This illumination is dedicated to the victims of September 11th 2001, to their relatives , to the American people longing for justice and freedom in the world


For thousands of years man has been creating images of light, seeking to come closer to what cannot be expressed and give a form to what cannot be conceived so as to address the mysteries of life, death and beyond. Like my predecessors, I am a religious illuminator and I paint images on books as they would do in medieval times. The word illumination comes from « illuminare », that is to say give light.

In Southern Italy, I received initiation to the art of the traditional image by a Franciscan hermit, this initiation is the true path leading to knowledge. For ten years, he raised me by degrees ,as neophytes are raised, like a shoot/seed delicately striving towards light. He passed on to me the gestures of craft of his filiation, I received the three initiations leading to masterhood and I was ordained Master illuminator.

My Master taught me the laws of nutrition and of sleep as well as the traditional knowledge he possessed, from symbolism to sacred texts, from the art of colors to the art of geometry. He explained to me that illuminators, like the builders of cathedrals are geometers. On the parchment or on the ground, they draw a sacred space within which man can rise towards his Source, his Principle. The image is a reflection, a cosmos, and for my Master it is a means to signpost the path for man’s metamorphoses.

With illumination and its secret geometry, a metaphysical understanding of a centuries-old art emerges into the world. After ten years on my Master’s side, I understood what “being a geometer” meant: it meant to bear an understanding of the world, to seek the Divine Plan behind appearances so as to comply with it.

An illumination is built like any other sacred space, like a real cathedral. A traditional image is an image of light. Illuminations, icons, frescos, mosaics, stained glass … meet unchanging rules that go back thousands of years. These images convey the sacred and let us go into the mysteries of our origin.

Gazing at the image, we go through different stages within ourselves, we reach different levels of understanding. Illumination teaches to see beyond what can be seen, beyond our beliefs. Quietly and reverently, it opens up for us new horizons that are passages into time and space.

Illumination is an unstained star, linked with a regular tradition, its roots are in the upper world. Carried by the winged hand, the image becomes a path to lift us up to the celestial spheres. It sharpens our physical and spiritual senses, it is a relevant instrument.

Jean-Luc Leguay, NY