Enchanted Forest

Page 7 – Once Upon A Time (the A&I’s perspective)

By Danny Garrett, Hollywood, California

And so the story begins. Much illumination on the page, starting with the illuminated initial, the “O” in “Once upon a time…” The term itself is derived from the Latin initialis, or standing at the beginning. When, as in this case, the initial is nested in an ornate space, and with images inside them, they are known as historiated initials. This is exactly what we have here with butterflies, plants – including a grinning countenance, and a custom border.

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

In addition to illuminated initials, we generally have two other orders of illumination: borders, also known as marginalia, and miniature illustrations. Again the term is a Latin derivative, from minium, which means “red lead.” This referred to the fact that many of the earliest illuminations were miniated or delineated by being outlined in red. However, that was not always the case and it certainly is not the case here. Moreover, if you will notice, the overall bordering of the page is half red – thought this would more properly fall under the definition of bordering. The miniatures that Letitia created are free-floating images dependent only on their proximity to ‘mated’ words. While not unique to Princess April Morning-Glory, this kind of illustration is extremely rare and Letitia has really innovated this type of miniature illumination.

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest

Fairy King

Fairy King

Fairy Queen

Fairy Queen

These then are the principal elements in illuminated manuscripts – initials, bordering and specific miniatures. As the story progresses, we will see a three-way dance between them.

 

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Danny Garrett

About Danny Garrett

Danny Garrett, Digital Restoration Artist for "Princess April Morning-Glory" Danny Garrett is best known for his contributions to music ephemera of Austin, Texas, especially in its heady early days in the 1970s. His pen & ink poster portraiture advertising the latest shows were a must-have addition to any blues-lover who saw such greats as Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, and so many more at the legendary Antones nightclub.As computers came of age, Danny adapted and began working for digital game companies, later transitioning to teaching both traditional and digital art. While holding a tenured position at Auckland University of Technology in the Graphic Arts Dept., Danny developed digital techniques to restore Letitia’s artwork to its full glory, and render the previously unprintable pages, printable. Second only to Letitia, we would not finally be reading copies of Princess April Morning-Glory had Danny not graciously volunteered to take this project on.

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