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Title: Emblematic Illumination; or Forms, Colours and Emblems - Suitable for Illuminating Texts of Holy Scripture in Large - Style, in Oils or Water-colours.
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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    Emblematic Illumination;
    Forms, Colours, and Emblems


    BY F. M. R.


    _London_: DAY AND SON, _Lithographers to the Queen_,

    _Price 5s. 6d._


The Editor of the following pages has no desire to offer them in
competition with the numerous and useful Handbooks on Illumination
already published. All those that the writer has met with--some eight
or ten--have been almost exclusively directed to the study of Missal
Painting and Illuminating on the most _minute_ scale. The exceptions
to this rule are a few occasional remarks, merely hinting at the
larger and more popular style.

The principal omission, however, which this little book is designed
to supply, is the _emblematic_ branch of the subject. Amateurs most
generally confine themselves to illuminating texts of Holy Scripture
on a large scale, to assist in which numerous printed outlines
are now published. But, from complete ignorance of the rules of
ecclesiastical colouring, the amateur not only becomes hopelessly
bewildered as to what colour to select for particular words, but, in
falling back upon his own taste for guidance, commits errors which
destroy the emblematic beauty of his work. The significance of colour
is greater than is generally supposed, and will be found a subject of
much interest.

Such sacred symbols as could easily be introduced into illuminated
scrolls have been described, in the hope that, by their assistance,
a taste for strictly appropriate ornamentation may be more largely
cultivated, to the exclusion of those unmeaning and tawdry
decorations which offend the eye.

Instead of furnishing copies of antique capitals, of which so many
excellent collections now abound, it has been thought more useful to
supply the reader with some specimens of emblematic letters (which
may suggest other similar designs), suitable for particular texts,
several of which are also subjoined.

The instructions for the mechanical part of the work are given on
the authority of experience, while the significations of colours
and emblems have been carefully collected from larger and standard

    F. M. R.

_A Selected List of Requisite Materials._

                                              _s.   d._
    1 Sheet of Bristol Board, or Vellum-Paper   1    0
    1 Long Wooden (flat) Ruler                  0    6
    1 6-inch Bone ditto                         0    6
    3 Pencils, F, HB, and BB                    0    6
    1 Cake of Lamp-Black (moist)                1    0
      German Blue in Powder                     0    6
      "Carmine"  ditto                          0    6
      Vermilion  ditto                          0    6
    ½ Cake of Emerald Green (moist)             0    6
      Bessemer's Gold Paint, or Winsor
        and Newton's Liquid Gold                1    0
      Gum Arabic                                0    4
    2 Red Sable Brushes, 6_d._ and 8_d._        1    2
    1 Best Camel's-Hair (for Gold)              0    3
    3 Saucers (2 large and 1 small)             0    3
      Indian-Rubber                             0    1
      Spirits of Turpentine                     0    3
    1 Large Sheet of Millboard[A]               0    8
    1 Sheet of _Transparent_ Tracing-Paper      0    3
      White Tissue-Paper                        0    3
                                               10    0

    [A] This, divided _longwise_, serves as temporary Portfolio and

       *       *       *       *       *

_Emblematic Scrolls_;
  _Or, Texts in Outline, containing Capitals, &c., similar to those
  in our Coloured Plates_.



    No.  1. "_Fear not, I will help thee._"
         2. "_Look unto_ ME, _and be ye saved_."
         3. "MY _Peace I give unto you_."
         4. "_The_ LORD _will provide_."
    No.  5. "_Be clothed with humility._"
         9. _In Cœlo Quies._ (In Heaven is Rest.)
        13. "_Bring forth, therefore, Fruits meet
              for Repentance._"
    No. 12. "_Little Children, Love one another._" "_Speak Gently._"
              "_Be Patient._" 1_s. the set_.


    No. 10. "_I am come that ye might have life._"


    No.  6. "HE _shall give_ HIS _Angels charge over_ THEE."
    No.  7. "_Unto you is born a Saviour, which is_ CHRIST _the_ LORD."
    No. 14. "CHRIST _is risen! Alleluia._"


    No.  8. "_Glory to_ GOD _in the Highest, on Earth Peace, Good-will
              towards men_."
    No. 11. "_Be thou faithful unto Death, and I will give thee a
             Crown of Life._"

  NOTE.--These Scrolls cannot be sent through the Post unless 1_s._
    8_d._ be added for Postage and Packing in Millboard.



[Sidenote: Eccles. ix. 10.]

  [Illustration: Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with
  thy might.]

To begin with the purely mechanical part of our work, let us
enumerate the materials required for drawing the outlines:--

 [Sidenote: Pencils.] 3 Pencils--F, HB, and BB. 2_d._ each.[1]

   [1] N.B. The prices of materials vary so much, that only a general
   idea can be given of them, as some guide to beginners.

 [Sidenote: Indian-rubber.] A piece of Indian-rubber.
 [Sidenote: Brushes.] Red sable brushes; the sizes sold at 4_d._,
   6_d._, and 8_d._ each: also 2 small sizes of the _best_ Camel's
   hair, 2_d._ each, necessary for Bessemer's gold paint.
 [Sidenote: Cardboards.] Large sized London or Bristol board, 6_d._
   per sheet, and upwards. This is a glazed (hot-pressed) cardboard.
 "Mounting-board" is rather cheaper, costing 6_d._ and upwards for a
   large sheet, but, not having so fine a surface, will not so easily
   bear rubbing out. It takes colour well.
 Pale-tinted cardboard, grey, brown, &c., is sold in large sheets, at
   about 8_d._ per sheet.
 [Sidenote: Vellum-paper.] Vellum-paper, a good imitation of vellum,
   is sold at 1_s._ per sheet.
 [Sidenote: Tissue and Tracing-paper.] Some sheets of white tissue
   and transparent tracing-paper; the latter for preserving copies in
 [Sidenote: Rulers.] 2 Rulers (flat); one of wood, about two feet
   long, another of bone, 6 inches; 6_d._ each (ivory, 2_s._.). A
   T-ruler is very useful; 1_s._ and upwards.
 [Sidenote: Portfolio.] A portfolio, 2 feet by 10 inches, to hold the
   scrolls, would be useful in preserving them from injury; cost, at
   the drawing-shops, 3_s._ 6_d._
 A list of the necessary paints will be given in the directions for
   colouring, page 9.

[Sidenote: Alphabets (capitals).] The beginner should endeavour to
obtain one or two sheets of alphabets (capitals) in black and white,
of the full size required, say about two inches high.

[Sidenote: Lower-case (small letters).] An alphabet of "lower-case,"
or small letters, is subjoined, which will be found to harmonise well
with almost any capitals, and is in proportion to those of two or two
and a half inches high.

[Sidenote: Enlarging or reducing Capitals.] But although the beginner
will do well to copy or trace letters of the exact size required,
he cannot too soon commence the practice of enlarging or reducing
the copy, otherwise many very beautiful initial letters will be lost
to him. The great art in copying on a different scale is to observe
carefully the proportions of the original: keep every branch of the
letter _equal_ in thickness, if the original be so: or if copying,
for example, a capital A, and one side of the arch be twice the
width of the other, let the copy preserve the same proportion. In
the letter B, observe if the two bows be of equal size; the lower is
generally the larger of the two. In an equal-sided letter, like M or
O, observe what ornamental parts are opposite to each other.

[Sidenote: Enlarging or reducing Small Letters.] In drawing (or
copying) small letters, be careful to make the stems of _equal_ width
or thickness, and those which pass above or below the line of equal
and proportionate height or length. The tops of t's should always be
lower than those of the other long letters, as in writing, and the
dots of the i's in a line with the tops of the t's.

[Sidenote: Books of Alphabets, &c.] There is a small book of mediæval
alphabets, published by Masters, price 2_s._, suited to beginners.
_The Book of Ornamental Alphabets, Ancient and Mediæval, collected
and engraved by F. Delamotte_ (published by E. & F. N. Spon, 16
Bucklersbury, London), is valuable to those who can enlarge while
copying; it contains upwards of forty alphabets, beginning with
those of the 8th century, also several initial letters, and a page
of monograms, crosses, &c.--most of the alphabets are one inch in
height--price 4_s._ The best and most recent collection of letters
that I have met with is _The Handbook of Alphabets, Initials, and
Monograms_, engraved by William Gibbs, published by Houlston &
Wright, 65 Paternoster Row, London, price 5_s._

[Sidenote: Value and use of Capitals.] [Sidenote: Dedication.] In
arranging for the outline of a text, first select the necessary
capitals. The initial (or first letter) must be the handsomest of
all, as being the introduction and dedication of the work to The
Blessed Trinity. Capitals are generally employed throughout the
Sacred Names; the first letter may be the largest, the following of
the same height as the small letters.

[Sidenote: Emphasis.] They are also prefixed to such words as we wish
especially to emphasize, as in the following examples:--

    _Be clothed with Humility._
    _My times are in Thy Hand._
    _Watch and Pray._

The emphasis of _colour_ will be given in the proper place (pp. 14,

[Sidenote: Distinction of Style, Date, and Country.] It is advisable,
if possible, to select the capitals from the same alphabet; but if
all that you require for the text do not suit your taste, there is no
absolute objection to the introduction of others, subject to certain
conditions. On no account mix the letters of different countries;
the Italian, for instance, with the Saxon; they would be utterly
incongruous. Also, as a writer amusingly observes, "Avoid letting
your work appear as though it had been begun in the tenth century,
and only completed in the sixteenth, or, as I have once or twice
seen, _vice versâ_."[2]

    [2] _What Illuminating should be, and How it may be Practised_,
    by M. Digby Wyatt, B.A. &c., Illustrated by W. R. Tymms. Price
    1_s._ 6_d._

[Sidenote: Legibility essential.] But although rules of style,
date, and country, are important, they should never, in my opinion,
be carried out so rigidly as to make our work either fantastic or
illegible--two very serious blemishes. Indeed, if we sacrifice to
strict chronological order all possibility of reading the letters
without an interpreter, our labour, as far as others are concerned,
is worse than useless, tending to bring the whole art into disrepute.

[Sidenote: Important Distinction.] Capitals with simple curves should
not be mixed with those in which the curves become pointed, the
styles being distinct.

[Sidenote: Best Styles.] The styles which prevailed from the 11th
to the 14th century are considered the best, the later ones in
particular. After that date the art of illuminating gradually decayed.

[Sidenote: First Sketch on Tissue-paper.] In proceeding to draw the
outline of a text, it is a most useful practice to sketch it out
roughly on tissue-paper, in order to ascertain what space it will
occupy. This plan will prevent much disappointment (and rubbing out,
which should be carefully avoided), as, even after long practice,
we are often mistaken in the supposed length of a printed sentence:
nothing can look worse than one-half of the letters spread widely
over the scroll, and the rest crowded together, to make up for the
room wasted at the beginning.

[Sidenote: Rules for Drawing the Outline.] Having decided on the size
of the initial[3] and capital letters, allow a sufficient space above
and below them, and cut out the strip of cardboard by a ruled line,
measured accurately at each end, so that the width throughout shall
be equal.[4] The spaces left above and below the _capitals_ may be
equal (if for one line only), but rather less below than otherwise;
1½ to 2 inches[5] is a fair proportion. In ruling for two lines of
letters, be careful to leave sufficient room between them, or the y's
and g's of the upper line may interfere with the d's and h's of the
lower, as also with the capitals.

    [3] The initial letter is often _much_ larger than the other

    [4] Various forms of scroll will be alluded to in speaking of
    "Borders," omitted here for the sake of clearness.

    [5] These and similar measurements are given, as being in
    proportion to the small alphabet and capitals subjoined.

Now, with the HB, rule two lines for the small letters, as _lightly_
as possible, consistently with clearness, as these are afterwards to
be rubbed out. There is no occasion to draw an upper line for the
capitals, as they should be traced in: unless the hand be a very
practised one, this method is necessary, to avoid much disfigurement
of the cardboard from corrections.

[Sidenote: To trace Capitals.] To trace the capitals: cut out a piece
of tracing-paper, an inch or two larger every way than the letter to
be copied; rule a line on which to rest the letter, as it will be
wanted afterwards; place this over the pattern (with the ruled line
close beneath it), and trace every line steadily with the HB. This
done, remove the tracing-paper, turn it over (right side downwards),
and blacken all the lines with the BB pencil. Now place the letter,
right side _upwards_, on the space you intend it to occupy on the
cardboard, letting the ruled line correspond exactly with the lower
line ruled on the scroll: this will ensure the capital being quite
upright in its proper position. Hold the tracing-paper down firmly
with the left hand, _never shifting it until the whole letter be
completed_, and with the F pencil trace (_i.e._ go over) every line
of the copy, pressing firmly, but not so hard as to cut through the
thin paper. It may then be withdrawn, and, if correctly done, the
letter will be found legibly traced on the cardboard. It is right
to finish the outline firmly (but not too dark) with the HB, as
clearness is of great importance when you are colouring.

Some initial letters, such as O, T, &c. admit of the insertion of
a small photograph of a sacred subject, several of which can now
be procured, even at one penny each. Among others may be selected
the "Ecce Homo," "The Saviour bearing the Cross," "Blessing little
Children," &c.

[Sidenote: Small Letters.] So little practice is required to draw the
small letters correctly, that it is scarcely worth while to attempt
tracing them; indeed the difficulty of keeping a large piece of
tissue-paper steady interferes greatly with the chances of success.
In drawing these letters (with the HB), be careful to make all the
stems of equal thickness, and let them be in due proportion, of
height and width, to the accompanying capitals. [Sidenote: Distances
between Letters and Words.] The letters should be placed as near to
each other as is consistent with clearness, and about half an inch
may be left between each word: let these distances be kept uniform
throughout the work. Study to draw the letters perfectly straight and
upright, to ensure which is the use of the ivory ruler, thus:--

[Sidenote: Test of Correct Outline.] Having sketched in all the small
letters as well as possible, turn the strip of cardboard with its
_end_ towards you, and I fear you will be shocked to see how many
of the letters are out of the perpendicular. If, however, they have
not been too heavily drawn, they may now be readily corrected by the
little ruler, keeping the scroll still in the same position. The
advantage of this method is, that a line which, to an unpractised
eye, will appear quite perpendicular, when turned into a horizontal
position instantly betrays its deviations. It may be objected that
the use of a ruler encourages idle and careless habits, but this is
only the case when it is employed to draw by, and not, as it should
be, only for correction.

[Sidenote: Stops and Ornaments.] The ornamental stop--or perhaps
a Greek cross--and any other intended additions, should be traced
now. When the hand and eye are a little practised, sprays of trefoil
and similar decorations will look more natural and easy, if drawn
freshly upon the scroll. Triplets of leaves and berries have a
graceful and suitable effect, and these, in illuminations, may be
drawn conventionally, rather than naturally. A clever writer[6] says,
"Rigidly avoid contrasting natural with conventional foliage. Adopt
which you like, for by either beautiful effects may be produced;
but mix them, and the charm of both is gone. Natural foliage may
be successfully combined with any other varieties of conventional
ornament, excepting those based upon natural foliage."

    [6] M. Digby Wyatt, B.A.

The Vine Passion-flower, Ivy, or any trefoils, have a beautiful
effect, if gracefully twined about, or drooping from the initial

[Sidenote: Photographs in Initial Letters, &c.] The introduction
of small photographs (of sacred subjects) either into the initial
letter, or placed before it, with a simple border in gold, edged
with blue, has often a beautiful significance and effect. Care
should, however, be taken in the selection, that the picture and the
sacred words subjoined have a real connexion with each other. For
example, the Magdalene at the foot of the cross is not suitable in
illustration of the text, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into
Thy kingdom." A square picture may have the lines of the border
prolonged so as to cross at the corners and finish about half an inch
from the principal line. An arch may be surmounted with a cross.

[Sidenote: Borders.] _Borders._

[Sidenote: Plain.] To those who prefer concentrating all possible
beauty of decoration on the sacred words of a text the most approved
border will be that resembling "a riband of blue," which is most
simple in execution. Rule a line rather less than a quarter of
an inch from the edge of the cardboard, and fill it in carefully
and steadily with colour. The ruled line is indispensable to the
preservation of a neat and uniform edge. If blue already predominate
in the scroll, red can be substituted in the border; gold, without
a coloured outline on each side, always looks indistinct. Lines of
colour may be drawn within the edge, using a reed pen (or large soft
quill), and the long ruler.

[Sidenote: Ornamental.] A triple trefoil in each corner, coloured,
with gold edge, has a good effect, if the letters are very plain:
these should, however, be _in addition_ to a plain coloured edge
or border.--Ornamental borders should consist of suitable sprays
wound round a thick bar, which gives an appearance of solidity,
the grace of curved lines being much enhanced by contrast with the
perpendicular or horizontal.

[Sidenote: Reverse Side of Scrolls.] If the scroll is meant to
represent a riband curled at the ends, or folded, the reverse side
may be ornamented with gold stars, or foliage. Plainly shaded blue,
with perhaps a narrow gold edge, will, however, be found most
suitable; if prominent colours are gaudily used for the reverse side
of the riband, it will appear to come forward, leaving the text in
the background.

Specimens of differently shaped scrolls are affixed to each of our

[Sidenote: Firmness essential.] In conclusion, it cannot be too
strictly enforced, that every line, straight or curved, should be
_firmly_ drawn, and the edges, in painting, be kept perfectly neat
and clear. Whether from unsteadiness in outline, or from a shaking
hand when painting (especially in gold), nine-tenths of the amateur
illuminations produced have a quivering ruggedness about them which
could well be dispensed with. In ornamental finish, also, this
unsteadiness is almost universal, so that the points of small leaves,
or _fleurs-de-lys_, instead of being sharply defined, most frequently
degenerate into unsightly loops, similar to the following example.

  [Illustration: As it should be.]

  [Illustration: As it generally is.]



[Sidenote: Materials for Colouring.] The materials required are as

[Sidenote: Blue.] 1. BLUE (intense). German (or French) blue, in
powder, at 6_d._ per ounce. It is at first rather troublesome to use,
requiring to be mixed with plenty of gum-water, to prevent rubbing.

Smalt, 5_s._; or French blue, 3_s._[7] These are prepared as moist
colours in covered pans.

    [7] Half-cakes of all the colours are sold equally good.

The German blue, however, is the most economical, and very useful.

[Sidenote: Red.] 2. RED. What is called "Carmine" powder, at 1_s._
per oz., will be found very useful, but the genuine colour is much
more expensive. Vermilion, ditto, 6_d._ per oz. Both of these are

[Sidenote: Purple.] 3. PURPLE (violet). For the colour ready
prepared, "violet carmine," moist cake, 2_s._ To compose the colour,
crimson lake, a little to be mixed with cobalt blue. This is very
rarely used.

[Sidenote: White.] 4. WHITE. Chinese white, in a tin tube, 1_s._ This
is little used except on tinted cardboard.

[Sidenote: Green.] 5. GREEN (emerald). Moist colour, 1_s._

[Sidenote: Black.] 6. BLACK (lamp). Ditto.

[Sidenote: Grey.] 7. GREY. For bright grey, smalt mixed with Chinese
white; for a duller tint add a very little brown madder. This is a
colour seldom used in illuminating large scrolls, and only suitable
for grounding.

[Sidenote: Neutral Tint.] A cake of _neutral tint_ (to mix with
cobalt) for shading white flowers, or a white dove.

[Sidenote: Gold.] [Sidenote: Bessemer's Gold Paint.] GOLD. For
beginners, "Bessemer's Gold Paint."[8] This includes two bottles, one
of gold powder, the other of oil; price 1_s._ 6_d._ The powder always
outlasts the oil, but the latter can be bought separately, 6_d._ per
bottle. Very little of the powder and oil must be mixed at a time,
as it dries up very quickly, requiring the occasional addition of a
drop of the oil. If too much oil is added, the gold will look thin
and poor, leaving greasy edges on the cardboard. It is a good plan to
employ two little saucers, placing the powder in one and oil in the

    [8] This gold will discolour in time, but with care in keeping the
    brush and saucer quite clean, it will retain its brightness at
    least a year.

[Sidenote: Spirits of Turpentine.] A small quantity of _spirits of
turpentine_ is required, with which the brush and saucer must be
washed perfectly clean, immediately after use; wipe them dry with
a piece of rag or soft paper. If this rule be neglected, the gold
hardens, and brush and saucer become useless.

[Sidenote: Shell Gold.] Shell gold (with which water only is
employed) is not suitable for large works.

[Sidenote: Liquid Gold.] Chinese metallic ink, or liquid gold 1_s._
per bottle, is an excellent preparation. When thoroughly mixed by
shaking, pour a little into a small saucer, stirring it up each time
the brush is filled. At first, great care is requisite to prevent
blots. It works most easily when nearly dry, by the addition of a
little water in the brush.

[Sidenote: Water-gold Size.] [Sidenote: Gold-leaf.] Leaf-gold is
considered the most durable, is beautifully bright, and repays the
trouble of its application. A "book" containing 25 leaves costs 1_s._
6_d._, or 100 leaves for 4_s. Water-gold size_ seems to be the
simplest preparation, 1_s._ 6_d._ per box. This size is used like a
moist colour, with water. Paint the surface to be gilded, smoothly
and rather thickly, carefully preserving the edges clear and sharp.
Let it stand until, on touching the size lightly with the finger, it
is found to be sticky, _but not moist_, so as to smear. While the
size is drying, take a piece of common writing-paper (not too highly
glazed), rub it over slightly and briskly with a piece of white wax
(in two or three strokes), lay it on a leaf of gold which will adhere
to the paper.[9] With a large, _sharp_ pair of scissors, cut both
paper and gold-leaf into a piece rather larger than the surface to
be gilded, and the size being just sticky, lay the gold down upon
it, keeping the paper still in its place; press it _very gently_ and
smoothly all over with a ball of cotton-wool, as if you were pasting
it down: breathe on the paper, then remove it, and let the gold
remain undisturbed about half an hour, or longer. Then, with a large,
dry brush, in light, sharp touches, brush away the superfluous gold,
and the work is completed.

    [9] Another method is to pass the piece of writing-paper sharply
    and briskly over your hair, two or three times, which, charging it
    slightly with electricity, will make the paper adhesive, so that
    the gold-leaf will be taken up by it.

There are other methods of applying gold-leaf, but this is given as
the simplest. A gilder's tip (a flat brush) is generally used, but
requires skill in handling, which remark applies also to the gilder's
palette and knife.

Any corners to which the gold has not adhered may be retouched with
the size, and gilded as before. Be careful not to touch the gold with
the fingers, or it will be quite spoilt. If the leaf curls up upon
the paper, it can be blown down with a gentle breath.

[Sidenote: Raised Gold.] There is an "Illuminating Raising
Preparation" at 1_s._ 6_d._ per bottle, which may be found useful,
and may be painted over with Bessemer's, or water-gold; it would,
however, add to the difficulty of applying gold-leaf, unless the hand
were previously well practised.

[Sidenote: Silver.] SILVER is sold in shells; a water-colour, but it
quickly tarnishes.

[Sidenote: Aluminium.] Aluminium is sold in shells (a water-colour),
and is a good substitute for silver; although not equal in beauty, it
is said not to tarnish. Being a recent discovery, it has not yet had
the test of long experience. Aluminium is used in touches upon white
flowers, or the emblem of the dove, previously softly shaded with
neutral tint. These shell metals cost about 6_d._ and upwards.

[Sidenote: Saucers.] _Saucers_, 2 inches in diameter, should be
procured for the red and blue powder colours. A smaller saucer, 1
inch in diameter, for Bessemer's gold, will prevent much waste, and
another for Chinese white would be useful. Price 1_d._ each, or less.

[Sidenote: Compound Red.] In proceeding to illuminate the scroll,
place a little vermilion-powder, and quite twice as much carmine, in
a saucer, with a drop or two of thick gum-water; mix it well with a
brush, adding water as required.[10] Stir the paint up now and then
during use, as the vermilion has a tendency to sink.

    [10] One or two drops of ammonia improves the carmine.

[Sidenote: German Blue.] German blue, as already mentioned, must be
mixed with a good proportion of gum-water, stirred well into the
powder: it is best to mix a little at a time, say half a teaspoonful
of the powder, as it hardens, and becomes more troublesome to use.
This blue, prepared as a _moist_ colour, would be most valuable for
illuminating, if it did not lose its opacity.

[Sidenote: Succession of Colours.] Paint all the black in the scroll
first, the red next, and, if German blue, blue last, as, with every
precaution, it is apt to rub--in which case, remove the blemishes
with crumbs of bread. If the text should consist of two lines, finish
the upper one first (all but the gold), to prevent injury to the
lower one by rubbing. Fresh water should be provided for each colour,
in order to preserve its brightness.

Bessemer's gold paint may be applied last of all, but leaf-gold
should be laid on before _any_ colour.

The following remarks on the subject of ancient illuminations are
valuable, having been made by Mr. Ruskin at a meeting of the Society
of Antiquaries, held on the 6th of June, 1861. He observed that
the best designs were contrived so as to give the greatest effect
to arrangements of pure and beautiful colour. He explained the
excellence of the best specimens as arising from simplicity of design
and colour--_the latter being left wholly unclouded by shade_. He
did not deny the high excellence of the naturalistic treatments in
the illuminations of the 15th and 16th centuries and later--but he
viewed illumination in this condition as fallen into decay, and by
the introduction of _shading_ was effected the final destruction of
what had constituted its essential principles and glory in the 13th

[Sidenote: Frames.] Scrolls can be very suitably mounted in frames
of plain oak--"Oxford frames"--which cost 3_s._ 6_d._ each, glass
included, the size being about 22 by 6 or 7 inches.

[Sidenote: Directions for Packing.] For transmission by railway, &c.
cardboard scrolls must be protected either by a thin piece of wood
of the same size, or by two pieces of stout millboard, well wrapped
round with paper. Even a dozen large scrolls packed together have
been ruined for want of these precautions.

_Illuminating in Oil-Colours on Zinc for Churches._

[Sidenote: Isa. lx. 13.]

  [Illustration: To beautify the place of My Sanctuary.]

[Sidenote: Materials.] The following materials are required:--

 [Sidenote: Zinc.] Zinc, in strips, average price 10_d._ per square
 [Sidenote: Oil paints, &c.] Oil-paints, in tubes.
 Vermilion, 6_d._    }
 Crimson lake, 4_d._ } these may be mixed.
 French ultramarine, 1_s._
 Blue black, 4_d._
 Emerald green, 4_d._
 Ivory white, 4_d._ This cream-coloured white has the richest and
   best effect.
 1 Bottle of pale drying oil, 6_d._
 1 Bottle of spirits of turpentine, 6_d._
 [Sidenote: Brushes.] Brushes--Red sable, various sizes, from 4_d._
   to 1_s._ 2_d._ each.
 [Sidenote: Palette, &c.] A wooden palette, 1_s._ 6_d._
 A palette-knife, 1_s._ 6_d._
 Tailor's chalk, or "pipe-clay," 2_d._
 A carpenter's 2-foot rule, 1_s._ or 1_s._ 6_d._

[Sidenote: Zinc.] In churches where the walls are damp, or otherwise
unsuited for receiving colour, it is found that zinc is an excellent
material for illuminating texts from Holy Scripture, to be fixed to
the wall when completed. This method is much less expensive than
painting in fresco.

[Sidenote: Foundation Coat of Paint.] Zinc can be procured of _any
ordinary plumber_, at an average price of 10_d._ per square foot;
it requires no particular preparation for illuminating, excepting
a foundation-colour (or ground), which can be laid on by any
house-painter far better than by the amateur. This should be done at
the workshop, as the smell of so large a body of paint would be very
injurious to those unaccustomed to it.

[Sidenote: Tints to match or contrast.] The foundation-colour
should either match the tint of the wall to which the scroll will
be affixed, or present a decided contrast. Care must be taken in
matching the colour of a plastered wall, that the paint should be
_lighter_ in tint, as it has a tendency to darken, while the plaster
is likely to become rather lighter, especially in new buildings.

Foundation-colours, &c. suitable to particular seasons of the Church
will be enumerated at the end of this article.

[Sidenote: Size of Letters.] The size, shape, and length of a scroll
must, of course, vary with the position it is intended to occupy. In
a text composed entirely of capitals, the size of the letters should
be about half the depth of the zinc: the latter being 6 inches,
including the border, the capitals would be 3 inches high. Small
letters would bear, of course, their usual proportion, as in other
illuminations. [Sidenote: Distinctness.] It is quite a mistaken idea
that the larger the printing, the plainer will be the text; clearness
is rather attained by keeping the letters close to each other, and
leaving a sufficient space between each word. It will be found,
as a general rule, that, with the exception of the letter I, all
capitals are contained in a square--if 3 inches high, 3 wide. It is
very useful to bear this in mind in calculating the number of words
to be printed in a given space, especially when it is difficult to
judge of the effect till complete. Texts for large churches, to be
placed round arches, or at any great height, are generally printed in

[Sidenote: Outlines to be traced.] Outlines should not be drawn upon
the zinc in the first instance, but upon a strip of paper (which
may be several sheets pasted together at the edges), wider than the
scroll, so that it may be folded firmly over it, and the letters
traced, as already explained (page 7). Any thin common paper answers
for this purpose: tissue would be too thin. Tracing is recommended,
because the process of erasing pencil-marks, although easily effected
with spirits of turpentine, is apt to leave a smear, and spoils the
smooth clearness of the foundation-colour.

[Sidenote: Chalk-tracing.] On a dark-coloured ground the following
method is pursued. Draw the text, as usual, on common cartridge-paper
(3 or 4 inches wider than the zinc, so that the edges may be turned
down firmly over it): with pointed scissors cut the letters out
and put them aside, as they are not required: lay the remaining
paper-groundwork on the zinc, and with red or white tailor's
pipe-clay trace carefully round the outlines of the spaces which
form the letters. When all are traced, remove the paper, and with a
handkerchief brush away, _very_ lightly, the superfluous chalk.

[Sidenote: Dry Foundation-Colours.] Special care must be taken not
to begin the lettering until the foundation-colour be perfectly
hardened, otherwise the pressure of the pencil will make indented
lines which cannot be removed, should correction be necessary. In
cold, damp weather, the paint dries and hardens very slowly, so that
the foundations should be prepared at least a week before they are
required for illuminating.

[Sidenote: To paint the Letters.] In proceeding to paint the letters,
squeeze out a small quantity of the colour on to the wooden palette,
and with the flexible palette-knife mix it with a little of the pale
drying oil, and a very little spirits of turpentine. The latter _can_
be dispensed with, if the smell of it be found injurious; otherwise
it contributes to brighten the colours, and makes them dry more
quickly. In painting keep the brush full, laying on the colour in
long steady sweeps, not in short, hasty touches, which would leave
irregularities of surface.

[Sidenote: Corrections.] Spirits of turpentine, used alone, will
serve to remove the colour, if correction be necessary; but care must
be taken not to apply enough to remove the foundation-colour at the
same time. If a wrong colour be accidentally applied, another can be
painted over it, but, of course, this should be avoided if possible.

[Sidenote: Gold-leaf.] Gold-leaf is applied in the manner already
explained (page 9), but with _oil_ gold-size. Plain vermilion, used
in the same way as size, is said to answer the purpose equally well.
Bessemer's gold paint only answers for a time, as it soon becomes
discoloured on metal.

[Sidenote: Number of Coats of Paint.] Letters painted in white will
require three coats of colour; in blue and green, at least two; in
black, two coats.[11] Vermilion is generally brighter if laid on in
sufficient quantity at once, without retouching.

    [11] Each coat must be allowed to dry before another is laid on.
    The time will vary according to damp or dry weather.

The writer has occasionally had the colours mixed for use by a
village-painter, but this would only be done on an emergency.

[Sidenote: Best Colours for Effect.] For effect, it is best not to
employ many colours; red and black, with a _little_ blue or green,
invariably look best at a distance.

  [Illustration: Quatrefoil Border.]

[Sidenote: Borders.] Elaborate borders on zinc scrolls are quite
unsuitable; an edge of _quatrefoil_ (three-quarters of an inch in
depth), or something equally simple, having by far the best effect;
this also must not be placed too near the letters, or it will
interfere with the distinctness of the text. The border should be
drawn at the edge of the zinc, unless the ground-colour contrast with
the wall, in which case a narrow margin may be left.

[Sidenote: To clean Palette and Brushes.] The palette and brushes
must be washed quite clean after daily use, with spirits of
turpentine. If the paint is allowed to harden (as it will in a few
hours), it cannot be removed.

[Sidenote: Health.] For the preservation of health, this description
of illuminating should, in summer, be carried on with widely-opened
windows, and in winter beside a large fire, which purifies the air of
the room, and prevents the smell of the turpentine, &c. from being
injurious to delicate persons.

_Colours for Special Seasons._

[Sidenote: Advent.] For the season of Advent, violet ground, with red
and white letters.

[Sidenote: Lent.] For Lent, a warm or pinkish-grey ground, letters
all white, with black edges.

[Sidenote: Festivals.] Long scrolls for festivals have the best
effect with white ground. Short scrolls look very handsome with gold
letters upon red or blue ground.

[Sidenote: Ground Tints.] The tint of the ground-colours must, in a
great measure, depend upon the light in which they will be seen. In
some cases crimson is preferable to scarlet, and the blue or violet,
if placed in a dark part of the church, would require to be much
paler than usual.

_Symbolism of Colours._

[Sidenote: Isa. liv. II.]

  [Illustration: Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours.]

I have ventured to prefix these sacred words to this part of my
subject, in order to point out how manifestly the emblematic
significance of colour has its foundation and authority in the Holy
Scriptures. The fact is first brought to our notice in the inspired
account of the making of the Tabernacle, under the Divine commands,
and subsequently in the building of the Temple. The colours,
numbers, and many other particulars of the Mosaic dispensation, were
symbolical types--"a shadow of good things to come," long since
fulfilled [Sidenote: Heb. x. 1.]; but the symbolical application
of colours and other types of "heavenly things" is not therefore
ended, inasmuch as they are largely so employed throughout the New
Testament. These combined facts furnish an argument to my own mind
most convincing, that we may, with all reverence, continue to regard
colours symbolically, as types of heavenly attributes and virtues.

Mrs. Jameson[12] says, "In very early art we find colours used in
a symbolical or mystic sense, and until the ancient principles and
traditions were wholly worn out of memory, or set aside by the later
painters, certain colours were appropriate to certain subjects and
personages, and could not arbitrarily be applied or misapplied. In
the old specimens of stained glass, we find these significations
scrupulously attended to."

    [12] In _The Poetry of Sacred and Legendary Art_.

The precise tints of the colours mentioned in the Holy Scriptures
must ever be a subject of doubt, but enough can be gathered from
ancient writings to bring them within certain degrees of probability.
In an interesting article in Dr. Kitto's _Cyclopædia of Biblical
Literature_, we read:--"Josephus evidently takes the Hebrew word,"
translated "blue," "to mean 'sky-colour,' for, in explaining the
colours of the vail of the Temple, and referring to the blue (Exod.
xxvi. 31), he says that it represented the air or sky." We must
not, however, be led away by our own modern term "sky-blue," which
represents a pale colour, but recollect that (to quote again from
Dr. Kitto) "in proportion as the sky is clear and serene, it assumes
a dark appearance, which is still more observable in an eastern

The blue of ecclesiastical colouring is always dark and intense.

_Purple_ is the term of most doubtful signification, being frequently
applied to crimson, scarlet, and blue. The famous "Tyrian purple" was
manufactured from the juice of shell-fish,--principally the _Murex
trunculus_ of Linnæus and Lamarck,--and was compared by Pliny to "the
rich, fresh, and bright colour of deep-red purple roses." The same
writer observes, that "_violet_, purple, and scarlet, were nowhere
dyed so well as at Tyre, whose shores abounded with the best kinds
of purples." It seems, to my judgment, reasonable to suppose that
the "purple" employed in the curtains of the Tabernacle, &c. was
"violet," as that colour would best unite with "scarlet" and "blue,"
which are separately enumerated. It is interesting also to read that
Pliny describes "red" as distinguished from "purple," and calls it "a
gay, lively bright, approaching the colour of fire."

But this is a long digression; to resume:--In the Divine commands
relative to the making of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, this
verse occurs (Exod. xxviii. 5), "And they shall take gold, and
blue, and scarlet, and purple, and fine linen"--that is, white. The
symbolical meaning which may be gathered from these words is very
striking and beautiful. There are three colours mentioned (white
is not a _colour_); of these, two are primary--that is, original,
not formed by any combination--red and blue. Purple (or violet)
is made by a combination, _proceeding from_ these two; and so in
these foundation-colours of the Tabernacle, I would reverently see
a symbolical representation of the Three Most Holy Persons of the
Godhead. To complete the symbol, we have also white, signifying
perfect righteousness, the emblem and colour of light; and gold,
typifying glory. Thus, in the first and highest sense, are colours

[Sidenote: Emphasis by Colour.] To apply the subject to the art of
illumination. It has been already remarked that the emphasis of
a text is expressed in two ways--by prefixing capital letters to
the principal words, and also by distinction of colour. On the due
attention to a few simple rules respecting the value of certain
colours, and their just application, much of the beauty of an
illuminated work depends.

[Sidenote: Gold.] GOLD is of the highest value. It should be employed
_only_ for the letters forming the names of The Holy Trinity, or
Their attributes. For the sake of distinctness, however, the gold
must be either edged with blue or red, or the whole word may be
placed on a tablet of colour. Sprays of _fleurs-de-lys_, &c. in red,
twining between, but _not over_ the letters, will also assist in
making them distinct and marked.

In words referring to Heaven or Angels, gold stars or dots sprinkled
over the letters are appropriate.

Capitals should be edged entirely, or grounded, with gold. The small
letters are sometimes edged only on one side, which gives them a
raised appearance: it should be the side nearest the right hand.

Trefoils, and similar leaves, are generally painted in gold.

[Sidenote: Blue.] BLUE (intense, sapphire) is of first value in
colours, when used alone, but red is of equal value if used in
apposition.[13] It is pre-eminently a colour of remembrance.
The children of Israel were commanded to wear on their garments
fringes, and on the fringes "a riband of blue," that when they
looked upon it they might "remember all the commandments of the
LORD, and do them,"[14] and "be holy" unto their God. This colour
being worn by express command, "signified that the wearer was God's
own,"--typifying, therefore, adoption, sonship; further, being the
colour of the sky, it "reminded Israel of his home in Heaven: so
likewise in the curtains of the Tabernacle, the blue signified that
hope of Heaven which belongs to the true tabernacles of the living
God, that is, to holy hearts wherein God dwelleth."[15]

    [13] For example, "As thy days, so shall thy strength be," the word
    _days_ might be _red_, while _strength_ might be in _blue_; the
    colours would then be equal in value; but in such a text as "My times
    are in Thy Hand," _times_ being in _red_ and _Hand_ in _blue_, the
    latter colour would be of the higher value.

    [14] See Numbers, xv. 38-41.

    [15] _Sermon on Church Colouring_, by the Rev. R. J. Spranger, M. A.
    Published by Masters and Co., price 6_d._

BLUE may be employed to represent Heaven and holy Angels; heavenly
hope; heavenly rest; holiness; consecration; truth; remembrance;
adoption; peace; fidelity; constancy.

[Sidenote: Red.] RED (scarlet, crimson, or ruby, the colour of fire)
was anciently employed to typify the Holy Spirit, or the Creative
Power. It is thus the symbol of DIVINE LOVE: including help,
protection, zeal, and similar holy attributes. As the colour of
blood, it typifies REDEMPTION and forgiveness.

Mrs. Jameson informs us, that anciently our SAVIOUR and the Blessed
Virgin were represented in "the red tunic and blue mantle, as
signifying heavenly love and heavenly truth. The same colours were
given to St. John the Evangelist, with this difference, that he wore
the blue tunic and the red mantle."

[Sidenote: Purple or Violet.] PURPLE was anciently employed in
religious worship both by Jews and Gentiles. So early as in the Book
of Judges (viii. 26), we read of it as forming the attire of kings;
and many texts of Holy Scripture might be adduced shewing it to be
almost exclusively devoted to royalty. We read, in the _Cyclopædia_
already quoted, that Pliny records a similar use of it among the
Romans; and Homer speaks of purple as if it were almost peculiar to
kings. Suetonius relates that Julius Cæsar prohibited its use by
Roman subjects, except on certain days, and that Nero forbade it
altogether, on pain of death.

Purple (violet, or amethyst) signifies, therefore, first, royalty.
It was also the ancient symbol of love and truth, or passion and
suffering; "hence it was the colour often worn by the martyrs: in
the Spanish schools, the colour of our SAVIOUR'S mantle is generally
a rich deep violet". In some instances, our SAVIOUR, after His
resurrection, is habited in a violet instead of a blue mantle. This
would, doubtless, refer to its royal, victorious signification. The
Blessed Virgin is represented in "violet, after the crucifixion"--of
course in token of deepest mourning. "Mary Magdalene, who, as patron
saint, wears the red robe, as penitent wears violet and blue, the
colours of sorrow and constancy."

We may now easily understand why purple has been accepted as the
Church's mourning colour. Although so beautiful when represented in
the clearness of stained glass, purple is but little used in large
illuminations, excepting sometimes as a ground-colour; chiefly,
perhaps, because so difficult to produce in a sufficiently bright,
pure tint, as compared to the red and blue.

[Sidenote: White.] WHITE is essentially the emblem of light and
saintly purity. Of the first, because the finest light is white; of
the second, I need hardly quote the reason,--[Sidenote: Rev. xix. 8.]
"And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen,
clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the

[Sidenote: Isa. i. 18.] [Sidenote: Ps. li. 7.] Typical, also, of
forgiveness: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white
as snow." "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

The symbol also of wisdom, innocence, faith, joy, integrity,
humility: of glory, perfection, and regeneration; for white contains
all colours. Solomon says, [Sidenote: Eccles. ix. 8.] "Let your
garments be always white."

Thus I have enumerated the colours more especially devoted to the

[Sidenote: Emerald Green.] EMERALD GREEN has been latterly
introduced; and though, from its inferior richness when contrasted
with other colours, it should be _sparingly_ employed in
illuminations, it may occasionally assist in producing a very
pleasing effect, especially in floriations and ornamental stops.

Beautiful emblematic meanings are attached to this colour,--namely,
hope in immortality, eternity, victory. This last, because green is
the colour of laurel and palm.

[Sidenote: Grey.] GREY, the colour of ashes, anciently signified
mourning, humility, and innocence accused. This colour is sometimes
employed in ground-work, not for letters.

[Sidenote: Black.] BLACK is, of course, employed only as being useful
and distinct, without symbolism. It is adapted to all words of minor
importance, and to intermediate stops; also, of course, for the
stalks and veins of leaves, and stems of branches, &c.

It may not be considered irrelevant to the subject, if I subjoin an
explanation of the colours employed in the services of the Church,
taken from Purchas's _Directorium Anglicanum_:--

WHITE.--From the evening of Christmas Eve to the Octave of Epiphany,
inclusive, except Feasts of St. Stephen and the Holy Innocents. From
the evening of Easter Eve to the Vigil of Pentecost; on Trinity
Sunday, Purification, Conversion of St. Paul, the Annunciation, St.
John Baptist, St. Michael, St. Luke, and All Saints.

RED.--Vigil of Pentecost to the next Saturday; Holy Innocents (if on
a Sunday), and all other Feasts.

VIOLET.--Ash Wednesday to Easter Eve; Advent to Christmas Eve; Ember
Weeks in September; Rogation Days; Holy Innocents, unless on Sunday;
on Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays.

BLACK.--On Good Friday, and funerals, and on public fasts.

GREEN.--On all other days.

CLOTH-OF-GOLD is said to supply all other colours. It seems possible
that this is with reference to Psalm xlv. 9, 13.


[Sidenote: St. John, xv. 5.]

  [Illustration: I am the Vine, ye are the branches.]

It is hardly necessary to observe that the only ornamentation
suitable to a text from Holy Scripture is that which conveys to
the mind some religious thought; and such thoughts are naturally
suggested by forms that figuratively represent some holy attribute or

[Sidenote: Crosses.] The first and most obvious of Christian emblems
is the Cross, that blessed form which must and should always remind
us of the inestimable price of our redemption. As such a remembrance
it has been received from the earliest ages of Christianity;[16] and
most dear may it always prove to those who love their SAVIOUR's Name!

    [16] "It was not till the sixth century that the cross became a
    _crucifix_, no longer an emblem, but an _image_."--_Sacred and
    Legendary Art._

The almost infinitely varying forms of this sacred symbol are divided
into two classes, the Latin and the Greek; which distinction
originated in the separation of the Eastern and Western Churches.
The Latin forms most nearly resemble the true cross, _i.e._ having
the lower limb elongated--this, of course, is received as the emblem
of the Atonement: the Greek, having each of the four limbs equal in
length, is considered symbolical of the Christian religion, extending
its blessed influence through all the four quarters of the world. On
this distinction of the two forms, it has been well observed that
"the Latins, who were more material in sentiment than the Greeks,
preferred the _actual_ form; the Greeks, more spiritual than the
Latins, idealised the reality."

The Western Church has generally retained the Latin form, while the
Greek is more peculiar to the Eastern branch. In all the earlier
examples we read that this distinction seems to have been very
scrupulously observed.[17]

    [17] See _Penny Post_, vol. vii. 1857.

Of Latin crosses, the principal are these:--


The plain form (called in heraldry the Passion Cross) resembling,
as is generally believed, that on which our Blessed Lord died for
us. Sometimes, when intended especially to symbolise sorrow and
suffering, the three upper arms are sharp-pointed. The simple cross,
raised on three steps, is called the Cross Calvary, the steps being
said to typify the three Christian graces, Faith, Hope, and Charity.


The Tau Cross, resembling in shape the Greek letter Τ (tau);
it is also called the Egyptian Cross, and, in heraldry, the Cross
_Potent_, which is the old English word for crutch.

The Cross Crosslet, of this form, on our title-page, is taken from
the seal of the Latin Convent of St. Salvador, at Jerusalem, but the
riband and motto are adopted for the present occasion.

St. Philip is sometimes represented with this cross,--on which,
indeed, he is believed to have suffered martyrdom,--and St. Anthony
so generally, that it is often called after his name.

Some old writers on symbolism saw in the Tau Cross the ideal
precursor of the real cross--anticipatory, typical--the cross of the
Old Testament. It is represented also in religious art as that on
which the brazen serpent was hung.


St. Andrew's Cross is an emblem of humility as well as of suffering,
the Apostle being said to have declared himself unworthy, even
in death, to approach the image of his MASTER's sufferings, and
therefore to have entreated that the instrument of his martyrdom
might be of a different form. The heraldic term for this cross is


The Patriarchal Cross, formerly borne by Patriarchs and Archbishops;
retained now in the Church of Rome, and worn on the robes of
Cardinals. This cross is very common in Spain.

The Greek crosses are so infinite in variety, that I can only attempt
to portray a very small number of them, selecting some of the most


The most familiar to English eyes is the Cross of St. George, first
impaled by Charles I.; to this was afterwards added (on the national
flag) the white St. Andrew's, on the union with Scotland; and later
still (1801) on the union with Ireland, St. Patrick's "red saltire."
And thus the crosses of the "patron saints" peculiar to each kingdom
became united in our national flag.


One of the best known among Greek crosses is the Maltese, borne by
the Knights of Malta. It is often confounded with the following--


Cross Pattée: if the outer lines are curved inwardly, it is called a
"Pattée concave;" if outwardly (a pretty form), "Pattée convex." This
cross is found prefixed to old writings instead of the words "_In
Christi Nomine_."


Cross Fleury.


Cross Boutonnée (like buds), or Trefflée (trefoil).


Crosslet Pattée. The term crosslet means a little cross, and also a
cross crosslet, _i.e._ a cross with a short bar transversing each of
the arms: these are even sometimes again crossed.


Cross Pommellée (from _pomme_, an apple).

Some examples of both the Latin and the Greek cross are elaborately
and beautifully ornamented. It is a remark quoted on good authority,
in the Magazine already referred to, that during the Middle Ages, in
the Western Church a plain cross was considered as a cross of shame,
and an ornamental one as a cross of glory.

The simple Latin cross and St. Andrew's are most suitable for
introduction into capital letters. The Greek is more generally placed
at the conclusion of a text, sometimes also as an intermediate stop,
or rather as a renewed dedication.[18] Two crosses are, in general,
quite sufficient for the same text; one as a part of the dedication,
the other as a conclusion.

    [18] It is irreverent to regard or to employ this sacred symbol
    as a _stop_. The ancient illuminators generally placed it at the
    commencement, and not at the close of their subject.

[Sidenote: The Dove.] The Dove is the well-known symbol of the Holy
Spirit. When thus employed, the head should be encircled with a
Divine glory. With the olive-branch, it is the emblem of peace. The
dove has also been employed to represent simplicity and purity of
heart, and in ancient times was thought an emblem of the soul.

The Dove resting on the cross is a modern but beautiful combination
of emblems, probably originating in the following lines:--

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Shouldst thou not need some mighty charm
      To win thee to thy Saviour's side,
      Though He hath deigned with thee to bide?
    The Spirit must stir the darkling deep,
      The dove must settle on the cross,
    Else we should all sin on or sleep
      With Christ in sight, turning our gain to loss."

           _Christian Year_ (4th Sunday after Easter.)

[Sidenote: Triangle, Trefoils, &c.] The TRIANGLE (equilateral),
trefoil, three circles, or triple triangle, are the emblems of the
Holy Trinity.

Of the trefoil, which is in fact the shamrock, it is said that St.
Patrick, when endeavouring to explain the doctrine of the Holy
Trinity in Unity to the heathen in Ireland, suddenly cast his eye on
the green leaves at his feet, and plucking one of them, conveyed an
idea of his meaning in this simple form.

[Sidenote: Circle.] The PLAIN CIRCLE, without beginning and without
end, was the early symbol of eternity; united with the cross, it
typifies eternal life: enclosing a triangle, THREE IN ONE.

[Sidenote: Serpents.] The serpent, with its tail in its mouth, has
been justly considered an emblem of eternal punishment. The serpent,
or dragon, being always the emblem of all wickedness, is to me quite
unaccountably a favourite subject for illumination. It has, however,
an obvious meaning, represented as flying _from_ the sacred words.

[Sidenote: The Lamb.] The LAMB is the obvious (and very ancient) type
of our Blessed SAVIOUR. It is represented with a _nimbus_, or glory,
containing four rays, one of which is concealed by the head. If each
ray contains a cross, it is called a _cruciferous nimbus_. The rays
are the especial mark of a _Divine_ glory, the circlets, or glories,
surrounding heads of saints and martyrs _never_ including them.

The Lamb bearing a banner, the token of victory, is an emblem of the

[Sidenote: Pelican.] The PELICAN wounding her own breast to feed
her young ones was an ancient symbol of the Great Sacrifice. One or
both of these last-named emblems are frequently met with in ancient
crosses or crucifixes, the lamb at the foot, and the pelican at the
top of the cross.

The GOOD SHEPHERD, carrying a sheep, is also an ancient emblem.

[Sidenote: Swords.] The SWORD is an emblem varying in signification
according to the sharpness of its point. That with an _acute_
point is the sword of justice; with the point _obtuse_, the sword
of religion; with no point, the sword of mercy. The flaming sword
typifies Divine vengeance.

[Sidenote: Fish.] The FISH is one of the very earliest symbols of
our Divine Lord. The five letters of the Greek word for a fish
(ΙΧΘΥΣ) make the initials (in Greek) of the following sentence--JESUS
CHRIST, GOD'S SON, the SAVIOUR (Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ).
"In this sense," Mrs. Jameson informs us, "we find the fish as
a general symbol of the Christian faith upon the sarcophagi of
early Christians; on the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs; on
rings, coins, lamps, &c.; and as an ornament in early Christian
architecture." It was also thought an appropriate emblem of the
Christian in the waters of baptism, and in allusion to the promise,
"Ye shall become fishers of men."

[Sidenote: Flaming Heart.] The FLAMING HEART expresses fervent piety
and love.

[Sidenote: Anchor.] The ANCHOR is an ancient Christian emblem of
firmness, hope, and patience. It is found in the catacombs and
ancient Christian gems.

[Sidenote: Lamp.] The LAMP, lantern, or taper, is the old emblem
of piety, celestial light, or wisdom. "For Zion's sake will I not
hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the
righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation
thereof as a lamp that burneth." (Isa. lxii. 1.) "Let your light so
shine before men." (St. Matt. v. 16.)

[Sidenote: Lilies.] The LILY is the emblem of the incarnation, and
of purity, always placed in the hand of the angel Gabriel, and often
in the hand of the infant SAVIOUR and the Blessed Virgin; sometimes
in that of St. Joseph. _Lilies of the Valley_ seem to be peculiarly
fitted to represent purity and meekness combined. _Violets_ are a
modern emblem of modesty.

[Sidenote: Fleur-de-lys.] The FLEUR-DE-LYS is considered the
conventional form of the lily, and was in the Middle Ages adopted as
the emblem of the Blessed Virgin. Some see in the Mother of our Lord
a type of the Church _on earth_--see St. Matt. xii. 49, 50--which
gives her emblem a much enlarged significance.

[Sidenote: Passion-flower.] The PASSION-FLOWER presents in itself a
crowd of emblems, suggestive of the most solemn thoughts, on which we
can hardly dwell with sufficient reverence. The _Passiflora cærulea_
(common blue Passion-flower) is thus described:--It was discovered in
the Brazils, and its wonders were soon proclaimed to Christendom as
representing the Passion of our Lord, whence its present appellation.
Its leaves are said exactly to resemble the spear that pierced our
Saviour's side, while the five points remind us of the five wounds
which He endured; the tendrils, the cords that bound, or the whips
that scourged, Him; the ten petals, the Apostles, Judas having
betrayed, and Peter denied, Him; the pillar in the centre was the
cross or tree; the stamens, the hammers; the styles, the nails; the
inner circle about the central pillar, the crown of thorns; the
radiance, the glory; the white tint, the emblem of purity; and the
blue, the type of heaven. On one of the species, the _Passiflora
alata_, red spots are seen on the cross or tree. The flower keeps
open three days, and then disappears, denoting the resurrection. As a
whole, the passion-flower is an emblem of faith.

[Sidenote: Pomegranate.] The POMEGRANATE, bursting open, and the
seeds visible, was considered (in early art) as an emblem of the
future--of hope in immortality.

[Sidenote: Phœnix.] The PHŒNIX is an ancient symbol of immortality.

[Sidenote: Palm.] The PALM is the well-known symbol of victory after
suffering, and of heavenly bliss. Mrs. Jameson remarks that it was
the ancient classical symbol of victory and triumph, and was early
assumed by the Christians as the universal symbol of martyrdom.

[Sidenote: Olive Branch.] The OLIVE BRANCH and the palm were very
early emblems of immortality.

[Sidenote: Crown.] The CROWN is a Scriptural emblem of the Church.
"Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a
royal diadem in the hand of thy God". (Isa. lxii. 3. See also Zech.
ix. 16.) This symbol, placed above the initial letter of a Holy
Name, gives it a beautiful and marked significance.[19] It may be
appropriately blended with the cross; also with the palm and the lily.

    [19] A crown having the points surmounted by stars, is called in
    heraldry the "crown celestial."

The emblems of the four Evangelists are these:--St. Matthew, a winged
man (_not_ an angel); St. Mark, a winged lion; St. Luke, a winged ox,
or calf; St. John, an eagle. These symbols are taken from the vision
of Ezekiel, and from that of St. John in the Revelation.[20]

    [20] An interesting _Lecture on Symbolism_, by CHARLES BROWN, Esq.
    is published by Masters and Co. Price 2_s._

_Sacred Monograms._

[Sidenote: Acts, iv. 12.]

  [Illustration: There is none other Name under Heaven given among
   men, whereby we must be saved.]

It is surprising how much the real meaning of the letters IHS,
or IHC, has been lost sight of, emblazoned as it is on the
pulpit-coverings, altar-cloths, and windows of our Churches. The
interpretation has been guessed at, or supposed to signify the
initial letters of the following sentences:--"_Jesus Hominum
Salvator_"--Jesus, Saviour of men. "_Inspiration_ (of the) _Holy
Spirit_;" or, "_Jesus Humanitatis Consolator_"--Jesus, Comforter of
mankind. None of these interpretations are correct.

On the tombs of the early Christians, in the Roman catacombs, these
letters (ΙΗΣ) were sometimes found (though not so frequently as the
next monogram). They are, in the Greek character, the first three
letters of the sacred name of Jesus--ΙΗΣΟΥΣ. The third letter,
_sigma_, had in early Greek two forms, C and Σ; hence the apparent
variety in what is really one and the same Monogram.

The second Monogram, now rarely seen, but formerly much employed
in memorial inscriptions, is called the Cross of Constantine. It
consists of the two Greek characters, Χ and Ρ. Χ stands for, or is
equivalent to, our CH; Ρ, the Greek _rho_, is translated by our
letter R: thus we have the equivalent of the first three letters of
the sacred name of CHRIST--in Greek, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ.

It is related, on the authority of Eusebius, that the Emperor
Constantine, while engaged in prayer, suddenly saw this sign in
the sky, and that it was also visible to his whole army; over the
sign was an inscription signifying "Conquer by this," or, "In this
sign thou shalt conquer" (_In hoc signo vinces_). On the same night
the Emperor had a dream--a vision of the SAVIOUR appearing to him
with the same sign, commanding him thenceforth to bear it on his
banner, whereby he should always be victorious. In obedience to
this revelation, the Emperor immediately caused such a banner to be
constructed, and afterwards wore the sacred sign upon his helmet.
This banner was called a _labarum_, of which we find the following
brief account in Fosbrooke's _Encyclopædia of Antiquities_:--

"The name, but not the thing, commences with Constantine. It is a
standard, with a cross-piece, from which hung a piece of stuff. The
Romans borrowed it from the Germans, Dacians, &c.; and upon coins
of Augustus, and the emperors preceding Constantine, it refers to
some conquered nation. It had an eagle painted or embroidered, till
Constantine, who added the cross, monogram of Jesus Christ, and Α and
Ω" (Alpha and Omega: see Rev. i. 8). "Sometimes, above the flag, was
a crown, in the midst of which was the monogram mentioned. From the
cross-piece hung a square stuff, upon which Constantine placed the
figures of himself and his children in gold."


The above is an original example of the two Monograms combined, well
suited for illumination.

The following is a beautiful illustration, in a simple form, of the
doctrine of the Holy Trinity in Unity:--


Read thus:[21] "Pater non est Filius. Filius non est Sanctus
Spiritus. Sanctus Spiritus non est Pater. Pater est Deus. Filius est
Deus. Sanctus Spiritus est Deus."

    [21] The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
    The Holy Spirit is not the Father. The Father is GOD. The Son is
    GOD. The Holy Spirit is GOD.

_Emblematic Illumination._

The accompanying emblematic initial letters are suitable in
illuminating the following (and similar) texts of Holy Scripture:--

    A With the cross and lily,
      "He shall give His Angels charge over thee."--Ps. xci. 11.

    A With the cross, heart, and anchor,
      "An Anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast."--Heb. vi. 19.

    B With St. Andrew's cross,
      "Be ye also patient."--Jam. v. 8.

    C With the cross,
      "Take up thy Cross daily."--See St. Luke, ix. 23.

    D With the wheat and vine,
      "Do this in remembrance of ME."--St. Luke, xxii. 19.

    E With the cross and trefoil,
      "Enter ye in at the strait gate."--St. Matt. vii. 13.

    F With the shield of faith,
      "Fear not, I will help thee."--Isa. xli. 13.
      "Faith worketh by Love."--See Gal. v. 6.

    G With trefoils,
      "My help cometh of GOD."--Ps. vii. 11.

    H With lilies of the valley,
      "Be clothed with humility."--1 Pet. v. 5.

    I With monogram, trefoils, and crown,
      "I am the Resurrection and the Life."--St. John, xi. 25.
      "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."--St.
         Matt, xxviii. 20.

    I With lily, cross, and trefoils,
      "My peace I give unto you."--St. John, xiv. 27.

    K With the cross and trefoils,
      "Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold
         the Land that is very far off."--Isa. xxxiii. 17.

    L With lilies of the valley (_foundation colour red_),
      "Lay hold on Eternal Life."--1 Tim. vi. 12.

    L With lilies of the valley (_foundation colour blue_),
      "Learn of ME, for I am Meek and Lowly in heart."--St. Matt.
         xi. 29.

    M With the cross and crown,
      "My Peace I give unto you."--St. John, xiv. 27.

    N "The Night is far spent, the Day is at hand."--Rom. xiii. 12.

    O With the  cross,
      "Occupy till I come."--St. Luke, xix. 13.

    P With dove and lilies,
      "Peace I leave with you."--St. John, xiv. 27.

    R With the cross,
      "Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."--St. Matt.
         iii. 2.

    S With the holy dove, cross, and lilies of the valley,
      "Suffer the little children to come unto ME."--St. Mark, x. 14.

    S With St. Andrew's cross and crown,
      "So run that ye may obtain."--1 Cor. ix. 24.

    T With the triangles and cross,
      "Thou GOD seest me."--Gen. xvi. 13.

    V With lilies,
      "Add to your Faith, Virtue."--2 Pet. i. 5.

    W[22] With trefoils,
      "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know
         hereafter."--St. John, xiii. 7.

    [22] The second half of this letter forms U.

    Y[23] With the cross,
      "Feed MY Sheep."--St. John, xxi. 16.

    [23] This letter is given in reduced size, being most useful
    together with the M; it will be found to correspond in height with
    the alphabet of small letters, which are proportioned to any of
    the foregoing emblematic capitals, excepting the G and T. The
    pronouns MY and ME, when referring to the Deity, should always be
    in capitals, the second of which may be of smaller dimensions.


In conclusion, I would suggest an answer to a question sometimes
asked--"What is the use of these scrolls?" The first most obvious
reply might be--to place on our walls. The questioner persists--"But
why?" Let your answer be in the sense of these words: I hope thus to
impress more strongly on my mind a particular promise or commandment
contained in the Holy Scriptures. I also hope that the same effect
may sometimes be produced on the hearts of others, who may often,
certainly, have read those words before, yet possibly without much
thought; having them thus brought suddenly and in a marked manner
before their eyes, deeper reflection may be the profitable result.
A commandment, an injunction from GOD's Word, thus placed before
me, may often, I trust, serve as a check in moments of temptation.
A promise I _know_ to be of inestimable comfort, as the sick
and the dying have testified. _No_ doubt the law of GOD must be
pre-eminently written in the _heart_,[24] must abide there as its
choicest treasure,--"a well of water springing up into eternal life,"
nourishing the soul at _all_ times; and we have the precious gift
of Him Who "bringeth all things to our remembrance."[25] Yet so
long as I have eyes through which I may receive holy impressions,
I cannot--dare not--despise the humblest means towards so good an
end. To look upon a text of Scripture, engraved with fair colours
and emblematic adornments, gives me the same feeling of elevating
happiness, through the organ of sight, that a melodiously chaunted
hymn or anthem conveys through the organ of hearing. "The hearing
ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them."[26]

    [24] Cor. iii. 3.

    [25] St. John. xiv. 26.

    [26] Prov. xx. 12.

And to the young I would earnestly say,--cherish always a feeling
of reverence on this subject of illuminating sacred texts. Let it
be considered not as a trivial, passing amusement, but, while in
practice, as a grave and steady occupation--one to which you are
in duty bound, if you undertake it at all, to give your very best
attention. No work of yours--nor of any human hand--can be worthy of
the subject; in all humility and sincerity keep this truth before
you. Strive to enter as fully as possible into the meaning of the
inspired words you are delineating; endeavour earnestly and with
child-like simplicity to learn the lesson they would teach.

Lastly, let your work be as perfect as you can possibly make it, and
if the result be pleasing, render thanks to Him who hath bestowed on
you the precious talent, and from Whom all good gifts do come. And
so, "Whatsoever ye do,








Transcriber's notes

Text in italics has been _underscored_.

Clear printer's errors were corrected, but original spelling was not
modified or harmonized.

Open quote on page 15 (paragraph starting with "Purple (violet, or
amethyst)..." has been closed.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Emblematic Illumination; or Forms, Colours and Emblems - Suitable for Illuminating Texts of Holy Scripture in Large - Style, in Oils or Water-colours." ***

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