Stained glass – can you help?
Can you identify the churches or stately homes from these drawings?
Our Conservator is in the process of writing up condition reports for 9 paintings from our collections that were originally at Rowley’s House, and which are very badly damaged, with a view to raising funds so they can be conserved.
At present they cannot be accessed by our readers as this will accelerate their deterioration – they are all incredibly dirty, brittle in some areas where the folds are fracturing, and soft in others were mould damage has made the paper fibrous.
They are preparatory drawings (described as cartoons, as in the large life-size drawings made by Renaissance artists such as Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci) for stained glass windows, purportedly by the renowned stained glass artist, David Evans. He was apprenticed to an already well established 2nd generation Shrewsbury glazier – John Betton – in 1808, eventually taking over the business from him in 1824.
The firm of Betton and Evans, and then Evans and Sons were well renowned in their field and worked on ‘restoring’ many mediaeval windows as in St Mary’s or creating their own extremely colourful designs, some based on Renaissance painters, as with the copy of Raphael’s ‘Transfiguration’ in St Julian’s, or Rubens ‘Descent from the Cross Between Visitation and Presentation’ in St Chad’s.
‘By the late 19th century, a flourishing stained glass industry was in the grip of the Arts and Crafts movement, producing designs strongly influenced by the architecture and stained glass of the Middle Ages……David Evans is one of a very few artists whose work pioneered this development. His windows, which we mainly created in the second quarter of the 19th century, are important because they illustrate the transition from the painterly to the Gothic, but they are also important in their own right, for their highly distinctive style and use of colour.’ Taken from an article written by Lorna Roberts ‘David Evans The Forgotten Pioneer’ Historic Churches magazine 10th edition. C78.7.vf
Apart from in Shrewsbury, many of their windows can be seen further afield in both churches and stately homes from Shropshire and North Wales, to Wiltshire and Yorkshire.
Can you recognise the locations of the windows that these drawings represent? There are a few clues either on the backs of the drawings (‘Healing the Sick’ and ‘Transfiguration’) or in the subject matter (‘Moses’ and ‘St Paul’) but apart from the one described as ‘Prees Chapel’, there are no clues to their whereabouts.
Please help if you can. Do ask if you need to see larger images.