Edward Coley Burne-Jones, - The Virgin Mary: A Cartoon for Stained Glass at Ashton-under-Lyne
William Morris executed three windows for Albion Congregational Church at Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, in the 1890s. The chancel east window was the earliest (1893) and was made from existing cartoons, but for the two windows in the north and south transepts (1895-6) all the figures were specially designed by Burne-Jones. The present cartoon is for the fourth figure in the upper tier of the north transept window. According to Burne-Jones's account book (Fitzwilliam Museum), he designed the window in November 1892 for £300. It is not clear why there was a three-year delay before it was installed.
The cartoon is a beautiful example of Burne-Jones's later stained-glass style, based on tall, ethereal figures, with drapery falling in long, angular folds. Other cartoons for the window, or related drawings, are in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. For full details, see A.C. Sewter, The Stained Glass of William Morris and his Circle, Yale, vol. II, 1975, p. 11.