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Mira Calligraphae Monumenta - The Green Man

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6 August 2011

Mira Calligraphae Monumenta - The Green Man

I've always wanted to embroider a Green Man. But looking at embroideries of him, I've never seen one that has inspired me to do my own version.

"A Green Man is a sculpture(SP), drawing(SP), or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves(SP). Branches or vines(SP) may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament(SP), Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches(SP) and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical)"  (Wikipedia)

Finally I've found a source of inspiration! From the Mira Calligraphae Monumenta, of which I own a copy :

" In 1561-62, Georg Bocskay, imperial secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, inscribed the Mira calligraphiae monumenta as a testament to his preeminence among scribes. He assembled a vast selection of contemporary and historical scripts, which nearly thirty years later were further embellished by Joris Hoefnagel, Europe's last great manuscript illuminator. This book, now in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, is reproduced here in complete facsimile form,... Topics include Hoefnagel's nature imagery, which encompasses plants, fruits, and small animals, and its relation to the spread of interest in botany and zoology at the end of the sixteenth century. ......" (Amazon)
Never mind Herbals - I regard this as my best 'natural image' source book for embroideries. Here's a couple of images from it :


The Green Man that inspires me :-



 Laid gold passing for his hair and whiskers, with some darker gold for the shadows (eg the underside of his hair), some padding around his eyes and mouth, and the actual face done in needlepainting. The beard would be interesting to do - in silk or in shades of gold metal thread, or a mixture?

The actual eyeballs would be really hard to get correct - I'd have to think about that. Maybe consult with Jane of Chilly Hollow Adventures - she's good at things like that.

I don't plan to do the branches with the acorns that extend out the top sides of his head, or the red thingy on top. Just his face would be enough. I think that I would include the horns, to provide balance in the 'weight' distribution in the piece.

More images :-


Green Man Embroideries

More images from the Mira Calligraphae Monumenta

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11 Comments:

Blogger Kori said...

Horns would be good on top, I agree. His face would also look good as part of a dragon type eel thing.

Saturday, August 06, 2011  
Anonymous Rachel said...

That's a wonderfully florid and ornate form, and not quite in the usual style of these things. Definitely worth having a go!

Saturday, August 06, 2011  
Blogger The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Thanks for the nice compliment, e-Rose!

It's too early to say for sure because you won't know the size of what you need for eyes until you actually start this project, but my first thought was layered sequins.

A big one laid down first that is partly secured by satin stitches on one side. Then a second smaller one in a contrasting color to make the pupil. It can be attached with white thread in one area for the highlights. Plunk a bead in the center and you have a very interesting eye!

This will be a fun project. I love the fact that the Green Man is frowning. Makes him more real somehow.

Saturday, August 06, 2011  
Blogger Margaret said...

Sounds perfect. Back in 2006 there was a woman who gave a talk on Green Man images and I was hooked, so I understand you wanting to create one. And I agree that some of the floral images in illuminated manuscripts are better for embroidery than herbals. This was really brought home when I saw an exhibit of Arcimboldo at the National Gallery of Art http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/arcimboldoinfo.shtm He was inspired by illuminated flora and fauna so they were also in the exhibit. I had to race home and take out everything in my university library and check out images on ArtStore.

Sunday, August 07, 2011  
Blogger Montreat Designs said...

This is brilliant! Thank you for sharing!

Sunday, August 07, 2011  
Blogger Stitching With Kittens said...

Me too, me too. I've always thought a green man would make a great subject. . . and I do not think I've ever seen one stitched. But I've always been stumped at the early "what technique do you stitch it in" stage. There's part of me that wants to do the GM's leafy bits as fully wired stumpwork elements. . . but it's never come together in my mind enough to actually stitch anything.

Maybe. . . if you give everyone enough lead time. . . we could do a Green Man SAL. . .??? . . . fun to think about in any case.

Sunday, August 07, 2011  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Stumpwork leaves! I didn't think of that!

But I want to do it in needlepainting.....

I have a list of projects that are ahead of it by about 2 years...so that gives lead time. A SAL is a great idea! Shall do!

Sunday, August 07, 2011  
Blogger Francesca said...

I own this book since a long time and have always used it for my porcelain paintings, because is a classic in this area, but never think to use it in embroidery it's incredible how source of pictures are often the same !
Must look at the book with a different perspective now, thank you !

Sunday, August 07, 2011  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

I started to reply to your comment, Francesca, but I thought I'd make it a blog entry....

Tuesday, August 09, 2011  
Blogger Kimberly Servello said...

I don't know if you're like me, but sometimes I find inspiration from text books (as opposed to picture books) as well. If you are...

Have you read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight? The green knight has also been likened to the green man. The book gives a wonderful description of him right down to his embroidered clothing, and the story is very entertaining! Written in the 14th c by someone they call either the Pearl poet or the Gawain poet (no name is known)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011  
Anonymous Haipad M1001 said...

Haipad M1001

Wednesday, December 21, 2011  

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