Exhibition | 15.02.–20.08.2023

Stained Glass > Joep Nicolas + Liberna Collection

The Draiflessen Collection presents a joint exhibition on the art of stained glass, spanning the Middle Ages, the Baroque period and the 20th century. The exhibition shows that stained glass has a long tradition. It highlights the iconographic and technical features of this genre of art and offers insights into the background of the history of its development.

Joep Nicolas

In 1939, Joep Nicolas (1897 – 1972) designed 10 leaded glass windows for the new C&A building in Utrecht. After the closure of the shop, the richly painted windows were removed and restaurated. In 2019 they found their place in the Draiflessen Collection. The period in which the windows were created coincides with a turbulent period for the glass painter and artist in Roermond, as shortly after their completion Joep Nicolas sold his workshop and emigrated to New York. Documents on these subjects are also part of the exhibition, as are Nicolas’ preliminary drawings of the designs.

Liberna Collection

The exhibition presents for the first time 18 stained glass windows of the 15th and 16th centuries from the collection of Bernard Brenninkmeijer (1893-1976). In 2012, the inventory came into the Draiflessen Collection. The small round, rectangular or four-pane windows decorated profane and private rooms. The preferred motifs of these stained glass windows were moralising allegories or religious themes that were intended to guide people to a more virtuous life. It is vividly demonstrated that contemporary graphic art played a decisive role in the subject matter of the stained glass – it often served as models.

Black solder and silver-yellow painting

Black solder and silver-yellow painting

The process of making a stained glass painting has not changed significantly since the Middle Ages.
The colouring compound, black solder, consists largely of oxidised iron or copper powder (hammer blow). Sulphur silver produces a bright yellow colouring – from the freshest lemon yellow to the fieriest golden orange. To obtain a viscous substance from the oxides, pulverised lead glass and, depending on the technique, clay or ochre, but also vinegar or turpentine oil and possibly gum arabic are stirred in. These mixtures melt at low temperatures and bond indissolubly with the base glass. They remain radiant and luminous for centuries.





Allegorie der Geduld (Patientia) | Allegory of Patience (Patientia), Nördliche Niederlande | Northern Netherlands, nach 1550 | after 1550 | Draiflessen Collection (Liberna), Mettingen, Foto | photo: Stephan Kube, Greven

Elias, von Raben gefüttert | Elijah Fed by Ravens, Südliche Niederlande | Southern Netherlands, 1525-1550

Joep Nicolas, Sogenanntes Stifterfenster mit Adam und Eva, Wappen, Inschrift und Datierung | So-called Donors’ Window with Adam and Eve, coat of arms, inscription, and dating, 1939 | Draiflessen Collection, Mettingen, Foto | photo: Stephan Kube, Greven