Artist Daniel Mitsui’s VERY COOL new art, including a “Four Last Things”. (Fr. Z rants a little.)

The artist Daniel Mitsui, in his newsletter, indicates that he has new art, including a representation of the Glorious Mysteries (a nice gift to a priest after Easter) and – this really caught my eye – the Four Last Things!

I wonder if in a future version the two nasty hell critters (bottom left) corresponding to the musical heavenly angels (bottom right), shouldn’t have… I dunno… an accordion and kazoo, or maybe a vuvuzela.  Here is a close up of the print I received today.


Does the critter on the left have a bagpipe?  I think the other one could be hiding an ordination tambourine.

In any event, the print makes its point.

The words on the Four Last Things print are: “Ex verbis enim tuis iustificaberis, et ex verbis tuis condemnaberis.” Matthew 12:37. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

We live by God’s grace and, please God, die in His grace, but because of our free will, a great deal of our fate really is in our hands.

When you got to Mr. Mitsui’s website, keep in mind that our computer screens seldom give the right sense of the vibrancy of colors.

I receive three prints this morning, and the colors pop right out.


Alas, my phone camera doesn’t do them justice.

Note the clock in the center of the Memento Mori.

Tick… tick… tick… you are all going to die.

To my eye, some of Mitsui’s work recalls the famous Kelmscott Chaucer.  Whaddya think?

Here’s a detail of the “Death” panel (not, not the Obama Administration’s future “death panel”):


Ah, Death!  Oooo… the Devil wants your soul with him in Hell!  Happily, the moribund has received the last rites (candle) and his angel is praying for him.

Come to think of it, that might be a pretty good rendition of Obama Administration’s upcoming “death panels”.  Just substitute a few of the characters.

Another print I received depicts in a Japanese “fusion” style the Archangel Raphael (you can tell from the fish… think Tobit).

The Mary and Child is described by Mitsui as influenced by Byzantine iconography and the English Arts and Crafts movement, together with Japanese woodblock prints.

I will add that the print of the Four Last Things is just the right size for your prayerbook or for a small frame at eye level near your bedroom prie-dieu.

A great gift to a priest or, especially, a bishop for his breviary.

Finally, I hope Mr. Mitsui will one day do something with the Christological Goldfinch!

WDTPRS kudos.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ContraMundum says:

    One of the demons should definitely be playing his armpit.

  2. Laura98 says:

    Those two color pictures are gorgeous!! The Four Last Things is excellent too… I hopped over to the linked website of Mr. Mitsui – and his work is just outstanding. What a wonderful gift he has. Thank you for sharing this Fr. Z! And I vote for the vuvuzela on that demon in the corner… there cannot be a more annoying instrument in all of the universe.

  3. APX says:

    It couldn’t be bagpipes, as they’re such a heavenly instrument. Perhaps it ‘s a far…err…bassoon.

  4. chantgirl says:

    Very nice. I put the link on my facebook page. Daniel needs to put some file protection on his art pics on his page, though. Right-clicking on his pics let anyone download them and print them out. I’m sure he spends a good amount of time on these and would like to be compensated for that.

  5. pm125 says:

    Lot of action in these pictures. Creepy hell with a chamber pot of skulls and very visceral image of who or how they got there; and the spear over the dying one separating ‘left’ and the candle he grips the ‘right’. The two little demons look like they are from our children’s media. This art could inspire some learning in religious ed, even emulation. Want to see a close up of Judgment.

  6. The Cobbler says:

    The critter on the left looks to me as though it is licking the blade of an axe, actually.

    I’d be curious what a Byzantine expert would say about the mix of Asian art and Byzantine iconography elements.

    If only I could draw half as well…

  7. Kieninger says:

    I happen to play the accordion, so it is therefore not an evil instrument, but might I suggest that one of the demons plays a guitar and the other a tamborine? I’m sure I know what hymnals they use down there, as they rise again from ashes, trying in vain to sing a new church into being, while asking each other through the flames, “what is this place?”

  8. contrarian says:

    This guy’s stuff is fantastic. Gorgeous and detailed. He has uncanny technical skills. I’m going to buy some stuff from him and tell my friends…

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    Fr. Z., you are very funny, in a really great way.

  10. Corey F. says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for doing this wonderful post on Mr. Mitsui’s work! I actually commissioned a bookplate that was featured in his most recent newsletter (the one from which the depiction of the Four Last Things you feature comes, I believe). He’s a wonderful artist–immensely steeped in the tradition of the Church. I’m always glad to see his work get the wider recognition that it so justly deserves.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Love this art and it does seem that the simplicity meets the message well. Thanks, Father, for pointing out the website.

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