ELEVEN-BEATUS by HERACLIUS
This illumination is dedicated to the victims of September 11th 2001, to their relatives , to the American people longing for justice and freedom in the world
For thousands of years man has been creating images of light, seeking to come closer to what cannot be expressed and give a form to what cannot be conceived so as to address the mysteries of life, death and beyond. Like my predecessors, I am a religious illuminator and I paint images on books as they would do in medieval times. The word illumination comes from « illuminare », that is to say give light.
In Southern Italy, I received initiation to the art of the traditional image by a Franciscan hermit, this initiation is the true path leading to knowledge. For ten years, he raised me by degrees ,as neophytes are raised, like a shoot/seed delicately striving towards light. He passed on to me the gestures of craft of his filiation, I received the three initiations leading to masterhood and I was ordained Master illuminator.
My Master taught me the laws of nutrition and of sleep as well as the traditional knowledge he possessed, from symbolism to sacred texts, from the art of colors to the art of geometry. He explained to me that illuminators, like the builders of cathedrals are geometers. On the parchment or on the ground, they draw a sacred space within which man can rise towards his Source, his Principle. The image is a reflection, a cosmos, and for my Master it is a means to signpost the path for man’s metamorphoses.
With illumination and its secret geometry, a metaphysical understanding of a centuries-old art emerges into the world. After ten years on my Master’s side, I understood what “being a geometer” meant: it meant to bear an understanding of the world, to seek the Divine Plan behind appearances so as to comply with it.
An illumination is built like any other sacred space, like a real cathedral. A traditional image is an image of light. Illuminations, icons, frescos, mosaics, stained glass … meet unchanging rules that go back thousands of years. These images convey the sacred and let us go into the mysteries of our origin.
Gazing at the image, we go through different stages within ourselves, we reach different levels of understanding. Illumination teaches to see beyond what can be seen, beyond our beliefs. Quietly and reverently, it opens up for us new horizons that are passages into time and space.
Illumination is an unstained star, linked with a regular tradition, its roots are in the upper world. Carried by the winged hand, the image becomes a path to lift us up to the celestial spheres. It sharpens our physical and spiritual senses, it is a relevant instrument.
how ELEVEN-BEATUS came into being
The parchment measures 43.30 x 43.30 in.
The illumination has been proportioned according to the golden ratio and its dimensions are as perfect as those of a cathedral. The geometric structure opens a sacred space.
Gold is the first color applied on the parchment. It symbolizes primordial light. Pure gold is used as powder like in the most ancient manuscripts.
The artwork echoes the illustrated manuscripts of the early Middle Ages when Spanish monk Beatus wrote his commentary on the Apocalypse in the 8th century.
Like the medieval Beatus, this representation combines both front and side views.
In the center of the illumination, a starry sky is surrounded by an ornamented frame. Archangel Michael, riding a white horse, protects the United States of America.
The Archangel with almond-shaped eyes gazes at the primordial light.
The sword of the horseman of the Apocalypse has transmuted into the torch of liberty.
Defeated by the Archangel, the Devil is locked in chains for a thousand years. And the number of his fingers is 666.
At the top center of the image, the City of Life has come down from heaven.
This September 11, the planes swoop down on the twin towers.
It rains fire from the sky.
At the top center of the illumination, stand the Twin Towers. Free from paint, they are just blank parchment. The physical towers are destroyed but America comes triumphant out of this ordeal for the Towers of Spirit cannot be destroyed and will remain forever.
The firefighters and the American people of many different origins.
The eagle of glory and the forces of heaven fly to the rescue of the United States of America.
An illumination to think about, to decipher or to contemplate for the sheer pleasure of it.