Window with Eight Apostles, the Pietà, and other Saints

Window with Eight Apostles and Other Saints

English (West Country)
Medieval (Gothic)
about 1420–35


263 x 563 cm (103 9/16 x 221 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pot-metal glass; flashed glass, and white glass with silver-oxide stain; modern limestone tracery

On View

Gothic Gallery (Gallery 218)





[inscription] The glass, now in modern stonework designed after measured drawings from Hampton Court, consists of four large perpendicular lights with trefoil tops, three rectangular tracery lights with protrusions at the top and bottom, and six small triangular tracery openings. The main lights show eight Apostles arranged in two rows. Each apostle stands on a dais between the shafts of a canopy above. There is an extra row of canopies at the bottom. In three-quarter view, the Apostles, who seem to be based on two cartoons, turn to different sides. They hold attributes, and above their heads are long scrolls with inscriptions from their Creed. They stand against blue or red grounds with acanthus scrolls resembling seaweed in reserve. Their tunics are blue or red; clear glass with paint and silver stain is used for their heads, mantles, halos, at tributes, and canopies. From left to right, beginning with the top row, the Apostles are: Peter, Andrew, James Major, John, Bartholomew, Matthias, James Minor, Simon. In the three tracery lights are figures represented under fragmentary canopies: Pieta (center), Saint John the Baptist wearing a hair coat with a camel’s head (left; inscribed S[AN]C[TU]S IOH[ANNES] BAPTISTA), and Saint Francis showing the stigmata (right; inscribed S[ANC[TUS] FRANCISCUS0). The grounds are blue or red with acanthus, and the figures are colored by silver strain, except for Saint Francis, whose robe is painted brown. In the small triangular openings are frontal busts of angels in grisaille.


Several located around each apostle or saint's head and at their feet.


1420, most probably commisioned for the Hereford Catheral; about 1435, transferred to the Chapel of Hampton Court, Herefordshire; 1924, bought by Wilfred Drake and Grosvenor Thomas, London; 1925, sold by Drake and Thomas to the MFA for $94000. (Accession date: June 4, 1925)

Credit Line

Maria Antoinette Evans Fund