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December 23, 2011

St George’s Cathedral – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

Our Cape Town. Live it. Love it. group member Stewart Harris paid a visit to St. George's Cathedral recently. He managed to get some of the iconic and captivating stained glass windows on camera. 

Stained glass window at St George\'s Cathedral by Christopher Whall and Karl Parsons, c1908.

Christopher Whall was a stained glass artist who worked closely with William Morris. His work is in several English churches and in the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was also a notable teacher ("the design of the window must relate to the architecture of the frame") and one of his pupils was Karl Parsons, with whom he worked on the windows at St George's Cathedral.

Parsons may be the chief author of this work, judging by his other work shown in the Wikipedia entry. He was soon to start his own company. One of his stained glass designs was used for a stamp in Britain in 1992.

Adds Stewart, “I've only seen these windows from afar till I took these telephoto shots and mounted them to Flickr. Some details I now notice: the snow falls in spots; the snow piles up on the roof of the stable (and the artist takes the pile up into the border of the illustration); a Mediaeval knight stands in armour; an elderly king kneels; beyond him is a kneeling black king; the decorations on his cloak pick up the gently falling spots theme. The colours are overwhelming – so intense and so powerfully contrasted against each other and yet they are approximately 100 years old.

St George\'s Cathedral, chancel 2011
St George\'s Cathedral, looking back down nave from chancel 2011
St George\'s Cathedral, apse stained glass and rood
St George\'s Cathedral, North transept

Though the chancel and side chapel of St George's Cathedral had been completed by 1910 or so, it wasn't till 1930s that the North transept and then the nave were completed. The architect was FK Kendall (following Baker's earlier sketches), and he won the Cape Institute's bronze medal for the work.

All images © Stewart Harris

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