|Latest project - acrylic on canvas. Mega good times.|
Hello, I'm Cheryn (also known as Merwenna)! I do a lot of calligraphy and illumination-related art, especially for the Society for Creative Anachronism to be used as awards - most of what you see in my gallery are award "scrolls".
Several of my pieces are done with historically accurate ground pigments and animal skin parchment, though I most frequently use gouache on pergamenata. I also enjoy combining medieval aesthetics with modern subjects just for kicks! I've dipped my toe into bookbinding and panel painting, I enjoy painting unexpected accessory items like parasols and wooden chests every now and again, and I am currently learning more about paleography and manuscript conservation.
I'm from the US but am currently living in Budapest - also trying (and failing) to learn Hungarian! I do take commissions, so don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Source: Frontispiece of the “Heironymus Corvina” (1488; Florence, Italy), consisting of St. Jerome’s commentaries on the epistles of St. Paul.
This book was commissioned by Matthias Corvina, King of Hungary from 1458-1490, for his royal library in the city of Buda. Like most of the books he collected (now referred to as “corvinas”), this one was commissioned from the great illuminators of Florence. This particular book was illuminated in 1488 by Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni, two brothers at the head of a very prominent atelier in renaissance Italy that produced multiple books for the Hungarian royal library.
Pergamenata (regular weight, natural)
23 karat gold leaf
fish glue diluted with water
Louvre acrylics (deep red background)
Enere Sennelier Or 03 Gold Ink
I chose this piece to work from for several reasons - for one thing, I wanted to make a scroll for my apprentice-sister based on one of the manuscripts from King Matthias’s library, as it is a current research topic of mine, and she and I even got to see one of the original manuscripts in person (though not this particular one), thanks to a very friendly library curator!
This piece was perfect to do for aforementioned apprenti-seester (aka Letia, LetiaPants, Letia Thistle-butt, etc), because of the lovely sprays of thistles on the top, bottom, and sides. It also had a lot of lovely floral and fruit elements of the type we like to collectively squee over.
I kept most of the elements the same without changing them because they were so fitting on their own, but I did change the color of the belts buckled around the central wreathes to be green instead of pink/red. Firstly, Letia is my apprenti-seester and we have green belts. Secondly, the idea of painting red stripes on green belts was farrr too amusing - Letia’s green apprentice belt actually does have red stripes on it (in the manner of a karate belt), due to the fact that she did indeed Smack Our Laurel In The Face. The stripes are a warning for other wayward apprentices not to get their belt colors confused and accidentally think they are squires. Eep.
Latin Text & Translation:
Why Latin? Because Latin just looks fancier! And it’s period! And soooo totally renaissance Italy! This text was translated by Yusuf bin Abdullah (Thomas Bensing), and can be rendered into English as:
“We heard that you like to bear arms
so we augmented your arms
so that when you bear your arms
they can be augmented
...because we are silly, silly people.
St. Jerome; “Heironymus Covina” / Commentarii in epistolas S. Pauli; National Szechenyi Library, Budapest, Hungary.