white, only studded here and there with jewels of colour and with,
perhaps, a coloured border, the surface of the white glass being
variegated and ornamented with delicate patterns in painted line work.
The effect of this in old glass is very beautiful,--there are few
things lovelier than "the Five Sisters" at York,--but all modern
attempts to imitate it have been hopeless failures, looking like so
much transparent paper. Perhaps our modern white glass is too clear
and hard-looking, or the difference may be merely that between the
work of those who are artists and those who are not.

The causes which led to the development of this style of window were
probably two: one, the desire for more light, of which the richly
coloured windows admitted but little; and the other, simply economy,
for a window of this sort could be produced comparatively cheaply.
Then, too, the Cistercians, whose rule, adopted in the twelfth
century, prohibited the use of colour altogether, had shown what could
be done in patterns of white glass and lead alone.

Unless you count the "gryphon windows" in St. Denis, which are mainly
the work of Viollet-le-Duc, grisaille seems almost wholly a
development of the thirteenth century. It is interesting to see that
just as the design of the coloured window seems always to have been
conceived as a light pattern on a dark ground, so the earliest
grisaille, even though the quantity of white far exceeds the colour,
still seems to have been conceived as a white pattern on a coloured
ground, the ground being, as it were, almost entirely hidden by the
pattern. Later this idea gets reversed, and the coloured pieces are
mere jewels or lines contained in the pattern.

In a white window the leads, from their greater thickness, are more
conspicuous than the traced lines of the painting, and in consequence
it is upon the leads that the artist depends for the main features of
his design. The earliest grisaille windows may be divided into two
classes: those in which the pattern is formed of narrow "straps" of
white glass interlacing or seeming to interlace; and the other in
which the leads form a flat geometrical pattern, as at Lincoln. The
painted pattern on the glass consists of branching scroll work in
simple outline, forming stems and the round-lobed leaves which were
the thirteenth century convention for foliage. In the earlier work the
ground is covered with delicate cross-hatching, which at a distance
resolves itself into a pearly grey, against which the scroll work
stands out white. At first, too, the painted pattern is, so to speak,
contained within the leading, and merely enriches and emphasizes the
pattern formed by it; but in later work, towards the end of the
century, it becomes independent of the leading and grows through it,
spreading over the surface of the window in graceful curves like a
creeper over a trellis. The influence of the medallion window is often
seen in contemporary grisaille, of which the design frequently
consists of interlacing medallions of strap-work of the same shape as
those in the coloured windows.

[Sidenote: Rheims.]

[Sidenote: Angers, Soissons, and Chartres.]

The ornament surrounding some of the figures in the triforium of St.
Remi at Rheims, and which Mr. Westlake considers to date from about
1200, contains so much colour as to be hardly grisaille, and the same
may be said of one of the lancets in the north transept of Lincoln
Cathedral, of which the others contain grisaille of a later date.
There is, however, some very early thirteenth century grisaille--true
grisaille, with interlacing bands--at St. Serge at Angers, and some at
Soissons of about 1230. Chartres has four or five grisaille windows,
of the middle of the century or a little earlier, in the apsidal
chapels. These have broad, richly coloured borders, a very beautiful
feature, which one finds also at Salisbury.

[Sidenote: Westminster Abbey.]

According to Professor Lethaby[11] the original glazing of Westminster
Abbey, begun in 1253, was, at least in the lower windows, of
grisaille, of which some remains are in the triforium. From the fabric
rolls we know the name of the master-glazier, Lawrence, presumably an
Englishman, and the weekly accounts show wages paid to fourteen
glaziers in all.

[Sidenote: Salisbury.]

The few remains of old glass which that eighteenth century vandal, the
architect Wyatt, has left us at Salisbury include some very beautiful
and interesting specimens of thirteenth century grisaille, of which
the date is, according to Winston, from 1240 to 1270. In most of these
the pattern when analysed is found to be formed of overlapping (not
interlacing) geometrical forms outlined in bands of colour and filled
in with white, painted with patterns of the usual conventional scroll
work on a cross-hatched ground. There are besides, however, some
remains of ornamental glazing of an interesting and rare kind in which
there is no painting whatever, and the pattern is obtained by
lead-work alone, forming diagonal white bands interlacing in various
ways on a white ground, and containing here and there between them
little square dies of blue. Some coloured tracings of these may be
seen in South Kensington Museum.

[Sidenote: "The Five Sisters" of York.]

The finest grisaille windows in England or, for that matter, in the
world, are the five immense lancets which fill the end of the north
transept of York Minster and are known as "the Five Sisters." Their
date is probably about 1260. The iron-work in them is straight-barred,
and the massive main bars, placed every 3½ feet or so, divide the
space between the broad borders into a succession of squares, one
above the other, each one of which is occupied by a medallion--a
different shape in each light--outlined with a narrow band of colour,
and having bosses of colour at the centre and between the medallions.
One hardly can trace the plan of the painted pattern on the white,
which besides is much confused with centuries of breakage and repair,
and one is only conscious of it as texture, which indeed is its
_raison d'être_. Five feet wide, and towering to a height of more than
50 feet, each "sister" is a shimmering mass of pearl and silver,
delicately veined and jewelled with colour to give quality to its

  [Illustration: PLATE XXI
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: "Quarries."]

The same tendency that caused the artist to substitute mosaic diaper
for the scroll work in the setting of his medallions in coloured
windows led him in time to fill large spaces of his grisaille windows
with painted "quarries." "Quarries" (from the French _carré_) are
small diamond-shaped panes, and were then the quickest and most
economical way of glazing any given space. Sometimes towards the end
of the century the painted pattern ran over the quarries independently
of them, but more often in the thirteenth century each quarry was a
repetition of the next, the whole thus forming a regular diaper.
Sometimes each quarry has a thick black line painted parallel to two,
or sometimes all four, of its sides at a distance of three quarters of
an inch or so, leaving the space between it and the lead blank while
the rest of the quarry is patterned. The effect of this when glazed
together is that of interlacing white bands on a ground of pattern.

Apart from economy, the principal motive for the use of grisaille in
windows was, as I have said, the need for light. In the Cathedral of
Chartres, where there is no grisaille except that in the chapels
already mentioned, and where practically all the other windows are
filled with richly coloured glass, it is quite difficult to read in
the nave on a dull day. It is possible, therefore, that in some
churches a certain number of windows may have been deliberately
reserved for grisaille.

[Sidenote: Combination of grisaille and figure work.]

It is not, however, till the very end of the thirteenth century, and
then only rarely, that coloured figures and grisaille were combined in
the same light as shown in the example from Poitiers in Plate XV.,
though this is a salient feature of the style of the succeeding
period. In the clerestory windows of the choir of St. Pierre at
Chartres, which belong to the closing years of the century, the
problem has been attacked in an interesting and unique manner, but as
the glass in that church really marks the transition to the succeeding
period, I shall deal with it later.

[Sidenote: Conclusion of the Early Period.]

I must now leave the Early Period. If I have devoted a larger space to
it than I have to give to either of those succeeding, it is because to
me it is the most interesting of all. In all later work artists seem,
by comparison, unsatisfied and trying, sometimes with more, sometimes
with less, success, to reconcile opposing ideals in their work. Never
again does one find the same perfect understanding of the limitations
of the material, together with such daring and grandeur of conception,
and such depth and earnestness in the ideas expressed.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXII
   Fourteenth Century]


[11] "_Westminster Abbey and the Kings' Craftsmen._"



Although the earliest known work in the style of the Second Period may
possibly date from a little before 1300, and although the transition
to the succeeding style had certainly begun by 1380, yet, roughly
speaking, the limits of the period are those of the fourteenth
century, and it is not unusual to speak loosely of the style as the
fourteenth century style in glass.

The interest of the period lies perhaps rather in its tendencies and
development than in its actual achievements, which by general consent
are inferior not only to those of the First, but to those of the
Third, Period. It is a period of transition and uncertainty, of the
loss of old ideals when men "follow wandering fires."

[Sidenote: Weakening of the religious motive.]

Most of all does one notice the change of mental attitude. The fierce
missionary zeal for the Faith, the mystic symbolism, has gone. The
wonderful two hundred years which produced St. Bernard, St. Francis,
St. Dominic, St. Louis and the Crusades, and which saw most of the
great cathedrals built are over, and a reaction sets in. Never again
do we find a whole people, from princes to ploughmen, neglecting their
personal affairs and combining to build and decorate worthily a
glorious house of God. Churchmen are growing comfortable and
apathetic, if not corrupt, and laymen are either uninterested in
religion or critical. Towards the end of the century this feeling
gives rise to Wyclif's movement and we get _Piers Plowman_, with its
fierce denunciation of the means by which money was obtained for
windows and of "lordings" who "writen in windowes of their well

With the religious motive thus weakened the artist seems to have
interested himself chiefly in the technical side of his art,--he may
even have talked of "Art for Art's sake,"--and the usual result
follows. The lack of the underlying and unifying motive produces a
want of proportion in the parts. The canopies become much more
important than the figures under them; narrative subjects become much
more rare, and when they occur have none of the dramatic intensity of
those of the past age. Instead we have an endless series of single
figures of saints, without character and each in exactly the same
affected attitude, like an elongated letter S. In search of
inspiration the artist turns to the study of nature and the literal
reproduction of plant forms in ornament. In the figures too, although
the attitudes are conventional the drawing of drapery is less so, and
towards the end of the period the artist is tentatively feeling his
way towards modelling.

[Sidenote: Progress in technique.]

One thing indeed we find during this time, which is within the power
of every artist in times of artistic dearth, namely, a steady
grappling with practical problems offered by the changed conditions,
whereby the way was cleared for the new life that came into the art in
the succeeding age. For instance, by showing how coloured figure work
could be combined with grisaille in the same window they solved the
problem of lighting; by the invention of the silver stain they made it
possible to make white glass more interesting and to blend it better
with colour; while in drawing they made steady progress towards a
style more in keeping with the standards of the time.

[Sidenote: Characteristics.]

The outward and visible characteristics of this period as compared
with the preceding one are as follows:--

     (1) The simplification of the iron-work.
     (2) The invention and use of silver stain.
     (3) The combination of figure work and grisaille.
     (4) The extraordinary development of the canopy.
     (5) The style of drawing the figure.
     (6) The use of natural plant forms in ornament.
     (7) The quality of the glass, and the colours used.
     (8) The use of painted diaper patterns on the coloured backgrounds.

       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: PLATE XXIII
   Early Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: Tracery]

[Sidenote: The iron-work.]

(1) _The Simplification of the Iron-Work._--The windows of the twelfth
century had been huge single lights, but the thirteenth century had
seen the gradual evolution of tracery, beginning with the grouping of
lancets in pairs under a rose light above. Gradually each lancet was
again subdivided into a pair of lights and a rose, the spandrils were
pierced, till, at the close of the century, the glazier had to design
his window to fit a row of narrow lancets divided by slender mullions,
which above branched into an elaborate mass of tracery containing a
multitude of roses, quatrefoils, trefoils and little openings of
all shapes and sizes. With this division of the window into
comparatively narrow lights the need for the elaborate iron lattice of
the preceding age disappeared, its work being now largely taken up by
the stone-work. Instead of lights from six to nine feet wide the
glazier had now to deal with lights three and a half feet wide at
most, and often much narrower, and in consequence all that was
necessary was a series of horizontal bars connecting the mullions,
which themselves take the place of the upright bars of former days. In
windows of this time, then, and later, massive rebated bars are fixed
horizontally in the stone-work at intervals of between three and four
feet, and these with the mullions really form the framework into the
square openings of which the panels of the glazing were inserted
separately. Between, and parallel with, these massive bars, three or
four light "saddle-bars" are fixed on the inside of the glass, which
keep the panel in its place, the glass being attached to them by means
of strips of lead (called bands) soldered to the lead-work of the
glazing and twisted round the bar. In order to distinguish between the
massive rebated bars which hold the top and bottom of each panel and
these light bars between, I shall speak of the former as "frame-bars,"
the latter by the name they still hold, of "saddle-bars."

The only change from this arrangement which has been made in modern
times (except for the use of copper wire instead of lead for the
"bands") is the omission of the stout frame-bar, the whole of the
weight of the window being now borne by its edges and the saddle-bars.
Not only is this arrangement less sound in construction but it is also
far less decorative. The thick bars at intervals with thin bars
between punctuate the length of the tall windows pleasantly, and are
made use of in the design, which in this way is still based on the
iron-work. In a recent disastrous "restoration" that was made of one
of the windows in the nave of York, the glass was refixed with
saddle-bars all of equal size and the thick frames omitted, and it is
wonderful how the eye misses them.

This arrangement was, of course, only used in windows above a certain
size, in quite small lights the saddle-bars alone being considered
sufficient. It was not, I think, an uncommon arrangement for the
uppermost bar at all events--that at the springing of the arch--to
pass continuously through all the mullions and bind them together.

[Sidenote: Silver stain.]

(2) _The Invention of Silver Stain._--In the early years of the
fourteenth century an important addition was made to the technical
resources of the glass painter by the discovery that if white glass is
painted with a preparation of silver--oxide or chloride may be used,
or even silver in its metallic form, though that is less
convenient--and then subjected to the heat of the kiln, the parts so
painted will be found to be stained yellow, pale or dark according to
the amount of silver used and according also to the composition of the
glass. This is a process quite different from enamelling. It is a true
_stain_, actually penetrating the glass to a slight degree and quite
indelible except by the perishing of the glass itself. The oxide or
chloride of silver is only mixed with other substances, such as yellow
lake, for convenience of application.

[Sidenote: Its first appearance.]

Precisely when and where the invention was made and first used we have
no means of knowing. We may dismiss the story of the glazier from
whose coat a silver button dropped on to the glass he was putting into
the kiln, partly because the artist of whom the story is told, one
James of Ulm, who worked in Italy and was beatified after his death,
was not born till more than a hundred years later. It appears in York
Minster, used very sparingly and tentatively, soon after 1300. I am
not sure that there are any examples in France that can be dated
quite so early, but it was certainly used there by 1310. Its first use
was limited to such matters as differentiating the hair, or gold
crowns, of figures from their faces, but the nave windows of York
Minster show a progressive increase in its use. Yellow pot-metal is
there still used for the larger pieces of yellow in the canopy, but an
examination of the details in Plates XVII., XVIII. will show that
stain is used in places to gild the crockets of the white pinnacles,
the beak and claws of the white eagle in the border of XVII.c, and the
flowers in the lower part of the border in XVII.a. The pieces that are
yellow all over may, I think, be assumed to be pot-metal. It is not,
however, till one gets well on in the century, to 1330 or 1340, that
one finds such a free use of the stain in the grisaille as that in the
windows at St. Ouen at Rouen, of which the detail is given in Plates

[Sidenote: Combination of figures and grisaille.]

(3) _The Combination of Figures and Grisaille._--This is one of the
most noticeable developments of the period. As I have said, it is
occasionally attempted in the preceding style towards the close of the
period, but in the fourteenth century it is the rule. Small windows
are sometimes still filled entirely with colour, but nearly every
window of any size, especially in the early part of the century,
contains a large proportion of grisaille. In the nave of the Church of
St. Pierre at Chartres (Plate XXIII.) the same principle is followed
as in the earlier work in the choir, namely, the arranging of the
figure-work and grisaille so as to form vertical stripes of alternate
white and colour. This plan, however, was not persisted in. The
numerous vertical lines formed by the mullions in the newer style of
architecture required horizontal lines to balance them, and
accordingly we find the usual method in fourteenth century windows is
for the coloured masses to be ranged in horizontal bands running right
across the window through all the lights. Plate XXV. from St. Ouen at
Rouen shows a very typical window of the period. Sometimes there was,
as here, one row of coloured panels, sometimes two or more as in the
nave of York Minster. It will be noticed that in order to blend the
white and colour satisfactorily the designer includes a good deal of
white among the colour and a good deal of colour among the white. This
latter is no longer dispersed through the white in coloured threads,
half suspected, but is collected into bosses and borders where its
effect is strong enough to support the principal masses. In fact the
key-note of the design--namely, the strong contrast of light and dark
in flat masses, necessitated by the combination of colour and
grisaille--is repeated everywhere in detail throughout the window of
which the parts are thus brought into harmony with the whole.

[Sidenote: The borders.]

This same idea leads to a complete change in the character of the
borders. The running scroll work of the preceding age would no longer
be appropriate; the vertical lines need breaking rather than
emphasizing, and the design of the border usually takes the form of
alternate blocks of colour and white or yellow. Plate XXVIII. shows
some typical borders from Rouen, borders typical of English as well as
French work. It will be noticed that the coloured pieces are usually
left blank while the white and yellow are decorated with patterns or
foliage blocked out with solid black. The ornament of the tracery
lights, which by the way are usually kept pretty full of colour, is
designed on the same principle. It consists, in fact, of borders
tightly curled up with, sometimes, in the larger lights, a figure or a
small coloured medallion in the centre containing a head.

[Sidenote: The bosses.]

The intervals formed by the regular spacing of the thick iron
frame-bars are further emphasized by the placing of a coloured boss
or small medallion midway between each. This arrangement in some form
or other is almost universal in fourteenth century grisaille, the
panels contained between the frame-bars being in fact the units of the
design. Some of these bosses from Rouen are shown in Plates XXVI.,
XXVII., XXIX. Here they are purely fantastic in design, but elsewhere,
as at York, they frequently have an heraldic motive or even take the
form of shields of arms (Plate XVIII.). Heraldic motives are very
commonly used too in the borders, as may be seen in the details from
York Minster in Plate XVII., the charges from the shield being
repeated all up the border, relieved against, or sometimes alternating
with blocks of the colour of the field. Symbolic objects such as
chalices are sometimes used in the same way, and occasionally we find
borders formed of a succession of little figures under canopies, as in
the very elaborate example from York in Plate XVIII.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXIV
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: Quarries.]

As the century proceeds quarries become much the commonest form of
grisaille. In Plates XXV., XXVI. they are true quarries, but in the
first quarter of the fourteenth century they are sometimes, as, for
instance, at York, "bulged" round the central boss, thus forming a
sort of cross between quarries and geometric glazing. Grisaille
glazed in geometric patterns such as we find at Merton College, at
Evreux, and in St. Pierre at Chartres belongs, I think, always to
quite the early years of the period, and even then, as may be seen in
Plate XXIII., it shows a decided leaning towards quarry-work, and
indeed needs little but the straightening of the leads to convert it
into quarries altogether.

Continuous painted patterns are now the rule, as shown in Plate XXVI.
The cross-hatched grounds disappear, and presently the silver stain is
used (as here) to enrich the painting. It will be noticed that the
trellis-like pattern produced by painting lines parallel to the
leading is still retained.

[Sidenote: The canopy.]

(4) _The Extraordinary Development of the Canopy._--As we have seen,
single figures in the preceding period, even at Canterbury, usually
had architectural canopies of an unobtrusive kind, of similar design
to the sculptured niches which sheltered the statues on the outside of
the building. The motive for their adoption by the glazier at this
date is not very obvious. They do not in the Early Period form a very
important feature in the design, and serve no decorative purpose that
the artist could not equally well have attained by the flat
ornamentation of which he was a master. However, the glazier seems to
have liked the idea when he saw it in stone-work, where it had a
practical object, and to have imported it into his own work, where it
had none. It must be remembered that when the sculpture was painted in
colours, as it was then, the resemblance between it and the stained
glass would have been closer than it is now.

However this may be, the canopy in the thirteenth century was a
comparatively unobtrusive object, but in the fourteenth century, as
the sculptured canopy grew and developed, so did its counterpart in
stained glass, till the stained-glass worker seems to have run canopy
mad. Not only is it now found over single figures but over subjects

It is true there was now a certain practical reason for the tall
canopy to be found in the tall and narrow shape of the lights that had
to be filled. The human figure was very short and broad in proportion
to them, and when it was a case of a group the resulting shape was
shorter still, so the canopy offered a convenient way of elongating
the design; but the fourteenth century designer developed it, as may
be seen in the illustrations, out of all reason, filling it with
fantastic detail--angels looking out of the windows, birds perching on
the pinnacles, and miniature figures standing like statues in the
niches of it--till it quite reduced the figures below it to
insignificance. In doing so he was only following the rest of the
artistic world, which had all gone wild over the new style of
architecture,--with its "passion of pinnacle and fret," as Ruskin
called it,--using its details as motives for ornament even where they
were least appropriate; but all this expenditure of effort on
fantastic and irrelevant detail is really a symptom of the weakening
of interest in the principal theme, of which a further sign is the
uninteresting treatment of the subjects themselves.

The fourteenth century canopy is, at first at least, always in pure
elevation, attempts at perspective not being found till close on the
end of the century. Plate XXV. shows both of the forms which are most
commonly found, that with a single big crocketted gable and arch
spanning the opening, and that with three small ones. I think the
former is the earlier form, but they are often, as here, found

[Sidenote: The base.]

In the earlier part of the century at all events, there is never an
architectural base to the panel as well as a canopy, but both subject
and the shafts of the canopy end off below with a straight line at one
of the frame-bars. The earliest examples of anything in the nature of
a base that I know of are at Wells and in the great east window of
Gloucester Cathedral, where the topmost pinnacle of each canopy
spreads out into a sort of bracket supporting the next figure above,
while the shafts at the side are prolonged upwards into the canopy of
that figure, an arrangement suggestive of Perpendicular work. But
indeed in its general arrangement, though not in its details, the
Gloucester east window, though executed in 1350-1360, contains many
hints of the style that was to follow, the stone tracery, in fact,
being pure Perpendicular, perhaps the earliest example known.

The canopy work itself is always in the main yellow or white, relieved
against a coloured background, and with windows, capitals and other
details put in with another colour. In the aisle windows of the nave
of York Cathedral, the coloured background, and, at first, the
pinnacles of the canopy too, end off square at the top, at one of the
frame-bars, just as the panel does at the bottom. As the series
proceeds, however, the central pinnacles, as in the "Peter de Dene"
window, of which details are given in Plate XVIII., are prolonged
above the bar, a tendency which became more and more developed as time
went on. In the big window from St. Ouen's at Rouen, shown in Plate
XXV., the coloured background, by a rather inept arrangement, is also
brought up behind the pinnacles, and has to end in a somewhat
meaningless outline.

At first the yellow of the canopies was obtained by the use of a
yellow glass, a "pot-metal" (_i.e._ a glass coloured all through in
the making) of a not very pleasant colour, but gradually this was
superseded by the use of silver stain, by means of which a much
lighter and more delicate effect could be obtained. Its introduction
was gradual, however, the artist having to feel his way towards the
best use of it. As its use increased, coloured glass was less and less
used for details of the canopy, the character of which gradually
approached more and more to that which it was to have in the following

In some of the very earliest windows of the period, such as those in
Merton College Chapel and in the chapels of the choir in Evreux
Cathedral, small coloured panels, with canopies of quite modest and
reasonable proportions, are used to decorate large spaces of
grisaille. The growth of the canopy began very soon, however, and
where these small canopies are found together with geometric glazing
of the grisaille and a complete absence of silver stain, it is fairly
safe to assign a date to the window not much later than 1305.

[Sidenote: Figures on quarries.]

Curiously enough, in spite of the fourteenth century fondness for
elaborate canopies, we find at the same time another type of window in
which they are wholly absent, the figures being placed simply upon a
background of quarries. Plate XXIV., one of a series from the
clerestory of St. Ouen at Rouen, is an example of this. Here the
figures stand, it is true, on little architectural bases (an exception
to the rule I mentioned just now), but elsewhere these too are absent.

[Sidenote: The S-like pose.]

(5) _The Style of Drawing the Figure._--The chief characteristic of
this in fourteenth century work is its apparent affectation. There
seems to have been a sudden revolt from the taste for dramatic force
of action which characterized the subject panels of the thirteenth
century. Look at Plate XXXI. from Rouen, with its three little panels
showing the Annunciation and the Visitation. In each the figure is in
exactly the same pose, and that a perfectly meaningless one, like an
elongated letter S. Yet this pose seems to have become all the
fashion, for it is almost universal in the work of this period, and is
found even in such transitional work as the east windows of the
antechapel of New College, Oxford, which, in other respects, belong
far more to the succeeding period.

Yet in spite of this loss of naturalism in movement, in the actual
drawing of forms, both of the figure and of drapery, there is an
advance. If you will compare St. Luke from the clerestory of St. Ouen
at Rouen in Plate XXIV. with Methuselah from Canterbury in Plate III.,
you will see the change that has occurred. St. Luke has far less
character and force, he is far less alive, his pose and gesture mean
nothing, or at most are mildly argumentative, and yet there is a
certain sense in which he, and still more his drapery, is better
drawn, or if not better, at all events in a more advanced manner. This
is more noticeable if you compare St. Luke or the little figures in
Plate XXX. with the big angel from Chartres in Plate X., which is not
so well drawn as the Methuselah.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXV
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The effort towards grace of form.]

The fact is that the twelfth and thirteenth century convention in
figure drawing had served its turn well, but was now worn out.
Deriving, originally, as we have seen, out of Greek art in its
Byzantine form, it had formed a stock on which the artist of the Early
Period had been able to graft his own observation and love of nature,
but it had now ceased to satisfy and was therefore abandoned. The
progress of drawing in other arts, or at all events in sculpture, had
taught men to demand something different. The artist of the late
thirteenth century, as the last influence of Greek art died out of his
work, had undoubtedly neglected grace of form in his enthusiasm for
vigorous and naturalistic movement; and, as so often happens when one
quality in art is neglected, a reaction had come, in which people
demanded that quality above all others. Consequently, the chief effort
of the draughtsman of the fourteenth century, if I understand him
rightly, was to bring his drawing of form up to the standard required
of him, the S-like attitude, for instance, being merely a trick to get
a willowy gracefulness into his figures, especially those of women.

The same tendency is observable in the drawing of drapery. The drapery
of the thirteenth century was entirely conventional in the method in
which it was drawn, but it was always in movement and helped the
action of the figures. Fourteenth century drapery, on the other hand,
is always at rest, or at most sweeping with the slow movement of a
figure, but its folds are drawn in a much more advanced manner than
before, and seem to bear evidence of a certain amount of direct study
of actual drapery, either on the part of the artist or of those whom
he was following. The ideal of gracefulness shows itself in a love for
long and sweeping folds, as may be seen in Plates XXIV., XXX., XXXI.

At first the artist is content to use in his drawing the strong line
work of the preceding period, but as the century proceeds this becomes
rather more delicate, and he begins to feel his way towards modelling
in half-tones. The drapery over the Virgin's knees in Plate XXI. shows
this very clearly.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXVI

[Sidenote: Neglect of movement.]

With this preoccupation with the truer rendering of form, it is
perhaps not surprising that the study of action was neglected. The
artist had enough to do to draw his figures and drapery in repose
without making them move about and do things, and a contributory cause
was, no doubt, the weakening of interest already alluded to in
the subjects he had to illustrate. This then is why, whereas in the
thirteenth century we find a highly conventional rendering of form
allied to naturalism in movement, in the fourteenth, conversely, we
find conventional poses and movement allied to a more naturalistic
rendering of form.

Comparative study of the illuminated manuscripts of the same period
shows exactly the same changes in progress. So closely do the two arts
keep pace with each other that I do not think it can be said that at
any time either was leading the other. They must have been in very
close touch even if they were not, which it is quite possible they
often were, practised by the same artists. The lead, if there was a
lead, must have come from sculpture.

[Sidenote: Natural plant forms in ornament.]

(6) _The use of Natural Plant Forms in Ornament._--This is another
manifestation of the same spirit, and divides the work of the
fourteenth century most sharply from that both of the preceding and
following periods. The Jesse Trees, and the leafy scrolls and borders
of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries belong to no genus known to
botanists, but in the fourteenth century it seems as if the artist,
the inspiration of religion failing him, had sought it in a rather
literal study of Nature. Accordingly in the grisaille and borders of
this period we find patterns formed of oak leaves and acorns, ivy
leaves, maple, vine, and so on. Plate XXVI. is rather an exception in
that one cannot name the particular plant; but Plates XXVIII. and
XXIX. contain characteristic examples, and Plate XXI. shows a good
vine border from York, and some holly leaf grisaille.

Yet the feeling for Nature in these patterns does not go very deep.
The artist is, for instance, content to make the oak wreath and twine
itself as freely as the vine, and I always feel that his practice is
the result of theory rather than the spontaneous expression of love of
Nature. The earlier worker was really, I believe, more in tune with
Nature than his successor of the fourteenth century. He did not copy
her forms in ornament but he followed her principles. He did not copy
her forms, because she had taught him to design forms for himself.
Nature, it may be observed, does not adorn one object with copies of
another, hardly even when she gives her creatures protective colouring
and markings, but gives to each the patterning which suits it best. In
the same way the ornament of the twelfth and thirteenth century
artist is always perfectly suited to its purpose without distracting
one's attention; and when his subject requires him to represent a tree
or a bush,--such as the fig tree under which Nathanael sits, or the
thicket in which the ram is caught, at Canterbury,--though the foliage
is that of the shamrock, he knows how to make it grow and live better
than his fourteenth century successor. The waves, too, of the Flood in
Plate IV., conventional though they are, give a real sense of tossing
and stormy water.

[Sidenote: Change in material.]

[Sidenote: Fourteenth century colour schemes.]

(7) _The Quality of Glass and the Colours Used._--At first these
differ little from those used in the previous period, but as the
fourteenth century proceeds, the rich intense reds and blues, with
their "streakiness," their endless variety of tone and texture, which
makes each piece of glass a jewel with an individuality of its own,
and needing no enrichment, give way to glass of a thinner, flatter
quality. In Plate III. Mr. Saint has managed to catch and the printer
to reproduce something of the quality of these early blues. There is a
change too in the proportions of the colours used. The colour schemes
of the Early Period are almost always conceived on a basis of red and
blue, but now green and yellow become equally important; Plates XXI.,
XXII., for example, contain very little blue at all. The canopies when
not white are mainly yellow, and this alone is responsible for a very
large amount of yellow in the colour scheme--too much, in fact, as a
rule. The yellow used at first, till silver stain took its place, was,
as I have said, a rather hot unpleasant pot-metal. The green of the
First Period had been a rather sharp brilliant colour, used generally
in small quantities, and striking a high shrill note among the deep
reds and blues, like a clarionet in an orchestra. The typical green of
the fourteenth century, on the other hand, which is often used as a
background, is a greyer duller colour altogether. Plate XVI. and Plate
XXI. give a fairly good idea of its quality.

[Sidenote: White glass for flesh.]

Another change, which was the natural result, both of the increased
amount of white now used in windows and of the introduction of the
silver stain, was the gradual substitution of white glass in the flesh
of figures for the brownish pink formerly used. Its use afforded an
opportunity for getting white in amongst the colour, and so helping to
bind the design together, and the fact that the hair, crowns, and
mitres of figures could now be stained yellow, rendered it on the
whole the most suitable glass for the purpose, and we find it holding
the field down to the late sixteenth century, when a pinkish enamel
began to be used.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXVII

[Sidenote: Painted diapers.]

(8) _The use of Painted Diaper Patterns on the Coloured
Backgrounds._--The red and blue backgrounds to the figures in the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries needed no further decoration. Their
own depth and quality was enough in itself, but the thinner, flatter
tones that succeeded them needed enriching and giving texture to, in
order to throw the figures up into proper relief; or so the fourteenth
century artist seems to have felt, for from the beginning we find his
backgrounds usually covered with a diaper painted in enamel.

The method is always the same; the ground having been covered with an
even coat of enamel, the pattern is scratched out clear with the point
of a stick or a brush handle. Plates XVI., XX., XXI. are typical
examples, and show in detail the kind of pattern that was used.

It is very rarely that we find anything of the kind in the previous
period. There is, as we have seen, an isolated and early example of it
at Canterbury, where a rather paler, poorer blue has been used than in
the other windows, but there it is more delicate than in the
fourteenth century, the pattern being scratched out of a very thin
semi-transparent mat of enamel; and it is found too in some late
thirteenth century windows in St. Urbain at Troyes, but in fourteenth
century work it is frequently met with even at the beginning of the
period, and by the end of the first quarter of the century it is the
rule, and remains so throughout the succeeding century as well.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXVIII




The windows in the chapel of Merton College, Oxford, are perhaps the
earliest in which the design of the Second Period has taken a definite
and typical form. Antony à Wood, in his catalogue of Fellows, says
that the donor, Henry de Mamesfield or Mannesfield, whose portrait is
in the windows, caused them to be made in 1283, but in view of an
order in the Bursar's Rolls of 1292 for stone for building these
windows, this date must be rejected. Antony à Wood's statement
elsewhere that the _whole_ chapel was pulled down and rebuilt in 1424
shows he is not altogether to be relied on. The presence of the
fleur-de-lis with the castle of Castile in some of the borders makes
it probable[12] that they were done after Edward I.'s second marriage
with Margaret of France in 1299, while the arms of an Heir-Apparent as
well as of a King of England in the east window makes it certain that
they were executed while Edward I. and his son were both alive, _i.e._
before 1307. On the whole, and by comparison with the York glass, I
should think 1303-1305 a not improbable date for them.

[Sidenote: The east window.]

There are seven windows on each side and a great east window, and,
with the exception of the latter, they are still fairly perfect. Of
the east window it is only the beautiful "wheel" tracery which retains
its original glass, the lower lights, alas! having been destroyed in
1702 to make room for a monstrosity by one Pryce--a horrible blare of
yellow. What remains in the tracery has a more transitional character
than the other windows, and was probably executed first, and if only
the lower lights had remained they might have thrown an interesting
light on the development of the style.

The three trefoils in the centre of the wheel contain three coats of
arms--the short triangular shields of the thirteenth century, of which
the first is that of Edward I., the leopards of England; the second
the same with a label of five points azure for his son, afterwards
Edward II.; and the third that of Walter de Merton, the founder of the
college. For the most part the other lights contain ornament that is
wholly fourteenth century in character, but the quatrefoil on each
side has a feature which shows the early date of the window. In these
two small figures representing the Annunciation, though themselves in
the style and colouring of the early fourteenth century, are placed
directly on a background of red and blue mosaic diaper, such as one
finds again and again in thirteenth century work in France, and among
the fragments in the South Rose at Lincoln. I have often thought that
thirteenth century glaziers sometimes kept this mosaic filling in
stock, and perhaps the artist of Merton had some left on his hands and
used it up here. In any case it would seem to show that the style in
which he was working was fairly new to his workshop.

[Sidenote: The side windows.]

The fourteen side windows are designed on a plan which is typical of
fourteenth century work both in England and in France, especially
Normandy. The sections into which the glazing is divided by the heavy
iron frame-bars are taken as the units of the design. One in each
light is filled with a coloured panel--a figure under a canopy--and
the rest with grisaille having a coloured boss in the centre of each,
the whole being surrounded by a coloured border. The effect is that of
a range of greenish-white windows just dotted and edged with colour,
and with a single broad band of colour running horizontally through
them all. This plan is common in all early fourteenth century work,
especially in England and Normandy. Evreux is another example, York
nave another, but with two rows of coloured panels, and the window
from Rouen in Plate XXV. is only an elaboration of it forty years
later. At Merton College, however, the canopy has not yet run mad, but
is of modest proportions, figure and canopy together only occupying
one section of glazing.

The grisaille itself is for the most part of "bulged" quarries curving
round the central bosses, but two on each side have true quarries. All
have the trellis pattern formed by doubling the lead with a painted
line and a continuous flowing pattern of foliage--vine, oak, ivy, and
fig--spreading through it over the window from a central stem. Plate
XXVI. is a later example of the same thing, but with the addition of
silver stain, which is nowhere found in the Merton windows.

The borders, when not formed of castle and fleur-de-lis, are of a kind
found in the Chapter-House at York, and common in other fourteenth
century windows--leaves white or yellow, branching at intervals from a
straight or wavy stem on a coloured ground. There is not much variety
in the coloured bosses, which all consist either of a simple
four-leaved pattern or of a small head in white on a coloured disc.
There are, I think, only four different designs of these
heads--Christ, an old man, a king, and a queen continually repeated.

[Sidenote: Poverty of ideas.]

The most woeful poverty of ideas is, however, found in the figures
under the canopies. There are fourteen windows of three lights each,
with a figure in each,--forty-two in all,--yet the designer could
think of nothing better to do than to put an apostle in the centre
light of each window, repeating two apostles to make them go round,
and in every window but two a kneeling figure of the donor--"Magister
Enricus de Mamesfield"--in the light on each side. Thus the proud and
happy Master Henry might see himself reproduced no less than
four-and-twenty times, in robes of red, white, brown or blue, wide
sleeved robes with a hood, doubtless the M.A.'s gown of the period.

Neither are the apostles very interestingly treated. They are almost
repetitions of each other, standing in the same conventional pose and
distinguished only by their attributes. The backgrounds of the figures
are diapered with enamel in the usual fourteenth century way.

In point of development these windows come between the Chapter-House
and the earliest nave windows at York, and correspond with the
earliest work at Evreux, being the earliest windows in which the style
of the Second Period has taken final and definite form. They are not
without their beauty, but in looking at them one wonders what has
become of the spirit that created the windows of Canterbury, Chartres,
and Bourges.

[Sidenote: Exeter east window.]

Of the same stage of development as the Merton windows are the
earliest of the figures remaining in the east window of Exeter
Cathedral. Although this window was rebuilt and enlarged in 1390, the
original glass was, it is known, used again and eked out with new.
There is an entry in the Fabric Rolls of 1301-1302 for 1271 feet of
glass at 5½d. per foot, "ad summas fenestras frontis novi
operis"--which seems to mean the east end of the choir, and two years
later a payment to Master Walter the glazier for fixing the glass
"summi gabuli," but no further light is thrown on its origin. Later
on, however, in the roll for 1317-1318, there is an entry for glass,
apparently for the Lady Chapel, "bought at Rouen" at the rate of 6d. a
foot for white (? grisaille) and 1s. 0d. for coloured, and from this
it has been argued that the whole of the glass up to that time was
bought from Rouen too. To me, however, the fact that Rouen is
specifically mentioned here, and nowhere else, militates against this
theory, while if the price of 5½d. a foot paid for the glass of the
east window was for finished figure work, it is far lower than that of
the Rouen glass. The figures themselves are much larger than those at
Merton College, and on the whole more interestingly treated. There are
nine of them remaining: three patriarchs; three apostles--St. Peter,
St. Paul, and St. Andrew; and three female saints--St. Margaret, St.
Catherine, and, I think, the Magdalen. The canopies are large in
proportion, being nearly twice the height of the figures,--an unusual
height for so early a date,--but they are not unlike the Merton
canopies in style. There is no trace of silver stain either in the
canopies or the figures.

Another fact which to some extent tells against the theory of their
Rouen origin, is that so far I have found no glass of that date at
Rouen which at all resembles them, whereas as late as 1290-1295
Clement of Chartres was, as we have seen, doing work there, which
shows little change from the style of the middle of the thirteenth

[Sidenote: Grisaille at Exeter.]

There is some very interesting grisaille in two of the chapels at
Exeter, of an earlier type than that at Merton, being in fact
transitional between the style of the First and Second Periods. It has
the interlacing medallions of coloured strap work, with the painted
grisaille pattern passing behind them, but this latter, though chiefly
of the "Herba Benedicta," breaks here and there into natural leafage.
It is a slightly earlier point of development than even the
Chapter-House at York, and corresponds very closely with some at St.
Urbain at Troyes.


[12] This is not altogether conclusive. The fleur-de-lis and castle
had been a favourite ornament in French glass since their adoption by
St. Louis.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXIX



The best work of the Second Period that I know of anywhere is to be
found in York Minster. Here the new style seems to have become
engrafted on a strong local school which had preserved much of the
life and vigour of the previous age. It is true that even here one
finds a certain weakening of the religious motive, but its place seems
to be to some extent taken by a patriotic enthusiasm for a warrior
king and for the gallant nobles who followed him in the Scotch wars,
and whose arms are everywhere in the glass of the nave.

[Sidenote: Chronological order of the windows.]

The windows themselves show a steady and almost unbroken progression
in style from the late thirteenth to the early part of the fifteenth
century, which makes them most useful for study. Leaving out the
fragments of very early glass I have mentioned before, the order of
their execution seems to be--

     1. The "Five Sisters."
     2. Chapter-House.
     3. The vestibule of the Chapter-House.
     4. The clerestory of the nave.
     5. The first five[1] in the north aisle of the nave (dated by
        Winston 1306).
     6. The first five[13] in the south aisle of the nave.
     7. The sixth in the north aisle of the nave.
        {The three west windows of the nave (contract 1338).
     8. {The sixth in the south aisle of the nave.
        {One (probably from the nave) in the south aisle of the choir.
     9. The third from the east in the south side of the Lady Chapel.
     10. The fifteenth century windows in the choir and Lady Chapel,
         which we shall come to later.

Whatever difference of opinion there may be about the date of these
windows, I do not think this order can be disputed.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXX

[Sidenote: The Chapter-House.]

The "Five Sisters" have already been dealt with in their place in the
First Period. Those of the Chapter-House, whether of earlier or later
date than those of the Merton College Chapel, are distinctly earlier
in style and are one of the few examples of work that is really
transitional between the First and Second Periods, belonging
almost as much to one as to the other. Unfortunately there is no
record of the building of the Chapter-House, and its date is a matter
of dispute, Drake putting it as early as the time of Archbishop Walter
Grey, who died in 1256, and Browne holding it was not finished till
nearly 1340--an impossible date for the glass. As in Merton Chapel the
presence of the fleur-de-lis as well as the castle of Castile in the
windows may mean that they are not earlier than 1299, but I do not
think they are much later. The only French work I know of which at all
corresponds to it is in St. Urbain at Troyes, which Viollet-le-Duc
dates at about 1295, and the windows from Poitiers in Plate XV.

[Sidenote: The grisaille in the Chapter-House.]

The windows are divided by the tracery into narrow lights in which a
series of coloured medallions of typical thirteenth century shape are
placed one above the other on a ground of grisaille, much as in the
window from Poitiers. It is in the grisaille itself that the
beginnings of the new style are shown, for whereas in the "Five
Sisters," which are certainly later than 1260, the pattern on the
grisaille is the conventional trefoil of the First Period--the Herba
Benedicta--and conforms to the shapes of the lead-work and of the
hollow medallions outlined in coloured bands, in the Chapter-House,
although the medallions in coloured outline are still there, the
painted pattern, as at Exeter and Troyes, runs through them
independently of them (giving them a rather meaningless appearance of
being hung in front of it), but is wholly formed of natural foliage,
oak, fig, ivy, and so on; the borders, too, are of the character of
the Second Period. Similar grisaille is found at Chartham in Kent. At
Poitiers, as may be seen in the illustration, the grisaille pattern is
still of the Herba Benedicta, with a cross-hatched ground, and the
border is of an earlier type; at St. Urbain at Troyes, as at Exeter,
both the conventional and the natural foliage are found, but on the
whole I am somewhat inclined to think that wherever the other features
of the style originated these patterns of natural foliage were first
used in England.

These windows, by the way, are in a sad state and want releading,
instead of which the authorities have contented themselves with
placing quarry glazing on the outside of them, which now that it is
dirty so darkens the old windows as to kill all light and colour in
them. When I say releading, I mean that and nothing more--_not_
"restoration," which is murder.

[Sidenote: The Chapter-House vestibule.]

The windows in the =L=-shaped vestibule, or passage, which leads to the
Chapter-House show a slight further development. Here the grisaille is
of the same character as in the Chapter-House itself, but the coloured
panels are each surmounted by a little crocketted canopy, which here
appears for the first time in York. It is found in some glass at
Selling, in Kent (which from the heraldry seems to commemorate Edward
I.'s marriage to Margaret of France in 1299), in conjunction with
grisaille in which the foliage is of the earlier conventional type,
and which therefore may, perhaps, be a little earlier than these

[Sidenote: The clerestory of the nave.]

The windows in the clerestory of the nave of York Minster are little,
I think, if at all, later than those in the Chapter-House, but it is a
little difficult to compare them as they are designed to be seen at
such a very different distance from the eye, the white parts of the
clerestory windows consisting only of interlacing bands of lead-work
without any painted pattern at all. A small inset in Plate XVIII.
shows the general arrangement of all these windows; the great wheel of
the tracery, it will be seen, is filled with colour, while the lower
lights are white with two bands of coloured panels running
horizontally through them all. Of these panels the lower row consists
of coats of arms of the great families of the North, contained in
medallions of which Plate XVI. is an example. The upper row consists
for the most part of subjects contained in somewhat similar
medallions, but many of the panels are filled with earlier glass of
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which were doubtless preserved
from the older nave. Thus, if you let your eye run along the northern
side it will be arrested at the extreme west end of the line by a
piece of blue that is different from all the others. It is the twelfth
century blue that we have seen at St. Denis and in the west windows at
Chartres, and the panel is the portion of a Jesse Tree of the same
pattern as that which is found at both those places, and which I
mentioned when speaking of them. Portions of the foliage of the tree
are in the tracery above. I think I recognize this blue too in a panel
on the south side representing a man with a horse and cart, and
remains of early thirteenth century glass are plentiful.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXI
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The aisles of the nave.]

Next after the clerestory, the oldest windows in the nave are the
first five from the east in each aisle. In these the style of the
Second Period is fully developed and is in no sense transitional.
They are rather more advanced in style than the Merton College windows
and are by a far finer artist, being, in fact, the finest work of the
period that I know. They seem to me all to have been executed within a
few years of each other, probably in continuous succession, and to
show the gradual development which might be expected during the
progress of the work.

Those on the north are the oldest and in the best condition, those on
the south being much broken and confused, and one, alas! "restored."
The general design is the same in all and is a typical fourteenth
century one, two horizontal bands of coloured panels surmounted by
canopies running horizontally through all the lights, separated by
panels of grisaille which have a coloured spot in the centre of each
panel. It is characteristic of the fourteenth century that the whole
of the lower panels are in nearly every window devoted to the donor,
who is thus given as much space as the subject. The grisaille is of
the same type as at Merton. As in all early fourteenth century work,
the sections divided by the heavy frame-bars are taken as the units of
the design, the coloured panels with their canopies each occupying two
sections and the grisaille panels one each. Nos. 2, 3, and 4 on the
north were probably the first executed, as they contain no trace of
yellow stain (Plate XVII.b). No. 5, from which the border of monks in
their stalls in Plate XVII.a is taken, has a single touch of it in one
place, but in No. 1 it is used, though still sparingly and
tentatively, on the beaks and claws of the eagles in the borders of
the outer lights (Plate XVII.c) and on the mail of the knights in the
border of the centre light (Plate XVIII.), and here and there in the
canopy. Another fresh development is the prolonging of the pinnacles
of the canopy into the grisaille panel above.

[Sidenote: The Peter de Dene window.]

This window, which is sometimes called the Heraldic Window, from the
number of coats of arms it contains, is the only one of them that has
hitherto been the subject of any very close study, Mr. Winston having
devoted a whole article to an extremely close and careful analysis of
its heraldry, and to an account of the life of its donor, one Peter de
Dene, whose portrait is in the central light and who was a
churchman-politician under the first two Edwards. There is no space
here to repeat his arguments, and I will only say that, after reading
them and rereading them, I find it very difficult not to accept his
conclusion that the most probable date for the window is 1306. The
subject panels represent the story of St. Catherine, but are the least
interesting part of the window, of which the most charming feature is,
perhaps, the border of the central light, which consists of miniature
portraits of kings, queens, and nobles whom the donor wished to
compliment (Plate XVIII.). The two uppermost figures are those of a
Templar and a Hospitaller; below them are the kings and queens of
England and France, in allusion to Edward I.'s second marriage, and
the recent peace concluded by it; below the Queen of France is the
Heir-Apparent of England, and the remaining figures bear the arms of
de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, Warrenne (both connected with the Royal
Family), Beauchamp, Ros, Mowbray, Clifford, and Percy. The coats of
arms which form the bosses in the white panels are those of foreign
monarchs with whom the King of England was connected. The white eagles
in the outer border are thought by Winston to refer to Piers Gaveston,
who, though somewhat under a cloud in 1306, yet, as the friend of the
heir to the throne, was a good person to keep in favour with. It is
true the Gaveston eagles were golden, but heraldry was more free and
easy then than later. There is a portrait of Prince Edward in the
Chapter-House with a white falcon on his wrist, and white falcons are
plentiful in the windows of the nave, yet I have never heard of his
using it as a badge, though the last Plantagenet, Richard II., did so.

[Sidenote: The Bell-founder's window.]

The next window to this is the famous "Bell-founder's Window," given
by Richard Tunnoc, bell-founder of York. In the lower panel of the
centre light is his portrait kneeling and presenting a model of the
window to an Archbishop, perhaps St. William. The panels on either
side represent one, the casting, the other the turning of a bell in a
lathe. Bells are everywhere in the window, the canopies are hung with
them in rows, the borders are formed of them, but Mr. Westlake's
careless remark that all six panels represent the process of
bell-making is not true. The upper three are much perished, but one
can just see that they tell the story of St. William's return to York,
when the welcoming crowds broke down Ouse Bridge, but when, through
his intercession, not a life was lost.

[Sidenote: The de la Warde window.]

The third window contains some interesting portraits in its lower
panels. The central one is that of an Archbishop of York, as shown by
the key in his left hand, holding in his right a model of the
nave[14]. On the left is a knight dismounted, holding his horse by the
bridle, and behind him the hand of some one out of the picture holds
his banner, which the painting, though almost obliterated, still shows
to be "vairé" argent and sable. In the opposite panel is a lady
standing and behind her, half out of the picture, a man on horseback,
doubtless his wife and son. Now the arms on the banner are those of
the Barons de la Warde, of whom there were only two, Robert and his
son Simon. Robert, who was in the Scotch wars, and in 1306 was steward
of the household to Edward I., must have passed the greater part of
that year in York with the King, who was there preparing for his last
expedition against Robert Bruce. He, Robert de la Warde, died next
year. His son Simon was Governor of York in 1321, and helped with his
forces to defeat Thomas of Lancaster at Boroughbridge. It will thus be
seen that the window might either have been given by the father in
1306 or the son about 1320, but since two figures are represented, and
since we know that Simon died childless (the barony becoming extinct),
it seems probable that it was executed in the father's lifetime.
Again, though 1320 would fit the Bell-founder's window, since Tunnoc
was Sheriff of York that year, it cannot be made to fit the facts in
Peter de Dene's window, which is certainly not earlier but later. The
presence of the Templar is against it, as it is unthinkable that the
Order which was suppressed in 1312 (and its grandmaster burnt) should
thus have been complimented in 1320. But for this fact I am bound to
say I should have thought 1320 the more probable.

If then we accept 1306 as the approximate date for these windows, it
will be seen that in little more than seven years a complete change
had come over the design of English stained glass, and it will
presently be seen that much the same thing was happening in France at
the same time. Indeed, one of the surprising things about mediæval art
is the rapidity with which new ideas seem to flash across Europe from
Yorkshire to Dalmatia.

The outer lights of the de la Warde window have a fascinating border
of monkeys bearing pitchers, and across the bottom of the window is a
busy scene of monkeys hunting and feasting, with a man and woman among

[Sidenote: The fifth window in the north aisle.]

The three lower panels of the fifth window illustrate a story which I
have never yet found any one to give me a clue to. It has nothing to
do with the upper subjects, two of which are the martyrdoms of SS.
Peter and Paul, the third being merely fragments. From its position,
and from the fact that the costume is contemporary with the painting,
I should rather imagine that it refers to some local story, perhaps
connected in some way with the gift of the window. On the right, a
figure in a red cope with a red skull-cap but no nimbus, holding a
scourge or "disciplina" in his hand, is pointing apparently in
denunciation at what appears to be a cringing figure in brown, much
broken, among a crowd of others, some of whom are women. In the next
panel, which is also much broken and jumbled, the same figures seem to
be there, but the one in red seems to be exhorting rather than
denouncing. The third or left-hand panel is in much better condition,
and here we see the figures plainly. The one in brown, which turns out
to be that of a layman, without armour, but with a dagger at his side
and a spiked mace slung over his left arm, is kneeling at the feet of
the figure in red, who is seated, and with one hand laid on the
penitent's head is with the other firmly administering the
"disciplina" to his back! The border is of monks (or canons) in their
stalls, and the only heraldry in the window is contained in the
painted diaper on the blue background, and consists of spread eagles
and rampant lions, like the border of the Peter de Dene window. The
remains of the donor's name--W ... MN ... CTON--gives me no clue.

[Sidenote: The south aisle.]

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXII
   Fourteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The de Mauley window.]

The first five windows in the south aisle seem to me to follow these
immediately in order of execution. The style is just a little more
advanced; stain is used more freely, and the canopies begin to grow up
into the white panel above them until their pinnacles reach its centre
and do away with the coloured boss there altogether; they spread into
the borders in many cases in order to give more room to the figures
under them, thus giving rise to the three-gabled form of canopy. In
colour they are still very beautiful, but have suffered much more
damage than those in the north aisle. Several of them have been
repaired and restored by Peckitt, of York, as the inscriptions show,
at the end of the eighteenth century, but Peckitt's restoration was
merciful compared to that which the fourth one has undergone at the
hands of a modern firm of stained-glass manufacturers. Whole
quantities of the old glass have been replaced by new, and the whole
has been smeared with some brownish mess to make it look old
again. As a result, all life and beauty have gone out of the window
which is merely a sort of embalmed corpse, and this is the more to be
regretted that it seems to have been a particularly interesting
window. The lower panels each contain a pair of kneeling figures, five
knights, and one churchman who hold aloft shields which show them to
be various members of the Yorkshire family of de Mauley of Mulgrave.
The founder of the family was the Poitevin ruffian, Piers de Mauley
who, at King John's orders, murdered Prince Arthur and was rewarded
for this service with the hand and estates of an unfortunate Yorkshire
heiress. The descendants of this miscreant seem, however, to have been
gallant soldiers who distinguished themselves in Scotland and Gascony
and were made barons by Edward I. A peculiarity of the family was that
the eldest son was always called Peter, and they distinguished
themselves by numbers, like kings. One of the portraits must be the
particular Peter who afterwards, in 1346, commanded the forces which
Queen Philippa raised in her husband's absence against the invading
Scots, whom he routed at Neville's Cross, taking their king, David
Bruce, prisoner, and partly avenging Bannockburn. An interesting
point of heraldry is the way in which the arms of the different sons
are distinguished, not by the marks of cadency used later, but by the
addition of different charges to the original shield which is or, a
bend sable.

The fifth window was once a Tree of Jesse but is now a mere wreck. It
is, however, the earliest Jesse Tree I know of in which the stem and
foliage of the tree are green.

These windows show a progressive increase in the use of white for
flesh colour instead of the brownish pink formerly used. At first,
white is used only for women's faces, and then for those of saints of
both sexes, brown-pink continuing to be used for other people till
quite the middle of the century or later. Stain is not used on the
hair at first, but sometimes a thin brown matt of enamel is laid all
over the hair which at a distance has almost the effect of stain.

[Sidenote: The sixth window in the north aisle.]

The sixth window on the north side is, I think, a good many years
later in date than these ten windows we have been considering, and is
much less beautiful. A canopy and border from it are shown in Plate
XVIII.a on the right. Although the same general arrangement is adhered
to as in the other windows, the treatment is much coarser; the
crockets of the canopies are big, heavy, and ugly, of a
brownish-yellow pot-metal, but at the same time stain is freely,
indeed lavishly, used, not only in the canopies and borders but, for
the first time in the Cathedral, in the quarries of the grisaille as
well. The borders of heraldry or little figures have given way to
running patterns of natural foliage of the more common fourteenth
century type. There are four different patterns of these borders in
the window, so that some probably came from another window of the same
date, perhaps in the now empty seventh window.

[Sidenote: The west windows.]

Later still are the three west windows and the sixth in the south
aisle which mark a further stage in development. Here we have at last
a definite date to help us, for the contract with the glazier, one
Robert, is still in existence and is dated 1338, so we may assume the
windows were finished about 1340. It is difficult to judge these
windows fairly, for they were subjected to a most drastic restoration
in the eighteenth century, and the great central one is further
disfigured by protective quarry glazing on the outside, which reduces
it to a dirty brown. I do not think, however, that they can ever have
been, comparatively speaking, very good, and I am inclined to look
upon them as perhaps the poorest work of the Middle Ages. Plate XIX.
shows one light of the northernmost of the three, that at the west end
of the north aisle. It will be seen that the canopy has now grown to
an absurd height and fills the whole light, and neither in its
proportions nor in its details is it very graceful. The border is now
growing narrower and narrower, and is eventually doomed to disappear
altogether. The crockets of the gable are the only yellow pot-metal
used, silver stain being used everywhere else, and not very
artistically, though how far this is due to the restorer it is
difficult to say.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXIII
   Fourteenth Century]

The same qualities may be observed in the great central west window of
the nave, also the work of the glazier Robert. Here, too, the canopies
over the various rows of figures which form the design meet the feet
of the row above, and in the top row shoot up to the head of the
light. Their stiff awkwardness is in curious contrast to the wonderful
flowing grace of the actual tracery of the window which contains them.
The treatment of the figures, too, is dull. For the eight archbishops
who form the bottom row, only two different patterns have been used,
and in the row above the eleven apostles have been got into eight
lights by making six of them squeeze, most uncomfortably, two in a

The St. Stephen (Plate XX.) is from the sixth window in the south
aisle, which seems to be of about the same date as the west windows
and probably by the same glazier Robert. Instead of conforming to the
design of the other windows in the aisle, he has filled it with three
figures larger than life under tall canopies. It has likewise suffered
much from eighteenth century restoration (the head, I think, is new),
and has, besides, the same faults as the west windows. To me its chief
interest is in the ornamentation of the saints' dalmatic, which
affords the earliest example I know of the use of silver stain on blue
glass, which may be seen in the ring-like ornaments on the blue

[Sidenote: All Saints', North Street, and St. Martin's, Micklegate.]

The parish churches of York contain a good deal of fourteenth as well
as fifteenth century glass. The windows in the west end of the north
aisle of All Saints', North Street, and the south aisle of St.
Martin's, Micklegate, Plates XXI. and XXII., are not very easy to
place with regard to the Cathedral work. My own opinion is that they
are rather later and show a recovery in quality. The canopies are as
big as ever, but there is more taste and refinement in the drawing,
both of the figures and ornaments, and more experience as well as
taste in the use of the silver stain. At the same time, they contain
later features, such as the attempt at perspective in the battlements
above the canopy in Plate XXI., and in the brackets of a sort of
balcony (not shown in the illustration) below. The curious device
above the canopy in the window at St. Martin's (Plate XXII.) is, I
imagine, the "merchant's mark" of the donor.


[13] From the east.

[14] In 1306 this would be William de Greenfield, under whom the nave
was building, and in 1320 William de Melton, who finished it.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXIV
   Fifteenth Century]



[Sidenote: St. Pierre at Chartres.]

In France the change of style seems to have occurred very much at the
same time as in England. There is some transitional work in St. Urbain
at Troyes, to which Viollet-le-Duc gives the date 1295. This would
make it a few years earlier in all probability than the Chapter-House
at York, but the type of grisaille is rather earlier too, still
consisting partly, like that at Exeter, of conventional foliage. The
clerestory windows of the fine church of St. Pierre at Chartres,
whatever their precise date, certainly mark the local change from the
previous style.

The church had been begun as early as 1150, but its progress was slow
and it was not completed till 1225, though the choir had been glazed
in 1172.[15] The upper part of this choir was, however, pulled down
in 1270, and rebuilt with large traceried windows, filling all the
wall space of the clerestory. This again was not finished till 1310,
but this date probably refers to the completion of the interior
decoration which was always preceded by the glazing of the windows. On
the whole, I think it is fairly safe to conclude that the choir
windows were done about 1300, or a little before.

The style is still that of the First Period but modified,
experimentally as it were, to suit new conditions. Each window has
four tall narrow lights with tracery above, and every other light is
filled with two large figures placed one above the other each in a
medallion, which is squeezed by the narrowness of the light into an
elongated form, while the space between the medallions is filled in
the old way with mosaic diaper of red and blue. In compliance,
however, with the growing demand for more light in churches, the other
two lights in each window are filled entirely with grisaille. This
would give a lop-sided appearance to a single window, but seen
together with only a slender shaft between window and window, they
form a succession of alternate white and coloured vertical stripes all
round the choir, an interesting and almost unique method of combining
figure and grisaille. Altogether the clerestory windows may be
considered as the very last work of the First Period already modified
and influenced by the spirit of change that was in the air.

In the clerestory windows of the nave the change has already come
about. Although in the richness of colouring there is still a
reminiscence of the earlier style, yet the medallion has vanished, and
everywhere, both over single figures and over subject panels, we find
decorated canopies, not yet, however, of exaggerated proportions, and
with a complete absence of yellow stain. In the general arrangement
the same idea is seen as in the choir, but it has had to be adapted to
a different form of window-opening. The nave is part of the original
church of 1225, and the clerestory windows consist, like those of the
Cathedral, of broad lights grouped in pairs, with a rose above each
pair--the germ of tracery. Every alternate pair is entirely filled
with small coloured scenes from the life of a saint,--no longer in
medallions, but each framed under a small white canopy,--but the
windows between them have only a vertical stripe of colour down the
centre of each light containing two large figures, one above the
other, while the rest of the light is filled with grisaille (Plate

The portrait of a certain abbot as donor enables us to date these nave
windows with fair accuracy as about 1307-8, which makes them slightly
later than the Peter de Dene window in York Minster. The grisaille is,
however, of a distinctly earlier type, having the background still
cross-hatched, but at Chartres one would expect the old traditions to
die hard.

[Sidenote: Fourteenth century glass in Chartres Cathedral.]

There is fourteenth century work in the Cathedral, which is
interesting in its way. The window given, about 1307-10, by "Geoffrey
the Restorer," a canon whose "restoration" of the thirteenth century
windows was of a different kind to that now in vogue, is the work of
an archæologist and an enthusiast for the older style and can hardly
be taken as typical. Very different is the strip of glazing which
Canon Thierry got leave, in 1328, to insert in the foot of one of the
big thirteenth century windows in the south transept to light an altar
he had founded. Even for its date it is remarkable, consisting, as it
does, of figures (Canon Thierry kneeling to the Virgin surrounded by
saints) executed entirely in white and silver stain, without any
coloured glass, placed directly on a background of white and stain
quarries. It is perhaps the first examples of this treatment of
figures, and anything more hopelessly out of keeping with the deep and
solemn colours above it can hardly be imagined, so that it is
difficult to do it justice. An example of _coloured_ figures placed
directly on quarries is the Annunciation, which dates from 1350, in
the south choir aisle, but it is not a very interesting group. The
chapel of St. Piat contains some glass of the latter half of the
century, but the treatment it has received prevents one forming an
opinion of it.

[Sidenote: Evreux.]

The Cathedral of Evreux is rich in remains of fourteenth century
glass, which, like that at York, illustrates the progress of design
during the century, the windows being of all dates from the opening of
the fourteenth century till well on in the fifteenth. The earliest are
those in the choir chapels, some of which are of about the same date
as the Merton College glass, which, indeed, they at once call to mind.
As at Merton, small coloured panels containing figures under low
canopies are made to decorate long lights of grisaille. For the most
part, as at Merton, the figures consist of donors in the outer
lights, kneeling to their patron saints in the inner ones, though
occasionally one finds subjects, such as the part of a Life of St.
Martin in one of the northern chapels. One of the chapels in the apse
is remarkable for the charming use of heraldry in the border. The
windows contain figures of the Count of Evreux kneeling to the Virgin.
His arms are the lilies of France with a bend "componée" of argent and
gules, and the fleur-de-lis and the bend are repeated alternately all
the way up the border, on a ground of blue, with delightful effect.

Later than these is the Harcourt window, the earliest apparently of
those in the clerestory, which must date from between 1310 and 1327,
though I am inclined to think it is nearer the later date. Here again
one has the arrangement, so characteristic of the fourteenth century,
of kneeling donors in the outer lights and their patron saints in the
inner,--the first idea in nearly every fourteenth century window is
the safety of the donor's soul,--but here the coloured panels are
placed at the very bottom of the window, with grisaille above, an
arrangement which one finds again in later work at Rouen. It has the
advantage of bringing the figures nearer the eye, but as a design it
is hardly happy.

[Sidenote: St. Ouen at Rouen.]

The fine church of St. Ouen at Rouen is very rich in fourteenth
century glass of the first half of the century. The oldest, perhaps,
is in the clerestory windows, which afford another example of the
practice found, I think, earlier in France than in England, of placing
figures directly on a background of quarries (Plate XXIV.). From the
small amount of stain used I do not think they are likely to be later
than 1330, though the queer little pedestal with its ogival arch does
not look a very early feature.

Rather later than these are the immense windows in the choir aisles,
of which Plate XXV. is an example. In comparing them to those in York
Minster, they seem to me to come, in point of development, between the
aisle windows of the nave and the west windows, but are far better
than the latter; yet, although there is hardly a detail in them which
cannot be found in an earlier form at Merton College or York, they
have, nevertheless, a character all their own, a hint of growing
divergence between the two schools. The subject of this particular
window is the Life of St. Gervais, but it is such an unimportant
detail in the design as to be hardly worth mentioning, the real
interest of the windows being their planning and ornament. They are
planned on precisely the same system as the windows in Merton College
chapel, in the choir chapels at Evreux, and the aisles of York nave,
but the canopies are more highly developed, the quarries are "true"
quarries, and stain is much more freely used. Plates XXVI.-XXX. show,
in detail, the use that has been made of it in the grisaille borders
and bosses of this window. Even the canopies that are all yellow are,
I fancy, coloured with stain; but the artist has been alive to the
danger of too much yellow in the window, and has made every other
canopy white, merely touched with stain, a form which in time was to
supersede the other altogether. If you compare the little figure from
one of these canopies in Plate XXX. with the little border figures
from Peter de Dene's window at York, you will see how the work is
beginning to lose the mosaic character it had inherited from the
previous centuries. The grisaille patterns, as well as the borders,
show descent from, or at least common origin with, those of York and
Merton--you can find that central stem with a wavy line on it in
both; but there is a subtle difference in the Rouen work--a little
more grace, and more care that the foliage shall not only decorate the
whole space of white, but form a symmetrical pattern on each
individual quarry, a tendency which, however, may also be found in
English work towards the end of the century.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXV
   Fifteenth Century]

Of later fourteenth century work there is not very much in France. The
country was devastated by war, and there can have been little money or
heart left for painted windows. Whichever side of the channel the
style of the early fourteenth century originated, it is quite certain
that the next great movement came from England.


[15] Lasteyrie would have it that the existing windows represent this
glazing,--an extraordinary mistake for him to make,--but it is just
possible that they contain figures from the older windows.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXVI
   Fifteenth Century]




An interesting thing about the design of stained glass in the
fourteenth century is that it never stands still, but changes more
rapidly than at any other period in its history. At Gloucester, not
more than from ten to twenty years after the latest of the windows I
have been describing, the great east window of the Cathedral was
filled with glass, which already faintly foreshadows the change into
the style of the succeeding period.

The Severn valley is rich in glass of the fourteenth century, the work
of a school which may have had its headquarters at Gloucester, where,
in later times, at all events, there were important glass-works,
which may still be seen in seventeenth century views of the city.

The fourteenth century glass at Shrewsbury, Tewkesbury, and Wells is
all of this school, and differs in many little ways from the work at
York, among which are the frequency of the ogival arch and gable in
the canopies, and, at Wells, the presence of foliated brackets which
support the figures. Whether the work in Bristol Cathedral also
belongs to it I am not quite prepared to say.

[Sidenote: The east window of Gloucester Cathedral.]

I have no space, however, to describe these windows, and must return
to the east window of Gloucester Cathedral which is later in style
than any of them. Winston, who has given it the same careful study
that he had devoted to the Peter de Dene window at York, points out
that the coats of arms in it are all those of nobles who took part in
the Campaign of Crècy in 1346 and deduces that the date of the window
is not later than 1350, whereas Westlake thinks it cannot be earlier
than 1360. In either case it is remarkable. To begin with, the tracery
of this immense window, the second largest in England, is pure
Perpendicular, and the earliest important example of it. The glass, on
the other hand, in its architectural detail, style of drawing, and
material used, belongs almost wholly to the Second or Decorated
Period, and it is mainly in its planning and general colour scheme
that we find a hint of approaching change. The perpendicular mullions
and horizontal transoms divide the great window, which is slightly
bowed outwards to give its strength, into a series of horizontal rows
of narrow lights one above the other, fourteen lights in a row, each
light being about two feet wide and from six to nine feet high. The
lower tiers (and originally this was true of the tracery as well) are
filled with quarries, and the upper one of these, the first that
extends all across the window,--for the entrance to the Lady Chapel
makes a gap below it,--is decorated with the splendid row of coats of
arms already mentioned. Above this each light, row upon row, contains
a figure under a canopy, the side shafts of which extend into the
light above and support the canopy there, while the central pinnacle
also extends upwards past the transom and expands into a flat-topped
pedestal which carries the figure above. Figure and canopy are white,
their whiteness only emphasised by touches of yellow stain, and
relieved against a coloured background. The background of the two
central columns of lights is ruby, that of the column on each side
blue, and the next ruby again and so on alternately. Thus the general
effect is of a white pattern on a background that is striped
vertically with alternate red and blue. It is this simple but
effective colour scheme that gives the window its resemblance in
effect to Perpendicular glass; but there are other features--the
complete absence of borders, the pedestals that carry the figures
(which are first found at Wells), and the decoration of the
quarries--which all indicate the coming change. The quarries, where
the original ones remain, still have the "trellis" pattern, but
instead of the continuous flowing pattern of foliage running through
them each quarry has a sort of star pattern in the middle of it,
stained yellow, a design much more common in the fifteenth than in the
fourteenth century. This placing of quarries at the foot of the
windows and in the tracery has its origin, of course, in the old
fourteenth century arrangement of a horizontal stripe or stripes of
figure and canopy work on a ground of grisaille.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXVII
   Fifteenth Century]

The subject of the window is the enthronement of the virgin surrounded
by apostles, saints, and angels; the same subject as that of the west
window of York Minster which it was probably meant to, and
certainly does, surpass. The figures themselves, however, still suffer
from the conventionality and affectation of the period, and it was not
for twenty years more that there was to be a change in that quarter as

[Sidenote: William of Wykeham and Thomas the Glazier.]

It was in 1380, or soon after, that new life came into the art through
the piety and enterprise of William of Wykeham, whose influence may be
compared to that of Abbot Suger in the twelfth century, and the genius
of his master glazier, Thomas. Of the latter we only know his name
from the portrait of himself which he put in the windows of Winchester
College Chapel (now, alas! only modern copies of the originals), with
the inscription "Thomas operator ist. vitri," but his hand is easily
recognizable not only at Winchester, and in the three original lights
from thence now in South Kensington Museum, but in the glorious set of
windows in the antechapel of New College at Oxford.

[Sidenote: New College antechapel.]

There had been no such work as this last done since the best days of
the thirteenth century. Here, once again, one finds the art used as a
means of emotional expression not only in the deep and solemn
harmonies of colour that strike one with a thrill on entering the
building, but in the treatment of the subjects themselves, in which
the artist breaks completely away from the conventionalism of the
preceding period.

The antechapel of New College, a graceful piece of Early
Perpendicular, is really, like that at Merton, a cross transept at the
west end of the Chapel, forming a =T= of which the antechapel is the
head, having windows on all its four sides--two on the east, on either
side of the entrance to the Chapel proper, two on the north, one on
the south, and three on the west. The glass of the great central west
window was taken out to make room for Jervais' smudgy rendering in
muddy browns and yellows of Sir Joshua Reynolds' famous Virtues. I am
not concerned with this but with the other windows, which contain,
though some of the lights are evidently out of their order, the
original glazing which William of Wykeham placed here when he built
the Chapel, between 1380 and 1386.

[Sidenote: The canopies.]

The design of the windows is a very simple one. The horizontal transom
divides each window into two equal tiers of four, or, in the eastern
windows, six, lights with tracery above. Each light is filled with a
figure standing on a pedestal and under a canopy, both canopy and
pedestal being white, enriched with touches of yellow stain, relieved
against a background which is, or was, blue and red in alternate
lights, the colour of the background inside the canopy being
counterchanged with the colour outside. From this arrangement and from
the presence of the pedestal I think the artist had seen both Wells
and the east windows of Gloucester Cathedral, but the architecture of
his canopies is of a fantastic kind peculiar to this school and unlike
anything in glass of the styles which preceded and followed it, but
based to some extent on the stone canopies of the late fourteenth
century, such as those on the screen of the west front of Exeter
Cathedral. The most noticeable feature in them is the number of queer
rounded turrets with pepper-box tops, modelled in relief. Indeed for
their solidity, as well as for their violent and untrue perspective,
these canopies have more in common with those introduced at Fairford a
hundred years later, when the continental influence was coming in,
than with the typical canopy of English Perpendicular.

From the large amount of space that is occupied by the canopy work,
the general effect of these windows is rather a white one (though
white in all old work is a relative term, the white in this case
consisting really of a delicate play of greenish, yellowish, and pure
white continually contrasted), and the most beautiful to my mind are
those in which, as in the windows on the north side which face one on
entering, the figures themselves are almost entirely covered with a
coloured mantle which makes a broad splash of distinctive colour in
the middle of each light.

[Sidenote: The eastern windows.]

Although all the windows conform to the same general design, those on
the east side, on each side of the entrance to the Chapel proper, seem
to me to be by a different hand, and were probably done first. They
contain or contained originally no colours but red and blue, and the
drawing of the figures has much of the conventionalism of the earlier
fourteenth century work. The upper tier consists of the twelve
apostles, and the lower is believed to have contained the figure of
the crucified Christ with His mother and St. John on either side,
repeated four times. The figures of Christ have all been destroyed and
replaced by figures from elsewhere, perhaps from the destroyed west
window; but three figures of the Virgin and three of St. John remain,
though it was only in 1900 that they were replaced in what I have
little doubt were their original positions. It may, of course, be
that these windows are by the same artist as the others, but done
before he had quite found himself or emancipated himself from the
conventionalities of his predecessors, for he has infused a certain
amount of life into the old forms; and the "Mater Dolorosa," in spite
of her conventional S-like pose, is a tender and pathetic figure.

[Sidenote: The colouring.]

There is, however, no trace of this conventionality in the other
windows, quaint though the drawing may be, and in the colour of them
the artist has fairly "let himself go." I know of no better piece of
"colour music" in the world than is afforded by the double tier of
prophets and patriarchs which occupy the two northern windows which
face one on entering--deep rich purple of many shades, warm green,
slaty-blue, brown, and a splendid blood-red ruby with a great deal of
variety in it; the changes are rung on these in the mantles, hats, and
shoes of the figures, while the reds and blues of the backgrounds form
a connecting link between them all. A pretty detail is the powdering
of the backgrounds to the figures in all the windows with the initials
of the personage represented, in white Lombardic letters surmounted by
little gold crowns. The drawing is, I admit, quaint,--Thomas was not a
great draughtsman even for his time; far from it,--but it is always
big, masculine, and expressive, with a strong feeling for decorative
line. To copy the scrolls which twist and flutter round the prophets
in the upper tier is in itself a lesson in design.

[Sidenote: Eve.]

Perhaps nowhere is his originality of conception so well shown as in
the figure of Eve, in the northern west window. Instead of
representing her, as nearly every other artist has done to the best of
his ability, as a graceful nude, he has given us a peasant woman of
his own time, spinning with a distaff and spindle. I do not know that
he has even tried to make her pretty, and in the simple drawing of the
folds of her colourless dress he has managed to suggest that it is of
coarse thick stuff. She is neither nymph nor princess but the sharer
of man's daily drudgery. In looking at her one is unavoidably reminded
of the lines which Wat Tyler's followers had sung only a year or two

     When Adam delved and Eve span,
     Who was then the gentleman?

The little upright tracery lights are filled with angels, but in the
summit of the northern east window is a small figure of William of
Wykeham kneeling before his Saviour, who shows His wounds. This and
the mutilated inscription at the base of each light, "Orate pro
Willelmo de Wykeham, Episcopo Wynton, fundatore istius collegii," is
all there is to tell of the donor. There was a new spirit abroad; no
longer were the portrait and arms of the patron allowed to usurp half,
or, as at Tewkesbury, the whole of a church window, nor in England, at
all events till the end of the fifteenth century, was the practice
again revived to quite the same extent.

These windows mark the second of the great periodic impulses in
stained glass, which I spoke of at the beginning of the book. Only the
second, I consider, for though there had been many changes in style
since the twelfth century, each had meant, on the whole, a loss of
beauty rather than a gain, whereas now we find a sudden infusion of
new life into the art, which did not in England lose its force for
fifty or sixty years to come, and produced a new style, the style of
the Third Period. To me these windows are one of the great art
treasures of the world, yet as I lately sat there all through a long
spring afternoon, party after party of visitors, many of them people
educated enough, one would think, to know better, came in to gaze
awe-struck at Sir Joshua's muddy brown Virtues, and left without a
glance at the glorious colour harmonies which surrounded them.

[Sidenote: Winchester College.]

Of other work of Thomas the Glazier and his school--the Winchester
school, as Mr. Westlake calls it--little but fragments remain, unless
one counts a window in the south aisle of the Lady Chapel of York
Minster, the third from the east, which somewhat resembles their work
and represents just about the same stage in development. William of
Wykeham's next great work was the founding of Winchester College in
1387, and in what remains of its glass the hand of Thomas can be
clearly seen. But, alas! in the early nineteenth century they took out
the old glass and substituted modern copies; it was their method of
restoration in those days. The old glass seems to have been the
perquisite of the glazier, and three of the lights, after various
peregrinations,--spending eight years in a window of St. Mary's,
Shrewsbury,--have found their way to South Kensington Museum where
they may still be seen. In style they are very like the north, west,
and south windows at New College, and quite obviously by the same
hand, though perhaps the canopies, at least in one case, show a very
slight progress towards the regular Perpendicular type. The material
seems to me much the same as at New College, but for some reason
the coloured glass is much more pitted by the weather and consequently
obscured, though the white, perhaps from a different shop, is in
splendid preservation.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXVIII
   Fifteenth Century]

[Sidenote: Winchester Cathedral.]

The great west window of Winchester Cathedral contains fragments and a
few whole figures of very similar work, and there are others in the
side windows of the nave. William of Wykeham's will, made in 1403,
leaves money for the glazing of the Cathedral windows "beginning from
the west at the first window of the new work done by him," which
sounds as if the west end had been already glazed. Indeed the
fragments there are more like the eastern windows (the earliest, if I
am right) in New College antechapel, while in the fragments that
remain in the side windows of the nave the later hand can be traced,
though the tendency in the canopies of these is to assimilate
gradually to the regular Perpendicular type which by this time had
been developed elsewhere.

Winston thinks the west window of the Cathedral may have been glazed
in the time of William of Wykeham's predecessor, Bishop Edington, in
which case it is not unlikely that it and the east windows of the
antechapel at New College were the work of Thomas's master, whose
style was further developed and improved by Thomas himself.

  [Illustration: PLATE XXXIX
   Fifteenth Century]



[Sidenote: Divergence between English and French schools.]

A notable feature of the fifteenth century is the divergence which
takes place in it between the styles of English and French stained
glass. Although in some respects they develop along parallel lines the
two no longer form, as they did almost to the end of the fourteenth
century, one school. The Hundred Years' War has done its work, and
produced a separation of spirit for which the world has, perhaps, been
the poorer ever since.

Indeed for the first half of the fifteenth century, during which the
best of the English work was done, the quantity of stained glass
produced in France seems to have been almost negligible, and a
comparison of the conditions of the two countries is a sufficient
explanation of this fact. While England was becoming rich and
prosperous and developing her foreign trade, France was laid waste by
war and struggling to free herself from the foreigner who had beaten
her down. It was not till the English had been finally expelled, and
France had emerged from the struggle a stronger State than she had
ever been before, that the art revived; and when it did so it owed
little, as is not surprising, to English influence, but on the other
hand began to feel, almost at once, the influence of the Continental
schools of painting.

In England, on the other hand, in spite of the quarrels of the nobles
and the rival claimants to the throne, the middle class were steadily
growing wealthy and powerful. The wool trade was bringing a great deal
of money into the country, and the result is still seen not only in
the number and size of Perpendicular churches that were built, but in
the immense output of stained glass that took place. The fifteenth
century, indeed, was by far the most prolific period in the history of
English stained glass, and, in spite of four hundred years of
destruction, vast quantities of it still remain.

[Sidenote: General characteristics of the English style.]

The general characteristics which distinguish the English style in
glass in the Third Period--the "Perpendicular" style--are as

     (1) The type of canopy.

     (2) The increased amount of white in figure and canopy work, with
     the delicate and accomplished use of silver stain.

     (3) The more advanced style of drawing.

     (4) The abandonment of natural form in ornament.

     (5) The supersession of all other forms of grisaille ornament by
     regular quarries.

     (6) The material used.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: The canopy.]

(1) _The Type of Canopy._--Although in the fifteenth, as in the
fourteenth century, figures were occasionally placed directly on a
background of white quarries, as may be seen at York, in the
clerestory of St. Martin's-le-Grand, and in the transepts of the
Minster, the fifteenth century artists showed no signs of wishing to
abandon the canopy.

It was a curious freak of fate that imposed the canopy upon
stained-glass designers and made it a _sine quâ non_ for two hundred
years. It has certain obvious advantages, it is true. It conveniently
filled the head of the light, and its upright lines and pinnacles
repeated those of the surrounding architecture and made the window
part of it; but the imitation of a stone niche in glass is hard to
justify on abstract grounds, and it is difficult now to understand
the enthusiasm which, as soon as it was introduced, made its adoption
so universal that, with few exceptions, the artists of the day seemed
unable to conceive of a single figure or a set of subject panels
otherwise than surmounted by a bewildering mass of crockets and
pinnacles. It is true that in the hands of mediæval craftsmen, in
England at least, there was no attempt, as there was later, at literal
imitation of stone-work; the canopy was rather ornament with an
architectural motif, and as such possessed beauty; but I cannot help
thinking that if they had never adopted it they would have evolved
some other ornamental form which, while serving the same purposes,
would have been more strictly in accordance with the rules of sound
art, and might have given more room for the play of individual fancy.

  [Illustration: PLATE XL
   Fifteenth Century]

Though, however, the English fifteenth century craftsmen did not
abandon the canopy, they profoundly modified it and made it far more
pliant and adaptable. Plates XXXIV. and XXXV. from York will give a
better idea of the canopies of the early fifteenth century than any
description. It will be seen that the single overpowering crocketted
gable and wall-sided tower of the fourteenth century has disappeared,
and in its place we have a froth of pinnacles, windows,
buttresses and niches all in white and yellow stain, on a background
of colour. The earlier attempt at modelling the canopies in the round,
which is seen in the work of the Winchester school, had been
abandoned, and although every little shaft has its light and dark side
delicately distinguished, this counts for little except to diversify
the surface, the forms being expressed principally in strong and
simple outline. The extent to which this simplification of outline was
carried may be seen in the little crocketted pinnacles, such as those
at the bottom of Plate XXXIV., which are characteristic of all English
work of the time. There is, as you may see, no attempt to draw or
model the foliation of the crockets, which are simply knobs outlined
in the flat with a thick black line. This method is the salvation of
English Perpendicular work, and shows the thorough understanding on
the part of our craftsmen of the technical problem. In French work
later on in the century, and in much modern pseudo-Gothic work, the
attempt is made to express the canopy work in fine lines and delicate
modelling, which, in the result, appears confused and indistinct, and
too weak for the leading and for the coloured figure work it

[Sidenote: The skilful use of silver stain.]

(2) _The Increased Amount of White used._--Not only is the canopy
white, but there is also as a rule a good deal of white in the figures
within it, which are generally relieved against a diapered flat
background of colour. Just one figure at New College has the
brown-pink flesh colour, and that is its last appearance. Everywhere
else one finds white used, the hair, in the case of women and young
men, being stained yellow. This large increase in the use of white
glass was accompanied, and indeed made possible, by a most delicate
and skilful use of the yellow silver stain. This operation, of all
others in stained-glass work, calls for the greatest exercise of taste
and judgment as well as skill on the part of the craftsman,--_experto
crede_,--and in its use the English workers of the first
three-quarters of the fifteenth century stand unrivalled.

[Sidenote: Loss of mosaic character.]

This use of white in the figures and canopies rendered unnecessary the
old fourteenth century plan of dividing the window up into alternate
panels of grisaille and colour, and this is abandoned. Another result
is the loss of the essentially mosaic character of the older windows.
So much could now be expressed with stain and brown enamel on one
piece of glass that, although the pieces used were still comparatively
small, it was no longer necessary to surround every form with a lead
as a matter of course. Plate XXXVI. is a good instance of this. The
green-striped background to the figures is the work of the restorer
and was probably once blue, as in Plate XXXVII., and this and the red
mantle surcoat and shield are the only forms that it was absolutely
necessary to lead in separately. It is true that, either for emphasis
or from habit, the artist has outlined the man's knees in lead; but he
need not have done so, and it would indeed have been easier not to. In
the next plate (Plate XXXVII.) the leading on the white takes very
little account of the drawing.

Out of these conditions then arose a wholly new attitude towards the
leading. Hitherto the disposition of the lead-work had followed
naturally and inevitably from the design--the artist drew in lead, so
to speak, merely supplementing it with the finer painted line; whereas
now the leads had, in part at least, to be so arranged as not to
interfere with the drawing, or only to emphasize it when needed, a
matter requiring much more thought. A comparison of either of the
above plates with Plate IV. will illustrate the difference. Hence we
find a gradual tendency to use larger pieces of glass and fewer leads
(the latter being sometimes concealed behind the iron-work), till by
the end of the century the jewel-like quality of the early glass is a
thing wholly lost and forgotten.

[Sidenote: The method of drawing.]

[Sidenote: Matt shading.]

(3) _The more Advanced Style of Drawing._--The older conventions in
drawing had, as we have seen, become outgrown and abandoned, and all
through the last part of the fourteenth century there is a steady
struggle for a more advanced method of expression. At the beginning of
the fifteenth century, drawing, in England at least, crystallized once
more into a convention satisfying to the mind of the time, which left
the artist free to tell his story. Plates XXXIX. to XLIII. are
examples of it as found at York, and Plate XLIV. from Canterbury does
not greatly differ in method. The drawing still depends chiefly on
line work, but the line work is far finer than before and is used to
express modelling with the help of the matt shading. This last is the
form of shading which has survived to modern times, and is done by
laying a flat semi-transparent coat or "matt" of enamel over the whole
surface of the glass, and, when it is dry, and before it is fired,
brushing out graduated lights and half tones with a small stiff
hog's-hair brush. Sometimes, but not always, the matt was stippled
when wet, as may be seen in Plate XLII. In later times the matt
shading was, and sometimes still is, abused in the attempt to give
modelling in high relief by its means alone, a method which results in
the loading of the glass with opaque muddy brown, while the modelling
becomes untrue with changing lights. This, however, was hardly done
within the limits of the period I am writing about in this book, in
which the drawing of form is still principally dependent on line work,
and is merely helped and softened with the matt.

  [Illustration: PLATE XLI
   Fifteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The type of figure.]

The figures themselves in contrast to those of the previous period are
rather short and ungraceful, but, in the best work at least, very much
alive. The quaint nose of which Plate XLII. is an extreme type is
curiously universal throughout English work of the time, and was, I
suppose, the accepted type of beauty.

[Sidenote: Forms used in the ornament.]

(4) _The Abandonment of Natural Plant Forms in Ornament._--The natural
plant forms, which were so universally used in fourteenth century
ornament, were abruptly abandoned at the beginning of the fifteenth.
Their place is taken, in the diapered backgrounds to the figures, by a
curious long serrated leaf, rather like certain kinds of seaweed,
which may be seen in Plates XXXVII. and XXXVIII. Borders become less
frequent, and when they occur generally consist of a leaf of something
the same sort, in white and stain, wrapping round a central stem,
sometimes with and sometimes without a coloured background. Later on,
the conventional pomegranate pattern is occasionally introduced in
vestments and hangings, but it is the exception for coloured garments
to be ornamented except with an edging. White garments are sometimes
powdered with little devices in yellow stain, as in Plate XXXIX. The
edgings to bishops' copes are often of white set with coloured jewels,
which are sometimes let into the middle of a piece of glass without
its being cut across--a _tour de force_ of glazing very difficult to
accomplish and not worth the trouble when done.

(5) _Supersession of Other Forms of Grisaille by Regular
Quarries._--The "bulged" quarries disappear by the middle of the
fourteenth century and the ordinary straight-sided, diamond-shaped
quarry is henceforth the rule. By the end of the century the
continuous flowing pattern running through them is abandoned also.
There had been a tendency towards the end, as may be seen in Plate
XXVI., for the pattern to be so disposed that a flower, or other
feature, was repeated in the middle of each quarry--in a transitional
window at York, which I have referred to elsewhere, there is a
continuous pattern with a bird in the centre of each quarry perching
upon a branch of it. In the fifteenth century the connecting pattern
was left out, and quarries are decorated solely by a little device in
the centre of each. Sometimes these are purely conventional, but often
they are the occasion for delightful exercise of fancy on the artist's
part and form an exception to the general rule of the disuse of
natural ornament. Birds, insects, flowers, and leaves are used, as
well as heraldic devices and monograms, all expressed very simply in
firm pure line work touched with the yellow stain.

[Sidenote: The change in material.]

[Sidenote: Flashed ruby.]

(6) _The Material used._--At the beginning of the fifteenth century
there is a very marked change in the material used. It becomes thinner
and flatter--sometimes very thin indeed--and the colour is more even.
Thirteenth century "ruby," seen edgeways, reveals itself as composed,
for nearly, if not quite, half its thickness, of alternate minute
layers of red and white, the rest of the thickness being white. It has
been thought that to this is due the wonderful luminous quality of
the early ruby. Gradually the number of these layers are reduced till
at the beginning of the fifteenth century the red is all concentrated
into one layer on the surface. This is the "flashed" glass referred to
at the beginning of the book, and one soon begins to find instances of
ornament chipped out of it. The lion on the red shield in Plate XXXVI.
has, I think, been got in this way, and a later instance may be seen
in Plate L. in the girdle of the prophet Hosea on the right.

  [Illustration: PLATE XLII
   Fifteenth Century]

The rich blues of earlier times are replaced by a more sober greyish
blue, which, however, is a very effective colour in glass. The colours
are not perfectly flat tints, for there are gradations in them, but
the streaky, crumbly quality of the early glass is gone. The craftsman
was beginning to rely for quality less on the glass itself than on
what he put on it.



The very well-defined and distinctive style I have described, which
became universal in English fifteenth century work, and which, from
the architecture with which it is associated, we call Perpendicular,
was not, I think, evolved by the Winchester School, although no doubt
they influenced it. Where it began must always be something of a
mystery, but some work in the east window of Exeter Cathedral is very
suggestive in this connection.

[Sidenote: Lyen's work at Exeter.]

This window, glazed originally at the beginning of the fourteenth
century, was enlarged and rebuilt with Perpendicular tracery in
1390-91 through the munificence of one of the canons, Henry Blakeborn;
and in 1392 Robert Lyen, glazier, citizen of Exeter, and master
glazier to the Cathedral, was commissioned to adapt the old glass to
its new setting, adding what was necessary of his own work to fill
the space. Robert Lyen's work is easily to be distinguished from the
earlier work (which, besides that of 1302, includes four figures of
about 1340-50, which he may have brought from other windows to fill up
with). It consists of six figures, of which only three are under
canopies of Lyen's time, and of a row, across the bottom, of short
double-arched canopies enclosing coats of arms of past bishops of
Exeter. The drawing is about equal to that of the Winchester School,
but the canopies, with their multitude of crocketted pinnacles in
strong outline, are far nearer to the regular Perpendicular type, such
as we find at York, than anything that was being done by the
Winchester School at that date.

Was the work of Robert Lyen an example of a style which had become
general throughout the west, and of which the influence extended as
far as Coventry? For in 1405 John Thornton of Coventry was
commissioned to fill with stained glass the huge east windows of the
new choir of York Minster, and this is the earliest existing window,
of which the date is known, in which the Perpendicular style in glass
has taken definite form.

  [Illustration: PLATE XLIII
   Fifteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The east window of York Minster.]

This great window is the glory of English stained glass. It is 78
feet high from top to bottom, and below the great mass of
Perpendicular tracery, which fills the mighty pointed arch of it,
there are the three tiers of lower lights divided by horizontal
transoms, with nine lights in every tier. Each of these lights
measures 3 feet 6 inches across, and is divided again by the thick
iron frame-bars into roughly square panels, each of which contains a
subject from the Bible. The canopy work which, in the hands of a
fourteenth century artist, would have filled half the window space
with its towering spires, is here reduced to a small many-pinnacled
canopy just filling the head of each light (where it would have been
an awkward shape for a subject), a narrow shafting forming a border
down the side, and a very shallow flat arch dividing each subject from
the one above. There has been no question here of eking out a poverty
of ideas; on the contrary, the artist's aim seems rather to have been
to get as much space as possible for the expression of them.

There are one hundred and seventeen of these subject panels. Thornton
would seem to have begun at the top with the idea of telling the whole
story of the Old Testament, or perhaps that of the entire Bible, but
by the time he had finished the upper tier, which contains three rows
of panels, as compared with five in each tier below, and carried the
story as far as the death of Absalom, he, or more probably his
clients, seem to have changed their minds, for the rest of the window,
with the exception of the bottom row panels, is devoted to the
illustration of the Apocalypse, beginning with the torture of St. John
under Domitian and his banishment to Patmos.

John Thornton was a greater draughtsman than Thomas of Winchester, and
the portrayal of these scenes is far in advance, from the pictorial
point of view, of anything that had been done in glass up to that
time. Here again one feels, as in the best days of the Early Period,
that one can take pleasure in the actual technique of the painting,
but it is a different technique to that of the Early Period. The line
work is still wonderfully precise and expressive, but it is more
delicate than before, and is helped by delicate modelling in "matt
shading," while the drawing itself is in a much more modern
convention. It is, indeed, the first example in stained glass of a
style of drawing which was to hold the field in England till nearly
the end of the century, and to John Thornton is due, probably, the
credit of its introduction.

[Sidenote: Its colouring.]

As a colourist, however, John Thornton is even greater. This window
stands almost alone in England, if not in Europe, for the way in which
colour is made use of as a means of expression. Elsewhere in York the
successors of John Thornton seem to have been content with a merely
decorative distribution of red, blue, and silver stain in their
subjects, but here each scene has its appropriate colour scheme, the
creation of fishes, for instance, being a lovely harmony of blue and
silvery white, while the scenes in Eden are a glory of spring-like
greens and gold.

[Sidenote: Its construction.]

The necessary element of strength in the construction of this huge
window, which, at Gloucester was, as we have seen, obtained by
building the whole window on the plan of a bow, is here provided by
doubling the mullions below the second transom. An inner set has been
constructed between three and four feet on the inside of those which
sustain the glass, being connected with them by little flying arches
and so acting as buttresses to them. This double set of mullions
carries a gallery along its top at the level of the upper transom,
while another runs across the base of the window, and from these it is
possible to study the upper and lower tiers of lights at close
quarters. Unfortunately access to these galleries is nowadays only
granted as a great favour, but for those that can obtain it, it is
well worth the trouble, for it is only from this position that the
pages of this vast picture-book can be studied, and its story
unravelled. Indeed I think the only adverse criticism that can be made
of John Thornton's work is to question the artistic wisdom of putting
so much beautiful work, on such a small scale,--for the delicate
drawing and finish of the work is wonderful,--in a position in which
it was invisible to the ordinary observer below. Perhaps John Thornton
did not realize how small his panels would look,--panels three and a
half feet square seem a fair size when you are working at them,--and
no doubt access to the galleries was freer then than now; but a
thirteenth century artist would not have made the mistake.[16]

  [Illustration: PLATE XLIV
   Fifteenth Century]

Yet the architectural effect of the whole is little, if at all, the
worse for it. The smallness of the panels only increases one's sense
of the size of the window and gives the glass a jewel-like quality. It
is all a twinkle of beautiful colour. Neither have the repairs
effected by the eighteenth century glaziers hurt it much--pieces
of clear coloured glass put in to fill up holes, and on which the
glazier has usually scratched his name and the date with his diamond.
Rather, I think, these tiny touches of pure colour (for they used
quite a good blue) add to it and give it a quality.

What does detract from its beauty is the dirty quarry glazing which
has been put outside it to protect it. Beautiful as the window still
is, quite a third of its beauty of light and colour has been
sacrificed by this means.

[Sidenote: A transitional window.]

There is some glass in the Lady Chapel which seems older than the east
window. I have already alluded to the third window from the east in
the south aisle which represents a stage of development corresponding
to the earlier work of the Winchester School in the west window of
Winchester Cathedral and the east windows of New College antechapel.
The three lights contain three figures, St. Edward the Confessor
between St. James and St. John the Evangelist, unless the former
figure is also St. John appearing to the king as a pilgrim, as in the
well-known story. Below are small scenes of the Massacre of the
Innocents, Christ among the Doctors, and the Baptism in Jordan. The
figures still have something of the S-like curve of the fourteenth
century, but the canopies are white and of the transitional type.
Perhaps the most interesting things in the window are the quarry
panels at the bottom, which have a continuous flowing pattern of oak
foliage running through the quarries, but with birds perching on it,
so arranged that a bird comes in the centre of each quarry.

[Sidenote: Thornton's successors.]

There is some similar glass to this in the clerestory, but, with this
exception and that of a fourteenth century window in the south aisle
which has evidently been moved from the nave, the rest of the glass in
the choir and Lady Chapel is the work of the school which was either
founded by John Thornton at York, or at least profoundly influenced by
him. It seems probable to me that it was in their work, which is found
not only in the Cathedral but also in most of the parish churches of
York, that the Perpendicular style in glass finally crystallized into
the form which, with minor local differences, became universal
throughout England.

Details from their work may be seen in Plates XXXIV.-XLIII. In one
respect, namely in colour, they did not, as I have said, follow John
Thornton, limiting themselves, for some reason unknown, very much to
ruby, blue, and yellow stain. Plate XXXVIII. is a good instance of
their method (the background of Plate XXXVI., it must be remembered,
is modern). The blue is of a greyish quality, quite different from
that of early times, but pleasant, and with a good deal of variety in
it; a blue-black was sometimes used, as in Plate XXXVII., for monks'

[Sidenote: A Jesse Tree.]

The only exception to this rule is a window in the south aisle of the
Cathedral choir, which contains parts of a Jesse Tree, in which the
blue is combined with some very beautiful rich dark greens and a
strong orange stain. Mr. Westlake thinks the glass is not York work at
all. To me it seems not quite impossible that it is the work of John
Thornton himself, the use of the deep orange stain in the east window
being very similar. There is, however, no certainty of his authorship
of any existing window but the east window. The glass in the Guildhall
of Coventry is sometimes claimed for him, but I do not know of any
evidence for it, and as it contains a portrait of Henry VI. as a grown
man it can hardly be much earlier than 1440, thirty-five years later
than the east window at York.

[Sidenote: The St. William and St. Cuthbert windows.]

Next to the great east window, the most important windows in the choir
are those which fill the two choir-transepts, and which tell the
histories respectively of St. William of York and St. Cuthbert. They
are only five lights wide, but extend upwards to the full height of
the church, and have double tracery and galleries like the east
window. Except for their prevailing red and blue colouring, their
general design resembles that of the east window, the whole window
being divided, in the same way, into a series of small square subject
panels with a short many-pinnacled canopy just filling the head of
each light. The St. Cuthbert window, however, has, in addition, a
life-size figure of the saint, which occupies two panels in the middle
of the window. The two windows are evidently by the same hand, but the
northern or St. William window is a good deal the older, having been
presented, as it would seem from the portraits it contains, by Baron
Ros of Hamlake about 1420, while the St. Cuthbert window cannot have
been given till after 1426, and probably not till 1430 or later. No
doubt, however, the execution of the first window would occupy a large
part of the intervening time. Of the two, I rather prefer the effect
of the St. William window, to which the larger amount of dark blue in
the monks' dresses gives greater depth and richness, but the St.
Cuthbert window shows perhaps more accomplishment in drawing. It is a
fascinating occupation on a bright day to trace, with the aid of a
strong field-glass, the stories unfolded in these rows upon rows of
pictures in glass, to which a key may be found in monographs on the
two windows, by the Rev. J. T. Fowler and his brother, published in
the _Yorkshire Archæological Journal_, vols, iii.-iv.

  [Illustration: PLATE XLV
   Fifteenth Century]

[Sidenote: St. Martin's, Coney Street.]

[Sidenote: All Saints', North Street.]

More easily studied, because nearer to the eye, are the windows, again
by the same hand, in the churches of St. Martin's, Coney Street, and
All Saints', North Street. The former has a large west window
containing a life-size figure of St. Martin, surrounded by small
scenes from his life, the gift of a former vicar, Robert Semer, who
has most obligingly recorded the date--1437--in an inscription. This
would probably make it just a little later than the St. Cuthbert
window, which its arrangement resembles. The glass at All Saints' is
particularly interesting. The east window has three lights with large
figures under canopies of the type shown in Plates XXXIV. and XXXV.,
which, though elaborate enough, have none of the unwieldiness of the
fourteenth century type and are properly subordinate to the figures.
These are St. Peter and St. Christopher (always a favourite subject
in England), and, between them, St. Anne, teaching the Virgin to read.
This last is a very beautiful group; the Virgin, a graceful girlish
figure in white and yellow stain, with a wreath of white flowers round
her head, is pointing with a short stick to the letters in a book held
by her mother, who wears a deep ruby mantle over a blue dress, and a
most curious red turban-like headdress[17] with ermine stripes, which
is one of the most striking things in the window.

Below are the donors, Nicholas Blackburn, twice Mayor of York, and his
wife Margaret (Plate XXXVI.), facing his son, also named Nicholas, and
his wife, also named Margaret. The window has unfortunately been a
good deal restored, and the background to the Blackburns is modern and
was, I should think, originally blue. Modern, too, is the vivid green
of the younger Nicholas's cloak. Margaret Blackburn, the elder,
carries a book with the words, "Domine, labia mea aperies et os meum."
The same verse occurs also, if I remember right, in a lady's hand at
Selby Abbey. Were Yorkshire women, one wonders, so very silent?

Some of those in the north aisle are designed on the same plan as the
St. William and St. Cuthbert windows, small subject panels arranged in
rows. One shows the Six Corporal Acts of Mercy--Feeding the Hungry,
Giving Drink to the Thirsty, Receiving Strangers, Clothing the Naked,
Visiting the Sick, and Visiting the Prisoners. The little scenes are
full of verve and "go," the fifteenth century artist having regained
much of the life and vigour which makes the medallions of the Early
Period so delightful, with an even greater power of expression. Plate
XXXIX. represents the Merciful Man visiting the prisoners in the
stocks. I wish Mr. Saint could have found time to have copied the
whole of the scene, of which the humour is, I feel sure, not
unconscious. Plates XXXVII. and XXXVIII. are from the bottom of this
window, and show the donor and his wife with the priest saying mass
for them.

Another window illustrates in a number of scenes the Last Fifteen Days
of the World, as described in Richard Rolle's _Pricke of Conscience_,
and is well calculated to make the evil-doer take thought and mend his

  [Illustration: PLATE XLVI
   Fifteenth Century]

Through the energy of the present rector, a full and careful catalogue
and description of all the old glass in the church has been prepared
and published. I only wish this were done for the Cathedral and other
churches in York, which is richer, perhaps, in the quantity of its old
stained glass than any other city in the world.


[16] Perhaps it is unfair to blame Thornton, for in the contract he
undertakes to work "secundum ordinationem Decani et Capituli."

[17] This is thought by some to be a piece of something else inserted
here, but its effect on the design is very happy.



[Sidenote: The influence of pictorial art.]

The French school, when it revived in the second half of the fifteenth
century, came, as I have said, almost at once, and far earlier than
the English school, under the influence of the schools of painting
which had been developed in the Netherlands (where the Van Eycks were
working as early as 1420), and also, to an extent which has only been
realized comparatively recently, in France itself.

There was both advantage and disadvantage in this. The drawing of the
French is generally a little better than our own, and there is more
variety and enterprise in their colour schemes than in our later
Perpendicular work. On the other hand, it seems to me that almost from
the beginning they were hampered, if ever so little at first, by the
desire to apply to glasswork the standards of a different medium.

The difficulty had not arisen before. The illumination or wall
painting of the thirteenth and early fourteenth century in England and
the north of France could be translated into glass with little change,
but, in the fifteenth century, the painters of illuminations and panel
pictures had learnt all sorts of things about light and shade and
landscape and flesh painting that did not come at all easily to the
worker in glass and lead, and were of no help to him in his task of
beautifying windows. It was inevitable that he should make some
attempt to follow in the cry, and the extent to which he succeeded is
amazing; but from henceforth, even where he most succeeds, it is to
some extent by a _tour de force_, by a compromise between

  [Illustration: PLATE XLVII
   Fifteenth Century]

[Sidenote: Early fifteenth century work.]

For the first part of the century, as I have said, the number of
windows produced in France seems to have been few. Such events as the
disaster of Agincourt, the conquest of France by Henry V., and its
deliverance by Joan of Arc can have left little money or thought for
stained-glass windows. The names of the _maîtres verriers_ of the
cathedrals show that all through the time there were men who
carried on the tradition, but their output seems to have been small.
What windows they have left us do not show the same complete change
from the work of the previous century that we find in England; the
style did not as in England crystallize into a definite form, but
remained as a transitional style between that of the fourteenth and
late fifteenth centuries. In its general outlines the design did not
at first differ greatly from that of the fourteenth century, but, as
in England, the white canopy touched with stain took the place of all
others, and there was a general increase in the amount of white in
windows. In detail, however, the canopy altered slowly, and it was
never as in England reduced to an almost flat pattern by the use of
strong line work, but persisted in the attempt to imitate solid

It is not till the second half of the century, when the wars were
over, and France had settled down to quiet reconstruction under Louis
XI., that we find any great revival of the art, and then it is very
different to contemporary work in England.

[Sidenote: Evreux.]

There is a good deal of fifteenth century work still remaining at
Rouen, though there seems to be a gap in the list of _maîtres
verriers_ to the Cathedral from 1386 to 1426. It was during this gap,
however, in the year 1400, that a window, which still remains, was
placed in the clerestory of the Cathedral at Evreux. The general plan
of this window is that of those later fourteenth century windows in
which the whole light was filled with towering canopy work. The canopy
differs only slightly in detail from the late fourteenth century type,
though there is a more decided attempt at perspective in it, but, like
the English work of the time, it is all white, touched with stain, and
the general effect of the window is much whiter than that of earlier
work. The drawing of the figures, which represent the donor, Bishop
Guillaume de Cantier, presented to the Virgin by St. Catherine, does
not show any very great change from late fourteenth century work.

[Sidenote: St. Ouen at Rouen.]

The fifteenth century windows at Rouen follow, for the most part, the
general design of the fourteenth century windows in the same churches.
Thus the window in the chapel of SS. Peter and Paul in St. Ouen, which
Mr. Westlake thinks to be the work of Guillaume Barbe, 1459-85, has
much the same arrangement and proportions as the S. Gervais window in
the south choir aisle shown in Plate XXV.; that is to say, a small
figure panel, under a big canopy, is set half-way up each tall light
of which the top and bottom is filled with quarries. There is the same
coloured background to the canopy, ending at the top in the same
arched shape, but in the treatment of the canopy itself one finds a
difference not only from fourteenth century work but from English work
of the fifteenth century. The French canopy, as I have said, had
never, like the English, been reduced to an almost flat pattern of
intricate line work, and in these Rouen windows one finds the artist
already trying to imitate stone-work modelled in relief with results
that are heavy and unsatisfactory. It is not that, in English work,
individual shafts are not given a light and dark side, but the canopy
is not, as in French work, modelled as a solid whole, and the strong
line work seems to keep it right.

[Sidenote: The revival.]

It was not, however, till the second half of the century that any new
life came into French stained-glass work, and when it came it brought
with it a skill in picture-making that was borrowed from contemporary
painting. To this period belong, I think, the fragments from Rouen
shown in Plates XLV. to XLIX. The heads of St. Catherine and the old
man, if compared with those from York, show the strong difference in
facial type between French and English work at this time. The stain
on the hair of St. Catherine is very coarse and inartistic as compared
with English work, but then no other nation ever equalled the English
in their delicate and refined use of stain.

[Sidenote: St. Maclou.]

The two heads of Angels (Plates XLVIII., XLIX.), which are from the
north transept of St. Ouen, are, I think, by the same hand as an
interesting "Assumption of the Virgin," which now occupies two lights
of a window in the north aisle of St. Maclou in the same city. A
significant point about this glass is that the picture, which is
enclosed by a wide, flat-arched canopy, delicately modelled, stretches
right across both lights, completely ignoring the intervening mullion,
one of the first hints that stained glass was forgetting its
architectural mission.[18] The composition is much more ambitious and
pictorial, and the drawing more advanced than in any of the glass we
have hitherto considered. In front is a crowd of kneeling saints in
robes of blue, red, and green, above whom the Virgin kneels before the
Almighty, while the top of the picture is filled with rows of
golden-haired angels with red wings on a blue ground, of a
similar type to those illustrated. I should put the date of the window
at about 1470-80.

  [Illustration: PLATE XLVIII
   Fifteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The Lady Chapel at Evreux.]

Of about the same date are the side windows of the Lady Chapel of the
Cathedral at Evreux, of which the building was finished, I believe, in
1475. I am surprised that Mr. Westlake, in his notice of the chapel,
only mentions the east window with its Jesse tree, which to me is much
less beautiful than the others, and which I should be inclined to
attribute, at the earliest, to the very end of the century, if not to
the following one. The four side windows tell the story of Christ's
Ministry, Passion, and Resurrection, and show His second coming. Their
arrangement is somewhat English, each window having two tiers of
lights, each of which has a subject enclosed in a white canopy, but
the technique is different from the English. By far the best is the
first window of the series, which contains eight scenes from the
Ministry of Christ, from the Marriage in Cana to the Entry into
Jerusalem. The canopy work with its little figures in niches is
modelled as Van Eyck might have done it; the method would not tell
well at a distance, but owing to the narrowness of the chapel one
cannot get far away from these windows. The figure panels are very
rich in colour, Christ being always dressed in a deep purple, and the
other figures in rich greens, blues, and reds. The other windows of
the series are not quite so good, being thinner and poorer in effect,
and seem to me to have been executed by another hand, possibly from
the designs of the author of the first window, who may have died in
the interval. There is a good deal of similar work in the church of
St. Taurin in the same town.

From the pictorial point of view these windows are much more
accomplished than anything that had so far been done in England. In
comparing English and French fifteenth century work, however, it must
always be remembered that the best English work was done during the
first half of the century, and is far better than the French work of
that time, whereas the best French work was done in the second half of
the century when the English Perpendicular style had for the most part
become stereotyped and dull, and seemed to resist the introduction of
new ideas. These Evreux windows represent the style which, under the
influence of contemporary picture-painting, was growing up on the
Continent, but which did not obtain a foothold in England till the
advent, almost at the end of the century, of the school which produced
the Fairford windows.


[18] It is true that the glass is not now in its original position,
but I think it must always have filled two lights.



So great was the quantity of stained glass produced in England in the
fifteenth century, and so much still remains, that it is impossible,
in this book, even to mention all the more important examples. We have
seen the growth and perfection of the Perpendicular style at York. At
Great Malvern Priory you may study its gradual decadence.

[Sidenote: Great Malvern: the "Creation."]

The best of the windows there are undoubtedly the earliest, namely,
those in St. Anne's Chapel which include the famous "Creation," of
which the date is perhaps 1440-50. It cannot, I think, compare with
John Thornton's "Creation" in the east window of York Minster,--the
colour scheme is so much more conventional and less expressive,--but
it is nevertheless very beautiful. The resemblance of some of the
scenes to those in Thornton's window is perhaps no more than one
would expect to find in two representations of the same subject in the
same period, but at the same time the Malvern "Creation" is very much
akin to York work, though rather to the later phase represented by the
St. Cuthbert and the All Saints' windows, than to the work of
Thornton. I may be wrong, but I sometimes suspect that the inhabitants
of the Severn and Avon valleys had more intercourse with the North of
England--to which access would be easy by the Avon and Trent,
navigable most of the way--than with the Thames Valley and South of
England, from which they were cut off by the wild and inhospitable

[Sidenote: The north transept window.]

In comparing the later windows in Malvern Priory with the "Creation"
and its neighbours in St. Anne's Chapel, one can trace a decided and
increasing decadence. The forms are the same but stereotyped and dull,
the artists seem timid in their use of colour, and all the life seems
to go out of the style. The great north transept window, given in
1501-2 by Henry VII. (it once contained his portrait and still has
that of his son Prince Arthur and the architect, Sir Reginald Bray),
is, compared with the earlier work, a very poor affair. The yellow
stain in particular is very coarse and overdone, yet such was the
hold which this style had got on our countrymen that in spite of the
late date of the window there is not a hint in it of the new ideas
which were then coming in, although it is probable that before it was
finished, the famous windows of Fairford, not forty miles away across
the Cotswolds, had at least been begun.

[Sidenote: Fairford.]

The old church of Fairford with its square central tower, standing on
a green slope above a rushing trout stream, which, a few miles below,
unites with the baby Thames and makes it a navigable river, occupies a
unique position, not merely as the only village church in England--one
may, perhaps, say in the world--which still retains the whole of its
original set of stained-glass windows almost intact, but from the
quality of the windows themselves. Some, it is true, have suffered
damage, but there is not a subject unrecognizable, nor a window

[Sidenote: The new style.]

The church was begun by John Tame, merchant of London, and finished by
his son, Sir Edward; but since John Tame's will, dated 1496, while
bequeathing various sums for ornaments to the church, makes no mention
of the glass, it is argued that the glass had been already ordered.
The Fairford windows are usually classed as Perpendicular on the
strength of their association with Perpendicular architecture and the
presence of Perpendicular detail in the canopies and elsewhere, but it
is a wholly different style to the Perpendicular of York, of Malvern,
of Warwick; the style which, with little change, had held the field in
England since the beginning of the century. Fairford, in fact, marks a
revolution in English stained glass. It is an early, if not the first
work of a new school which, throwing away the old native tradition,
based its style on that which had grown up on the Continent and, still
more, upon Flemish painting. The Fairford windows represent a phase of
their art which did not last very long, for their style soon began to
assimilate itself to that of the Renaissance. In the windows of King's
College Chapel at Cambridge you may see the change happening, and in
the latest windows there you may also, alas! see the rapid setting in
of decadence. It was, indeed, a style which contained in itself the
seeds of decay, which germinated all too rapidly; but these, its
first-fruits, at Fairford are magnificent, and disarm criticism.

  [Illustration: PLATE XLIX
   Fifteenth Century]

They mark, as I say, a complete departure from the older standards of
English fifteenth century glass. It is the same story, once more
repeated, of old conventions of drawing becoming out of date, and
failing to satisfy a newer generation. Of the more advanced schools of
painting, the Flemish was the one that Englishmen were most in touch
with, and it was thence that the new school of English glass-workers
took their inspiration, with the result that a Flemish feeling is
traceable in all their work. One immediate result of the more
pictorial standard now expected of the artist was that he came to
depend in quite a different way on the painting of his glass as
distinct from the glazing. At Fairford, elaborate landscape
backgrounds are put in with the brown enamel alone, helped by yellow
stain, sometimes on white, sometimes on grey-blue glass, to which
latter the stain gives a green for grass and trees. Not as yet,
however, does the painting take precedence of the glazing, the balance
being for a time held equal between the two. Indeed the craft of
glazing, as well as that of painting, was now at its height; the
artist had all the resources of both at his command and used them to
the full, but as yet the limits of the medium were not overstepped.

Another result of the pictorial standard now arrived at, was that the
artist began to feel cramped by the narrow lights he had to fill, and
to let his subjects spread through more than one of them, ignoring
the intervening mullion. At Fairford many of the subjects occupy two
lights, and the "Crucifixion" at the east end and the "Doom" at the
west spread right across the whole width of the window. As yet this is
not so done that one loses the sense of the design decorating the
stone-work; but both these developments are indications of a tendency
which was to increase as time went on, and eventually to ruin the art.

The new point of view naturally affected the canopy, which is shaded
like solid stone-work, giving it a heavy and clumsy effect. In many of
the subject windows, however, the canopy is omitted altogether, the
sky of the picture, which is sometimes white, with clouds and circling
swifts painted on it, continuing right up to the stone-work.

[Sidenote: The problem of the authorship of the windows.]

I agree with Mr. Westlake in finding the work of more than one hand in
the windows. Two there are certainly, and possibly four. The east
window is certainly by a different, and, I think, an older hand than
the west, and the windows of the north aisle, though they may be by
the same hand as the west windows, are certainly by a different one to
the Apostles opposite them, which are the poorest windows in the
church. I think the differences are greater than could be accounted
for by any development that might take place in the same man's style
during the execution of the windows. The west windows are the work of
a different temperament to the east windows. The forms are fuller,
stronger, and more rounded, and show a much stronger sense for the
decorative placing of a line.

There is no record to tell us who these men were, and there has been
much discussion as to whether they were Englishmen or Flemings. Indeed
the wildest theories have been advanced as to the origin of the
windows. They have been attributed to Dürer, without the slightest
internal or external evidence except the presence of an A which does
not resemble his signature. Another story which, though not heard of,
I believe, till the eighteenth century, has obtained wide credence, is
that they were captured at sea, bound for Rome, by Edward Tame, and
the church built to contain them; but the most casual examination of
the windows ought to convince any one that they were made for the
church and not the church for them.[19]

As to the question of the English or Flemish authorship of the
windows, it is true that Flemish details crop up here and there both
in architecture and the costumes; but this is not surprising, for the
style, new then to England, was largely based on Flemish art, and on
the other hand the English characteristics are in excess of the

[Sidenote: Barnard Flower.]

In Henry VII.'s Chapel at Westminster, high up in the central
clerestory window of the apse, is a single figure under a canopy which
bears a most striking resemblance to the series of the Prophets at
Fairford (Plate L.). In the figure, in the scroll he holds, in the
canopy, in the treatment of the drapery, and even in the queer drawing
of the hands, the resemblance is so close that I for one cannot doubt
their common authorship. Now it is on record that the windows of Henry
VII.'s Chapel were glazed by "one Barnard Flower," the king's glazier,
who also is the glazier named in the first contract for the windows in
King's College Chapel at Cambridge, but who died in 1525-26 before
they were finished. A comparison of those windows at Cambridge which
are believed to be his work, especially that over the north door, with
the Fairford windows, reveals many points of resemblance, and,
allowing for the twenty years which probably separate the execution of
the two works, I think we should not be far wrong in assigning to
Flower the whole of the north aisle at Fairford, and perhaps the Latin
Fathers in the south aisle. Whether the west windows are his work too
I do not feel sure, and to the names of the other artists who took
part in the work we have no clue.

  [Illustration: PLATE L
   Late Fifteenth Century]

[Sidenote: The general scheme.]

[Sidenote: The "Doom."]

Yet though one may thus trace various hands in the work, the windows
form a connected whole, the planning of which must have been the work
of one mind. The arrangement is the traditional one whereby the whole
church forms an exposition of the foundations of the Christian faith.
The windows of the nave contain single figures, the Prophets on the
north side (Plate L.) facing the Apostles on the south. Each Apostle
holds a verse of the creed, and the Prophet opposite him a
corresponding verse from his writings. The four Evangelists face the
four Latin Fathers. Farther east, within the now vanished screen, the
windows unfold the Gospel story, those on the north leading up to the
Passion in the east window, those on the south showing the Descent
into Hell, the Resurrection, and the events that followed. Then, as
the spectator turns to the west, there faces him, in the great west
window, the tremendous "Doom" or Last Judgment. Do not look at the
upper half where Christ sits enthroned as Judge, surrounded by saints
and angels; it has suffered the fate of the Winchester College glass.
Blown in by a storm in 1703, it was "restored" in the middle of the
nineteenth century, which means that the old glass was removed and a
bad copy substituted. Where the blue ring of Heaven passes through the
tracery lights the original glass remains, and the difference between
it and the new is an object lesson in good and bad stained-glass work.

But below the transom the window is still unspoilt. In the midst
stands Michael with sword and scales, and below him the dead are
rising naked from their graves. Michael himself, it must be confessed,
is a somewhat lackadaisical figure; it was not possible for an artist
of that time and school to give a figure the arresting quality of the
Methuselah in Plate III.; neither does one's eye linger long over the
Saved, who troop up the golden stairs on Michael's right, but is
irresistibly attracted to the other side of the picture, where in a
great glow of ruby glass are seen the Flames of Hell, to which
devils--grey and blue at the outer edge of the fire, but darker and
more purple as they are farther in--are carrying the wretched souls
of the Lost. Just outside the flames an angel and a devil are fighting
in mid-air for the possession of a soul, and a comparison of these
figures with the similar ones in the Descent into Limbo or "Harrying
of Hell," which is by the same hand as the east window, shows at once
the difference between the work of the two men.

[Sidenote: The west windows of the aisles.]

On either side the west windows of the aisles contain, as types of the
Last Judgment, on the north, the Judgment of Solomon, which protected
the innocent; on the south, that of David on the Amalekite, which
condemned the guilty. It seems to me not unlikely that the position of
these windows was originally reversed, Solomon's judgment being on the
side of the Saved in the "Doom" and David's on that of the Lost. They
have both suffered greatly in the storm of 1703 and contain many blank
spaces, but from what remains they seem to me, together with the
"Doom," the most accomplished work in the church.

[Sidenote: The clerestory.]

Very splendid, too, are the Persecutors of the Church, who, clad in
all the bravery of wickedness, fill the north side of the clerestory,
fronting the somewhat insipid row of Martyrs on the other side. Here
is Herod transfixing an Innocent; Nero, if it is he, with the head of
St. Paul; the King of the Huns, and Diocletian, perhaps, with bows and
arrows; and, in a dark blue robe, Judas, with the halter round his
neck and the bag in his hand, between Annas and Caiaphas. In the
tracery lights above the Martyrs are rather commonplace white and gold
angels, but over the Persecutors are fascinating little figures of
devils, grey, blue, and green, on a background of ruby flames. I am
afraid there is no question which series the artist enjoyed doing

Fairford marks the end of mediæval stained glass in England.
Conservative artists might still, as at Malvern and at St. Neots in
Cornwall, try to carry on the older tradition, but their works are
isolated survivals. The Fairford windows themselves represent, as I
have said, a very short-lived phase in English glass, of which they
are the most complete example, others being the fragments in Henry
VII.'s Chapel at Westminster and the remains of Bishop Fox's glazing
in Winchester Cathedral, now collected into the east clerestory window
there. Flower's own work at King's College, Cambridge, twenty years
later than Fairford, shows signs of change, and that of his
successors in the same building, as at Basingstoke, at Balliol College
and elsewhere must be classed as wholly of the Renaissance. With
Fairford, then, these notes on Stained Glass of the Middle Ages may
fitly end.


[19] This is fully gone into by Canon Carbonel in an article in
_Memorials of Old Gloucestershire_. Another theory he examines and
rejects is that they were the work of the Dutch painter Aeps.


     Abrasion, 8, 224

       12th century, 55
       Grisaille, 118

     Becket, St. Thomas, 69, 74, 80, 87, 91

     "Blue Dick" Culmer, 56

     Bourges, 112

     Brabourne, 24

     Byzantine Influence, 24, 52, 69

       13th century, 107
       14th    "     136
       15th    "     215

     Canterbury Cathedral--
       12th century, 45, 56
       13th    "     69

     Chalons, 55

     Chartres Cathedral--
       12th century--
         West windows, 48
         La Belle Verrière, 51
       13th century--
         Rebuilding, 92
         Guild windows, 98
         North Rose, 101
         South Rose, 102
         Apse, 104
         Grisaille, 118
       14th century, 188

     Chartres, Church of St. Pierre, 185

     Chartres, Clement of, 46, 95
       His work at Rouen, 114

     Chartres, St. Denis and Canterbury, school of, 44

     Cloisonné enamel, 23

     Denis, St., Abbey of--
       12th century medallions, 45, 53
       Gryphon windows, 116

     Designs, method of drawing, 89

     Diaper, mosaic, 76, 80, 96, 103

       "     painted, 59, 77, 149

     Egyptian glass, 16

     Enamel, brown, 5, 21

        "    coloured, 6

     Evreux Cathedral--
       14th century, 189
       15th century--
         Clerestory, 246
         Lady Chapel, 249

     Evreux, Church of St. Taurin, 250

     Exeter Cathedral--
       East window--
         Earliest work, 158
         Lyen's work, 227
       Grisaille, 160

     Fairford, 255

     Flower, Barnard, 260

       Blowing, 14
       Colour and quality--
         12th and 13th centuries, 32
         14th century, 147
         15th    "     223
       Flashed, 8, 224
       Making, 13
       Cutting, 15
         General, 5
         Beginning of, 21
         12th and 13th centuries, 37
         14th century, 144
         15th    "     220

     Gloucester Cathedral, 197

       13th century, 115
       14th    "     132
       15th    "     222
       Combination with figures, 122, 132

       Necessity of, 7
       Early, influence of, 35
       Bent, 37, 60
       14th century, 129

     Irradiation, 38

     Jesse, Tree of, 50, 53, 72, 168, 178, 235

     King's College Chapel, Cambridge, 256, 264

       General, 5
       15th century, 219

     Lincoln Cathedral, 77

     Line work, 38

     Louis, St., 93, 100

     Lyen, Robert, 227

     Mahommedan windows, 19

     Malvern, Great, 253

     Mans, Le, Cathedral--
       Earliest glass, 24
       12th century, 47

     Matt shading--
       Beginning of, 39
       15th century, 220

     Mauclerc, Pierre, 99

     Medallion windows, 36

     Merton College Chapel, Oxford, 153

     Monkwearmouth, 22

     Montfort, Amaury de, 99

     Mosaic character of early glass, 34

        "       "   loss of, 218

     Natural plant forms in ornament, 145

        "      "     "  abandonment of, 221

     New College Antechapel, Oxford, 201

       The three, 31
       The First, 32
       The Second, 125
       The Third, 213

     Peterborough, 111

     Pictures, influence of, 243

     Pliny's story, 15

       12th century, 26, 43, 64
       13th    "     122, 166

     Process, the, 4

       13th century, 121
       14th    "     135
       15th    "     222

     Rheims, Cathedral, 112

        "    Church of St. Remi, 118

     Roman windows, 17

       Cathedral, 114
       Church of St. Maclou, 248
       Church of St. Ouen--
         14th century, 191
         15th century, 246
       whether Exeter glass bought at, 159

     Ruby glass, 33, 49, 223

     S-like pose of figures, 141

     Sainte Chapelle, 112

     Salisbury, 119

     Selling, 167

     Sens, 87

     Shrewsbury, 198

     Soissons, 118

     Sophia, St., 18

     Stain, silver, 8, 130, 240

     Suger, Abbot, 45, 53, 98

     Tewkesbury, 198, 207

     Thomas the Glazier, 201

     Thornton, John, 228

     Troyes, 77, 166

     "Type and antitype" windows, 61, 73, 88

     Vendôme, 64

     Venetian enamellers, 22

     Wells, 198, 200

     Westminster Abbey--
       13th century grisaille, 119
       Henry VII.'s Chapel, 260

     Westwell, 112

     William of Sens, 57, 87

     William of Wykeham, 201, 207

     Winchester Cathedral--
       West window and nave, 209
       East window of clerestory, 264

     Winchester College Chapel, 208

     York, Cathedral--
       12th century, 55, 168
       13th century--
         "Five Sisters," 120
       14th century--
         Chapter House, 164
         Vestibule of Chapter House, 167
         Nave, clerestory, 167
           North aisle, 169
           South aisle, 176
           West end, 179
         East window, 229
         Lady Chapel, 233
         Choir, 235

     York, All Saints', North Street--
       14th century, 181
       15th    "     237

     York, St. Martin's, Coney St., 237

       "   St. Martin's, Micklegate, 181


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.

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