Posts tagged ‘heraldic artists’

Ronny Andersen

COA Ronny Andersen

Arms of Ronny Andersen

Most artists don’t reach any level of fame until their later years in life and career. Even more become famous after death. This trend holds true in the world of heraldry and heraldic art as well.

Therefore, it is a rare event when an artist develops the artistic maturity and the recognition of the heraldic art world well before his 30th birthday. Such an artist is Ronny Andersen.

COA Trolle

Arms of Trolle

A native born Dane, Andersen has a very interesting background having received a BA in History in 2003 and will be receiving his MA in the same field later this year (2009). He did not receive any formal training and never was an apprentice to another artist.

To Andersen, it was all “learn by doing”. He studied on his own the established Masters of heraldic art and tried to learn from their example. His immersion into the field allowed him to learn about art and heraldry, whether it was good or bad. Learning what the essence of heraldic art is a life-long pursuit, as Andersen says.

Along the way, he started to find his influences and inspirations. As one can tell by looking at his art, he has a more Nordic feel and has looked to northern European sources such as Aage Wulff, Franz Sedivy, Johannes & Friedrich Britze, Gustaf von Numers, Sven Sköld, Bengt Olof Kälde and Jan Raneke among others. Though Andersen is quick to point out that English and Scottish heraldry is also a very important piece of his artistic mosaic.

COA VindArms of Vind

On the other hand, Andersen has not been attracted by the heraldic influences of his eastern and southern European counterparts. The traditions in those regions, however fascinating they may be, have not called to him artistically. He does make an exception for the outstanding work of the Italian Marco Foppoli.

Though Andersen started doing heraldic art as a hobby before the turn of the 21st century, he didn’t start professionally until about 2003. In 2005, he starts his business Ars Heraldica and that same year becomes the Royal Arms painter for the Royal family of Denmark, dedicated to the Royal Orders of the country. Specifically, he is responsible for the emblazonment of the arms of the Knights of the Order of the Elephant and the Order of the Dannebrog.

He prefers to work primarily with gouache on high quality paper but, never misses an opportunity to work on premium vellum either. An artist with discerning tastes and expectations, always seeks the best in his art. Even when it comes to working with wood or metal, he enjoys the challenge and the chance to work with his favorite gold and aluminum leaf.

COA Faroe IslandsIn 2003, Andersen was commissioned to create the arms (seen above) for the Faroe Islands when they opened a representation office in Copenhagen. These same arms where later adopted by the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands as the official arms of the nation on April 1, 2004.

In 2005, Andersen was tapped to design the arms of all the noble families of Denmark for the nobility yearbook. Those designs are displayed throughout this post showcasing Andersen’s amazing work covering more than 200 families.

COA Crown Princess Mary of DenmarkIn 2006, Andersen created the arms above for HRH Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark. An especially interesting commission as Mary is the wife of HRH Frederik, the Crown Prince of Denmark and heir to the throne.

COA Nelson Mandela

The most recent and arguably the most exciting commission of his was when he painted the arms of Nelson Mandela as a Knight of the Order of the Elephant. Although Mandela was created a Knight of the Order in 1996, Andersen created the arms seen above very recently.

But, in what does Andersen take the most pride in? It is those corporate arms he has created for local communes that are being used constantly in all official (and not so official) capacities and becomes part of that community’s culture and heritage. Naturally, the work he has done and continues to do for the Royal Orders of Denmark are especially prestigious and a source of pride. Though, however much he enjoys those creations and the joy of completing a major work, his biggest source of satisfaction is the reaction of a client when they first see the completed emblazonment of their arms.

COA Knuth-WinterfeldtArms of Knuth-Winterfeldt

Ronny Andersen’s website in Danish and English with an extensive gallery of images is located at:

Laurent Granier

COA Laurent Granier

(arms of Laurent Granier)

Laurent Granier is perhaps the premier French heraldic artist with a vast knowledge of French heraldry. A descendent of a minor noble family of the Duchy of Savoy, he has been active since 1995 and enjoys a broad recognition of his work worldwide. Many have included him in the company of the so called “masters” and I cannot say that I blame them.

As opposed to other artists who had the privilege to study at an art instruction school, Granier is entirely self-taught in the techniques of graphics and design. His innate talents came out and developed through trial and error over the years. However, he has benefited from speaking and consulting with professionals in the field, especially in that of the heraldic arts.

COA Fr. Turpault

Having graduated with a Master’s degree in History and Modern French Letters, he began working as a heraldic artist in 1995. Being the talented artist that he is, his name began circulating in heraldic circles, first in France and then elsewhere. By 2006, a mere decade after entering the field professionally, he had become established enough that the Vlaamse Heraldische Raad (Flemish Heraldic Authority) had asked him to become of their staff heraldic artists.

COA Ségyo

Granier’s bilingual website (in French and English) shares a lot of information about the artist, his work and the services he provides. He also lists , in chronological order, the exhibitions he has had over the years through 1995. The website also includes a lot of interesting information on heraldry in general but also specifics to the environment in France and the minor details that most would not know, especially those outside of France. A case in point are the pages “Overview of Heraldry”, where he shares information from Michel Pastoureau’s book “Traité d’héraldique”, and the one titled “Advices”. However, my favorite besides the gallery (of course) is the page “More Information” where a list of excellent books is presented that would allow a researcher to expand upon their knowledge of Heraldry and specifically, French Heraldry.

COA La Rivière près d'Auge

This noted artist has been commissioned to emblazon arms by customers with very exacting demands and an expectation of perfection over the years. Some of the recipients of his emblazonments have included Cardinal Philippe Barbarin (2004), Cardinal Louis-Marie Billé (2001) and Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza (1997). In 2005 he was asked by the Prefect of the Pontifical House to create a few black and white sketches of the arms of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

Alliance arms of the families de Valpergue de Masin and Le Deschault  de Montredon

His media exposure has included newspaper and journal publications, conferences, personal and group exhibitions as well as working on the heraldry of the 2006 French film “Les Aristos”.

Samples of his work are displayed in this entry and many more images can be viewed in the gallery hosted on the website mentioned above.

It must be noted that not only is Laurent Granier a most excellent heraldic artist, he also has extensive experience in navigating the often confusing waters of heraldic legislation in France. This is a talent, as well as a knowledge base, that is very rare to find and I’m sure can prove helpful to those interested in their rights in the French jurisdiction.

COA Champs de St Léger

When commissioned to design a coat of arms, his research is extensive spending hours going through books, manuscripts and other resources that most haven’t even heard of, let alone thought of. His formal academic training achieved by obtaining a Master’s degree in French History and Letters from the University of Grenoble in 1991 further validates the rigor of his work. The arms above of Champs de St Léger were derived by researching such obscure sources as the Tacuinum Sanitatis so as to come up with truly unique and expressive arms.


In the case of the arms above of Ms. Maureen Yeo from Singapore, Granier accomplished to fuse the best European heraldic tradition with the Asian tradition of the armiger. Notice the charges, helm and crest all being Asian inspired but the combination 100% traditional heraldry!

Bookplate of Michel Popof

Naturally, as with most other heraldic artists, emblazoning heraldic achievements is not all this extremely talented artist does. What you see above is a simple, yet masterfully executed Ex Libris (or bookplate) for Mr. Michel Popoff, President of the International Academy Of Heraldry.

An outstanding heraldic artist who’s work not only accomplishes what an armiger desires in an emblazonment but they can also stand alone as works of art.

Heraldic artists

What would heraldry be without its artists?

There are so many highly talented artists out there that it would be impossible to mention them all and if I attempted to do so, I’m bound to omit so many that it would appear to be an incomplete or an inaccurate list.

However, I do plan on mentioning a few that I have had the privilege of communicating with and some have even emblazoned my arms. I’ll also mention a couple of other artists that I’ve never communicated with but, would like to have the opportunity to commission them to emblazon my arms.

To be fair, I’ll present them in alphabetical order and only those who do this professionally.

Ronny Andersen is a Danish heraldic artist who has the privilege of enjoying royal patronage by the royal family of the Denmark. He specializes in the heraldic arts and is open to be commissioned to emblazon arms, design badges, bookplates, etc. He also creates illuminated manuscripts of very high quality. In addition to his services as an artist, he offers the services of a herald and advises on the creation of new arms for prospective armigers.


Randy Asplund is an American artist who specializes in using traditional methods for his heraldic work and illumination. He has spent a considerable amount of time studying the medieval and renaissance techniques and has now mastered them. Using gold and silver leaf, lapis lazuli, garlic juice and eggs (to name a few materials) are standard to this artist. Of course, he uses genuine parchment and is excellent to work with. Anything produced by this highly talented artist is destined to be treasured heirloom.


Neil Bromley is another one of the very talented heraldic artists in the field. An English artist from Devon, he studied at the Reigate School of Art and graduated in 1995. All his work is done on calf-skin vellum and he uses 23.5 carat gold leaf, making any of his emblazonments an heirloom.


Marco Foppoli is an Italian artist who, like others on this list, has achieved world fame in the circles of heraldry. However, Foppoli is also very well known in other circles such as those of the Orders of Chivalry and the Vatican. He is most known for his unique style and for emblazoning the arms for senior members of the Catholic Church. He had the privilege of working under the tutelage of Mons. Bruno Heim, Papal Nuncio and learned much of the rules and traditions of the heraldry of the Catholic Church from him.


COA Laurent GranierLaurent Granier is a very well known French heraldic artist with a vast knowledge of French heraldry. He has been since 2006 a heraldic painter for the Flemish Heraldic Authority of the Flemish government of Belgium. Granier is an excellent resource that can help navigate the sometimes confusing waters of heraldic tradition in France and the current legislation.



Grujic a 1Ljubodrag Grujic is perhaps one of the top heraldic artists in the world who use digital media instead of traditional to bring his work to life. Hailing from Pancevo in Serbia, his formal education is in Literary Sciences and his “day” job is being a high-school teacher. However, it is his inimitable style and innate talent that have made him a respected and highly sought after heraldic artist. He is associated, just like Nikitovich below, with the Center for Research of Orthodox Monarchy and in 2008 was appointed Heraldic Artist to the Royal House of Bagration-Muchranski of Georgia.


Michael Medvedev is a Russian artist whose emblazonments are exquisite. His artistic talent and heraldic research work have allowed him to become an advisor on heraldic matters to the President of Russia. However, not only is he an outstanding artist, he is also an inspired herald that can assist a prospective armiger in designing a new coat of arms.


Kimon Andreou's armorial achievementSrechko Nikitovich is a most excellent young Serbian artist who also happens to be a digital artist. Even though he works with digital media, his emblazonments have excruciating details that are often not found even in traditional work of the highest quality. Nikitovich is a member of the Center for Research of Orthodox Monarchy and has also emblazoned the arms of various royal families of Europe such as those of Portugal, Serbia and Georgia. I have had the pleasure of having my full armorial bearings emblazoned by this artist and was pleasantly surprised when Nikitovich gave my achievement a Greek “look”. I must also add that he speaks fluent Greek, always a plus in my book 🙂


The Rev. Fr. Guy Selvester is noted American herald and artist who is an expert on the heraldry of the Catholic Church. He also happens to be a Catholic priest and is highly sought after by senior members of the church who are looking to create arms for themselves or their parishes. Fr. Guy is very active in non-profit organizations and orders of chivalry and is highly respected in heraldry circles. He is often mentioned as being the perfect fit for the Pontifical Office of Heraldry, if it ever were to be created. He is working with Andrew Jamieson on the St. Peter Codex.


Ioannis Vlazakis is a Greek artist who may very well be one of only a handful of, if not the only, Greek artists who deal with heraldry. Vlazakis has an exquisite medieval and gothic style with a Greek/Byzantine flair that comes out in all his work, heraldic and otherwise. A very talented and growing heraldic artist who often reaches out to already established heraldic masters for guidance.