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Chaucer's 'Legend of Good Women' - Stained Glass Panel - Penelope

Chaucer's 'Legend of Good Women' - Stained Glass Panel - Penelope, 1863

Stained glass panel.
740mm x 459mm
[top right] Penelope
Bequest of J R Holliday, 1927.

Accession Number:



Stained glass roundel of a woman, head wrapped in a turban, holding a threading needle. She is seen in 3/4 view, facing right.


Exhibition History

1984 Whitworth Art Gallery


A C Sewter. The Stained Glass of William Morris and His Circle. Yale University Press, New Haven: 1975. Vol. I: figs. 156-160.
Nicholas Taylor and Anthony Symondoon. Burges and Morris at Bingley: A Discovery. Architectural Review: 1979. Vol. 144, pp. 34-38.

Research Information:

The partnership of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones began at Oxford where they shared a taste for the romantic, religious and legendary. Although influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, they applied their love of exoticism to interior design as well as Fine Art. In 1861 they formed the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co based on equality of members, high standards of craftsmanship and respect for natural forms. They later reformed into Morris & Co and produced tapestry, wallpaper, furniture and stained glass, of which Burne-Jones became the exclusive designer.

Their firm dominated English stained glass manufacturing in the second half of the 19th century, reaching a peak during the 1870s and 1880s. This is the head of Penelope of Ithaca, wife of Odysseus, Chaucer's heroine from 'The Legend of Good Women'.

Another version of the Head of Penelope, 1864 is in the V&A, London (773-1864).