Friday, December 01, 2006

Bosdet -stained glass

I was fortunate while in Jersey to notice a one-day tour run through the Tourist Office to look at the "Glass Rainbow." This tour was taken by 'Blue Badge' guide Paul Nicolle and looked at some of the windows in Jersey done by stained glass artist Henry Thomas Bosdet (1856 -1934).
Nicolle was a superb guide, and he covered so much in depth on the day. I was actually the only 'tourist' on the tour - everyone else was 'local'- so the day also provided an insight into island life through the locals I met. (And who made me feel very welcome.)
A lot of the stained glass originally in Jersey churches had been destroyed after the Reformation, but about the turn of the 20th century, ministers began to want to replace it. Bosdet was a Jersey-born artist who filled many commissions in various churches on the island.

Paul Nicolle talked to us about how skilled Bosdet was at life drawing, and through the day we saw figures that seemed very life-like. Bosdet also used very brilliant colours, as can be seen in this window of the "sower".

Another characteristic of Bosdet's work was the brilliance of his angel's wings. The (lack of) sunlight did not really enable me to get a good shot of some of these wings.... but they were worth looking at on their own. You can see one example around this nativity scene.

This Crucifixion scene was beautifully drawn and brought everyone to silent contemplation.
While in Ireland I saw a stained glass window that I feel sure must also have been a Bosdet commission. One day I will get organised and send Paul Nicolle a photo of it to see if he agrees.

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