Charles Eamer Kempe

Jennifer Billington

Charles Eamer Kempe was a prolific stained glass artist, born in Sussex, where there are many examples of his work.  He was  inspired by William Morris, as well as studies he made of C15th English and North European glass. His work is characterised by the use of silver stain, muted colours and  intricate detail. He is buried at Ovingdean, and he has a memorial in Chichester Cathedral. His ‘signature’, pre 1895 was usually in the tracery at the top of the window showing 3 wheatsheaves mounted on a red crest with yellow mount. Post 1895,  it was a single wheatsheaf in the bottom left corner.

“His later work can be repetitive and mannered, but does not justify A C Benson’s contemptuous comment; “window after window  with the same simpering faces … wrapped up in carpets and staggering under the weight of jewelled chalices” (*Beevers, D and others: ‘Sussex Churches and Chapels’ p198   )

This page was added on 11/03/2018.

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