Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Daniel Mitsui's Our Lady of Walsingham

The work of Daniel Mitsui will be well known to many of our readers already. I was interested to see his recent illustration of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Here is Daniel's description of his work:

This is an ink drawing on an 8" x 10" piece of calfskin vellum. It was created on private commission.

The shrine of the Blessed Virgin at Walsingham was one of the major pilgrimage destinations in medieval England. Built to commemorate a series of visions experienced by Richeldis de Faverches in the 11th century, it housed a miracle-working statue. The shrine was looted and desecrated under Henry VIII, and the statue was removed to Chelsea and burned.

My drawing is based on a statue in the restored Chapel of St. Catherine, about a mile from the ruins at Walsingham. Mary is seated on a throne, and holds a lily stalk in her hand. The Christ Child sits on her lap and holds a book. The text below the central image is a line from a 15th century English poem.

The design of the border was heavily influenced by the Sherborne Missal, a manuscript illuminated in 14th century England. On the right is a Gothic monstrance housing an image of the Man of Sorrows. In the bas-de-page I drew pilgrims coming to and going from the Chapel of St. Catherine; in medieval times, it was common for pilgrims to remove their shoes there to walk the final mile to Walsingham on bare feet. Thus it became known as the Slipper Chapel.

Prints of the work can be ordered for $75.00 USD plus shipping.

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