Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Sir John Ninian Comper I



These images are of the Comper glass in Oakham Church.  Sir John Ninian Comper, 1864 - 1960, is one of my favourite architects.  He comes from that great flowering of architectural talent that occurred in the latter years of the nineteenth century.  He was an ecclesiastical architect trained under George Frederick Bodley, that designer of suave, patrician Gothic churches.  And Comper could turn out some pretty suave stuff himself - stained glass, embroidery, woodwork, almost anything a High Anglican church could want.  He did it beautifully.
There are two things about this window I'd like to point out at this moment.  Firstly it is more than likely that the glass was produced from scratch in Comper's own workshop - his 'studio' (he refused to call it an 'office').
Secondly the mixing of Classical and Gothic - this he called 'Unity by Inclusion'.  In Comper the nineteenth century 'Battle of Styles' - between Classical and Gothic - finds its synthesis.

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