Orders of Angels: The Virtues and Principalities by Unknown Artist

This pair of English stained-glass panels of the late 15th century depict two orders of angels from the nine orders popularly represented in medieval art and literature.


Each 18 × 15cm
Art Fund grant:
£2,964 ( Total: £7,800)
Acquired in:

One group of three angels represents the Principalities, identified by the Latin inscription ‘principans turma’, while the other group represents the Virtues, “virtus uranica”. The survival of panels complete with these identifying texts is extremely rare. All six angels are dressed in white robes with golden wings and white haloes. A particularly unusual feature of the Virtues are the urine flasks they carry, a possible symbol of their ability to perform healing miracles. The paintwork is detailed and highly skilled and both panels are in exceptional condition.


Ulverscroft Manor; Shuttlewood-Clarke Foundation

Venue details

Stained Glass Museum South Triforium, Ely Cathedral, ELY Cambridgeshire CB7 4DL 01353 660347 www.stainedglassmuseum.com

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £4.50)

Mon – Sat, 12.30am – 4.30pm (last admission 4pm) Sun, 12pm – 4.30pm (last admission 4pm) Closed Good Friday, 25 –​ 26 Dec