Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Master of the Laurel, Italian Style

Back in August, one of my Artemisian scribal heroes, HE Mistress Heloys de Bec, asked me if I would be willing to do a Laurel scroll for Sir Marcello da Donnici in an Italian style. Which of course, was a resounding yes.

I wanted this piece to scream "Late 15th Century Florence" without being a copy of one exact manuscript. I collected inspiration pieces which I shuffled and analyzed throughout the layout/sketching process. I found that this stretched my creative muscles a little more than usual, trying to aim for a specific style rather than a copy.

My inspiration pieces included:

Philostratus Flavius: Opera

Philostratus Flavius: Opera

Biblia dos Jeronimos

Philostratus Flavius: Opera and Bibilia do Jeronimos are are both often attributed to the talented Florentine master, Attavante Degli Attavanti, but the Philostratus Flavius: Opera is now agreed to have been Boccardino il Vecchio.

Another piece that inspired me was this, found online and attributed to Attavante Degli Attavanti, but sadly I cannot find the source of this page (and believe me, I've scoured my sources to try to find it!). It is said that Attavante did work for Matthias Corvinus of Hungary as he was building his magnificent library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana. The aforementioned Philostratus Flavius: Opera is from this library. Note: The book, Bibliotheca Corviniana indicates that this was indeed Attavante's work, and the manuscript is in the Vattican library. When I'm less swamped, I'll come back and edit this post to include that reference.

Typical motifs include a ton of acanthus, medallions featuring symbolism, jewels and pearls, and vibrant jewel tones. I chose to ignore the common theme of putti and/or cherubs.

The final piece included Sir Marcello's registered device, devices from his associated households, and elements of devices from those who have had a strong influence in his life, and of course several laurel wreaths.

Photos were taken after Her Majesty, Esther, had signed the scroll but before His Majesty, Ibrahim, had a chance to do so. Rest assured, this happened before it was awarded.

This piece is on Arches hot press using Winsor and Newton gouache, Finetec metallic pigments, and Pilot Ishirozuki ink. The calligraphy is a humanist hand, often found in Renaissance Italy.

If there is significant interest, I can put together an album of "in progress" pictures, showing the different stages of development this piece went though, and what order I worked in.