Francis Skeat


Francis Skeat. A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, A Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, and a member of the Art Workers Guild.

He was born in 1909 at St Albans and educated Lyndale School and Whitgift School Croydon.In 1927 he was apprenticed to Harry Scott, Bridgwater, the leading mezzotint engraver of his time.

In 1934 he met Christopher Webb, the St Albans stained glass artist, who encouraged him to work in this medium. He opened his first studio at 7a Market Place and since then he has completed well over 400 windows in Churches and Cathedrals both here and overseas.


The last known design which he carried out was a roundel which was a Rebus on the name Peter Fairweather. The vidimus is for a window of Christ walking on the water; St Peter is shown in the water holding up his hands for help and in the background is a rainbow, the herald of fair weather. Picture: Nathan Fairweather. A scan of the original vidimus by Francis Skeat.
An approach was made to a stained glass artist I had long admired, Paul Quail of Gunthorpe in Norfolk to have the roundel made up and inserted into a panel of cathedral Quarries for use in a screen between my dining room and lounge. At first he refused to consider painting and mounting it. When he was shown the design and knew it had been designed by Skeat he finally agreed and also agreed to design and make a complementary roundel for the other side of a screen.

The Roundel designed by Skeat is a unique piece as Mr Quail said he had never made up anyone else’s work before and would never again.

Photo: Peter Fairweather, with apologies to Paul Quail, a better photograph will follow for this.

I also have another three designs by Francis. One vidimus is for a window of Bishop St Hugh of Lincoln which is in the church at Old Clee Near Grimsby, and one for a window which is in the church at Bradley not very far away from Old Clee. The third is for a window on the south coast. These were sent to me to include in an exhibition a few years ago and I was instructed to keep them to use in the future. Each is now mounted professionally in good mounts and in suitable frames.

 


This site is a work in progress. This page last updated 4th August1999.


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