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Espying Heaven:

The Stained Glass of Charles Eamer Kempe and his Artists

By Adrian Barlow

Espying Heaven

Espying Heaven:

The Stained Glass of Charles Eamer Kempe and his Artists

By Adrian Barlow

A lavishly-illustrated exploration of the work of the Victorian church artist Charles Eamer Kempe and the team of artists he led and inspired.

Trade Information: LGEN
Available as: Hardback (eBook edition available soon)

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Print Hardback

ISBN: 9780718894641

Specifications: 254x189mm (10x7.44in), 144pp

Illustrations: b&w and colour

Published: January 2019


Espying Heaven presents the first full-scale and full-colour survey of the achievement of Charles Eamer Kempe (1837–1907), the outstanding stained-glass designer of his era, and his Studio. From the start, Kempe gathered around him a close-knit team of artists and craftsmen who together developed his vision of a distinctive aesthetic setting for worship based on late medieval art, especially the stained glass of northern Europe. This book illustrates the evolution of 'the Kempe style' and allows readers to judge for themselves the extent to which C.E. Kempe & Co. (1907–1934), set up by Kempe himself, succeeded in working within the tradition established by his founding artists.

This book is intended as a companion to Adrian Barlow's biographical study Kempe: The Life, Art and Legacy of Charles Eamer Kempe (The Lutterworth Press, 2018). In its own right, however, Espying Heaven both documents and celebrates a style of church art and decoration that has had a defining influence upon the Anglican Church worldwide. It highlights key features of Kempe glass, exploring questions of representation, symbolism and technique and suggesting new ways of 'reading' a Kempe window.

With photography by Alastair Carew-Cox.

List of Illustrations
Foreword and Acknowledgements

1. Kempe and the Kempe Studio
     Charles Eamer Kempe
     Alfred Edward Tombleson
     Wyndham Hope Hughes
     John Thomas Carter
     John William Lisle
     Walter Ernest Tower

2. Style and Techniques
     Reading a Kempe Window
     The Evolution of the Kempe Style
     A Note on Silver Staining

3. Themes and Subjects
     Allegorical and Symbolic Figures: The Virtues
     Jesse Tree Windows

4. The Life of Christ
     The Annunciation
     The Nativity and Early Childhood of Christ
     The Passion and Crucifixion

5. Gallery
     St Michael and St George
     Adam and Eve
     King Solomon
     Disciples and Apostles
     Saints: St Stephen
     Saints: St Catherine and St Margaret

6. Espying Heaven
     Kempe and George Herbert
     Kempe at Southwark Cathedral