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The West Window Of The Chapel, New College, Oxford. After Pictures Painted By Sir Joshua Reynolds, And Executed On Glass By Mr. Jervaise. Engraved By S.G. and J.G. Facius.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Published by the Proprietor John Boydell, Engraver, in Cheapside,, London.: MDCCLXXXV.

Physical Description

[2] f., [7], [7] pl.; 681 mm.

General Note

The two leaves of text and most plates are pasted in. The 'Description' lists Plates I-VII and Prints First to Seventh. In the Royal Academy's copy they are arranged in this order: Print 6th (frontispiece), Plates I, III, IV, VI, VII, II, V; Prints 1st - 5th, 7th.


[T.p.] - Description Of A Set Of Prints ... / Description D'Un Assemblage D'Estampes ... [listing pl. I-VII and 'Seven other Prints'] - [14 Plates].

Responsibility Note

Plate I is signed as painted by Joshua Reynolds, painted on glass by Mr Jervaise, and engraved by Richard Earlom. Plates II-VII and Prints 1st-7th are all signed as painted by Joshua Reynolds, drawn by Josiah Boydell and engraved by G.S. and J.G. Facius - apart from Plates VI, VII, which are unsigned by draughtsman or engraver.

Each plate and 'print' carries the publisher's imprint of John Boydell.

Dedications from the publisher, John Boydell, to the Revd. John Oglander, Warden, and to the Society of New College are carried by Plates I and III and by all seven Prints.


S. Bruntjen, John Boydell, 1719-1804: a study of publishing and patronage (1985). T. Clayton, The English print, 1688-1802 (1997); D. Alexander and R. Godfrey, Painters and engraving: the reproductive print from Hogarth to Wilkie [exhibition catalogue] (1980). M. Wynne, 'Irish stained and painted glass in the eighteenth century', in Crown in glory: a celebration of craftsmanship, ed. P. Moore (1982).

Summary Note

The seven Plates all carry the date Septr. 1st 1785. The seven 'Prints' of the allegoric figures carry the earlier dates of Nov. 1st 1781 (Prints 3-5) or June 1st 1782 (Prints 1, 2, 6, 7).

Stained glass of the fourteenth century still survives in the chapel of New College, Oxford. In the eighteenth century W. Price and W. Peckitt painted glass for the chapel; and in 1778-85 Thomas Jervais made the painted-glass west window of the ante-chapel, following paintings of the Adoration of the Shepherds and of allegoric figures of virtues and graces, made by Sir Joshua Reynolds especially for this commission.

The fourteen unnumbered plates are divided in the 'Description' into two groups of seven, as follows: I. 'A General View of the entire Window'; II. 'Shepherds' (incorporating striking portraits of Reynolds and Jervais posed as shepherds); III. 'The Nativity'; IV. an 'Angel, contemplating the Cross'; V. 'Shepherds and Shepherdesses'; VI. and VII. 'Sky'; 'Seven other Prints ... First Print, Temperance ... Second Print, Fortitude ... Third Print, Faith ... Fourth Print, Charity ... Fifth Print, Hope ... Sixth Print, Justice ... Seventh Print, Prudence'.

The window remains in situ, though its condition has deteriorated. Reynolds's painting of the Adoration of the Shepherds - which was displayed at the Royal Academy in 1779 and bought by the Duke of Rutland for 1500 guineas, the largest sum ever paid to Reynolds for a painting - was destroyed in 1816.


Purchased for RA Library in 1871 (see 'Library Report for the Year 1871', RA Annual Report, Appendix No. 7, p. 25).

Binding Note

19th-century half green morocco, marbled-papered boards; spine lettered 'Sir J. Reynold Oxford Window'.

Name as Subject


Nativity - Christian art and symbolism - Iconography - 18th century
Stained glass (visual works) - Glass painting and staining - Windows - Church decoration and ornament - Chapels - Churches - Great Britain - Oxford - New College - 18th century


Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA, source artist
Johann Gottlieb Facius, engraver
Georg Siegmund Facius, engraver
John Boydell, publisher
Thomas Jervais, source artist
John Oglander, dedicatee
Josiah Boydell, draughtsman
Richard Earlom, engraver
New College (University of Oxford), dedicatee