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Stained Glass

Charity, from the Niklaus Chapel, St. Peter, Basle

Key data

Ascribed to David joris, Basle, ca. 1545

Monopartife panel, diameter 20 cm

Inv. 1905.498.


It is difficult to fit the series of small roundels of the Christian virtues, originally seven but now six, which according to oral tradition came from the Niklaus chapel in the Basle canonical foundation of St. Peter, into the Basle tradition of glass painting of the post Reformation period. The style of the roundels, painted in soft black and silver stain, is Netherlandish. An attribution to David Joris, a glass painter from Delft who lived in Basle from 1544, has therefore been suggested. The personification of Love, with Latin ("Charitas") and Dutch ("liefde") identifications beside her, stands dressed in a lavish robe in front of a broad river landscape. She is carrying the nest of a pelican which feeds its young with its own blood, a common symbol also of the sacrificial death of Christ.

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