April’s Panel of the Month
York Minster, Great East Window, 1e, Bishop Skirlaw
The donor of the window, Bishop Walter Skirlaw, is depicted in this panel. He prays before an altar which bears his shield of arms.
Using evidence from a 17th-century drawing of this panel, conservators were able to realign and reinstate the scroll to its original form. After extensive discussion with the East Window Advisory Group, it was decided that that small, out-of scale, and back-to-front head of Skirlaw should be removed. Conservators painted a new head for the Bishop, using the repeated cartoon of the faces of the other archbishops in the row.
Skirlaw was Bishop of Durham from 1388 to 1406, and died before the Great East Window was completed. As he donated the money for the window, he is depicted in a prominent position; in the central panel of the lowest row, beneath Christ the Judge (panel 2e).