The Name of the Rose was a project that began once again with a competition, this time on the Venus febriculosa website. I tried my best to deliver my submission until the deadline but a few obstacles got in my way and I didn’t make it. Determined to finish what was once started, I kept on going.
The Name of the Rose in literature and film
Umberto Eco’s novel takes place in the year of 1327, considered the beginning of the Renaissance period. Eco uses real contexts of that time to develop his “murder mistery”, having as main characters William of Baskerville and Adso of Melk trying to solve a series of crimes on a monastery in Northern Italy, where there is a sinister connection between the library and the deaths, although the monks believe the deaths represent the last days of mankind foresaw in the Book of Revelations.
I shamelessly admit my being a big fan of the book and film. The film is a 1986 German-French-Italian production, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Sean Connery is William of Baskerville and the teenager Christian Slater is Adso of Melk.
However, it is the art direction, signed by Dante Ferreti, that is the most beautiful thing of the motion picture. The meticulous approach in characterize the Middle Ages is mind-boggling. Many of the interiors were shot at Eberbach Abbey, in Germany (the Abbey’s official website offers a nice 360° virtual tour). The exterior and some of the interiors of the monastery seen in the film were constructed as a detailed replica following Dante’s specific instructions.
Gregorian Chants inspired me this time again, as they did on CVLPATVS poster. I began searching for chants under the public domain license and found four beautiful pieces. My friend Luiz Pereira identified them for me. Without a doubt, “Kýrie, eléison” was the most inspiring one for this art; a beautiful vocal harmony. Sadly, I don’t know the artist.
The rose, in my personal beliefs, has a special meaning. The search for wisdom, elevated knowledge and enlightenment; the unfolding consciousness.
What I needed to concretize my idea was to find a descent image of a book. One that could represent the 14th century with dignity. I would not take a stopgap.
The Codex is the Bible, written in Latin. It’s called Gigas because of its enormous size: 89 cm tall by 49 cm wide, weighing approximately 75 Kg. Being kept by the National Library of Sweden it permanently stays in a climate controlled store room and is not on display for the general public.
So I got in contact with the Library’s Legal Department Jurist Frida Petersson. She was truly helpful and granted me permission to use the image, making it possible for me to finish this episode of the saga initiated in february.