Painted glass / by Sasha Ward

Baddesley Clinton, a moated manor house in Warwickshire, contains examples of stained glass that demonstrate my two favourite aspects of the medium - enamel painting and pattern making. The collection of heraldic shields in the house and the church nearby date from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.

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 The Jervais Glass, displayed in an upstairs window at Baddesley Clinton and before conservation by Chapel Studio. (One of the displays calls it "conservation", the other "restoration" so I've used both terms here).

The Jervais Glass, displayed in an upstairs window at Baddesley Clinton and before conservation by Chapel Studio. (One of the displays calls it "conservation", the other "restoration" so I've used both terms here).

This late 18th century painted glass panel is by Thomas Jervais who also painted the Joshua Reynolds windows at New College, Oxford. These windows were usually the examples chosen in the books I read as a student to illustrate why enamel painting ruined the medium of stained glass until the Arts and Crafts movement rescued it. I love this style of glass painting, light but opaque, but I can see that in combination with lead it is unsatisfactory. The Baddesley Clinton panel has been very skilfully restored, but it is fun to see how it looked before the recent restoration with the breaks leaded.

As regards the heraldic glass, I am interested not in the iconography but in the painting and etching techniques used, and in the same lead effect. Leads inserted where glass pieces have broken follow effortless lines that remind you of what the glass would like to do if we didn't torture it into regular shapes. 

 The oldest shield in the house and one from St. Michael's Church nearby.

The oldest shield in the house and one from St. Michael's Church nearby.