Exhibition and publication – Gilded Light: Sixteenth-Century Stained Glass Roundels | London Art Week, 1-8 July 2016

Gilded Light: 16th-century stained glass roundels from the collection of Sir Thomas Neave and other private collections, an exhibition that took place at Sam Fogg, London, from 1 to 8 July 2016.

 

17554007
An artist in the close circle of Lambert van Noort (c. 1520, Amersfoort – 1571, Antwerp), Nebuchadnezzar eating grass among the cows, Southern Low Countries, Antwerp, c. 1560 (after 1558), 26 cm diameter

 

This exhibition, the first of its kind in London for over a decade, brought together over 35 stained glass roundels and panels of other formats, the majority of which were made during the first two-thirds of the sixteenth century when the art-form was at its zenith. The core group of roundels featured in the exhibition were brought together in the early 1800s by one of the most important early-modern connoisseur collectors of Medieval and Renaissance stained glass, the second Baronet Sir Thomas Neave of Dagnam Park (1761-1848). An avid enthusiast of European artwork, and particularly of glass, Neave was one of the first private collectors to amass a collection of high quality stained glass from the Low Countries, purchasing many of his pieces directly from dissolved monasteries and foundations, or through agents such as the German cloth merchant John Christopher Hampp (1750-1825) who settled in Norwich and traded with Flanders throughout his career. Much of the Neave collection was destroyed by ordnance and fire damage over many years, or has subsequently been dispersed; some of those panels formerly in his collection and that have survived can today be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in English churches endowed by the Neave family. His family seat, Dagnam Park in South Weald, Essex, was demolished in 1950 and the remains of his glass collection dispersed by his direct descendants. Characteristic of Sir Thomas Neave’s taste and acute eye for detail and quality, the group of roundels presented in this exhibition mark a vivid and breath-taking high point in the medium.

The exhibition was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, now unfortunately sold out.

The collections of Jean, duke of Berry (1340-1416) – Vastari Online Journal – January 2013

Hans Holbein
Jean de Berry in Prayer,
after a statue of the same figure from the Sainte-Chapelle, Bourges.
Circa 1523-4.
Black and coloured chalk, 39.6 × 27.5 cm.
Basel, Kunstmuseum.

I have written an article for Vastari, an exciting new online association with a scholarly focus on collecting and patronage across the centuries;

Jean, duke of Berry, count of Poitou, Auvergne and Estampes, was son, brother, and uncle, to three successive kings of France. Born in 1340 in the royal chateau of Vincennes, situated in the dense hunting forests outlying Paris to the east, he lived a long life, dying at the age of 76 in his Parisian residence, the Hôtel Saint Pol. He became regent of France on two occasions, alongside his younger brother Philip the Bold; firstly when his nephew king Charles VI was too young to govern the country, and latterly when the same monarch fell into successive bouts of insanity at the end of the century. These snatched moments of power were largely diplomatic, and he failed to make much of an effect on the fiscal and political direction of the state. Instead, it is the legacy of Berry’s collecting habits that has been passed down through history. His was a singularly obsessive program of acquisition of some of the most richly made and decorated objects that survive from the late medieval period. Read more…