‘The Seasons window,’ Mandeville Hall, Toorak

Dublin Core


‘The Seasons window,’ Mandeville Hall, Toorak


autumn, country, cupid, David Relph Drape, Diana, Ferguson & Urie, foliage, frieze, harvest, Joseph Clarke, landscape, nature, nostalgia, Romanesque, Saint George, seasons, spring, St George, stained glass, stairwell, summer, Toorak, VIC, Victoria, window, winter


This staircase ‘Seasons’ window at Mandeville Hall in Toorak was designed by David Relph Drape and created by Ferguson & Urie for the original owner, millionaire Joseph Clarke, in 1877. The circular medallions in the centre of the window depict scenes of the four different seasons, beginning with winter. The idyllic country scenes that fill the main medallions are of typically English views, and doubtless served, as Beverley Sherry suggests, as “persuasive [and ‘nostalgic’] reminders of ‘home’” (Australia’s Historic Stained Glass, Sydney, Murray Child, 1991, p.39). The figures to the left and right of the medallions also represent the four seasons, and feature banners identifying which season they represent. Clarke’s initials appear on the central lower border flanked by curved floral motifs that were probably adapted from classical Roman frieze work. There is also a star-studded cross of St George at each of the corners. In this way, classical Rome, medievalism, and British imperialism appear as natural offshoots of the other. This decorative and largely opaque window is intricately patterned with entwined foliage, and dominated by figural seasonal vignettes. It is crowned by a semi-circular top light (another concession to the architectural ‘Romanesque’ or Norman style) containing a reclining Diana, and Cupid holding a bow.


Brown, Ray


6 December 2010


© Ray Brown