Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Kyushu Medical Books

gozonoshugonarabin a


Gozonoshugonarabin (undated)
I *think* some of those objects are meant to be body organs.


zentaishinron a
Zentaishinron, 1854
comparative anatomy


orandakinso a

orandakinso b
Orandakinso (undated)
I think those circular figures are the legend for the anatomy points
(pressure or energy or acupuncture) in the body charts. [It took me a
while - I thought they were cross sectioned veins or blood cells at first]

Shinkyokuzusetsu (undated)


kotsudoseigozusets a
Kotsudoseigozusets, 1744

Majimaganryonozu (undated)
All the different flavours of pinkeye.

Meikakyusensanpen (undated)

Naikeizusetsu (undated)
I'm sure I've posted that figure on the right previously. You have to wonder
how they came to be so stylized. Ignorant artist? Intentional for teaching
purposes? Or perhaps it was just the result of copying from a narrow range
of source material during the foreign exclusion in the 17th/18th/19th centuries?

Hobakuzushikifugen (undated)


hosonozu a
Hosonozu (undated)
I'd be thinking 'alien impregnation' rather than dermatological
condition if I woke to see anything like those faces in the mirror.

Juteikaitaishinsho, 1843
The artist had obviously been perusing European anatomy texts.

Kodomosodaturuoshi, 1840
'How to silence and change your baby at the same time'.
Actually, there was another book with a very similar illustration but it
was more in the way of clearing a choking child's mouth. However, the poses
and the faces here don't really project 'care' so much as rabid infanticide.

gozobanashi a

Gozobanashi (undated)


gyuzansenseikeirak a
Gyuzansenseikeirak (undated)


anpukuzukai a
Anpukuzukai, 1827

Geryohiroku (undated)

[click to enlarge images to full size]

This assembly of illustrations comes from the first half of the 112 rare Japanese medical texts online at Kuyshu University ('List of Titles'). The names above derive from the image URLs and are presumably the titles in english - I don't have an Asian language pack on this machine so I couldn't try to translate any of the notes. [LINK UPDATED Sept. 2013 --> I don't think this is the same as the original page: it may well be that the rare texts are now offline: see this]

Many of the 56 books are are more like short pamphlets and there are a couple of herbals and 2 or 3 books on devices such as instructions to build a humidifier. As you can see above, a lot of the pages have suffered extensive silverfish or other vermin damage, so it's a good thing they've digitized the collection. I'll look through the other half of the books in the future.

Addit: See Part Two.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Purloined Samplings

Shell book frontpiece by Jacopo Tosi 1683

Frontpiece of 'Testacei cioé nicchi, chiocciole e conchiglie'
by Jacopo Tosi 1683 - part of the Cospi Collection at the
Science and Art Museums of Palazzo Poggi in Bologna
(in english with quite a bit of history of science
and curiosity cabinet material to savour)

Trevelyon Miscellany
Before and after restoration: Folger Shakespeare Library's
remarkable 'Trevelyon Miscellany'. This is an eccentric hand
drawn manuscript by craftsman Thomas Trevelyon from 1608
"combining vibrant patterns, moralizing rhymes, historical and
scriptural texts, colorful pictures, and more". Further information
and manuscript images: i, ii, iii. (via Textual Studies 1500-1800)

Che si chiama planispherio by Barbero 1568
'Che si chiama planispherio' (from Barbaro, Perspective) 1568.
[Daniele Barbaro, translator of Vitruvius and architectural theorist]. This
image comes from the large and intriguing Utopia art database at
Cornell University. Intriguing mostly because I managed to have a
short reconnaissance wander through the LunarInsight browser collection
a couple of nights ago, but it appears to now be password protected.
I should have jagged some more images while I had the opportunity.
I dropped them a line about it, which may be a good or a bad thing.

Tabula Urinarum beltbook
'Tabula Urinarum' - the urine connoisseur's guidebook. This mid-14th
century vellum page formed part of a physician's beltbook. The page
folded up and could be strapped around the waist so that the doctor had
'factual' information on hand during a housecall. The caption for the
flasks seen at about 5 o'clock reads: "these urines signify death." The
beltbook (a device for which I didn't see many other citations) also contained
a phlebotomy chart - both pages form Rosenbach Manuscript 1004/29,
most easily seen from the UCLA Medieval Images Library. I guess it
makes sense when you think about it that urine was "[t]he most
commonly employed diagnostic tool of the medieval physician".

Nimis Solicitus A Curis Torquetur

Nimis Solicitus A Curis Torquetur (detail)
This engraving (and detail) comes without information
(that I could see) from the Gelderland region Image
in Holland. It relates to the town of Aalst.

Trignac etching
Wonderful Piranesiesque etchings by Gérard Trignac
[more from Feuilleton] from the Egone site (well worth checking out).

Hebers Hymns

Hebers Hymns a

Hebers Hymns b
The beautifully decorated 'Heber's Hymns Illustrated' by Reginald Heber,
1878 is very reminiscent of the Owen Jones text ornamentation. The engraving
work above was done by a James D Cooper from drawings by about a dozen
artists. The book is available in various formats from Archive.org.

book clasps

book clasps a
The book clasp gallery in Estonia has images of clasp
mechanisms from 5 centuries of books (note there are
multiple pages for each century) [via Archivalia].

Das Salzburger Glockenspiel
'Das Salzburger Glockenspiel' by Christoph Lederwasch,
1704 from somewhere among the Department of Special
Collections at the University of Salzburg
- I always find
something of interest wandering through their site.

Itinerario, voyage ofte schipvaert
'Itinerario, voyage ofte schipvaert van Jan H. van
Linschoten naer Oost ofte Portugaels, 1596'

Map of Jerusalem
Map of Jerusalem (undated)

These 2 images come from De Verdieping van Nederland -
it seems to feature treasures from the National Library and
Archives (curated by Martine Grosselink who also maintains the
Atlas of Mutual Heritage site: Dutch East India Company history)

Heavenly Enlightenment
'Heavenly Enlightenment', 1994

Field Stop
'Field Stop' , 1991

Ge'ez bible - Ethiopia 18th cent.

Amorphophallus Flower and Gymea Lily
Amorphophallus Flower and Fruit c.1916–1917 and
Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa) c.1892

Black Kangaroo Paw and Christmas Bells
Black Kangaroo Paw (Macropidia fuliginosa), Red and Green
or Mangles Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii), Cats Paw
(Anigozanthos humilis) c.1880 and Christmas Bells (Blandfordia),
Flax Lily (Dianella), Haemodorum and Grasses 1879

Never-ending journey, Martín Ramírez
'Never-ending journey'

An untitled work (c. 1948-1963) by Martín Ramírez

"The American Folk Art Museum’s transporting exhibition of the scroll-like
drawings of the Mexican artist Martín Ramírez (1895-1963) should render
null and void the insider-outsider distinction." - 'Outside In', a Review at
The New York Times
(slide show in the left margin) [via GMT+9 (-15)]

Drawings by Claude Renard for Franco Dragone’s show,
'The Costumier of Le Rêve' at La Maison Autrique in Brussels.
[I don't recall the connection but I was actually looking for information about
the creators of 'The Obscure Cities' when I ended up at La Maison Autrique.]

Other things...

Thursday, January 25, 2007


General view of the beautiful park of Sorgvliet [Zorgvliet] by Johannes Aveele

House seen from the park

Terrace No. 11, on both sides and with long and square green hedges

The Beautiful Grotto

The grotto with its cascades seen from the side

The large vivarium with the green berceaux

The parterres of the flower garden

The very artful gotto with its cascades and fountains

Large Mount Parnassus

Large vivarium for foreign and local birds

One of the most beautiful views of the parterre of the park of Sorgvliet [Zorgvliet]


Fountain in the latticework gate [next to the parterre garden]

General view of the orangerie

Green Berceaux[click images for enlarged versions]

An estate at Sorghvliet, near The Hague in South Holland, was established in 1651 by the politician and eminent poet, Jacob Cats. Known as Catshuis, the original building was first expanded by Hans Willem Bentinck after Cats' death in 1660. There have been additional episodic refurbishments of the house, particularly in the recent past, which has served as the residence of the Prime Minister of The Netherlands since 1963.

Perhaps of greater interest than the house itself, especially in the hand coloured engravings above, are the surrounding baroque gardens, said to have been modelled after the parklands at Versailles. None of these decorative elements - the coiffed hedgerows, fountains, fishponds and topiaries, which I'm guessing time-wise, were a post-Cats addition - have survived. It appears to be all wooded parkland today.

A set of 32 illustrations by Johannes van den Aveele were produced by Amsterdam printer Nicolaus Visscher during the 1690s. The example images above are from a set of 18 prints in an anonymous bound album of Italian, French and Dutch garden pictures, probably assembled in Holland in the 18th century.

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