S Cyrano de Bergerac Artwork // Book Reveiw | Some Little Good

Cyrano de Bergerac Artwork // Book Reveiw

“A great nose may be an index
Of a great soul”

- Edmond Rostand,
Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac is easily one of my favorite French classics of all time, with its sharp wit, keen humor, and dramatic edge, this book always has me laughing and crying by turns!⁠


Book Synopsis:

"Cyrano de Bergerac" is a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand and is based loosely on the life of Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, a french novelist that lived during the span of 1619 – 1655.

(A portrait of Edmond Rostand)

While Rostand most definitely took artistic liberties with
Savinien's life for his play, he ended up creating a memorable masterpiece.

(A Portrait of Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac)

If anyone is looking for a hero, they’re sure to find one in Cyrano; he is a poet, a playwright, a swordsmen, a musician, a valiant soldier and a true friend. There is only one drawback to this Hercules of men, and that is his remarkably large nose, which often causes the notice and snide comments of others. In his own words:⁠⠀

“I have a different idea of elegance. I don't dress like a fop, it's true, but my moral grooming is impeccable. I never appear in public with a soiled conscience, a tarnished honor, threadbare scruples, or an insult that I haven't washed away. I'm always immaculately clean, adorned with independence and frankness. I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect. I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper then the finest mustache, and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.”⁠⠀

― Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac ⁠⠀

(An important letter - William Arthur Breakspeare 1855 - 1914 )

Because of his humble appearance, Cyrano struggles to tell the love of his life, Roxane, his true feelings, lest she does not return them. However, the plot takes a turn when Cyrano learns that a handsome young Cadet’s affections lie in the same vein as his own. . . ⁠⠀
I don’t want to give too much of the story away, so I’ll leave it there.
⁠ The Artwork:

I have been promising myself for a while now that I would try and tackle painting Cyrano and Roxane, however, they always seemed to shift to the bottom of my to-do list.

I finally decided to throw caution to the wind and paint this romantic duo before my next re-read of the book, so that I can finally have some bookmarks to mark my place! 😆📖🔖

I started with Cyrano and he pulled together quite easily. I used a myriad of fine art photos for reference, and my Cyrano sketch managed to look unique and different.

And yes, that is Shakespeare in the top right corner. I used him for inspiration for Cyrano's ruffle collar. Ruffle collars seem so romantic and fitting for Cyrano, he is a poet after all!
"Well when I write my book, and tell the tale of my adventures--all these little stars that shake out of my cloak-- I must save those to use for asterisks!"

- Cyrano de Bergerac

(Cyrano de Bergerac finished illustration by Bridget Deputy )

All in all, I especially love Cyrano's purple cloak and the white plumes in his hat.

"All my laurels you have riven away, and my roses; yet in spite of you, there is one crown I bear away with me... One thing without stain, unspotted from the world, in spite of doom mine own! And that is... my white plume."
- Cyrano de Bergerac

I hope I did justice to his magnificent nose and that Cyrano would approve; for he is such a great man and a portrait of a great man should not be taken lightly.

And, of course, Magdalene Robin (mostly referred to as Roxane), Cyrano's true love, must not be forgotten!

Roxane was a bit tricky and took several sketches. I finally settled on using these two reference photos above as my guide and inspiration. The lady on the left I used for Roxane's face, hair style and posture and the lady on the right I used for her dress.

I used a completely different color palette from either of these portraits, and tried to match Cyrano's purple cape while still complimenting Roxane's fair complexion.

(Roxane Robin finished illustration by Bridget Deputy )

I think she turned out looking rather romantic and just as I imagined her, reading a letter, perhaps the last one from her true love, with a rose clutched in her other hand.

"My heart to yours sends but one cry:
If kisses fast could flee
By letter, then with your sweet lips
My letters read should be!"

- Cyrano de Bergerac

The Bookmarks:
Once the illustrations were completed, all that was left to do was to format the paintings into bookmarks!

With a bit of editing magic, the illustrations were layered over an antique French letter and swirly ribbons. 

I also incorporated an ink and quill on Cyrano's bookmark to signify his love for letter writing, and two turtle doves on Roxane's bookmark to represent her tender sensibilities.

The bookmarks are lined on the back with muted, pink rose paper.

It brings my heart joy to finally see Cyrano and Roxane together at last, hopefully never to be parted again.💕

You can find these bookmarks now available for purchase in our Etsy Shop HERE

Also, since we can't ship to our international friends from our Etsy Shop, I have added the Cyrano and Roxane designs to our Redbubble Shop as bookmark stickers, those can be found HERE

I hope you've enjoyed these ramblings about one of my favorite books and seeing the inspiration behind creating these bookmarks.

Have you read Cyrano de Bergerac?
Do you have a favorite play or French novel?


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