Thursday, December 13, 2007


calligraphy - Anthropmorphia

Adornos caligráficos (Motivos animales, etc.) a

Nueva arte de escreuir - Pedro Diaz Morante - 1624

Spanish calligrapher and woodcutter, Pedro Diaz Morante (1565-1636), devised a new system for teaching cursive writing which was released in five parts between (I think) 1615 and 1631. Were these wonderfully ornate and quirky flourishes in page image format and not merely microfilm copies, I would have quite happily devoted a whole post to them (the white background figures above were cleaned up quite a bit).

There are four pages of thumbnail images from 'Nueva Arte de Escreuir' at the University of Seville. Incidentally, Morante was said to have been able to write equally well with either hand, a feat that had him brought before before the Spanish Inquisition at one stage. [see also: Paperpenalia for calligraphic motifs by Morante (and others); and if you read Spanish, the Miguel D Cervantes Digital Library have an illustrated html version of 'Arte de la Escritura y de la Caligrafía : Teoría y Práctica' by Rufino Blanco y Sánchez (1902)]

[Regarding the missing images below: see the ADDIT note at the bottom]

martin frobenius Ledermüller (1765)

martin frobenius Ledermüller (1765) a

martin frobenius Ledermüller (1765) a (detail)

"Martin Frobenius Ledermüller (1719-69) was a German physician and keeper of the natural history collection of the Margrave of Brandenburg-Colmbach." "[He] settled down in Nuremberg in 1749, after having been wandering about for many years as a soldier and a secretary, and started his valuable microscopical observations under the protection and direction of the famous Dr. C.J. Trew."

The slender volume about barley (and?) from which the above illustrations were taken is titled: 'Phisicalisch mikroskopische Vorstellung und Zergliederung einer angeblichen Rokenpflanze, das Staudten, Stek- oder Gerstenkorn' and is online at the Universities of Strasbourg [link updated Feb. 2013]. [quotes taken from the Microscopy editions page at Antiquariaat Junk, which has a few Ledermüller books]

Mémoire Aptérologique - Jean Frédéric Hermann 1804 a

Mémoire Aptérologique - Jean Frédéric Hermann 1804

'Mémoire Aptérologique' (1804) from the French doctor and entomologist specialising in spiders and mites, Jean Frédéric Hermann - at the Universities of Strasbourg (nine plates in total, at the back of the book)

Chemical atlas - Flame

'Chemical Atlas or The Chemistry of Familiar Objects' by Edward Livingston Youmans (1855) at Strasbourg Universities.

Animalcules Infusoires - Pritchard + Chevalier 1838

Animalcules Infusoires - Pritchard + Chevalier 1838 a

Andrew Pritchard was more of an optician, spectaclemaker and retailer of microscopes rather than a biologist, per se. He collaborated with C R Goring to publish a number of works on the microscope in the 1830s including '300 animalcules Infusoires, Dessinés à l'Aide du Microscope' (1838) at the Universities of Strasbourg, which I'm fairly sure is the French translation of 'The Natural History of Animalcules: containing Descriptions of all the Known Species of Infusoria with Instructions for Procuring and Viewing Them' from 1834 (on googlebooks). Very reminiscent of the great Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (also).


My notes merely say(s): "alchemy"; but I know it was uploaded in the last few weeks to one of the German University libraries. Beyond that...I don't recall.

babylonis muri  1572 galle

piramides aegypti. 1572 galle

The Babylon and Egyptian illustrations were engraved by Philip Galle after designs by Marten van Heemskerck for a 1572 series on the seven wonders of the world. [from Virtuelle Kupferstichkabinett]

balthasar caymox from a bird series - approx 1610-1625 peacock

This is by far the most striking image from a suite of bird prints by the fabulously named Balthasar Caymox (approx. 1610-1625) [from Virtuelle Kupferstichkabinett]

cafe dance scene - john buckland-wright

cockerel press - john buckland-wright

three bathers, 1954 - john buckland-wright, woodcut

caspar barthen - deutscher phoenix franckfuhrt am mayn 1626

My notes say: "Caspar Barthen Deutscher Phoenix Franckfuhrt am Mayn - Aubry, 1626" and it's likely from either HAB or MDZ libraries in Germany; but it's newly online and resistant to searching. This was the singular worthy image from the book from memory anyway.

castor bean - ricinus communis

Castor Bean - Ricinus communis

pasque flower - pulsatilla hirsutissima 1930s

Pasque Flower - Pulsatilla hirsutissima

The University of Colorado Herbarium has a collection of forty-one botanical watercolors painted by the artist Ida Hrubesky Pemberton during the 1930s and 1940s.

debra band - psalm 8, hebrew

Addit: Debra Band will give an illustrated
lecture at the Library of Congress on January 17, 2008.

"Aurelio O'Brien transports us to a future where technology has been replaced by biology in the form of genetically engineered CreatureComforts™" - and uses a fun and novel approach to showcase his book on the internet.

christian gottlob heyne - homer nach antiken gezeichnet 1801

Cropped image taken from 'Homer Nach Antiken Gezeichnet' 1801
out of the archaeological collection at the University of Heidelberg.

indianer von topinambous - joachim du viert 1613

'Indianer von Topinambous' by Joachim du Viert, 1613.
[from Virtuelle Kupferstichkabinett]
More of the highly stylised renderings of the Brazilian native Tupinamba tribe that served as one of the oft-used visual models for understanding the New World*.

johannes adelphus 1516 - The Turkish Chronicle

johannes adelphus 1516 die turkisch chronik a

johannes adelphus 1516 die turkisch chronik

These three woodcuts are from 'Die Türckisch Chronica' (The Turkish Chronicle, funnily enough) by Johannes Adelphus from 1516 (2nd Ed. First: published in 1513) at the Bavarian State Library in Munich. Adelphus was a humanist doctor from Alsace whose book documents the Ottoman Empire from its beginnings up to 1500, with a special emphasis on the Crusades.

Asherbooks articulate the 'something' that drew my attention to the illustrations when I briefly scanned the book: "Some woodcuts show a perspective and style reminiscent of mediaeval art, while others are good examples of Renaissance work showing modern perspective and rendering each figure with personal character."

jupiter - planetenkinder

mercury - planetenkinder

The figures of Jupiter and Mercury from one manuscript version of the traditional iconographic theme of 'planetenkinder' (children of the planets) [previously: Planetary Arts; The Medical Astrology Calendar of 1487].

As I understand it, the deification of the seven classical planets manifested itself in Germany in the Medieval Housebook ('Das Mittelalterliche Hausbuch') in which allegorical pictures showed how each of the planets had an influence on particular types of people and activities. The planets owed their individual characteristics to the pagan deities with which they had been associated since ancient times, and also to their peculiar movements and behaviour in the heavens.

Thus saturn, being the furthest, coldest and therefore slowest moving body, is associated with melancholy, old age and illness and so on. The present ink(?) drawings are from a set of seven images from the 15th century scanned by Arend Smilde from his local University Library (Utrecht presumably). [See the translated German wikipedia site on planetenkinder]

'nouvelle carte d'europe dressée pour 1870', paul hadol - carte drolatique d'europe pour 1870 -

'Nouvelle carte d'Europe dressée pour 1870 -
Carte drôlatique d'Europe pour 1870'

- political cartographic caricature by Paul Hadol. (spliced from screencaps)

George Glazer Gallery translate the caption as: "England enraged forgets Ireland but still keeps it in her power. Spain & Portugal smoke away lazily. France tries to overthrow Prussia who advances one hand on Holland & knee over Austria. Italy advises Bismark to keep off. Corsica & Sardinia laugh on at all. Denmark hopes to recover Holstein. Turkey is drowsily awaking from smoke. Sweden crouching like a panther. Russia a beggar trying for anything to fill his basket."

The map comes from Beeldbank Musea from Belgium - an amalgamation of pictures (prints, numismatics, furniture, books, sculpture, textiles and more) from Antwerp Museums. No english is no problem - an easy and worthy browse.

prent met dieren uit een reeks uitgegeven door joos de bosscher, 12 - museum plantin-moretus - rijksmuseum
I found this at the above Antwerp site too and went to the trouble of splicing it together from screencaps and then discovered a better version (the image above) at the Rijksmuseum (bottom of page). This monster insect engraving stands out amongst a stylised but otherwise fairly unremarkable fauna series by Joos de Bosscher, 1620.

smallworlds exhibition

I've saved this 19th century image for a couple of months waiting for the full exhibition site to go live at the University of Oxford, and although progress seems to be stalled, the site is still worth visiting : "Small Worlds: the Art of the Invisible is an exhibition of the miniature world of microscopic specimens, revealing the strange and wonderful contents of the Museum’s collection of some ten thousand slides."

the french lady in london

'The French Lady in London, or the Head Dress for the Year 1771'
(anonymous, after Samuel Hieronymus Grimm)

Vive la Différence! - The English and French Stereotype in Prints, 1720 to 1815 at the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge [via gmtPlus9(-15)]

the threatening notice by john tenniel in Punch Magazine

From the fantastic and exemplary John Tenniel and the American Civil War - Political Cartoons from the Civil War site. "A Free-Use Education Resource" [via Mefi] {Tenniel did the original Alice in Wonderland drawings}

wolff, johann henrich, zeichner 1788 - potsdam

Cutaway sketch of the Church of the Abbey of St Louis
in Metz by Johann Wolff (after JF Blondel) - 1790.

wolff, johann henrich, zeichner 1790 in metz museum kassel

1788 sketch by Johann Wolff - French church in Potsdam.

The Kassel Museum in Germany has an online collection of some 4000 architectural drawings (plans, garden layouts and sketches) from the 17th to 20th centuries. Browse by architect/designer or by city (across Europe). (click 'Startseite')

yesterday's airports of today

Yesterday's Airports of Today!
A 1935 model for an underground air terminal.
From the excellent new Smithsonian website - America by Air - coinciding with a current exhibtion charting the history of commercial aviation. [via Metroblogging DC - Brownpau visited the exhibition last weekend and has posted a flickr photo set]

Other things...

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