The Coronation of the Virgin in St Barnabas, Pimlico, by Sir Ninian Comper. 1900. While Charles Eamer Kempe replaced the windows of the nave during the later Victorian work on this church, a young Ninian Comper was responsible for the chancel (Janes 60). The Lady Chapel was entirely his work, as a memorial to Father Alfred Gurney, who had been the third vicar of the church, from 1879-1898: "The three-light South window in the Flemish style, depicts the Coronation of the Virgin, attended by Sts Peter, Paul and Luke, and musician-angels, and the kneeling figure of Father Gurney himself — the facial likeness is said to be quite striking" (A Short Guide).

A closer view of Father Gurney.

Comper's windows here quite outshine Kempe's. He had once studied and assisted in Kempe's office, but now Kempe was at the end of his career, and being assisted by his nephew Walter Tower, to whom the firm would pass after Kempe's death. Comper, however, was arriving at the peak of his career. He was still working in the traditional Gothic Revival spirit, but there are inventive and original touches which give a freshness and vibrancy to the whole window (such as the appearance of Father Gurney here, and the little rabbits in the undercroft of the Nativity window); and the colours themselves are richer and more glowing.

Photographs by John Salmon, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these 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 in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Related Material


Eberhard,Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at St Barnabas." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 2 September 2016.

Janes, Dominic. Victorian R2formation: The Fight over Idolatry in the Church of England, 1840-1860. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

A Short Guide to St Barnabas Church, Pimlico. Web. 2 September 2016.

Created 2 September 2016