When challenged by one of my patrons to create a new image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I determined to reconnect this devotion to its early expressions in the visions of St. Gertrude, and to create an image with the vigor and precision of late medieval art. The original drawing is available for sale for $2430. It can be ordered here.
The 1467 Sanctus Salvator engraving by the Master E.S. is the most obvious artistic infulence on the figure of Christ in my drawing. For the Sacred Heart itself, I started with the shape of a realistic heart, and reduced that to a stylized emblem. I placed this within a frame shaped as an ogee trefoil. The Crown of Thorns fills the entire space beteween the edge of the heart and the frame.
The drawing’s coloration is based somewhat on Italian white vine illumination: everything is either white or black, or colored in very dark shades of blue, green, red or purple. The ornament reveals my growing interest in Chinese, Persian and Mamluk art.
The animals that appear in the halo include sea horses, embryonic dogfish in their tendrilous egg cases, platypodes, chameleons, lyrebirds and a pangolin. In the animals chosen here, I see symbols of universality (e.g. chameleons are creatures that contain within themselves all colors; lyebirds are creatures that contain within themselves all sounds); they represent all of creation worshipping its God.
The Latin inscription that runs around the perimeter of the drawing is the versicle and response that end the Litany of the Sacred Heart: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our heart like unto Thine.
An open-edition giclée print of this drawing is also available. It costs $88 and can be ordered here.