Author Topic: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott  (Read 234 times)

Offline K-2

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Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« on: October 21, 2019, 11:12:06 PM »
This was my first really complicated piece of work after I had a terrible concussion late last winter.  I wouldn't post if it were a private commission, but I made it late this summer as a gift for a close friend who helped me through the brain injury, and working on the piece helped me regain a lot of my small motor functionality in preparation for my teaching gig this fall.  However, I also spilled a bottle of sumi ink, stabbing myself with a G nib and giving myself a tiny tattoo in the process, so maybe not all of my small motor functionality.  And I almost totally ruined a rug, mostly saved with the excellent Clorox2 stain removal advice @jeanwilson offered.  @gracefulgiftedhands asked about the piece in the "hilarious ink spill" thread that recounts that adventure.  So here it is.  Sorry the lighting isn't terrific; I snapped the photo with my phone when it was pinned up on the drying rack.

The text is Martin Luther's hymn, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" (A mighty fortress is our God, ca.1529) - the banners contain an excerpt from Psalm 46 (in Latin), which the text paraphrases.  The script is a late-15th or early-16th century blackletter - the exemplar is from a very late 15thC German bible.  The decorative style is from the same period; the capitals derive from a 15th-16th century model book.  And the musical notation is 16th-century.

And I still have the tiny tattoo.

Offline TeresaS

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Re: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2019, 11:32:09 PM »
It is beautiful!
Teresa

Offline gracefulgiftedhands

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Re: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 12:10:30 AM »
Wow! This is really such a painstaking process and you made it look very good :) Sorry to hear that you suffered a concussion, but glad to know you're on the mend!

If you don't mind me asking, what other scripts do you write? @K-2

Blessings,
Rachel

Offline cejohnson

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Re: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2019, 11:28:45 AM »
I am sorry to hear of your concussion and subsequent surgery, but hope you are healing well.

Your illumination is beautiful. I have recently taken an interest in Illuminated Letters and Illuminated Manuscripts. Some works I have been reviewing for examples and inspiration are 'The Book of Hours', but as you demonstrate here many Bibles have beautiful works.

You did a lovely job on this and it appears you have a tiny tattoo to remind you that all is well  ;)

Cat
"The expert at anything was once a beginner." - Helen Hayes

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2019, 11:33:12 AM »
What an impressive piece!!  Thank you for sharing.

I hope you've come to accept and possibly even like your new tattoo.  I suspect your students will enjoy the story if you choose to tell it.

Offline K-2

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Re: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2019, 06:54:44 PM »
Thank you for your kind thoughts, everyone.

@gracefulgiftedhands - I specialize in medieval paleography & codicology and the ways that the various medieval scripts transmit the literary tradition.  I'm writing a textbook on paleography at the moment, introducing students to the three main forms of medieval scripts: Carolingian, Textura Quadrata, and Batarde.  And I've incorporated calligraphy worksheets into the text, because my theory is that you read them much better if you can write them.  I'll be giving a paper on it in Durham (UK) this summer!

As far as practical lettering goes: I've done calligraphy work in Insular Majuscule, Carolingian Minuscule, Proto-gothic, a number of variants of Textura Quadrata (cum and sine pedibus), English Secretary, and English & French Batarde.  I've also done work in humanist scripts and Italic.  I do a credible job at copperplate, but pointed pen isn't my primary expertise, and the slight hand tremor I still have since my concussion isn't making my flourishes any more beautiful.

@cejohnson - thank you so much for your good wishes on my head injury! (which my doctor still insists on calling a "traumatic brain injury" probably to keep me from playing hockey).  I recall there's a fantastic thread on Illuminated letters somewhere on the forum... with some how-to videos, maybe.  What I've got here doesn't have any gold leaf, so we wouldn't tend to call it "illuminated" (due to the gold or silver leaf reflecting the light) - merely "decorated"; if the decorations have people in them, they're "historiated"; if they have flowers, they're "floriated"!  I love my friend very dearly, but I don't put gold leaf on a work unless someone is paying me.

@Bianca M - Someday my spouse is going to stop treating my tattoo as if it might be a deer tick that needs to be slapped at and picked off.  When that happens, I might come to accept it as a part of me.  And yes - it would make a great teaching story, but it is not on a body-part that my students need to see.  :o

--yours sincerely, K

Offline jrvalverde

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Re: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 08:57:04 AM »
I must say that it is amazing. The detail and the illumination are wonderful. Can't comment on the accuracy of the style (I am happy with reading anything, but don't care about dating), but to me it all looks great.

Hope you get fully recovered for your course.

Offline gracefulgiftedhands

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Re: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2019, 04:41:57 AM »
@K-2 To be honest, whatever you just mentioned is all SO NEW to me! I'm going to have some fun reading up about it :) And good luck on your presenting your paper! It sounds like such an achievement.