OUR LADY of WALSINGHAM
This broadside of Our Lady of Walsingham measures 7" × 10". It is based on one of my ink drawings on calfskin vellum. A scan of my drawing, slightly enlarged and modified, was used to create the plate for letterpress printing.
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.
Surviving drawings of the destroyed statue show Mary seated on a throne, holding a lily stalk in her hand. The throne has seven rings around its two pillars, representing the sacraments. Under her foot is a toadstone, a traditional symbol of evil (which I depicted as literally bufiform). 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:
I syng of a myden that is makeles.
King of alle kynges to here Sone che ches.
He cam also stylle there His moder was
As dew in Aprylle, that fallyt on the gras.
He cam also stylle to His moderes bowr
As dew in Aprille, that fallyt on the flour.
He cam also stylle ther His moder lay
As dew in Aprille, that fallyt on the spray.
Moder & mayden was never non but che -
Wel may swych a lady Godes moder be.
I formatted the picture like a recto book leaf. The design of the border was heavily influenced by the Sherborne Missal, a manuscript illuminated in 14th century England. Stylized vines twist through it, supporting geometric ornaments and small sections of millefleur and seashell patterns. To 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, which is about a mile from Walsingham. In medieval times, it was common for pilgrims to remove their shoes there to walk the final mile on bare feet. Thus it became known as the Slipper Chapel.
St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Margaret of Antioch (whose statues flanked the statue of Blessed Virgin in the medieval shrine) and St. Lawrence are drawn in the corners of the border.
Approximately 200 broadsides were made in 2013 and issued in an open edition. They were printed on a Heidelberg windmill press at Rohner Letterpress (Chicago, IL). Graphic Chemical & Ink (Villa Park, IL) supplied a traditional printing ink made from linseed oil & furnace black. The paper was handmade from cotton rag pulp at Twinrocker Handmade Paper (Brookston, IN). It is a laid paper, which means that it has a slight ribbed texture, from the wires in the papermaking mould.
The print costs $53. You may use the button below to pay via PayPal, debit card or credit card. Be sure to confirm the shipping address. 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.
I can color this broadside by hand, using pigment-based calligraphers’ inks applied with brushes. I use 23k gold leaf and palladium leaf for the illuminated details. Please note that the brilliance of the leaf does not show well in the scanned image. Each hand-colored print is unique. The one you receive will not be identical to the one shown here.
The hand-colored print with illuminated details costs $453. You may use the button below to pay via PayPal, debit card or credit card. Be sure to confirm the shipping address. 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.
ABOUT MILLEFLEUR PRESS
PAPER & INK