A Contemporary Hiberno-Saxon Style Illumination of the Chi-Rho

Work from a Graduating Student at the Pontifex University Master of Sacred Arts Program

I am excited to show you the work of one our students, Daniela Diz, who submitted this work for her capstone portfolio which is the final stage of the Masters program. Daniela specializes in illumination and decorative and geometric patterns in the Christian tradition.

She based this work on the Chi-Rho of the Book of Kells, which was created in the 7th century in what is referred to as the ‘Hiberno-Saxon’ style. Chi and rho are the first two Greek letters of the word for Christ, ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Christos). 

The Master of Sacred Arts program capstone gives students a choice of either a research and writing option or the submission of a portfolio of art work. The goal of the MSA overall is to offer to students the formation and Catholic inculturation that might have been offered to artists in the past. This is of interest, therefore, to artists in any creative discipline; to potential patrons of the arts who wish to understand Catholic tradition and how artists work; as well as the many people who have a deep interest in Catholic art and culture and want to know more. 

The practical content is not high, aside from the option of submitting an art portfolio as part of the capstone, there other practical requirement is to create some geometric constructions as part of my Mathematics of Beauty course. As you can probably guess, Daniela came to us already equipped with the high level of skill, but enrolled with us because she wished to know more deeply how to direct her artistic skills in service of the Church.  Some readers may remember, incidentally, that I featured the same student’s work for that Mathematics of Beauty course – beautiful intricate floor designs in a Romanesque, here.

Here are more photographs, showing the work in progress on the Chi-Rho. Note that she gilds the page as well as draws and inks.

The opening words of Psalm 10
Application of gold leaf

If you wish to commission her to do some work for you, please contact me through thewayofbeauty.org or www.Pontifex.University and I will put you in touch with her.