Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin
by Rogier van der Weyden 1435 - 40
Saint Luke is the Patron Saint of Artists.
The White Shield has gone through several metamorphosis since 1996. The current Confraternity established in 2022 promotes the finest heraldic art, practice and fellowship between leading heraldic artists from around the globe. We raise awareness of the skills of our Artist Companions who have dedicated their lives and careers to this artistic tradition and who have through hard work and professionalism continued, developed and built on the long tradition of the master painters of heraldry who over the centuries made the art what it is today. The Confraternity also raises awareness by holding exhibitions of the work of its members. To offer and encourage new interest in this art it offers each year bursaries to new and aspiring young artists who show a genuine interest in the art of heraldry and becoming heraldic artists. It also offers as part of one bursary, one to one tuition in heraldic art by one of the Confraternity's master artists. The Confraternity also offers what will be a biannual Prize for heraldic art. Much like the medieval guilds we will encourage new artists to study, train and aspire to reach a standard that entitles them to be called, 'professional Heraldic Artist'.
The Confraternity also honours those who have helped promote good heraldic art and practice by patronage or who by other means have helped raise awareness of the art form. The Companions of the White Shield are an important and integral part of the Confraternity. To honour those who have gone even further, above and beyond the norm to promote heraldic art the Confraternity appoints Distinguished Companions each year on the 1st of May, the Feast of Our Lady Queen of the May and on the 18th of October, the Feast of St. Luke, Patron Saint of Artists.
Membership of the Confraternity is strictly by invitation only. With new members being nominated by a minimum of three companions and approved by five Artist Companions.
The Confraternity's Insignia.
The insignia of the confraternity was designed by Andrew Stewart Jamieson and represents heraldic artists from all points of the globe bound together by their mutual respect (gold cord) and by their art (the white shield which was used as a device or sign of a painter in the Middle Ages) the tinctures of Gules and Argent are indicative of the national colours of Canada where the idea for the White Shield was first discussed. The Collar of the White Shield may be used by all members of the Confraternity.
The Confraternity of Our Lady, Saint Luke and the White Shield which is more commonly known as the Fellowship of the White Shield constitutes a growing distinguished international community which is representative of the leading artistic and cultural patronage of heraldry in the world today.
This initiative was first discussed in a conversation between four heraldic artists who were attending the 22nd International Congress Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences held at Ottawa in 1996. The artists were, Romilly Squire from Scotland, Gavin Schlemmer of South Africa, Baz Manning and Andrew Stewart Jamieson both from England. The Congress hosted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority led at that time by Robert Watt L.V.O., Chief Herald of Canada was the first time that heraldic artists were recognised for the important contribution they play in the science of heraldry. In total eleven international artists received the accolade of Master of Heraldic Art by the Canadians. They came from Finland, Russia, Canada, Scotland, England, South Africa and the Czech Republic and exhibited their work in the exhibition, 'Eleven Masters of Heraldic Art' in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa.