OUR LADY of WALSINGHAM
DRAWING by DANIEL MITSUI
danmitsui [at] hotmail [dot] com
This is an ink drawing on an 8" x 10" piece of calfskin vellum. I drew it using fine-tipped black pens.
The original 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 loosely 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:
I syng of a myden that is makeles.
I formatted the drawing like a recto leaf from an illuminated manuscript. 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; 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.
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.
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.
A signed, 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 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.
all works (c) Daniel Mitsui