1885: Gateshead, England, St. Mary’s Church

Saint Jacobus, Saint Petrus, Saint Johannes, Saint Paulus, Saint Judas

Five-light window and tracery

Five light saints Gateshead sketch copy

Watercolour and pencil on paper: 376 x 270 mm.

Montgomery prepared the scale drawing, dated 25 September 1885, for one of the wide openings in St. Mary’s Church.  Each of the five lights was filled with the single figure of a saint, holding his attribute; Judas, clasping a bag of silver, was an unlikely addition to the group.  Quatrefoils above the cusped main lights held images of angels bearing ribbons inscribed with a text running across them from left to right.

Montgomery planned backgrounds of red and blue, alternating the colour from light to light, and in the tracery, with predominantly white and gold in the architectural canopies and bases; all notable similarities with designs from Clayton & Bell of London, the firm with whom he worked from about 1873-6.

Despite the unfinished state of this (and the ‘Northumbrian’) design for  Gateshead, Montgomery’s intentions for the finished window were evident through the structural underpinning and design elements that he introduced at this early sketch stage of the process.

Gateshead St Marys Church016

Exterior of St. Mary’s Church, Gateshead in 2003.  Note the bridge in the background linking Newcastle with Gateshead.  A smaller version of Sydney’s harbour bridge it was completed in the 1920s.  Photograph: Bronwyn Hughes

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