Stunning Pen and Ink Drawings Reimagine Butterflies as Skeleton Keys With “Stained Glass” Wings

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

“Graldora Isiabel”
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Great draftsmen of the past like Albrecht Dürer and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres used precise linework to create impeccable works of art. French artist Steeven Salvat is continuing this age-old practice with his pen and ink illustrations of fantastic hybrid lifeforms.

His newest series, entitled Nymphalidae, draws inspiration from antique skeleton keys, stained glass windows, and butterfly wings. Salvat uses his expertise to combine all of these different elements into something entirely new and fascinating. “The paintings are based on real species of butterflies, made in a way to echoes [sic] the elaborate entomological studies done by naturalists in the past,” Salvat explains in his artist statement.

Each piece is made with Rotring pens and a delicate watercolor palette. Salvat even stains the watercolor paper with black tea to replicate the colors of vintage artwork. “[All of the illustrations] include official-looking, hand-drawn nameplates describing the fanciful and fictitious scientific names of these hybridized and reimagined organisms,” he adds.

His newest show Nymphalidae is currently on display at the Haven Gallery in Northport, New York through September 12, 2021. You can see more amazing drawings by following Salvat on Instagram.

French artist Steeven Salvat creates incredibly detailed drawings in pen and ink.

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

“Euthaia Shanevim”

His newest series of illustrations, called Nymphalidae, combines butterflies, stained glass windows, and ornate keys into unique, hybrid lifeforms.

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

“Vanelea Carlisis”

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

“Saturnis Majora”

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

Nymphalidae Drawings by Steeven Salvat

“Hyaphirus Celia”

Steeven Salvat: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Steeven Salvat.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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