Design for a Glass Painting

Image credit: The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

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This intricate design for a glass painting is thoroughly characteristic of Holbein’s first years as a master in the guild at Basel. It was presumably made for the rooms of a newly appointed bishop or abbot, as symbolised by the crozier and mitre. The image of the Madonna and Child on the mitre may indicate that the patron’s cathedral or abbey was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The empty shield which is meant to include the patron’s coat of arms suggests that this design is unfinished. The drawing was once in the collection of Sir Peter Lely (1618–1680), Principal Painter to Charles II of England.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts



Design for a Glass Painting




pen & grey wash with traces of black chalk on paper


H 37.5 x W 29.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1955

Work type



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The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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