GREAT BATTLE in HEAVEN
DRAWING by DANIEL MITSUI
danmitsui [at] hotmail [dot] com
This is an ink drawing on a slightly larger than 8" × 10" piece of paper. I drew it using both dip pens and technical pens; calligraphers’ inks mixed with gum arabic; and palladium and 23k gold leaf adhered with gum ammoniac. The handmade cotton paper has three deckle edges and one torn edge; it was made at Twinrocker Papers.
The original was created on private commission.
It depicts a scene from the Apocalypse, in the style of a Japanese woodblock print:
And there was made a great battle in heaven, Michael and his Angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his Angels: and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast forth, the old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, which seduceth the whole world: and he was cast into the earth, and his Angels were thrown down with him.
The composition of this drawing I based on an occidental work of art: the 11th picture in Albrecht Dürer’s famous series of 15 woodcuts illustrating the Apocalypse, first published in 1498. The arrangement of the angels closely matches that in Dürer’s print, but the figures have been reinterpreted as Japanese warriors. Their appearance is based on prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, especially a series showing heroes in battle with monstrous animals.
The haloes of the angels are gilt, and the blades of their weapons have palladium leaf. In some medieval works of art (such as the Cloisters Apocalypse), the seven-headed dragon’s seven diadems are depicted as green haloes; here I have rendered them with transparent layers of greenish-yellow ink, suggesting a bioluminescent glow.
An open-edition giclée print of this drawing is available for $75. 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 handmade paper, which is not perfectly white, flat or homogenous. Natural variations in the color and thickness of the paper 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.