Sunday, September 23, 2007

Piscium Vivace Icones

squilla - cancer - cancer

mustella - pompilus - ropho - galerita

lucius - perca - tinca piscis

liparis - apua phalenica - macrella

hirundo - cepola - adonis - rosmarus

faber marinus - halec - gabio - acipanser zeelandicus

erica - lampreta - lira - raya

cuculus - sarda - frater hugo - leo marinus

canis marinus - canis marinus - silure - cuculus

cammarus - lingulaca

asellus - asellus mollis - cancellus

anguila - congrus - testudo - orbis - testudo marina

admos - trompete - rombus - passer

Adriaen Collaert (~1560-1618) was something of a stock engraver at the Antwerp print shop of his father-in-law, Phillip Galle. He is perhaps best known for a number of plates made about early exploration (eg. Vespucci; African allegory) and much of his work was based on the designs of other artists such as Martin de Vos and Jan van der Straet (Stradanus).

Of his own drawings, most notable are the 'Animalium Quadrupedum' series together with the above sampling from 'Piscium Vivace Icones' - there is a small review at Sutton Books - which are dated anywhere from 1576 to 1625.

The images were obtained from a new and significant German database of prints - Virtuelle Kupferstichkabinett - which is an ongoing collaborative project between Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museums (HAUM) in Braunschweig and the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB) in Wolfenbüttel.

At present there are said to be more than 4000 prints available, produced in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries with many more to come over the next two years.

This is certainly a great resource and doubtless I will be spending some extended time fossicking. But irrespective of any language issues, this is definitely not a user friendly database: it is counterintuitive, often slow, displays overcompressed thumbnail images and it is cumbersome architecture in which to navigate. But that's just my personal reaction on first look. Hopefully they will iron out some of the uptime/connection hassles I've experienced and I'll get better at traversing the database. There is no question that the contents of this resource are excellent so my criticisms are really just an aside.

I found the above marine series browsing through the copperplate engravings (choose 'technik' in the search menu and add 'Kupferstich' and then ... good luck).
[via Archivalia]

1 comment :

Karla said...

The walrus and the open-mouthed creature on the seal illustration are truly astonishing. But it's a fine kettle of fish, so to speak.

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