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Showing posts from 2013

Christ in Majesty Revisited

Here is another sketch for my upcoming project. This Christ in Majesty will sit in the midst of the 24 elders. I'm glad I worked on small scale copy of an illuminated manuscript before this so I could learn some of the Romanesque style's conventions and apply them appropriately to my current piece. I hesitate to say that mine is a more "naturalistic" or "realistic" representation because those words tend to imply the downplaying of the supernatural and emphasis on the natural world.  I am interested in reviving Western religious iconography (related to but distinct from Byzantine iconography) in the Roman Catholic tradition, and therefore I am very interested in a symbolic representation of supernatural realities. Anyway...

Twenty-Four Elders

Here is a sneak preview of a current work-in-process. I'm working out the drawing for a painting of the adoration of the twenty-four elders before God's throne in the book of Revelation.  For reference, I actually sewed a full-length (18 ft.) toga, draped it around my husband, and snapped some photos.  Here are two of my sketches:

Saint Jerome

Today is the memorial of Saint Jerome, 340-420 A.D.  Both a scholarly world-traveler and a desert ascetic, he is perhaps best known for his work on the Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate. It began as a project to create a translation of the four Gospels using the best Greek texts. Already fluent in both Greek and Latin, he later expended great effort to learn spoken and written Hebrew from a Jewish convert to Christianity, and consulted with rabbis to ensure the accuracy of his translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. From the Catholic Encyclopedia: "To sum up, the Biblical knowledge of St. Jerome makes him rank first among ancient exegetes. In the first place, he was very careful as to the sources of his information. He required of the exegete a very extensive knowledge of sacred and profane history, and also of the linguistics and geography of Palestine. He never either categorically acknowledged or rejected the deuterocanonical books as part of the Canon of Scriptu

Silos Apocalypse

I don't typically think of Spain when I think about illuminated manuscripts. That is until I was recently researching manuscripts that specifically illustrate scenes from the book of Revelation (for my most recent work). The Silos Apocalypse was created around 1100 A.D. It's actually one of several illustrated copies of Saint Beatus of Liebana's Commentary on the Apocalypse . Beatus was a contemporary of Alcuin, a monk, theologian, and geographer. Flip through the pages yourself at the British Library website: Silos Apocalypse While you're browsing, you can listen to some Mozarabic Chant, the liturgical music of the Iberian region which predates the Visigoths. If you're wondering what the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos are up to nowadays, you might recall their 90's Billboard chart topping album, "Chant."

Christ in Majesty

This is my latest work, "Christ in Majesty" based on the illumination of the same title from the Westminster Psalter. The original artwork was created using pen, brush, and ink, and embellished with metal leaf. I'm selling it as a high quality photo print on real Kodak photo paper. Christ in Majesty Photo Print by IonaScribe Print photos online at zazzle

From London to the Holy Land

I just love maps.  There are some maps being featured right now on the British Museum's Medieval Manuscripts Blog . Here's one from the 1250's of a pilgrimage travel route. All the towns are about one day's travel apart. Royal MS 14 C VII Each town is distilled to its essential features, and each road is straight. It is more of a topological map than a topographical map, if you get my mathematical pun.  It's a really telling example of how medieval people organized, prioritized, and represented information artistically, whether geography or scripture was the subject. If you'd like to zoom in on it and view other pages, you can find the digitized manuscript online at the British Museum website:

Lindisfarne Gospels

The BBC recently did a piece on the Lindisfarne Gospels. You can listen to it here: BBC iPlayer You can also flip through the pages at The British Museum Digitised Manuscript collection here:    The Chi-Rho monogram from the Gospel of Matthew in the Lindisfarne Gospels, England, approximately 700A.D.

Romanesque English Manuscripts

Let's take a look at a few illuminated manuscripts made in England during the Romanesque period: Christ in majesty, spreading his hands in blessing. Winchester Bible, 12th Century The Doubt of St. Thomas. St. Albans Psalter, 12th Century Christ in Majesty from the Westminster Psalter, around 1200 A.D.

St. George Google Doodle

It looks like St. George's Day gets the Google treatment: Here's an article from The Independent: Google Doodle flies the flag with tribute to St George's Day 2013 Though the lettering is not, as the article claims, derived from the Bayeux Tapestry . Those are called historiated initials , and they are a feature of illuminated manuscripts.  You can see the tapestry for yourself: An image that has been floating around the internet lately that really was created in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry would be this brilliant piece of Star Wars fan art: link to original image: So, as I was saying, Happy St. George's Day; and don't forget, a little bit of medieval cultural literacy goes a long way towards a proper understanding of internet humor.

Museums and Libraries Online

If you're a busy mom like me, and only have time for research while your children are sleeping, there are great resources out there for exploring the great art museums and libraries of the world. Here are two I've been playing with this week: Digital Public Library of America Google Art Project Next week I'll post some of the images I've compiled from these sources. For now, check out the Sobieski Book of Hours (1420-1425)

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Well, that was a pretty ominous last post!  Here we are almost a year later and I haven't written a single blog entry. I went into labor a few hours after Easter dinner and had a brand new baby boy by morning of the next day! Then I was hospitalized with a serious infection for 2 weeks. After many antibiotics, and many prayers (including the anointing of the sick from our priest), I got to come home and my dear husband helped me work my way back up to caring for our two little ones. So, I'm not dead, just insanely busy and grateful for every moment of it! I'm especially grateful to the ladies who write the blog  Like Mother, Like Daughter for sharing their insights about life which helped me think through the priorities and logistics of caring for my growing family this year. I thought I'd kick off my return to blogging by jumping into their blog link-up. Their weekly theme is called {pretty, happy, funny, real}, which is a great way to categorize what I've been