Stained Glass Design with Two Coats of Arms (recto); Study of a Helm (verso) (Recto)

Hans Jacob Plepp

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

When a local governor commissioned a stained-glass window for his church, he chose Hans Jacob Plepp to create a design for it. Plepp drew this drawing to communicate his ideas to the glass painter, who would produce the final version. As so many areas have been left empty, this drawing seems to be a preliminary study. The words Fides (faith) and Spes (hope), inscribed in black spaces in the lower left and right corners, suggest that Plepp intended to place personifications of these virtues in these areas. On the more finished left side of the drawing, the horse and scrolling leafy branches burst with vitality, though seen in sculptural rather than fleshy terms. The supple line work and the bold application of wash indicating shadows carry through the impression of stone rather than living tissue. On the right, in contrast, Plepp merely outlined the symmetrical elements and summarily filled them in. The small notations in the coat of arms suggest colors for the glass artist.


  • Title: Stained Glass Design with Two Coats of Arms (recto); Study of a Helm (verso) (Recto)
  • Creator: Hans Jacob Plepp
  • Date Created: about 1590–1595
  • Location Created: Switzerland
  • Physical Dimensions: 42.4 × 29.5 cm (16 11/16 × 11 5/8 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and black and brown ink and gray wash over black chalk
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 91.GG.69
  • Culture: Swiss
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Hans Jacob Plepp (Swiss, about 1557 - about 1597)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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