Left: (a) Jesus calls Peter from his nets. (b) The Angel on Christ's tomb. (c) Jesus with the blind man. Right: Close-up of the left and central panels. [Click on the images for larger pictures.]
Three-light window with three New Testament scenes attributed to George Caleb Hedgeland (1825-98). 1850s. The third window in the north aisle, in St James' Church, Weybridge, Surrey. Under the panels are these texts from the King James Version of the bible: "Follow Me," from Matthew 4.19; "Christ the firstfruits, afterwards they that are Christ's," from I Corinthians 15, 23; and "Lord I believe'" from John 9, 38.
Although this, like another window in the church, is only attributed to George Hedgeland, the attribution is by Peter Cormack, Hon. Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, and is not in any doubt; it is accepted by the church itself. Hedgeland was one of the few and certainly the best of the pictorial stained-glass artists of the fifties, and these two windows display and testify to his distinctive style with its pleasant detailing.
The two windows are easy enough to pick out from the rest, and positively glow with their clear colours and immediacy of feeling. Victorian medievalists had no time for glass that was painted on, rather than stained before use and then assembled with the lead lines bringing out the design. The former, with its large painted planes, seemed inauthentic. But Hedgeland's work (which does use some lead lines, apparently for emphasis, and no doubt for practical purposes too) shows that the painterly approach could also be effective (see Cheshire 12). The countryside scenes below the texts are particularly evocative of the local Surrey countryside here beside the Wey and the Thames (the one shown alongside may show the Thames towpath, and just possibly, in the left background, the weir at Shepperton).
Photographs and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use the images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite it in a print document.]
- Stained Glass and the Gothic Revival: On the Difference between Painted Glass and Coloured Glass (Somers Clarke, 1893)
Cheshire, Jim. Stained Glass and the Victorian Gothic Revival. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004.
Eberhard, Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at St James." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 24 June 2014.
"The Glaziers' Trust: Board Members" (on Peter Cormack). Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass". Web. 23 June 2014.
"St James' Parish Church, Weybridge, Surrey." Pamphlet available in the parish office.
Last modified 24 June 2014