David Evans stained glass
We have been lucky enough to win was from the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust to conserve a collection of 11 cartoons for stained glass windows, purportedly by the artist David Evans, ref 8565.
David Evans was born just outside of Newton in what was then Montgomeryshire (now Powys), and came to Shrewsbury as a young boy. In 1806 he was apprenticed to an established 2nd generation stained glass artist called John Betton and became his partner in 1815, before taking over the business over in 1824.
His work has a national significance as he was one of the pioneers during the mid-19th century of a style of creating designs strongly influenced by the architecture and stained glass of the Middle Ages, a style later adopted by the Arts and Crafts movement. The designs are also important in their own right, for their highly distinctive style and use of colour.
A cartoon, in its traditional meaning, is a life-size preparatory drawing for a piece of artwork – a tapestry, fresco or painting, originating in Renaissance Italy – on a heavyweight piece of paper.
Most of these cartoons are between 1.5 and 2.5m high – dating from the mid to late 1800’s and are drawn on wood pulp paper, with areas of watercolour.
They were used as working drawings and it’s obvious from their condition that they have been exposed to dirt, soot, and water during their lifetime, and most probably subjected to extremes of temperature, humidity and atmospheric pollutants. They need cleaning, repairing and any mould neutralising before they can be consulted or even digitised.
It is hoped that we will begin the project as soon as we are able to return to the conservation studio.
There are more images in our previous blog post: