The Workshops that made the Windows for the Carmelite Church at Boppard.

The stained glass from Boppard is fairly well researched and published but information about the makers of the windows is rather sparse and patchy.

There are two distinct design styles which have led scholars to conclude that two different workshops were involved in the making of the glazing scheme. The general consensus is that one of the workshops is most likely to have been based in the upper Rhine area while the other was based in the area of Cologne.

The differences in style are obvious when comparing a stained glass window from the Cloisters in New York with one of the windows at the Burrell:

Burrell and Cloisters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characteristics of the Cologne workshop:

 

Cloisters figure & face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a high proportion of white glass especially in backgrounds and the panels are surrounded by border fillets. The figures are elongated with a dignified and slightly ethereal elegance. In this window the figure is positioned on a pedestal and surrounded by elaborate architectural and sculptural detail.

 

In painting and sculpture, this style is referred to as International Gothic or “Weicher Stil” (“Soft style”) in German.

Characteristics of the workshop from the Upper Rhine:

Burrell figure & face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The windows made by this workshop are characterised by the intense use of colour and ornament throughout. There are no border fillets. The scenes are often surmounted by elaborate architectural canopies. The figures are “short and stocky with heavy, expressive facial features and lively gestures”.  (Jane Hayward Met Museum Journal 1969)

PROP.171

The people depicted are from all walks of life, rich and poor and their status is shown by their clothes and accessories.

In painting this style with hard and angular folds in the garments is referred to (in German) as the “Knitter-stil” and the workshop responsible was clearly influenced by this more modern style of painting.

All the Burrell glass from Boppard is by this workshop – as is the window in the Detroit Institute of Art. “The Three Marys” shows a haloed woman that has an uncanny resemblance to the figure in a painting by an unknown artist referred to as the Upper Rhenish Master. It shows how closely stained glass workshops were linked with the current art scene and is a trail worth exploring further!

stained glass and painting

A final word on the outcome of our faces survey

You recognised the Virgin Mary immediately, and 61% of the survey results picked her out correctly by face alone, which was very impressive!

marys

The devil was recognised by only 56%, which was surprising as I thought almost everyone would get him right with his elongated nose and animal-like ears to make him stand out:

devil

Apart from the devil, I found recognising the faces extremely difficult. Especially the faces of God and Jesus which were harder to distinguish from the many faces of the good and the pious depicted in the Boppard panels.

There is a cartoon-like feel to the Boppard faces, which brings them to life in my opinion – what do you think? They remind me of the English angels (Oxford and Norwich Schools) of a similar date, such as the ones below.

45.43 Censing Angel on display at the Burrell Collection in the Hutton Drawing Room
45.43 Censing Angel on display at the Burrell Collection in the Hutton Drawing Room
45.87 Feathered Angel on display at the Burrell Collection
45.87 Feathered Angel on display at the Burrell Collection