By Stuart Frost
In October last year I wrote about conservation work that had begun on a stained glass panel made around 1496 for the Chapel of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium. The photograph that heads this page shows the glass after completion of the work by the conservators.
If you contrast this image with the previous photographs that show the panel as it was you’ll be able to see just what a remarkable transformation has taken place. It is fascinating to look at the before and after photographs side-by-side. To see the earlier photographs click on the picture to the right or the link at the foot of the page. This will take you to a set of images on the Medieval & Renaissance site on Flickr.To find out about the earlier conservation work please read the blog entry I posted in October 2009.
The initial set of photographs on Flickr documenting the key stages in the conservation process have been updated with another selection of photographs courtesy of conservators Ann Marsh and Sherrie Eatmen. If you’d like to know a little more detail about the work that has been undertaken please have a look at those pictures and read the captions that accompany them.
As you can see from the picture to the left the stained glass from the Chapel of the Holy Blood has been installed in Room 10 Devotion & Display 1300-1500 and looks stunning. Most visitors will, of course, be completely unaware of the highly skilled work and vast effort that went into ensuring that the stained glass looks at its best and can be displayed safely for future generations.
In the foreground of the photograph is a reliquary of St Sebastian, and in the distance you can see an altarpiece depicting scenes of the Apocalypse. Both of these objects have also been the focus of innovative conservation work, and the subject of previous blog entries. All these instances illustrate the impact that conservation work can have both in improving the appearance of an object and helping in visitors interpret it meaningfully. It is wonderful to see the final results on display for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.
Click here to see a complete set of photographs related to the conservation of glass from the Chapel of the Holy Blood.