Menu Close



Page with ornament
The Database of Ornament

THE Church of St. Martin’s-on-the-Hill, Scarborough, built by
a clever architect, and forming, by its stained glass windows
and the decorative paintings which it contains, a sort of
decorative museum of pre-Raphaelite art, is but little known ;
as may be seen from the almost¹ complete lack of any
descriptions or reproductions of the works of art which it
contains. If we remember that this church, remarkable in itself, contains also
stained glass windows and decorative paintings by Rossetti, Burne Jones,
Ford Madox Brown, William Morris and Webb, we shall wonder that no
artistic English magazine has yet given it any attention, and some interest
may therefore be found in these notes, which are a kind of abridged catalogue
of the works of art decorating St. Martin’s.

Well situated in the new part of the picturesque town of Scarborough, the
church was built from the plans of Mr. Bodley, A.R.A., in 1863, and the
necessary funds for its construction were subscribed by a local committee, at
the head of which was Miss Mary Craven, who appears to be the principal
benefactress of the church. Of early Gothic style as a whole, built of
Whitby stone, the Church of St. Martin’s is composed of an aisled nave, rather
short chancel, north-west tower, and large choir vestry. It is, above all, the
interior of the church which pleases, affording, by its simple and harmonious

   ¹ There is, indeed, a pamphlet by the Rev. Newton Mant, but, interesting as it is, it is
written more from a parochial than from an artistic point of view ; only one chapter is
devoted to the church, and that chapter contains numerous errors. The only reproductions
which have appeared are two remarkable woodcuts, executed after the cartoons of the
stained window by Rossetti, the subject of which is the Parable of the Vineyard. These
reproductions figured in one of the first volumes of the “Hobby Horse.”

The halftone reproduction of a pulpit panel painting by D. G. Rossetti is in                  portrait orientation, facing the essay it illustrates on “The Stained Glass                  Windows and Decorative Paintings of the Church of St-Martins-on-the-Hill,                  Scarborough.” A winged figure or angel is looking down. The figure is depicted                  holding a white lily in their right hand and pointing the index finger of their                  left; the wings take up the top left corner of the page. The tops of the wings are                  painted lighter than the bottoms, grey instead of black. The angel has black hair                  extending past the shoulders and out of sight. The angel wears a long-sleeved                  dress or robe, the top half of which is clearly defined in grey. The bottom half                  of is black. Eight lilies are spread out on the bottom of the dress, contrasting                  the black clothing. The sky in the background is a light grey. Far in the                  background at the left edge of the picture behind the angel’s shoulder there is a                  wall with a curved top that extends up and out of sight behind the the angel.                  There is a narrow gap in the wall. This image is one of a pair of complementary                  painted panels depicting the scene of Mary’s Annunciation.

   NOTES ON STAINED GLASS WINDOWS                             79

lines and proportions, an impression of happy peace. The red tiles agreeably
replace the stone flags usually seen ; and the unpleasant severity of the hideous
wooden benches, which disfigure many of the Gothic cathedrals in England,
has been replaced by chairs which fill the church without interfering with the
development of its lines. The church is well-lighted, and when a ray of sun-
shine glances throngh one of the painted windows, it becomes animated with
life, the whiteness of the stone takes a warmer glow, the stained glass enshrined
in the Gothic windows becomes resplendent, and the reflection of its bright but
velvety colouring flickers on walls and columns, and clothes in rainbow lines
the pure whiteness of the Whitby stone.

Besides an elegant choir-screen and a brass lectern, both designed by the
architects of the church, Messrs. Bodley and Garner, and a very rich organ, the
panels of which are decorated with graceful figures of angels by Mr. Spencer
Stanhope, the church of St. Martin’s possesses a small pulpit in wood. This
pulpit, built against the choir screen, is charming and simple ; it has three
sides, each side being divided into distinct panels, superposed. The two
panels to the left were painted by Rossetti, and represent the Annunciation.
The original imagination of the painter of the “Beata Beatrix” and of
“Dante’s Dream” is revealed by the poetical conception and arrangement of
the subject, into which he had already found means of infusing fresh life and
youthfulness in his “Ecce Ancilla Domini” of the National Gallery. This
picture, one of Rossetti’s most charming pictures, does not in fact resemble
any previous Annunciation. The Angel has no wings, the Virgin has not her
arms crossed on her bosom, the body humbly bent forward, as is usually
depicted, and yet there is no need of the inscription to assure us that it is the
Annunciation which the picture represents, but an Annunciation conceived after
a manner entirely new and thoroughly characteristic of the temperament of
Rossetti. He was not content,however, with giving simply one new arrangement
of a subject celebrated by all the great Italian painters, he gives us yet another
in these two panels of the pulpit of Scarborough, here reproduced. It must be
admitted that this rendering more closely resembles the traditional rendering of
the subject ; but it was not possible for Rossetti to depict even a traditional sub-
vject without giving at least some detail entirely characteristic of his personality,
and this we see in these panels. They show, as will be seen, a high trellised
hedge, set with red roses and shining lilies ; at the foot of the hedge the Virgin
is seated, a book of prayers on her knees, and the angel appears above her, his
brown wings still half open, leaning upon the flowery trellis-work ; he speaks
to her, and bends towards her the tallest of the open lilies. She hears, rather

80                              THE SAVOY

than sees him, for she does not dare raise her eyes to him ; but with eyes lost
in an ecstasy, with hands outspread, she seems to say Fiat mihi secundum
verbum tuum

This attitude of the Virgin is natural and charming, but what enchants
me most in the composition of these panels is the exquisite gesture of the
Angel bending towards the Virgin the tallest of the lilies. This gesture, so
full of poetic meaning, is thoroughly new, and belongs to Rossetti. Never,
before him, has the supreme purity of the Virgin been indicated by anything
so admirable, as this choice of the tall flowering lily.

It is therefore the composition I like above all, in these two panels of the
Annunciation, but their colouring also is remarkable ; the flowering hedge seems
to embalm the air, so fresh does it appear, the brown wings of the Angel
spread soft and velvety against the golden sky, the Virgin’s dress is grey, her
mantle blue, and the hair of both Virgin and Angel is red, of that rich and
magnificent red that Rossetti alone has been able to render after the great
Venetian masters.

Although less beautiful than those of Rossetti, the paintings which deco-
rate the other sides of the pulpit are none the less worthy of praise. They
were painted by Mr. Campfield after the designs of the late Ford Madox
Brown, and of Mr. William Morris, and they represent, on the side opposite
the Annunciation, decorative subjects of birds and lilies, and on the principal
side, in superposed panels, the Doctors of the Church and the Four Evangelists.
The Evangelists, and especially the St. John, are remarkable ; these eight
panels are of a warm and rich colouring ; they complete harmoniously the
decoration of the pulpit, and contribute to make it one of the most precious
ornaments of the church.

But if I admire the pulpit, and above all the delightful Annunciation
which decorates it, I admire even more the splendid stained glass windows,
which Rossetti designed for the East and West of St Martin’s. It is these
windows, and those of Ford Madox Brown, Burne Jones, and Morris, which
constitute the principal wealth of the church. It is impossible to forget either
their characteristic design or their magnificent and brilliant colouring. Taking
them as a whole they constitute one of the best examples of this renaissance
of an art which appeared to have been lost since the sixteenth century, and
which Madox Brown and Rossetti first, Burne Jones and Morris afterwards,
have been able to animate with fresh life, and to render one of the most
brilliant and flourishing decorative arts in England. Before examining them
in detail I should like to reproduce here a few lines which Madox Brown wrote

This half-tone reproduction of a pulpit panel painting by D.G. Rossetti is                  in portrait orientation, facing the essay it illustrates on “The Stained Glass                  Windows and Decorative Paintings of the Church of St-Martins-on-the-Hill,                  Scarborough.” The background is black with tracings of lilies. The main focus of                  the painting is a female figure, the Virgin Mary. She is seated in three quarters                  profile facing to the left. Her face and eyes are titled up. Her elbows are tucked                  against her sides and her hands extend down her lap, palms open upwards. An open                  book rests on her knees. Her head is covered by a sheer veil. She has a black                  cloak extending down her back and tied across her chest. She has a white long                  sleeve shirt on and a black skirt. Her cloak and skirt blend into the background                  in the bottom half of the page. Three white lilies protrude from the background                  behind her right shoulder. Two more white lilies are visible behind her back in                  the the top right corner of the image. This image is one of a pair of                  complementary painted panels depicting the scene of Mary’s Annunciation.

   NOTES ON STAINED GLASS WINDOWS                             83

in 1865, in the very interesting catalogue of his work entitled, “Cartoons for
Stained Glass.” These few lines contain the general rules followed by the
pre-Raphaelite painters in the design and execution of their stained glass
windows, and as the catalogue of the Exhibition of 1865 has become very rare,
these lines will perhaps prove interesting. Madox Brown speaks there of the
series of cartoons for stained glass, the subject of which was “The Life and
Death of St. Oswald,” which are now to be seen in the South Kensington
Museum. And this is what he says :

“The following nineteen cartoons have been executed for the firm of
Messrs. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co., for stained glass. With its
heavy lead lines surrounding every part (and no stained glass can be rational
and good art without strong lead lines), stained glass does not admit of refined
drawing ; or else it is thrown away upon it. What it does admit of, and what
above all things it imperatively requires, is fine colour : and what it can admit
of, and does very much require also, is invention, expression, and good dramatic
action. For this reason work by the greatest historical artists is not thrown
away upon stained glass windows, because though high finish of execution is
superfluous, and against the spirit of this beautiful decorative art, yet, as
expression and action can be conveyed in a few strokes equally as in the most
elaborate art, on this side therefore stained glass rises to the epic height. So
in medals, it is well known grandeur of style arises out of the very minuteness
of the work, which admits of that and little else. The cartoons of this firm
are never coloured, that task devolving on Mr. Morris, the manager, who makes
his colour (by selecting the glass) out of the very manufacture of the article.
The revival of the mediæval art of stained glass dates back now some twenty
years in the earliest established firms ; nevertheless, with the public it is still
little understood ; a general impression prevails that bright colouring is the
one thing desirable, along with the notion that the brightest colours are the
most costly. In an age that has become disused to colour, the irritation pro-
duced on the retina by the discordance of bright colour, is taken as an evidence
of the so coveted brightness itself. The result of this is, that the manufacturers,
goaded on by their clients, and the ‘fatal facility’ of the material (for all
coloured glass is bright) produce too frequently kaleidoscopic effects of the
most painful description.”

These effects, which Madox Brown had reason to fight against, and which
it may not be useless to mention here that they may be definitely abolished,
are not, happily, those which he has produced in the two windows at Scar-
borough, the subjects of which are taken from the legend of the life of St.

84                              THE SAVOY

Martin, but rather the three qualities he recommends as a principle, “invention,
expression, and good dramatic action.” All these are to be found, with the
somewhat strange and humorous characterization which Ford Madox Brown
put into all his designs. The first window represents the episode of the
“Golden Legend,” in which St. Martin cuts his cloak in two, to give half to the
beggar. Half turning on his horse, bearded, helmeted, and covered with a
coat of mail, the Saint is here still only the brave and courageous soldier of the
Emperors Constantine and Julian ; the cloak which he cuts with his sword is
brilliant and magnificent, strewn with rings and stars of gold, and forms a
violent contrast to the poverty of the lame beggar, nearly naked, as the legend
says, who, leaning on his crutches, stupefied but delighted, looks at the Saint
who is despoiling himself; in the background, a uniform blue sky, green pines
clearly defined, and two soldiers talking, who appear to be ridiculing the foolish
pity of the good Saint. The neighbouring window is not less attractively com-
posed. Kneeling in a green field studded with flowers, the Saint, who wears
on one shoulder the half of his glorious mantle, sees appearing above him the
Saviour, seated on a rainbow, and surrounded by angels, holding spread out in
front of him the other half of the cloak with which the Saint had unconsciously
clothed him. Of a firm and energetic design, full of character and spirit, these
two windows, charming by the unexpected but artistic strangeness of their
composition, as much as by their good colouring, leave only one regret, that
of not seeing other more important windows by Madox Brown in the same

The interest of the notes by Madox Brown brought me quite naturally to
search, and find, in this window, the qualities which he considered as being
essential to good stained glass. I ought, instead of beginning with him, and
with this detailed examination of the windows of St. Martin, to have first
indicated the position of the different windows in the church, giving a general
idea as to their arrangement. Here, then, is how they are placed, following
exactly the order in which they occur. West end of St. Martin’s : two Gothic
windows, Adam and Eve, by Rossetti, and above them in a rose window
surrounded by nine smaller ones, “The “Annunciation” and “Angels playing
Musical Instruments,” by Burne-Jones. North side aisle : stained glass windows
by Campfield and Marshall, representing “Characters of the Old Testament.”
Choir : in a Gothic window of three compartments, above the altar, “The
Parable of the Vineyard ;” in the centre “The Crucifixion” by Rossetti ; in the
four circular side windows “The Emblems of the Evangelists,” by Aston
Webb. South side aisle : four windows representing “Saints of the New

   NOTES ON STAINED GLASS WINDOWS                             85

Testament and of the Catholic Church” by Campfield and Marshall, “Saint
Dorothy” by Burne Jones, and “Saint Martin” by Ford Madox Brown.

The two west stained glass windows, by Rossetti, representing Adam
and Eve, are in my opinion the most beautiful and impressive windows in the
church. An intense life animates them, the thought of this first existence,
happy, free, without care, or possible remorse, has made Rossetti depict these
two bodies radiant with strength and health. Unlike the beings consumed
with love and passion who dwelt habitually in his thoughts, these are con-
sumed and tormented by no passion, they are content to live ; and the power
with which this life, free from care, is rendered, is almost disconcerting. One
is struck by the ingenious arrangement of the branches and leaves by which
Rossetti veils the nudity of the bodies of Adam and Eve, for the rosy colours
of the flesh look brighter in the violent contrast of the large leaves of a sombre
green, and again by contrast with the uniform blue of the sky seen behind
them ; and these ingenious contrasts give to these two nude bodies a vividness
of life which is rendered by no other stained glass window which I have ever
seen. These two resplendent bodies of Adam and Eve animate the church,
and seem to give it some of their own life. The composition is no less
original and new in its details than in the beauty of its colouring. Adam is
depicted standing, picturesquely leaning on a branch of a tree with large
sombre leaves, a fig-tree I think ; with the tip of his foot he amuses himself
by tickling a small bear curled up at his feet, the blue sky is seen behind him,
and sunflowers, flowering at the end of their long stems, expand at his right
hand ; in the branches of the tree above him a curious and familiar squirrel
watches him. Standing also, Eve has stopped in the middle of a field richly
studded with small flowers and red tulips ; of the same fairness as the hair
and beard of Adam, her unbound hair falls in an opulent stream over her
shoulders. In her arms she holds, tenderly pressed to her bosom, a white
dove, and in the sombre tree above, his eyes fixed and shining, an owl surveys
her. The predominant colours of this admirable window are, flesh colour,
dark green, and light gold. Above the windows of Adam and Eve “The
Annunciation” of Burne Jones, which decorates the large rose window, and
the “Angels playing Musical Instruments” of the nine smaller roses which
surround it, form with the windows of Rossetti a remarkable and charming
contrast. In the subject he here depicts, Burne Jones has adopted the con-
ventional manner, dear to Fillippo Lippi and to the painters of his school.
The Virgin is kneeling in the middle of a diapered field, which is surrounded
by a well-cut hedge, bedecked with roses ; the Angel has just alighted, and,

86                              THE SAVOY

surprised and enraptured, in a delicious gesture of astonishment, the Virgin
joins her hands, hardly able to believe the “good tidings.” That which
makes the charm of this window, and of the nine others surrounding it, is the
virginal grace and the exquisite purity of its conception, and of its design and
colour. White, azure blue, and ruby are the colours principally and almost
exclusively used ; they blend admirably with the white stone walls, and indeed
it seems impossible to find anything more fitted to harmonize in the decoration
of churches than the white Whitby stone, and the graceful and spiritual figures
of Burne Jones and Morris. The windows of Adam and Eve give an
impression of life, strength, and luxuriant health, those of the Annunciation
and the Angels an impression of grace and purity.

The first impression given by the window of the “Parable of the Vine-
yard,” which lights the choir, is an impression of colour, dazzling and mag-
nificent, velvety and harmonious, resembling the Flemish stained glass windows
decorating the Gothic cathedrals. From the point of view of stained glass,
this is the one I consider to be the most perfect. It has all the qualities
which we have seen were considered essential by Madox Brown, the “beauty
of colour, inventive expression and good dramatic action,” and all these
qualities are united in a high degree of perfection. In fact, when we approach
this window and examine it in detail, we perceive that it is no less remarkable
for its ingenious and original composition than for the sensation of opulent
colour which it at first gave us. This astonishing Rossetti was made to
succeed, and to show himself an accomplished master in everything which he
undertook. He appears here to have found the secret of composition of the
old Gothic masters, and the arrangement of his subjects is as clever and
complicated, the drawing as powerful and precise, as characteristic and appro-
priate to stained glass as that of his great predecessors. For those who look
at the great stained window of the choir of St. Martin’s, one subject stands
out before all the others, “The Crucifixion,” which occupies the centre of the
window, and which Rossetti has intentionally made larger and more apparent
than the subjects of the Parable of the Vineyard, because it resumes them, and
also because it is the one which ought the most vividly to impress the faithful.
But little by little around the central figure the different episodes of the
parable stand out in the gorgeous colours with which they are clothed, and we
find that conception and arrangement of the figures peculiar to Rossetti, as
the different scenes of the parable succeed one another in the seven compart-
ments of the window. There is first the planting of the vine, then the letting
it out to husbandmen, then the stoning of the servants sent to receive the

   NOTES ON STAINED GLASS WINDOWS                             87

first fruits, the feast of the vintage, with its delightful figure of the young
woman in a white dress dancing in the midst of the husbandmen, and again
the arrival of the heir, young and unarmed, in their midst, while they are
already plotting against his life, and then their judgment and condemnation
by the master, weary of their ingratitude. Magnificent and striking in itself,
the parable of St. Matthew could not be embellished, but it could be pre-
sented under a plastic form which, while bringing out certain details, would
engrave it more profoundly on the memory ; and it is this which has been
done by Rossetti. Sumptuous in colour, ingenious in composition, the window
of the Parable appears to be of a design more entirely and peculiarly Rossetti’s
than that of Adam and Eve, of which certain details seem to show the
influence of Madox Brown ; this statement, of which the only object is to be
exact, takes, however, absolutely nothing from my admiration of the stained
glass window of Adam and Eve. Rossetti, who, as is well known, was during
some time the pupil of Madox Brown, was occasionally influenced by the
painter of the frescoes of the Town Hall at Manchester. He on his side
underwent, without suspecting it, the influence of the painter poet, who was
more his friend than his pupil. This mutual influence can only be for good
when brought to bear upon minds so richly endowed as were those of Madox
Brown and Rossetti, and the works of both are there to testify to the fact.
Perfect from every point of view, this interpretation of the Parable of the
Vineyard by Rossetti does not alone embellish the choir of St. Martin’s. Four
circular windows adorned with stained glass by Aston Webb decorate the side
walls. The subjects represented are “The Emblems of the Four Evangelists,”
and by the vigour of their drawing, as well as by the beauty of their colour,
they are worthy of being mentioned at the same time as those of Madox Brown.
Burne Jones, and Morris. In indicating the positions of the windows in the
church, I have pointed out in the windows of the side aisles those of Madox
Brown, Burne Jones, Campfield, and Marshall, and have described the St.
Martin of Madox Brown. The windows of Campfield and Marshall, visibly
inspired by the works of Burne Jones and Rossetti, are not unpleasant, but
are only really valuable for the character of ensemble which they help to give
to the decoration of the church.

There remains, therefore, now only the window attributed to Burne
Jones. It represents “St. Dorothy” and “St. Theophilus” separated by an
angel carrying in a basket the “three apples,” as the “Golden Legend “
describes it. We find this window mentioned by Mr. Malcolm Bell in the very
complete catalogues he has drawn up of the works of Burne Jones. It is there

88                              THE SAVOY

stated to have been done in 1873, and the catalogue also mentions an Aaron,
Daniel, and Stephen, which is found in the north side aisle of St. Martin’s. For
my part I do not consider that an exaggerated importance ought to be
attached to these windows simply from the fact that they are ascribed to
Burne-Jones. I do not believe that they were done by him exclusively, as
was, for example, the ” Annunciation,” but, most probably, drawings of his
were enlarged by Mr. Campfield for the windows at Scarborough, and in
copying them, though he has not taken away all their grace and artistic
character, he has nevertheless lost much. This is why, although acknow-
ledging their graceful and decorative character, I cannot place them in the
same rank as the others I have mentioned. To terminate this rapid
examination of the stained glass windows of St. Martin’s, I wish to notice,
from among the row of south windows above the door of entrance, one
representing St. John the Baptist, designed and carried out by Mr. William
Morris. It is, above all, remarkable for the richness of its colour, and in this
connection I think it well to call to mind that the windows of Madox Brown,
Rossetti, Webb, and Burne-Jones, of which I have spoken, were all carried out
by Mr. Morris, who, at the great exhibition of 1862, gained a medal for the
execution of the “Parable of the Vineyard.”¹

It will be seen that the artistic interest of the church of St. Martin’s
consists in this, that it constitutes, not merely a handsome church, but a sort
of pre-Raphaelite museum. And the collection of stained glass windows
which it possesses is especially precious, for when, in a few years, a real pre-
Raphaelite museum is originated at the National Gallery, when there will be
(as there is now a Turner room) a Rossetti room, and in the adjoining rooms
are collected the finest pictures of Ford Madox Brown, Watts, Holman Hunt,

   ¹ In his pamphlet on St. Martin’s the Rev. Newton Mant mentions some paintings
which are harmless and insignificant in themselves, and of which I should not speak were
it not that he attributes them by mistake to Burne Jones and Morris. Too many indifferent
works will probably be generously attributed to these painters in the future for me to think
it unnecessary to lighten their reputation at least of these works with which they have no
connection. Neither Burne Jones nor William Morris has ever worked at Scarborough ;
they could not therefore have painted either the Adoration of the Magi or the Angels which
decorate the walls above the altar, and which Mr. Mant ascribes to them. This decoration
was painted originally by Mr. Campfield, a decorative painter from the firm of Mr. Morris.
That Mr. Campfield used at this period drawings by Burne Jones from which to paint
in distemper is possible, but in any case the original decoration fell into a ruinous
state, and in 1889 this part of the church was entirely repainted by a Mr. Farren, a
painter of Scarborough, assisted by his sons and daughters. Let it here be fully under-
stood that these paintings of the East end have nothing to do with Sir Edward Burne Jones
or Mr. Morris.

   NOTES ON STAINED GLASS WINDOWS                             89

and Burne Jones ; if it is acknowledged, then, that these artists have formed the
most remarkable school of painting of this century, it will be regretted at the
same time that we are unable to see represented in a museum certain produc-
tions connected with the branches of art which this school has rendered particu-
larly flourishing. After their pictures, it is in stained glass windows that the
pre-Raphaelite painters have best succeeded. Rossetti, Madox Brown, Burne
Jones, and Morris have renewed and revived the art which appeared for a long
time to be lost. When, later on, their works become classic, and are studied,
it will be in the churches that we shall need to seek them. Then churches
like St. Martin’s will be of a special interest on account of the ensemble of
works which it contains. However, if, as I have shown, this collection of
works at St. Martin’s is remarkable, it is not, from a pre-Raphaelite point of
view, either complete or perfect ; the two rows of clerestory windows, with the
exception of one by Mr. Morris, have nothing in common with this school, nor,
as we have seen, have the decorative paintings of the choir benches ; while no
work represents at St. Martin’s three important members of the pre-Raphaelite
school, Watts, Millais, and Hunt. It is true that I am unaware if they have
done painted windows, but if it was desired, as I should imagine, to represent
a pre-Raphaelite ensemble, they might have been asked to paint, in default
of stained windows, votive pictures or decorative paintings. In thinking what
might have been the church of Scarborough if these faults and failings
which I point out had been avoided, I thought, while writing these lines, that
it might still be possible to build a church and to render it unique in artistic
interest by decorating it with a collection, complete this time, of pre-
Raphaelite pictures and stained glass windows; and surely this idea which
comes to me of a pre-Raphaelite church is not, when one thinks of it, either
fantastical or impossible to realize. There is in England a man whom all
artists reverence for the splendid architectural work he has done. Admirer
and friend of Rossetti, intimately acquainted with all the artists of the pre-
Raphaelite school, Mr. Philip Webb seems the one designated to construct
such a church, which, while being all that is required for public worship, would
yet present under the most favourable light the stained glass windows and the
religious paintings of the pre-Raphaelite school. The windows of Rossetti
which can be admired at Scarborough, and which could be reproduced in this
ideal church, are not the only ones he designed ; there is, notably, the
magnificent series of cartoons illustrating the Legend of St. George, which is
possessed by Mr. Fairfax Murray, and which is one of the most finished works
of Rossetti in this style of decorative painting. By Ford Madox Brown there

90                              THE SAVOY

is the characteristic series of cartoons illustrating the life and death of St.
Oswald, which is now exhibited in the collection of water-colours and drawings
at the South Kensington Museum. Burne Jones and Morris have done (a
tremendous thing when one thinks of the enormous work they have pro-
duced in other branches of art !) more than five hundred stained glass
windows ; there is, therefore, in that which concerns them, but l’embarras du
, and this difficulty even need not exist, for it is well known that
Burne Jones and Morris consider as their best work in glass the “Adoration
of the Shepherds” and “The Crucifixion,” which decorate the church of
St. Philip at Birmingham. To the names of Rossetti, Madox Brown, Burne
Jones, and Morris, I would add the less known name of Mr. Selwyn Image,
who, by the poetic and religious character of his stained glass windows, and
notably those which he has designed for the church of St. Luke’s at Camber-
well, has revealed himself in this style of art a master as accomplished as any
of his predecessors ; and the interest of such a church would be complete, and
as I previously said, unique, if to these windows were added decorative and
votive paintings by Rossetti, Madox Brown, Watts, Millais, Holman Hunt,
and Burne Jones.

Why should this project be but the dream of an enthusiastic poet? It is
not money that is wanting in England ; I have proved that it is not the
materials, nor yet the men ; it is then nothing but the goodwill which is required,
and as this goodwill would have for object the raising of a useful and durable
monument, witnessing to the height to which English art has risen in this
century, I do not despair of seeing this idea one day realized by some
generous men justly proud of an art which has so magnificently flourished in
their country.

                                                                        OLIVIER GEORGES DESTRÉE.

MLA citation:

Destrée, Oliver Georges. “Some Notes on the Stained Glass Windows and Decorative Paintings of the Church of St. Martin’s-on-the-Hill, Scarborough.” The Savoy vol. 6, October 1896, pp. 76-90. Savoy Digital Edition, edited by edited by Christopher Keep and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.