Design for a Glass Painting
Switzerland, late 16th century
Pen and grey wash heightened with white on greenish prepared paper
334 x 220 mm
Presumably husband and wife, these figures hold objects that suggest their marital roles, the woman holding a cup traditionally associated with fertility.
Beside her is an image of an eagle sitting on three hills, which are duplicated on the shield with the initials SP or SB perhaps referring to the wife’s name. During the 16th century the motif was included on the Hungarian Royal family’s coat of arms, representing three specific mountain ranges, and therefore here could refer to the woman’s royal connections. An area of a shield has been left blank in respect of the husband, which may indicate that the design is unfinished.
Purchased 1955 (No.55.12)