Shakespeare's Sonnet 116
An acanthus leaf border in peaceful hues of green, blue, pink, and purple gracefully trails down a golden column framing one of Shakespeare’s famous sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Sonnet 116, with its beautiful description of undying love, is arguably one of the world’s most beloved poems and is often read as part of wedding ceremonies or incorporated into marriage vows.
Given the romantic nature of the text, I wanted a soft, dreamy color palette full of pinks and purples for this piece but also one that was rooted in history. In researching historical European manuscripts I stumbled across a scan of the Ottheinrich’s Bible’s opening page. Created between 1430 and 1531, the Ottheinrich Bible ranks among the 100 most beautiful Illuminated manuscripts in the world and is an incredibly important benchmark in art, religion, literature, and history of Europe. It is an extravagant and boldly illuminated work but also delicate in it’s design and use of color and served as a wonderful inspiration for my work.
The sonnet itself is written in Secretary script – the same script that was common in Shakespeare’s time. Shakespeare’s own signature is also featured in the lower right corner of the piece.
Written entirely by hand on authentic Egyptian papyrus and painted with hand ground gouache. Original Artwork measures 16”x20” Prints available in multiple sizes.
Dimensions are in inches.