The Grail Code 
Perceval winneth the golden cup

When I was in high school, I used to know every grubby little bookstore in the Washington metropolitan area. Somewhere on a back shelf of one of them I found Sebastian Evans’ translation of The High History of the Holy Graal, and that was the book that first introduced me to the legends of the Grail.

The dreamlike romance was what enthralled me once I started reading, but I’m sure the illustrations were the reason I bought the book in the first place. They were like nothing I had ever seen before. Here’s one of them, and it demonstrates all the qualities that make Jessie M. King’s pictures so striking: the long, flowing lines, the elongated bodies, the medieval attitudes and composition, and the blurring of the line between illustration and decoration. I choose this as the first entry in our new page of Grail art because it’s the first illustration of the Grail I ever remember seeing, and it still haunts me now, several presidential administrations later.

One Response to “Perceval winneth the golden cup”

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(C) 2006 Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey