26.1.11

New Drawing

ECCE QUAM BONUM

Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum: this is the first verse of the 132nd psalm. It is sung liturgically as an antiphon and as a gradual, and it was the personal motto of Girolamo Savonarola.

William Morris and his Kelmscott Press were an especially strong artistic influence here. The background to the word Ecce is filled by one of my signature biological patterns. The neumes that complete the last line are the beginning of the gradual chant.

I drew this on calfskin vellum, the best and most traditional material for manuscripts. The fact that ink does not bleed on vellum makes it possible to achieve a finer line and more precise detail than on paper (even the best paper). This is much more obvious in person than on computer screens; this scanned detail might give some idea.

It measures 3 3/4" x 6" and is for sale for $440.

3 comments:

theodore said...

wonderful. Do you use broad nib calligraphy pens for the text? where do you buy the vellum?

Daniel Mitsui said...

Theodore:

On this particular drawing, I outlined the letters with technical pens and then filled them in. I bought the calfskin from Stern Tanning in Milwaukee.

Fr Matthew Green said...

This is really beautiful.