Espying Heaven presents the first full-scale and full-colour survey of the achievement of Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907), the outstanding stained-glass designer of his era, and his Studio. From the start, Kempe gathered around him a close-knit team of artists and craftsmen who together developed his vision of a distinctive aesthetic setting for worship based on late medieval art, especially the stained glass of northern Europe. Espying Heaven illustrates the evolution of the 'Kempe style' and allows readers to judge for themselves the extent to which the later firm of C.E. Kempe & Co. (1907- 1934), set up by Kempe himself, succeeded in working within the tradition established by his founding artists.
This book is meant to be a companion to Adrian Barlow's biographical study, Kempe: the Life, Art and Legacy of Charles Eamer Kempe (2018). In its own right, Espying Heaven both documents and celebrates a style of church art and decoration that has had a defining influence upon the Anglican Church worldwide. It highlights key features of Kempe glass, exploring questions of representation, symbolism and technique and suggesting new ways of 'reading' a Kempe window.
Publisher: James Clarke & Co Ltd
Number of pages: 144
Weight: 713 g
Dimensions: 254 x 189 mm
'Perhaps the best response to Kempe's critics, and the best tribute we can pay to him now, is to take our cue from those who knew him and worked for him, and see what it is he was teaching. This is exactly where Espying Heaven is most helpful, allowing us to 'read' the details in his windows as well as to appreciate the artistry involved. Both books are beautifully produced.'
- Jacqueline Banerjee, Associate Editor of The Victorian Web, February 20th, 2019
there is no question about the debt which all lovers of stained glass owe to Adrian Barlow for this volume and [Kempe: The Life, Art and Legacy of Charles Eamer Kempe] Whether the Kempe style appeals to you or not, once you have read this study you will never look casually at a Kempe window again.... Beyong question it is a book to buy and treasure.
Barry A Orford, New Directions, March 2020
clearly wrtten, exhaustively researched, strong on descriptive and biographical detail, generously illustrated, and with a very useful gazetteer locating most of Kempe's oeuvre, at GBP25 it is also exceptionally good value.
Graham Howes,Theology 122 (4)
[Barlow] provides his readers with a deeper understanding of a central figure of british stained glass
Vidimus 132, 2020
Barlow's exceptionally lucid biographical and thematic commentary not only embrace the entire corpus of the Kempe Studio; they may even reactivate, for our own time, the powerful immediacy that such work would have had for many Victorians
Graham Howes, Theology 2020, Vol.123, pp 380-382