Artist/Studio: Clayton & Bell, London, England, c.1868.
Location: South Yarra, Victoria, Australia.
Building: Christ Church, South Yarra.
Memorial: Hon. W. C. Haines.
Photos dated: 25th March 2012.
“Two memorial windows have recently been placed – the one in St. John’s Church, Toorak, and the other in Christ Church, South Yarra, which enable us to judge, under peculiarly favourable circumstances, of the efforts of our own artists in glass painting, as compared with those of England. The window in Christ Church has been raised in memory of the late Hon. W. C. Haines by a few of his private friends, and is the work of the well-known form of Bell and Clayton, of London. The window is in the early English gothic style of architecture, and is perhaps scarcely florid enough to harmonise with the rich colouring of the glass. The memorial window consists of seven tableaux illustrative of the history of Joseph. The first represents Joseph being sold to the Ishmaelites; the second his being made overseer in Potiphar’s house; in the third he stands in the presence of Pharoah; in the fourth he is “ruler over all the land of Egypt;” in the fifth Joseph is receiving his brethren; the sixth represents his meeting with his father; and in the last we have the scene of his death. The general treatment of the subject is artistic and finished, and the drawing of the figures is marked by an unusual degree of freedom and ease. We think, however, that there is a certain vagueness and obscurity in the design of some of the tableaux. One of the best is Joseph being sold into slavery, in which the natural reluctance of the lad to part with his brethren is well pourtrayed [sic]. The interview with his brethren is also treated well and appropriately, but the representation of Joseph as ruler over all the land of Egypt seems wanting in effect. He is represented on something like a “throne of royal state,” with two persons reverentially approaching him – a somewhat meretricious and common illustration of a man who owed his advancement to his own capacity and probity. The meeting with Jacob is also ineffective, probably from the difficulty of treating a subject of that nature on glass. The point in which this window will least bear comparison with that at Toorak, is the colouring. The colours seem wanting in that massive richness which is necessary to successful glass staining which may be explained on the ground that they were produced under different conditions of light from those which exist here. At any rate, in the clear atmosphere of our sky, the weaker and less brilliant colours of the picture seemed drowned out; and, as may easily be comprehended, this materially interferes with the general effect of the window…”
The description of the Ferguson and Urie window at Toorak can be seen on the dedicated Ferguson & Urie web site.