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Posted: August 31, 2011

Van Gogh windows mystery solved

The mystery of two stained glass windows which “inspired” Vincent van Gogh has finally been solved.

Historians, according to the Mail Online, have been “baffled” for 150 years over the location of two windows, the designs for which van Gogh saw when living in London. He later wrote about them in detail to his sick brother, Theo.

Since 1876, no one knew which windows the post-impressionist painter was referring to, but now Max Donnelly, an art historian, claims he has found them.

The beautiful windows, designed by Cottier and Company, were commissioned as a memorial to the wife and daughter of William Carnegie, the 8th Earl of Northesk. They have been housed in St Andrews Church in Owslebury, Hampshire since around 1784.

Mr Donnelly discovered the windows by accident while researching an article on Cottier and “put two and two together.”

Undoubtedly, St Andrews will soon be overrun with stained glass window enthusiasts, many of whom will have been aware of the van Gogh story and may themselves have stained glass in their own homes.

While it isn’t so easy for everyone to emulate this look, those who suddenly find themselves inspired to update their windows could install pretty window shutters for an entirely different and sophisticated look, worthy of van Gogh’s praise.

They may take further inspiration from Mr Donnelly’s description of the windows, which read: “They are punchy and quirky,” Mr Donnelly told U.TV, “and he’d have liked them for a number of reasons. He was very religious, knew they were for church windows and who the sitters were. At the time, van Gogh was very interested in the journey of life.”

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