ADORATION of the TRINITY
DRAWING by DANIEL MITSUI
danmitsui [at] hotmail [dot] com
This is an ink drawing on a 7 1/2" × 11" piece of calfskin vellum made using dip pens and calligraphers’ inks applied with brushes.
The original was created on private commission. My patron wanted a drawing that combined Trinitarian and Sacred Heart imagery, and that included a great many saints and symbols of personal significance to her and her family.
It is formatted as a verso page in an illuminated manuscript. In the central image, I drew the Holy Trinity in the traditional Gnadenstuhl (Throne of Mercy) arrangement: God the Father as the Ancient of Days holds the Crucified Christ, and the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove flies between Them. This was the most common means of portraying the Holy Trinity in Gothic art.
The Throne of Mercy is surrounded by the four winged creatures representing the Evangelists. Together, these are enclosed in a cordiform halo, whose border is inscribed with the word SANCTUS in various languages: Latin, St. Hildegard’s Lingua Ignota, Slavonic (in Glagolitic letters), Hebrew and Greek.
Below this I drew a company of saints in adoration: Simeon and Anna the prophetess, Jerome with his companions Paula and Fabiola, Joachim and Anna the mother of the Virgin Mary, Elizabeth and Zachary, John the Baptist, Joseph and the Virgin Mary.
In front are a few animals. The lion and the lamb complete the traditional iconography of Ss. Jerome and John the Baptist, and also allude to the words of the prophet Isaiah: The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them. Behind these two is a reclining gazelle.
The blue background is composed of smaller portraits of various saints, including Rose of Lima, Martin de Porres, Faustina, Charles de Foucauld, Paul of the Cross, Gertrude, Ignatius of Loyola, Margaret Mary, Rose Philippine Duchesne, Madeline Sophie Barat, Mateo Crawley-Boevey, Alfonse Ratisbonne, Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Berthe Petit, Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Mariam Jesus Crucified, Padre Pio and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. This was inspired by the detailed monochrome backgrounds in the Brussels Hours, an early 15th century illuminated manuscript.
The border surrounding this central image is decorated with sprigs of oak, rose and hyssop. It contains a Paternoster, a medieval rosary with one large Pater Noster bead and 10 smaller Ave Maria beads, terminating in a tassel. Each of the Ave Maria beads contains a circular picture: these alternate the five Joyful Mysteries and portraits of the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Mercy, the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of the Cape, Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Guadalupe. The border also includes a large emblem of the Sacred Heart, and coats of arms of the Dominican, Jesuit, Franciscan and Carmelite orders.
An open-edition giclée print of this drawing is available for $77. You may use the button below to pay via PayPal, debit card or credit card. Be sure to confirm the shipping address.
Please note that the original drawing was made on calfskin vellum, which is not perfectly white, flat or homogenous. Natural variations in the color and thickness of the calfskin show up in the giclée print, especially in the outer borders. These are not smudges or printing errors, but part of the artwork itself.
See this page for additional ordering instructions and general information. If you want to pay via a check or money order, please e-mail me at danmitsui [at] hotmail [dot] com.