Neue Synagoge, Heidelberg

New Synagogue, Häusserstraße, Heidelberg, Germany


For the New Synagogue in Heidelberg, Brian designed the ten stained glass windows and mosaic decoration of the Torah shrine, in a building by architect Alfred Jacoby. Jacoby and Clarke had first collaborated in 1988 on the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue in Darmstadt.

"The Heidelberg Synagogue led Clarke to experiment with new glass making techniques. Clarke talks of the 'intellectual ping-pong game' which he plays: on one side is his painting, on the other his architectural art. Watercolour is a medium which Clarke uses relatively rarely (he used it when  working up his designs for the Future Systems Hamburg scheme). Its special qualities might seem peripheral to the matter of stained glass design. For the Heidelberg commission - ten windows, each six metres high - Clarke actually dispensed with conventional leading. He had the idea of 'pools' of watercolour piercing areas of solid blue colour (the effect provided enormous difficulties for Clarke's manufacturer, Mayers of Munich). Clarke also wished to incorporate panels of Hebrew texts into the glass, a technique familiar to the Victorians but unusual in modern glass." Kenneth Powell in the 1994 essay Architectural Artist.

"Die eindrucksvollen blauen Glasfenster im Gebetssaal der Synagoge stammen von dem englischen Künstler Brian Clarke, der mit seiner Glasmalerei internationale Bekanntheit erlangte. Vier der zehn Fenster sind mit hebräischen Inschriften aus dem Buch Mose verziert." – Jüdische Allgemeine