Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thomas More

(As mentioned here before) We have plans to release a sketch of the life of Thomas More this November. This short book (~100 pages) has never been published (to our knowledge) on this side of the pond, and was part of a larger collection of the lives of the English Martyrs. (In fact our 'Cuthbert Mayne' booklet comes from this collection.)

We are struggling to get rights to use the cover art we'd like to use. Most books on Thomas More use the famous Hans Holbein the Younger portrait, which although very good, is over-used (Thomas More as Chancelor/statesman).

The Gerald Wegemer book on Thomas More (from Scepter) uses another Holbein portrait-this time of the More family (Thomas More as husband and father). I like this one too.

In my search, however, another one caught my eye: it is lesser known and more recent. It is Thomas More confronting Cardinal Wolsey in Parliament by Vivian Forbes. (see it here) This work hangs in St. Stephen's Hall in Parliament. It seemed a perfect fit. However, after contacting Parliament, the rights proved too expensive for our small operation here (even after I talked them down a bit).

So the search goes on. There are two attractive paintings of Thomas More's final farewell to his daughter Meg. One is by Edward Ward, but my favorite of the two is by the Tyburn Convent (no painter listed-but shown here).

Of course, there is another Holbein work, a portrait-more of a sketch-done a year before the famous painting. It is attractive-is not over-used, but is recognizable. (I am investigating this cost now.)

What image captures all that Thomas More represents: Catholic, martyr, husband, father, chancelor, judge, lawmaker, friend, writer, prisoner? (I am sure I can't afford a collage of all these images.)

It is interesting that there are very few paintings or sketches of Thomas More in prison or at the execution block. It would be a great picture of Thomas More forgiving his executioner, for example.

Well, the search goes on. Of course I have used original artwork in the past-and it is a possibility-but getting late in the game to find an artist and commision. Much to work on.

Oremus pro invicem!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Holbein did a portrait of the entire More family that was somehow lost in a fire. As a ardent fan of both Thomas More and Hans Holbein, I find this too tantalizing! Good luck finding nice but affordable cover art! --Agnes