Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Dirk Vellert (Dirk Jacobsz Vellert or Dirk van Staren, or Master of the Star) (1480-1485 - 1547, Antwerp, Belgium); Dirk Vellert and Workshop (Dirk Jacobsz Vellert or Dirk van Staren, or Master of the Star) (1480-1485 - 1547, Antwerp, Belgium)


Three Designs for Stained Glass Windows

Creation Date

ca. 1538


16th century


6 5/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. (16.83 cm. x 17.46 cm.)

Object Type


Creation Place

Europe, Netherlands

Medium and Support

pen and brown ink, grey wash over black chalk, (traces of red chalk) on paper

Credit Line

Bequest of the Honorable James Bowdoin III


Public Domain

Accession Number

This drawing is the only extant design for the windows in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England, one of the leading examples northern Renaissance stained glass. Painters and glaziers from England, Germany, and the Netherlands took part in the commission. Dierick Vellert, perhaps the most renowned glass designer and painter in Antwerp of the 1520s and 1530s, contributed a major portion of the designs for King’s College. He may even have traveled to England himself to work on the glass. This drawing is a “vidimus,” an exact study on a smaller scale for the glaziers to follow while preparing full-scale cartoons for the manufacture of the windows, each consisting of two lancets with scalloped tops. The visible gridlines indicate the “ferramenta,” the iron support that holds the windowpanes in place. The themes of the three windows are Christ’s Appearance to the Apostles, Peter and John Healing the Lame Man, and the Death of Ananias. The entire cycle of windows illustrates the Life of the Virgin and the Passion of Christ.

Keywords: Biblical   figures (representations)   design   work on paper   master drawing   vidimus   window   Peter and John Healing the Lame Man   Saint John   Saint Peter   apostle   related to Cambridge (England)   Christ's Appearance to the Apostles   related to King's College (Cambridge, England)   Bible story   preparatory drawing   architecture in art   group of people   narrative   design drawing   Northern Renaissance   Passion of Christ   Life of the Virgin   New Testament   text   number   grid   stained glass