Print of the Month - February 2020

Printed c.1837 by George Baxter using his patented Baxter Process.

This is an illustration in Baxter’s book "The Pictorial Album or Cabinet of Paintings." The book contained 11 prints together with descriptions and poetry. It was published shortly after Baxter patented his process and was an advert for this new process and George Baxter's work as well as a desirable book for the drawing room.

The print is after a painting by James Holland.

It depicts a mother, on her knees in the chapel, mourning the loss of her daughter who died of a broken heart.

The book describes the view: - “In the interior of the ‘Lady Chapel, Warwick,’ from a painting by Holland, we perceive how capable the art of picture printing is of representing such subjects with effect. Here minuteness and accuracy of architectural detail are combined with rich, mellow, and harmonious colouring, representing with a truth and a feeling which are instantly acknowledged.
the high embowed roof,
With antique pillars, massy proof,
And storied windows, richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.”

Despite the name of the print, it does not show the Lady Chapel. It is instead the adjoining, much smaller, Dean’s, or Chantry Chapel at The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick.

When visited a few years ago, the fan vaulted ceiling, windows to the left and right, and unusual oak piscina on the right wall were all unchanged. A carpet covered the stone floor and there was damage to the elaborate walls either side of the altar which once housed figures and now only flowers. The stained glass windows visible in Baxter’s print were damaged and replaced by clear glass some time ago before being replaced in November 2001, by a modern window which depicts Mary Magdelene meeting the risen Christ in the garden on the day of the Resurrection. The chest surmounted by helmets, had been replaced by a modern altar, which was dressed in the altar cloth used for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. This altar cloth was presented to the church by the then MP for Warwick, Sir Anthony Eden.

Print size 14.5 x 10 cm.
Printed on tinted paper.