New Drawing

The Resurrection. 5"x7", black ink on paper. The original is for sale for $400.

Christ steps from the open tomb with his right foot, raising his hand in blessing and carrying a triumphal banner. Angels bearing torches and censers surround him, while the soldiers of the guard sleep. Flanking this image are pictures of the Descent into Limbo and of Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene.

In the corners are four animals associated with the Resurrection in mediaeval bestiaries: a lion (which raises his cubs from the dead after three days); a pelican (which feeds it chicks with blood from a self-inflicted wound); a phoenix (which rises from its own ashes); and a whale vomiting the prophet Jonah (As Jonah was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.).

The Latin text is from a Paschal sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

Lux illuxit Dominica,
Lux insignis, lux unica,
Lux lucis et laetitiae,
Lux immortalis gloriae.

Diem mundi conditio.
Commendat ab initio,
Quam Christi resurrectio.
Ditavit privilegio.

The Lord's own day hath poured its rays,
That glorious light, the day of days;
The light of light and joy, the day
Whose glory passeth not away.

This day the world's foundations laid
Distinguish, since the world was made;
On which Christ's rising from the dead
Hath new peculiar glory shed.

The drawing is the basis for a greeting card I just issued, appropriate for Easter, and for religious occasions in general. The card is 5"x7", blank inside, printed on thick beige cardstock with sepia colored ink. Each is individually signed on the back. I am selling them for $5 each, with discounts available for large orders or retailers. See here for more information.


Letterpress printing was used for this project. Because the ink is impressed into the paper from a copper plate, the image on the card has a textured surface and greater visual definition. Letterpress printing, which requires considerable craftsmanship, nearly disappeared in the early 20th century, but has been revived by artisan presses in recent decades.


Mary MacArthur said...

Is that the Digby Wrangham translation of the sequence?

Daniel Mitsui said...


Herreid said...

Very cool. The difference between letterpress printing and conventional is much more apparent when you see the prints in person.

My father-in-law works next door to this fellow:


who was a major influence on the revival of fine art printing. One of his colleagues ended up opening a letterpress print shop the next door down:


So I've been lucky enough to see a number of very fine examples of modern letterpress and lithographic printing. It's a fascinating process.