Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

International studio — 82.1925

DOI issue:
Nr. 341 (October 1925)
DOI article:
Hutchinson, G. P.: Liverpool's stained glass
DOI Page / Citation link: 

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^TT^efore dealing with The WLIlcloWS far the great not the Gothic of any par-
J2) the present question modem Cathedral are in ticuIar country; it is as if

of the stained glass of ^ ^ fne splrtf Qf fe had studied and assimi-

Liverpool cathedral, it is as 7 A V / lated all that is best in the

well that we should first itS CLrClliteCture medieval cathedrals of dif-
consider the architecture Q P_ LI UT6 HIN" S 0 INf fcrent countries, and had

and structure of the cathe- then set himself to create

dral itself in order that we may better under- something that would be the expression of his own

stand and appreciate the ideals of the architect self, yet inspired by the spirit and principles which

who not only conceived the building but also governed the best examples of Gothic architecture',

inspired and controlled all that is in it in the way The question of filling the windows with

of decoration and fittings. Seldom has it fallen stained glass was a subject which received great

to the lot of an architect to have the opportunity consideration, a special committee being ap-

of designing and carrying out a cathedral such as pointed for the purpose. Pilgrimages were made

Liverpool, which, when completed, will be the to various cathedrals and churches, and visits

largest in Europe with the exception of St. Peter's were paid to the studios of many of the leading

and Seville, and will adorn one of the wealthiest stained glass craftsmen in England. Eventually

cities in England where no expense need be spared five of the leading firms were invited to submit a

to make it one of the finest examples of eccle- design for one of the windows in the Lady Chapel,

siastical architecture and craftsmanship of modern together with a full-size cartoon of one figure, the

times. final decision being given in favor of Messrs.

It was in 1901 when the site for the cathedral James Powell & Sons, whose glassworks at White-
was finally decided upon, and after a preliminary friars date back to 1680. After completing the
competition five architects were invited to submit windows of the Lady Chapel, Messrs. Powell
designs, those of Mr. G. Gilbert Scott (who was designed and carried out all the windows in the
knighted by the king after the consecration of the choir, aisles and transepts of the cathedral,
cathedral) being selected. In view of the fact that In the Lady Chapel there are three three-light
Mr. Scott was only twenty-one years old at the windows in the apse, and eleven two-light win-
time, it was arranged that Mr. G. F. Bodley, R. A., dows, six on the south side and five on the north,
should be appointed joint architect, in order that The idea which underlies the subject scheme of all
he might give the value of his long experience in these windows is that they shall serve as a
assisting in the practical conduct of the work. chronicle of the deeds of good women. Through
The method adopted by the committee in building all, except the central window of the apse run the
the cathedral has been to build one section at a words ol the Magnificat, proclaiming the dignity
time and complete it with all its fittings and conferred on the handmaiden of the Lord. The
stained glass before beginning another section, central window of the apse represents the Ado-
The Lady Chapel was first taken in hand and was ration of the Magi. Resting on the knee of the
finished in 1910. It has been used for daily ser- Virgin Mother the Christ Child stands with arms
vices ever since. The choir, chapter house, and extended in welcome. Beneath are two angels
the two easternmost transepts were then under- holding a scroll, bearing the words "God With
taken and completed with organ, stained glass Us." In the windows on either side are figures
and other fittings, and were consecrated on July of Hannah, Ruth, and Sarah on the left, with a
19th, 1924, twenty years after the laying of the predella subject of the Annunciation below and
foundation stone. on the right, St. Elizabeth, Anna, and St. Mary

When one comes to study the building as a of Bethany, with the Presentation of Our Lord in

whole, that which impresses one most strongly is the Temple as a predella subject,

the way in which the individuality of the architect The five two-light windows on the north side

makes itself felt throughout the entire building; contain figures of female saints connected with

one mind has conceived and visualized the whole national and local history, and the six opposite

cathedral down to the smallest detail. One looks windows those of female saints in the prayer book

in vain for the source from which he derived calendar. Besides these windows there are two

his inspiration, for it is unlike anything one has on the staircase and vestibule. These comme-

seen elsewhere. Though it is Gothic in style it is morate the deeds of great women of recent times

October 1925