Museums Home BMAGiC Home Search Browse BMAGiC Help About BMAGiC Contact Us

Chalk Drawing - Stained Glass Design - The Birth of Tristram

View main imageView larger image
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

There are no additional images for this object.

Basic Information

Accession Number:1912P39
Collection:Fine Art Prints and Drawings
Date:1861 - 1861

Maker Information

Artist:Arthur Hughes - View biography for Arthur Hughes


The first in a series of thirteen designs for stained glass depicting the story of Tristram and Iseult as told in Malory's 'Morte d'Arthur'.

Walter Dunlop of Bradford commissioned the windows for his music room at Harden Grange, near Bingley, Yorkshire. They were made by Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Company in 1862. Hughes was nominated as a founder member of the firm but resigned almost immediately. This is his only stained glass cartoon. The windows are now in the collection of Bradford City Art Gallery.

The glass panel bears this inscription, from Malory's Morte d'Arthur: 'How the father of Sir Tristram de Lyonesse was slain in battle and how his mother fled into the wild woods: there was Sir Tristram born and there his mother died'. Before Queen Elizabeth of Lyonesse, the sister of King Mark, dies while on her way to join her already defeated husband King Meliodas, she asks for the baby to be christened Tristram, or 'sorrowful birth'.

The Birmingham collection also holds stained glass cartoons by Burne-Jones for the other windows (see 1912P37 and 1912P38).

Presented by Charles Fairfax Murray, 1912.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
School/Style:Arthurian Narrative
Medium:Red chalk and Indian wash with touches of bodycolour over pencil on paper.

Associated People

Associated Places

Associated Organisations


Height:585 mm
Width:545 mm