Every so often I have blogged pictures of stained glass, mainly from various Tipperary locales but also from further afield. I have found that this has led me to discoveries like the windows of Cloneen and the work of Murphy Devitt Studios.
Looking out for stained glass had made me aware of beauty that I would not have noticed otherwise. I have visited Fethard, Co Tipperary, very many times, and I have visited the Church of the Holy Trinity (the Catholic one) once or twice. It had struck me before as an imposing facade but I had not been particularly drawn to it, as opposed to the Augustinian Abbey down the road .
Visiting again with a deliberate eye to stained glass, all was changed. There is a wide range of styles and settings for the stained glass here, from traditional pious image to stylised, near-impressionistic works. It is an immensely rewarding experience to visit, an once again I can only apologise for the quality of the camera work.
Indeed, for this post I initially thought I would split the post into three or even four, but have decided to use slideshows to help illustrate the range of work.
On entering the Church, one finds stained glass work on the doors inside. These images are among the hardest to photograph as the stairs and floor behind the glass tended to crowd out the image. These panels features a range of saints and symbols:
Above the entrance doors to this lobby we see a wonderful window depicting the Trinity. Visual depictions of God the Father are generally rare, so I thought this warranted a close-up:
Into the main church, and in a series of panels just above the very back of the nave we have the text of the Apostles Creed with appropriate imagery. First a rather ill-lit image of the whole thing:
And now a slide show (particular apologies for slide quality):
There is a beautiful chapel of Perpetual Adoration here (although it was empty when I visited) which features the most distinctively “modern” glass:
A particularly delightful feature was the pair of windows in the choir balcony, either side of the organ. These feature Biblical images of music, featuring Kings David (I am reasonably confident) and Solomon (I am less confident):
Here is a close up of Solomon (I think):
The main body of the church features a range of striking windows. I thought I discerned a loose theme of education (broadly defined):
There were also images of grief evident in another side chapel. For some reason I didn’t get a photo of the main central image which as far as I recall was the Crucifixion:
There were also four images of the evangelists on the lower windows each side of the transept:
Finally, here is the altarpiece itself:
All in all, this visit was one of the most revelatory of my stained glass experience. It was a treat to see so much glass in one, relatively modest, parish church, and imagery of such richness and suggestive power. I felt something of what it might have been like in a more visually literate culture, where this imagery was a sort of gospel in glass.