Information

This watercolour is a copy of the second window of the south side of the Chancel Clerestory, St Edith's, Tamworth, Staffordshire. It depicts St Editha as abbess. She is seen on the left, surrounded by her nuns who are picking flowers to present to the Virgin and Child, on the right. It is one of three watercolour copies in the Birmingham collection commissioned by J. R. Holliday, an avid collector of Morris and Co. stained glass cartoons, from Thomas Matthews Rooke (1842-1942). According to a letter written in 1935 by G. S. Holliday'Mr Holliday took photographs of [the windows] & enlarged them & prepared them for Mr. Rooke ... to colour from the originals. Mr Rooke spent some weeks [at Tamworth] on the work (by special arrangement with Mr Holliday who was satisfied that it was a good reproduction of the colour in the windows themselves).' (Unpublished letter from G. S. Holliday to Dr Bonseer, 29 March 1935, BMAG)Rooke worked as Burne-Jones's studio assistant from 1869 until the latter's death in 1898. From 1878 until 1893 Rooke also spent half of his time producing watercolours for Ruskin's project to record old buildings threatened with demolition or restoration. Rooke was a talented painter in his own right and produced watercolours and oils of religious, imaginative and architectural subjects. On the back of the board on the watercolour of the second window is a label for 'Messrs Charles Roberson & Co., Longacre, London' who also sold board to Burne-Jones.LM

  • Presented by the Library of the University of Birmingham from the James Richardson Holliday Bequest, 1959.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Makers

Association Artist Organisation
After a design by Ford Madox Brown -
Artist Thomas Matthews Rooke -

Inscriptions

Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
TM ROOKE Tamworth 1908
Signature and date bottom right Painted 1908 A label on the reverse reads: 'Messrs Charles Roberson & Co., Longacre, London'
 

Exhibitions

Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
'Faithful and Able:' The Architectural Watercolours of T. M. Rooke (1842-1942)
37 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1992 - 1992
 

Literature

Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Ford Madox Borwn: A Record of his Life and Works
F M Hueffer 1896 Longmans, Green, & Co., London p. 447
 
The Stained Glass of William Morris and his Circle
A Charles Sewter 1975 Yale University Press, New Haven, for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art vol. 2, pp. 184, 241
 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Jane Morris Correspondance
Janet Camp Troxell, John Bryson 1976 Clarendon Press, Oxford pp. 86-7
 
Ford Madox Brown: The Unofficial Pre-Raphaelite
Laura MacCulloch, Tessa Sidey 2008 D. Giles Limited, London p. 69

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