26 June 2017

JONAH

JONAH

I drew this using a black technical pen and with red and black calligraphers’ ink applied with a metal-tipped dip pen and brushes. There is a gold leaf detail in the bottom corner. The Bristol board is 5 1/2" square.

I have a long fascination with the Native American art of the Pacific Northwest, admiring its artists’ use of cleanly defined forms, horror vacui and pure, limited colors. I have been reluctant to work in this style only because it is still a surviving art form among the peoples who first developed it.

Nonetheless, its visual appeal is so strong that I have made a few experiments in it, hoping to understand its peculiar qualities better and introduce them to my other drawings. I have noticed curious affinities between this art and medieval art, most especially that of Northumbro-Irish manuscript illumination, which uses thick black lines for emphasis, a similar selection of colors, and a bulging calligraphic penstroke. These affinities I have emphasized in this drawing of the Prophet Jonah.

The calligraphed text (which resembles both Insular Majusule and Square Glagolitic scripts) is from the Gospel of St. Matthew: So shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. I consider this passage especially important, as here Jesus Christ Himself establishes the principle of interpreting the events of the Old Testament as symbolic prefigurements.

The original drawing is available for sale. See this web page for more information.

***

www.danielmitsui.com