Happy Easter Season!
I thought I’d start working on a series of early Celtic saints since a quick Google search turns up a lot of Eastern style icons but not much in an insular style. Here is St. Ninian, Bishop of Whithorn, first missionary to Scotland, and Apostle to the Picts (d. 432 A.D.)
St. Ninian is carrying a Gospel book, bishop’s crozier, and his bell (the Clogrinny) used for summoning monks to pray the divine office. His vestments are modelled on the clothes in the Book of Kells, and the geometric lettering is based on the incipit from the Lindisfarne Gospels. Some of the details are a bit anachronistic, but tie him to the town of Whithorn in Dumfries and Galloway where he founded the first church in Scotland, Candida Casa (the White House). The Whithorn crozier is a historic artifact owned by one of Ninian’s successors in the 12th century. He stands in the doorway of Whithorn priory’s ruins. The cross on his Gospel book is from the Latinus Stone at Whithorn.
My plan is to paint this with watercolors, but I was excited to share it once the ink was done!