The Nativity

Designer: Ford Madox Brown

Manufacturer: Morris and Co.


Stained glass

One of five apse windows, All Saints, Selsley, Glos.

Simon Jenkins writes that, for Brown, "glass was not about refined drawing." Rather, he quotes Brown as saying, "What it does admit of and imperatively require is strong colour, and what this can admit of and does very much require is invention, expression and good dramatic action" (263). There could hardly be a better example than this of the way he put this belief into practice. Mary is dressed, unusually, in a green garment partially covered with a red blanket, and Joseph in rich brown. In either hand, Mary clasps her infant's tiny hand and arm, while Joseph is shown raising a spoon from a bowl. [Commentary continues below.]

Photographer: Dr. Jim Cheshire, who retains the copyright.

Dr. Cheshire has most generously shared both image and caption material with us. Commentary and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]