Workshop technique – glass from East Harling, Norfolk

East Harling, Norfolk, originally uploaded by Vitrearum.

The east window of the East Harling church contains a considerable amount of late fifteenth century stained glass of the Norwich school. The window is composite, and among the panels are a series of the Joys and Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, including this lively panel of the Ascension of Christ. The glass probably dates from the second quarter of the fifteenth century. The cartoon used for the group of Our Lady and apostles in bottom half of the panel was reversed and reused for the panel showing the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost in another part of the window. A sensible bit of artistic economy on the part of the glazier.

East Harling, Norfolk

2 thoughts on “Workshop technique – glass from East Harling, Norfolk

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  1. Many of these, indeed even triptychs and panel paintings were designed using copy books – sketchbooks which were passed down from master to master. Many would repeat the same figure over and over again, slightly varying their pieces in time. Quite sensible as you point out in this case. This is not a practice confined to the middle ages either – see certain works of Comper and especially people like Kempe(‘s designers) and other glass men.


  2. Indeed so. It is a great shame that so few of these pattern books survive and that we know nothing of how they were produced and circulated. The one exception in England is the Pepysian model book in Magdalene College Cambridge. Perhaps there is a further blog article in this.


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