barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Abel Stimmer (1542-after 1606)

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)

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