Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The World Around Us

Moon map

Telescope emplacement + scaffold

Insect wing microscopy

House-fly head  + eye microscopy

Human finger microscopy

Sailing galleons

Manta ray species

Fish species

fish + seahorse

Middle Eastern costumes + whirling dervish

Fungi species


Limestone cave


Kangaroo and related species

Known as 'Bertuch's Bilderbuch für Kinder', this rather enlightened 12-volume natural history / science / enthnographic encyclopedia for children was published in instalments between 1790 and 1830. In passing, I noted* that a complete edition was sold last year for over €20,000.

Three [ELEVEN], {as at June 2013} of the volumes are [now] available from the University of Heidelberg (after selecting a volume, click anything below 'Inhalt' and then 'Vorschau' for thumbnail pages). The majority of images above were selected from Volume Two, as I recall.

Inspired by the groundbreaking 17th century pictorial text for children, 'Orbis Sensualium Pictus' by Jan Comenius, 'Bertuch's Bilderbuch für Kinder' contains well over a thousand hand-coloured engraved plates, some apparently produced by William Blake.

  • The Wikipedia article on the publisher, Friederich Bertuch, has a few more plates from the series.
  • The last image above comes from the National Library of Australia. They have selectively digitised the local flora, fauna and indigenous people illustrations from Volume One. (click on 'selected plates and pages').
  • See also: Medusa (detail) posted in February and Greenwich Hospital from Flickr user mando maniac.
  • Update: Looks like the whole series is available at Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (the server seemed fairly slow when I tested it)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Images from the History of Medicine

Operating theater (undated, anon.) (NLM)

Operating Theatre
Interior view of amphitheater with a table for dissection situated beneath a can[d]elabrum; two men are standing to the right in consultation; flanking the amphitheater are two statues, on the right is Aesculapius with caduceus, left is Hermes(?). {undated, artist not named; ?probably late 17th/early 18th cent.}
More likely Apollo (see comments).

Signs of Character, 1843 (NLM)

Signs of Character
Drawn and Published by R. Degranza Pease M.D. 1843
Phrenology poster which shows a profile with labeled sections in an elaborate border.

Apotheke, Lo Speziale (NLM)

Apotheke, Lo Speziale
Interior view showing the production of pharmaceuticals.
Color reproduction of an engraving by Franciscus Baretta after a work by Petrus Mainoto (18th cent.)

Differentes Agitations de Convulsionaires B. Picard. 1736 (NLM)

Differentes Agitations de Convulsionaires
Artist: Bernard Picart (Picard), 1736.
Interior scene: a religious service (exorcism?) is in progress; a large group of people are reading and praying; some (perhaps bewitched) exhibit states of hysteria; one man is bludgeoning another; religious iconography hangs over an alter in background.

E Per Natura E Per Amor Sorelle - Pietro Orteschi, 1762 (NLM)

E Per Natura E Per Amor Sorelle
Titlepage vignette from 'La Costituzione Corrente Brevemente Considerata' by Pietro Orteschi, 1762.
Laying on the ground is a caduceus on top of which is a T-square, a barometer, and a thermometer; perched on top of everything is a rooster.

Early 18th century library IN Bibliographiae Anatomicae Specimen by James Douglas, 1734 (NLM)

Early 18th century library
IN: 'Bibliographiae Anatomicae Specimen' by James Douglas, 1734.
Interior view of a library through a garlanded opening; a man has received assistance in retrieving a book, he stands holding the open book before him; another man is standing next to a ladder that is leaning against the shelves.

Early medical library by FP Florinus IN Oeconomus prudens et legalis, 1722 (NLM)

Early medical library
IN: 'Oeconomus Prudens et Legalis' by Franciscus Philippus Florinus, 1722.
Interior view of early 18th century medical library showing the arrangement of text by author, also indicated are those authors considered important. A large table with several open books on it fills the foreground; a man is returning a book to a shelf.

The human body and the library as sources of knowledge by JA Kulmus IN Tabulae anatomicae, 1732 (NLM)

The Human Body and the Library as Sources of Knowledge
Fronispiece in 'Tabulae Anatomicae' by Johann Adam Kulmus (early 18th cent.)
Interior view of a library with allegorical figures; a body rests on a dissections table in center; a skeleton stands in an alcove to the right; surgical instruments are arranged on a pedestal in the foreground; bookshelves fill the background.

Muti Doctores Optimi (G Behr, artist) in Lexicon physico-chymico-medi cum reale by JB Argentorati, 1738 (NLM)

Muti Doctores Optimi
{title page vignette} IN: 'Lexicon Physico-Chymico-medi cum Reale' by GH Behr, 1738.
A man is reading a large book propped up on a table; bookshelves fill the background, and a few pieces of scientific equipment are strategically placed.

The General Practioner - Leo Brown 1950s (NLM)

The General Practioner by Leon Brown, 1950s
Surrealistic representation of a physician with a caduceus body, a telephone receiver over his shoulder, and standing on a time piece with human hands at the hours holding representations of procedures performed by general practioners.

The Anatomist - Leonard Baskin, 20th cent. (NLM)

The Anatomist by Leonard Baskin (20th cent.)
Half-length figure of a man holding a model of a skeleton; partial anatomical chart to the right.

The Physician as an Angel by Hendrik Goltzius, 1587 (NLM)

The Physician as an Angel
Allegorical figure of the physician as an Angel standing among books and tools of the medical professions. Interior scene: two views of patients in bed consulting with physicians; splint being replaced on broken leg; woman with small pot at fireplace. [by Hendrik Goltzius, about 1600]

The Physician as the Devil by Hendrik Goltzius, 1587 (NLM)

The Physician as the Devil
Allegorical figure of the physician as the devil standing among books and tools of the medical professions. Interior view, two scenes: the patients have recovered fully and the physician has come to collect his fee. [by Hendrik Goltzius, about 1600]

Death, riding Pegasus, Jacques Gamelin, 1779 (NLM)

Death, riding Pegasus, is Leading Troops into Battle
IN: 'Nouveau Recueil d'Osteologie et de Myologie' by Jacques Gamelin (late 18th cent.)
Title page vignette of battlefield scene: a skeleton, carrying scythe and riding winged horse through a throng of dead or dying bodies, motions to other skeletons on horseback (at right) to follow.

The Reward Of Cruelty Design'd by Hogarth, 1799 (NLM)

The Reward Of Cruelty
Design'd by William Hogarth; Engrav'd by T. Cook. (The Four Stages of Cruelty; 4)
A cadaver is being dissected in an anatomical theatre. 1751 [in colour]
Behold the villain's dire disgrace!
Not death itself can end.
He finds no peaceful Burial-Place,
His breathless cor[p]se, no friend.

Torn from the Root that wicked Tongue,
Which daily swore and curst;
These Eyeballs from their Sockets wrung
That glow'd with lawless Lust!

His Heart exposed to prying Eyes,
To Pity has no Claim:
But, dreadful from his Bones shall rise,
His monument of shame.

The Images from the History of Medicine database of nearly 70,000 book illustrations, photographs, prints and posters at the National Library of Medicine has been revamped to include enhanced searching and viewing capabilities.

They now include What, Where and Who directories and, for instance, the above images were selected from Books in Art, Emblems and Insignias and Phrenology categories (among others). The server seems a touch slow but not too bad.
[Announcement; via] Virtually all the captions are quoted from the source site

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Nature of Utamaro

Meadow Bunting + Domestic Fowl

Meadow Bunting and Domestic Fowl

Bull-headed Shrike + Hawk
Bull-headed Shrike and Hawk

Woodpecker + Japanese Grosbeak (Mammemawashi)
Woodpecker and Japanese Grosbeak (Mammemawashi)

As rumours spread
saying that my romance
has rotted away,
I'll be a woodpecker pecking
to pieces their tittle-tattle.
•Shinono Tamawaku•

Gathering shells at ebb tide along Shinagawa Bay
Gathering shells at ebb tide along Shinagawa Bay

Hoping to pick up a shell
like the one used as a sake cup
at the 'Welling Tide' Inn,
we stroll along the strand
stretching out at ebb tide.
•Yomibito Shirazu•

Shells + seaweed

Grasshopper + Cicada
Grasshopper and Cicada

The feelings of a cold-hearted lover
are like a cicada:
it cries constantly
but never shows its face
•Miwa no Sugikado•
Oh, grasshopper,
if you must cry so loud
as you make love
deep within the wall,
remember, it too has ears!
•Kurabe no Yukisumi•

Red Dragonfly  + Locust
Red Dragonfly and Locust

Change in lighting effect on print (red dragonfly + locust)

Brass dust and mica are sometimes glued to the surface of the paper so that the image shines and sparkles when the lighting or observation angle changes. Blind embossing adds a further dimension of texture and depth that alters when the book is moved. (see below) [and see David Bull's efforts in this regard]

Spider + Evening Cicada
Spider and Evening Cicada

Change in lighting effect on print (spider + evening cicada)

The Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge has a flash presentation of three elegant multi-colour woodblock Ukiyo-e books by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) known as 'The Bird Book', 'The Shell Book' and 'The Insect Book'. Just exquisite. The site was developed to compliment an exhibition --- Kachōfūgetsu - the natural world in Japanese prints --- running in the Shiba Gallery until May 17.

The images above are screen captures and the backgrounds have been slightly cleaned.
"Kitagawa Nebsuyoshi [Utamaro] was a prolific Japanese artist who painted all traditional subjects, portraits, landscapes, and court paintings. His paintings were superior in the detail and design of the figures and their appropriate representation of the elegance and prestige of his clients. Utamaro’s color prints were also very famous, and upon introducing these works to the Dutch community in Nagasaki, they developed a reputation throughout Europe." [source]
Ukiyo-e --- Utamaro --- previously

via the ever observant Andrew at gmtPlus9 (-15).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Coral Book

Madrepora agaricites (detail)

Millepora miniacea

Madrepora anthophyllum

Madrepora cuspidata

Madrepora natans (detail)

Millepora alciornis

Cellepora leprosa

Millepora polymorpha (detail)

Isis nobilis (Esper coral book)

Madrepora cristata (detail)

Isis ochraea

Madrepora labyrithiformis (detail)

Madrepora porites (Esper coral book)

Subipora musica + purpurea

Madrepora caerulea

Zoologist, lepidopterist and naturalist, Eugenius JC Esper (1742-1810), inherited his father's love of natural history which he pursued as a sideline to his lectureship duties in science at the University of Erlangen in Germany.

He would rise to head the Department of Natural History in Erlangen while expanding their zoological collections substantially (his butterfly collection still exists). He also published a number of copiously illustrated monograph collections relating to seaweeds, butterflies, coral, birds, insects as well as mineralology and general natural history.

The present work is entitled 'Die Pflanzenthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Farben erleuchtet nebst Beschreibungen' (something like: Natural animal-plants in colour with enlightened commentary) that was first published in ~1791. I get the feeling there were a number of editions or it appeared in excerpts and was subsequently republished as a collection with a variable number of illustrations.

The majority of the images above were sourced from the new natural history collection at the University of Heidelberg. (I've had that bookmarked for months waiting for it to be populated and it looks like almost all the authors have appeared on BibliOdyssey previously). Click on anything below 'Inhalt' at the 'Die Pflanzenthiere..' webpage and then click 'vorschau' to load all the thumbnail pages.

[I must have been daydreaming while downloading the images -- the majority were slightly colour enhanced and spot-cleaned -- because only some of them were obtained at high resolution. There are more in the set too.]

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