'1690', each representing a continent at war"
figures with large heads and small bodies, engaged in
different group activities" 1686 (After Pietro de Rossi)
the poor at the bottom, the king at the top; Death appears to
take them all" - "Titled along the top and with ten
numbered identifications of the persons in the pyramid
and with Death stating 'Et io tutti pareggio'" 1675-1710
and her dress covered with masks" 1680-1710
da lui effettivamente sperimentate, e dedicate a chi si diletta della caccia'
plus fifteen numbered plates showing absurd ways to hunt birds; second edition
(Bologna, nella stamperia di Lelio della Volpe, 1745) of a series first published in 1684"
devoting themselves to various pastimes" 1691
with the Frenchman emerging on top" 1692
ride towards the pit that death has dug before him" 1691
"Masked dancer playing a guitar representing Carnival" 1680-1710
"Series of three plates with a procession of blind-folded humans,
representing the seven deadly sins, being led to death by devils" 1679
"Three trios, of foxes with a hen, of money-lenders
with a victim, and cats with a mouse" 1675-1710
A beautiful woman playing a guitar; a flap
lifts to reveal a skulll beneath the head. 1698
[note: I removed the flap - it was just a blank piece
off the top of the print the way they photographed it]
"Death as a skeleton attacks with his
scythe a man in bed who blows at him" 1706
"Titled along the bottom; the four types are identified
as 'Messier Papa e Tace', 'Messier Contemplativo',
'Messier Alto e Basso' and 'Messier Puzzolente'" 1680-1710
'Va tutto in fuga: Globi di fumo son titoli e vanti: Fumo e Cenere'
"A large chimney-piece with a fire at the base, up which
people climb, but at the chimney at the top emerge
only broken shreds of their power and authority" 1700
Rebus in nine lines with religious and moral texts designed
to be cut out and pasted onto one side of a fan. 1693
One of the most significant cultural collections of 2-dimensional art (prints, drawings and paintings) in the world made its relatively silent debut online recently. The British Museum has spent more than 15 years gearing up for this moment.
In my opinion this is the equivalent of the commencement of NYPL or the Library of Congress online. Seriously, this is a vast treasure trove and once you've spent any time there you'll never bother returning to poor old BibliOdyssey.
The advanced search page is the best place to start (and bookmark) [there appears to be no real home page as such]. The size of the database is enormous. There are more than 13,000 satirical prints for instance. A free text search on 'London' produces a similar number. There are over one thousand prints by Albrecht Dürer. 'Ornament' returns more than three thousand images. Although the image sizes vary, most are at least close to screen size and there is no watermarking. [See the Guardian Arts article]
Rather than go wandering aimlessly around with my mouth agog, poaching images left, right and centre, I thought I would take a sampling from the Italian graphic artist, Giuseppe Maria Mitelli (1634-1718) whose novel etchings were first introduced to me by a series of posts made by the esteemed (and now retired) custodian of Giornale Nuovo, Mr H.
To save playing the role of mere regurgitator, go and see the posts Giuseppe Maria Mitelli; More Mitelli and Mitelli's Games for further information about the artist and to see some other examples of his eclectic works. [There are some additional Mitelli alphabet images scattered across a few other posts at Giornale Nuovo]. I'll just be resting in the corner while you're gone.