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Hand painted by Judi Vaillancourt as a one-of-a-kind display chalkware Santa inspired by Medieval manuscripts.
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In 2000, while on a family trip to Ireland, Judi Vaillancourt was struck by the beauty found within the Book of Kells—after waiting in line to see which page would be turned in the grand hall of the Trinity College Library. As one of most famous manuscripts created in the Insular style within the 9th century monasteries, pages are illustrated in both extravagant and complex patterns, colors, or shapes to illustrate the four Gospels of the New Testament.
This isn’t the first time that Judi has used the illuminated leaves in her work—you can find subtle references in one-of-a-kinds from 2013’s Floral Father Christmas with Marionette, the 2014 Silver One of a Kind Father Christmas with Marionette, and even details found within the folios of manuscripts that may have inspired the work of the Dutch botanist, Jac. P. Thijsse, within her 2017 depiction of Father “Winter”.
This year’s one of a kind is unlike any other. Rather than subtle touches of medieval manuscript’s highlights, this piece uses its gold leafing coat as a canvas and the exceptional detail of oils are illuminated through its lustre.
Having spent countless hours painstakingly detailing the coat of this santa, this one of a kind is Judi’s most complex piece of work that she has ever completed to date.