Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oken's Natural History Part II

[click for much larger versions]

There was some beautiful illustration work that went into Lorenz Oken's 1843 natural history book: 'Oken's Allgemeine Naturgeschichte' at the HAAB website. I particularly like the facial expressions on the reptiles. No doubt a lot of it was derivative work. Great stuff. Thanks again to The Cartoonist for finding it.
[see also Part I: Oken Marine Species]

French Etchings

The Capitaine Fracasse
Abraham Bosse (1602-1676)

Westminster Palace
Félix Buhot (1847-1898)

Retour Des Champs Elysees
Félix Buhot (1847-1898)

Pont Neuf
Eugene Bejot (1867-1931)

La Pompe Notre Dame
Charles Meryon (1821-1868)

Le Coq
Felix Bracquemond (1833-1914)

Le Stryge
Charles Meryon (1821-1868)

[click for huge full size blogger/scaled versions]*

'A history of French etching from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day; Illustrated with a Frontispiece and One Hundred and Six Reproductions in Photogravure' , by F. L. Leipnik." at Carnegie Mellon University's Posner Library.
*If anyone wants a full size version of any of these (>1Mb) without having to go through the hassle of paging through the website, email me.

The Rouen Festival Book of Henri II

These beautiful paintings make up about half of the 65 page handwritten manuscript:
'Relation de l'entrée de Henri II, roi de France, à Rouen, le 1er octobre 1550'

If you put that title into the search page at the wonderful Rouen library site, all page images will come up as thumbnails. [Henri II]

Oken Marine Species

[click images for much larger versions]

Lorenz Oken [Ockenfuss] (1779-1851) studied medicine and natural science and held a number of university professorships. He is renowned as a 'transcendental naturalist' and first achieved fame with publication of 'Grundriss der Naturphilosophie' in 1802.

There is quite a bit of information about him on the internet but I'm afraid most of it soared over my head and/or is so poorly written as to preclude any decent understanding. Suffice it to say that Oken had mystical beliefs about the natural world that seem to have been derived from Kantian philosophy.

Oken believed that an "organism is none other than a combination of all the universe's activities within a single individual body" and that "world and organism are one in kind, and do not stand merely in harmony with each other."

This philosophy led him to classify the natural world from a morphological basis wherein he considered (prefiguring the cell theory [1839]) animals to be an agglomeration of 'infusorial masses or vescicles'. He placed all animals into classes: Dermatazoa (invertebrates); Glossozoa (fish - tongue first appears); Rhinozoa (reptiles - inhales air); Otozoa (birds - ears are formed); Opthalmazoa (mammals - eyes and other senses are complete).

All that has little to do with either the fantastic images above nor the way they are arranged in the book: 'Oken's Allgemeine Naturgeschichte' ('Oken's German Natural History') which was published in 1843 and is online at the HAAB website of the Foundation of Weimar Classics.

I've only posted the marine species but there are a LOT more plant, insect and animal illustrations available. I'll probably post some more I downloaded later. Although the above images are large, they are still scaled down to an extent versus what's available at the HAAB site.

Many thanks to Ralf Zeigermann from The Cartoonist for pointing out this wonderful book.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Russian Folk Prints

Serpo Didlo - the most wondeful from the giants.

Eruslan Lazarevich - Glorious, Strong and Brave Knight.

Husband amuses his wife.

The New Song

The Argument between a Big Nose and the Strong Frost.

Rats and Mice Bury a Cat

Anika the Brave Soldier

Fairy-tale on how a workman swindled a devil.

Silliness for a Joke. As animals with birds bury a hunter ...

General Toptygin

'Russkii Narodnyi Lubok' 1860-kh - 1870-kh g.g. ; al'bom
at NYPL (17 thumbnail pages) [previous lubok]

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