04 July 2010

[art] An Heraldic Chimera (Great Authentic Heraldic Art!)

Now, latterly, I've been sharing some heraldic artwork I've been doing for my colleagues and cher cousins in the SCA. And one may rightly wonder to what end we are emulating the "real world" (or, as we somewhat tirelessly say, "Mundania").

I've been busy crawling the web page of The XXVII Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences, held in 2006 at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. This would have been a wonderful thing to have seen first-hand (I don't doubt that some of my more prosperous acquaintances were fortunate enough to have been afforded the chance (we are, actually, that in love with Heraldry)) but thankfully, they took pictures and shared them with the world.

The feeling I got looking at them was not too unlike my reviewing the experiences at the recent Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium (KHWSS 2010) that we held locally - except, of course, it was kicked up to a Who'. Nuvva. Level.

Here's an example of the displays on at the Heraldic Artists Workshop, which I would have travelled in steerage just for the chance to see:

But the requirement for fantastic beasties is a verity, and for the true example of this I give you the "UniDragLyon", credited to the artist Marco Foppoli:

Combining parts of animals to create other animals is a long and beloved tradition in heraldic art; the Griffin (heraldically sometimes spelt Gryphon), as in "Merv", is a creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion (or lyon). In this case, the head and foreparts of a unicorn sprout the wings and tail of a dragon and the hindquarters of a lion (or, again, lyon).. Thus, Uni ... Drag ... Lyon, unidraglyon.

The painting, most likely done with gouache (opaque watercolors) exhibits a sensitivity to detail and masterful control of materials of a true master-of-the-form. If the artist didn't get an award for this delightful beast, well, he ought to have!

This is the acme to which all of us who are interested in heraldic art must aspire to. Because, even if we miss this mark, we'll still create amazingly excellent pieces along the way.

(Nota Bene: The creators retain all rights to the above work. Permission to use as illustration has been requested some time ago but so far no reply has been recieved. Apologies to the creators for my impatience, but this was too good to resist sharing any longer. Please feel free to contact me at samuel.klein@gmail.com if you wish the images removed, but I'm hoping you will allow them to stay)

For the curious, here's the requisite link:
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