Peel Cottage Window, 1996

Kensington, London


The second Peel Cottage Window (1996) is composed of a field of heraldic fleur-de-lys, recreated from the ornament of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, interrupted by irregular strips of parchment-coloured glass through which can be seen the brick and trees of the street behind. The window developed out of Brian’s designs for the Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit (Heiliggeistkirche) Heidelberg, commissioned in 1997 but unexecuted.

"I designed this window as a collage that was provoked by the idea of musical sampling. Years ago, Malcolm McLaren explained to me what sampling was and how it worked. I appropriated that idea and quite simply ‘lifted’ the fleur-de-lys ornament from Saint Chapelle. The only thing that tells you that it is not original but is in fact a Modern work is the way that it is floated on a parchment field of colour, a shameless appropriation and collage. There is one little moment where I fake a medieval crack very consciously, with spider leads holding it together. The fleur-de-lys remains one of the most enigmatic and majestic graphic ciphers that I know. I have incorporated the fleur-de-lys into many of my projects over many decades – it’s always cropping up, and I’m always loving it." – Brian, 2020