3.1.11

New Drawing

CHI-RHO

See here for detailed images.

This drawing was made in imitation of the great illuminated Chi-Rho pages in 6-9th century Gospel manuscripts from Britain and Ireland. In these, the beginning of the 18th verse of the first chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel (Christi autem generatio sic erat: cum esset desponsata mater ejus Maria Joseph, antequam convenirent inventa est in utero habens de Spiritu Sancto) is given an elaborate artistic treatment. The word Christi, represented by the Greek abbreviation XPI, takes up most of the page. The style is characterized by elaborate decorative knotwork, lacertine animals, interlocking spirals and rune-like lettering.

I based my own work mostly on the two most famous early Insular manuscripts, the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. I consider these (especially the Lindisfarne Gospels) to be pinnacle examples of the illustrator's art, and I have been trying for at least fifteen years to create something similar. I have also been studying some of the lesser-known manuscripts from this era lately.

My drawing combines the Chi-Rho monogram with images of Christ and the four Evangelical Beasts. It was drawn with colored inks and gold leaf on Bristol board, and measures 8" wide, 10" tall. The original is for sale for $2400. Giclee prints are available for $80 each.

8 comments:

theodore said...

Lovely.

Ben Hatke said...

Really beautiful, Daniel. Color me super impressed!

Kevin said...

Stunning! I'd say you've done more than "create something similar."
Have you ever been commissioned to do works for Sacramentaries?
Are there any books published with detailed photos of the Book of Kells or the Lindisfarne Gospels? I would love to study them as well.

Herreid said...

Wow. That's about all I can say.

Daniel Mitsui said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

Kevin: I have not as yet been commissioned to illustrate published liturgical books, but I certainly would, given the opportunity.

Both manuscripts I mentioned have a lot of books about them; Janet Backhouse's book on the Lindisfarne Gospels is one that I recommend because it has an uncropped, color image of each of the major carpet and inital pages. For the other, I use a Dover edition called "The Book of Kells: Selected Plates in Full Color" for reference.

Kevin said...

Thanks Daniel!

Fr Matthew Green said...

I sure wish that the publishers of the altar missals would commission you to illustrate them... The illustrations in the latest editions are nowhere near as beautiful as your work (in my opinion). Your work is exquisite. I'm just waiting for an excuse to buy myself one of your prints...

Jason Tako said...

Incredible!!!