An important Belgian stained glass window with Saint Nicholas

An important Belgian stained glass window with Saint Nicholas

Transparent glass with some bubbles painted in silver yellow, black, and enamels in red, green, and cobalt. A full-length depiction of Saint Nicholas standing on a lawn beneath a Renaissance arch, facing slightly towards the right. He wears a Bishop’s robes with a mitre and crozier, white cope with yellow hem, blue chasuble and alb, and red gloves. He holds his hand aloft in a blessing gesture and in the lower right we see a wooden tub with three naked children.
The figures are framed within a shallow arch supported by two pillars with foliate capitals. A length of Italian silk with pomegranate motifs forms a backdrop for the figure. To the sides we see a wooded landscape and a cloudy sky with flocks of birds.
Mounted in a transparent and pale green modern glass setting and a white painted wooden frame. H 105, W 80 cm, frame H 163, W 109.5 cm.
Belgium, from the Collégiale de Saint Sulpice et Denis in Diest, 1523.

These three large rare windows represent an important example of Brabantine stained glass making in the early 16th century. All three works originate from Diest, today a small town on the trade route between Cologne and Bruges. In 1229, Heinrich I of Brabant granted the town borough rights in the Gothic collegiate church of Saint Sulpice et Denis.
When the first wave of iconoclasm broke over the town in 1580, it destroyed much of the mobile inventory of its churches, but also many stained glass windows. Gradual repair works began in around 1604, carried out by well-known glass makers. The next major change came in the 19th century, when Jean-François Pluys of Mechelen replaced the windows with new works in 1846. At this point all trace was lost of these three windows, which were dismounted and forgotten, only preserved thanks to collectors.
The pane with Saint Nicholas was designed as a pendant to a depiction of the Virgin Mary in the first side chapel of the north aisle. They were donated by the roofer's guild and due to a surviving date we know that they were completed and installed in 1523.


From Saint-Sulpice-et-Saint-Denis in Diest.
In the collection of the Historisches Museum Basel until at least 1901, thereafter exchanged by the previous owner for other items.


Illus. in cat.: Glasgemälde No. III, Historisches Museum Basel 1901, no. 73.
In: Helbig/van den Bemden, Les vitraux de la première moitié du XVIe siècle conservés en Belgique Brabant et Limbourg, in: Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi Belgique, Bd. III, Gent 1974, p. 185 ff.
Cf.: Levy/Capronnier, Histoire de la peinture sur verre, vol. 2, Brussels 1860, p. 140.
Cf. Bonenfant, Notes pour servir à l'histoire de l'art en Brabant, Annales de la Société royale d'archéologie de Bruxelles. Mémoires rapports et documents, vol. 39, Brussels 1935, p. 132.
Cf. van der Linden, De collegiale kerk van de HH. Sulpitius en Dionysius te Diest. In 8ste Jaarboek van de Diestersche Kunstkring, 1936, p. 86.

Lot 1103

80.000 € - 100.000 €

111.600 €