An alphabet in poetic form
I’m sprucing up the art from the Impresario series, and will start linking to posts, so the whole story can be enjoyed in sequence, once I’ve got each finished.
Some of the scenes depicted project to the episode ahead, as part twenty-two below, the moment of confontation between Pierre and Regalus, which occurs in the text during part twenty-three. The original lacked modeling (most telling around Pierre’s nose). Regalus had an out-sized forehead, and not quite the right expression. She has resolved to place herself in God’s hands and to do what prayer has told her is His will. The need, then, was to get that resolution: the serenity of one for whom sacrifice is honor.
Part three (scene with timbered houses) was a tough one to stage. All these things of the middle ages have to be imagined, with only a certain amount of (mostly) ecclesi-astical art as guideline. I pictured a small version of the standard house, with lofts and common rooms for the town’s poor. The ruling classes, the knight and cardinal at the right, are too tall for these, but the peasants at the left can fit them. I hadn’t quite worked the proportion and positioning of the impresario, and Regalus in the first had an excessively long right leg. The cloaked figure at the left needed his feet corrected. (Again, this illustration projects the impresario’s arrival “shouldering mystery on a brancard” in part four.)
The portrait of Boniface (part twenty-one) ran, in the creating, into a snag. I’d ordered a cheap tube of black paint, because I typically put a dark ground on the canvas and bring form out of the “shadows”. Something in the nature of this paint made it come from the tube in liquid form, and it took ages to dry. Worse, every color added sank into a muddy greyness. Much later, when the surface was entirely dry, I was a able to go back and add character to the face.