After many delays I’m now getting very excited at the publication of my new book on Illumination. I’ve updated a lot of the techniques from my previous British Library book ‘Companion to Calligraphy, Illumination and Heraldry’ (can’t believe how long ago that was published!), and it links very well with my DVD on Illumination. I think that we’re on the home straight now, and could even get copies in time for Christmas! Fingers crossed.
This is the cover (left side is the back, then the spine, and then the right is the front cover):
The little angel on the back is a copy from the Sforza Hours. It’s one of my favourite manuscripts with paintings both by Birago, done when the book was in Italy commissioned originally by Bona Sforza, Duchess of Milan, and then by Horenbout, in the Netherlands, when the stolen images were replaced by this great Dutch artist (the story of the book is really fascinating.)
My favourites are those by Birago as he paints saints and angels with the most fabulous cheek bones and really curly hair. They almost look as if they have put their fingers in electric sockets such are the curls, and despite being angels they don’t seem to have known about frizz-eaze!
My angel is a copy of one painted by Birago and is of a chorister, but I popped a quill into his left hand to make him into a scribe (or an illuminator) ready to write or lay gesso into a book.