In this historical moment, when books are in process of dematerializing, of literally becoming virtual, it is important to consider what is being disembodied. What is the significance of the physical presence of a book, particularly one that is thickly layered, one whose meaning is comprised of both image and text? The tradition of illuminated manuscripts is an ancient one that easily stretches back to the Middle Ages. While the idea of combining image and text, of marrying the “sister arts,” has been widely debated, discussed, and practiced in the intervening centuries, I have always been fascinated by the potential of another way the concept of ut pictora et poesis makes meaning. When I think of an illuminated manuscript, I immediately envision a book filled with light, a text traced in an infinite accretion of radiance. As a literary scholar, I have spent some time contemplating the way that sensation of luminescence, that “incandescence” as Virginia Woolf would say, is itself constitutive of meaning and of aesthetic experience. In my practice as a visual artist, I am beginning to explore this thought as it pertains to biography and autobiography. Is it possible to illumine a life through art? Is all such illumination merely re-invention, a necessary fictionalization of the subject, or is possible to contour the shades and shadows of memory into an enduring portrait? These are some of the questions that informed the composition of “Blue.” Contemporary Canadian painter, Cliff Eyland, is an ideal subject for the exploration of these issues, given his fascination with modalities of perception and his technical understanding of the science and spirituality of light.