Hans Memling Sword of Archangel Michael
Archangel Michael Sword project, based on Hans Memling painting, 1480.
Some time ago I have started with a special kind of sword...
Let me say some more about this project.
Hans Memling (1430-1494) was one of the most talented and precise artist of Netherlands late medieval / early Rennessaince period. We can find very detailed examples of medieval swords in his works as well as the mystic, mesmerizing spirit of his time.
Some time ago I have decided to create the sword based on the one from the painting of Archangel Michael, dated to 1480. This used to be the right wing of a triptych. The center panel probably showed a pieta by Rogier van der Weyden, Memling painted the wings. It is very small painting, oil on oakwood panel 41 x 16cm. Now in London, Wallace Collection.
That sword is particularly interesting to me. Michael is usually depicted holding a sword. That one seems to be a powerfull weapon, black steel, unusual design - but created in 15th century it is obviously based on existing swords types. This will be special and unique sword - never before recreated.
My design is based on human proportions of the Archangel proportions and based on real swords from this period. Details are very small on this painting, so it needs to know a lot of real swords dated to second half of 15th century.
I`m working on the blade, crossguard and pommel.
I expected something weird to be honest - but it looks like this will be well balanced and nice battle sword, not very far from real ones. Not too big - not too small, with good proportions - just slightly longer grip than usual, which makes it more special.
Considering black color of steel I must say I was a bit confused. We know that they were make steel armor as black using burned horse's hoof for example. Black swords we can see also on some other paintings, not only by Memling. This can be a real finish and I must consider some patina and make some tries.
I will probably add some special markings on the blade and maybe more sophisticated work with the grip, but not too fancy of course - they are not clearly visible on the painting and there can be some area for artistic invention inspired by existing swords.
There will be a scabbard too - also based on 15th century art style, but more unique, as the sword itself.
I think this will be something very interesting about this one and I will make some special section on my website about this project. Stay tuned - soon more updates on this! :)