14 May, 2009

The Ferguut

Just to keep myself busy in a period with few or no commissions, I started - somewhere in the year 1999 - working on a project called Ferguut and I'm working on it ever since. But only in quiet times of course!

(The) Ferguut is the title of the oldest mediaeval Dutch Arthurian manuscript of which only one copy survived through the ages. This unique manuscript is kept in the library of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. It is written in mediaeval Dutch and based on a french original called Fergus. The first half is a true translation of this Oldfrench manuscript, but halfway the anonymous Dutch author took the liberty of altering, deleting or adding elements in the story, but the plot remained unchanged: the troublesome, but ultimately succesful quest of the young knight Ferguut after his beloved Galiene.

In this project I was able to combine two longfelt passions, namely my admiration for mediaeval illuminated manuscripts and the Arthurian literature.
So I made a first illustration to a passage in which Ferguut has an encounter with a giantess called Pantasale, who guarded the white shield which provided invulnerability and what Ferguut was desperately searching for.
These are two details of the spread I made of this scene ten years ago.

And this is the illustration I made the other day of Ferguut slaying a bunch of pirates who offered to take across Ferguut and his horse overseas, but in fact planned to rob and kill him instead; but that's not what happened, of course.

The other illustrations I made in between the pictures above are to be seen on my website. Please check: http://tinyurl.com/plmxok
In these ten years I kept changing some of the illustrations, because in some cases I decided they weren't good enough. Thus, over the years the overall picture is constantly fine-tuned, as it were.
But I'm almost done - only four spreads to go - and the text is being written at the moment, so little by little I'm looking for ways to get this book published. So anybody with a serious offer or a brilliant suggestion is hereby invited to react.

No comments: