The Good Shepherd

Designer: Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Manufacturer: Powell's


Stained glass

132 × 51 cm

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

This was photographed while on loan to Tate Britain for the "Edward Burne-Jones" exhibition (see below for details). Recently restored, it comes from the artist's very first design for stained glass when he was in his early twenties ("The Good Shepherd by Sir Edward Burne-Jones"). It looks much brighter here than in other images of it, due partly to photographing a backlit panel, but also as a result of the conservation process. Alison Smith, in the book accompanying the exhibition, explains that this and another panel (The Calling of St Peter) "were revolutionary for the time in the way they combine Pre-Raphaelite naturalism with extreme stylisation" (54); she notes too the vivid colours of the glass and the closeness of the lead lines. The satchel of bread and wine at the Good Shepherd's waist suggest Holy Communion, and the feeding sheep suggest pastoral care. This was made for the Congregational Church, Maidstone, Kent, and proved to be a popular design ("The Good Shepherd"). Before joining the Morris firm in 1861, Burne-Jones was for a while Powell's chief designer.

Photographed by Jacqueline Banerjee at the press view of the exhibition (lasting from 24 October 2018-24 February 2019). This item featured in the first room, on Burne-Jones's apprenticeship years.

Commentary and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use the image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the image to enlarge it, and mouse over the text for links.]