Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Coins and Conscience

La Poire Tapée
Lithograph by unknown artist ~1848
"A pear-headed [King] Louis-Philippe runs from an angry crowd while money falls out of abag he carries. The title is a play on words—it can mean a pear that has been dried in the oven, or it can refer to the slang meaning of "taper," to borrow money from someone."

Marriage for Wealth Officiated by the Devil
Engraving by Jan Saenredam ~1600
"The second of three numbered engravings after Goltzius called the Marriage Trilogy. A devil joins the hands of a couple as she blows a stream of coins and smoke, symbolizing the transience of honor and material possessions."

The Two Deaths
Late 16th century engraving by Hieronymus Wierx after Marten de Vos
"A narrative in two parts. At left, a pious man receives riches from heaven; at right, Death prepares to strike a miser amidst his wealth."

[detail from above]

The Unhappy Lot of the Rich
Engraving by Phillip Galle 1563
"Plate one of his series of six engravings after Heemskerck with this title, published in 1563. A later state, shown here, called Divitum Misera Sors, was issued by Joannes Galle. Illustration of Matthew 19:23-24. A rich man tries to enter the gate to Heaven, but his money bags hold him back. Behind him, three men try to lead a camel through the eye of a needle."

De Beurs Stock Exchange
Early 17th century engraving by unknown artist
"The Amsterdam exchange, situated on the Amstel River, was designed by Hendrick de Keijser and opened in 1611. Trading was carried on in the open inner court."
(still going)

Der Bruder Esel mit dem Gelt [detail]
"An ass is pictured defecating coins while peasants, merchants, and noblemen run to catch them."

Midas, Transmuting all into Gold Paper
Engraving by James Gillray 1797
"[S]atire on the creation of legal tender bank notes by the Bank of England. William Pitt is pictured spewing paper money out of his mouth, while gold coins are locked up in his stomach."

Le Cornard Contant
Early 17th century engraving by CLD Ciatres
"Possibly a plate from his Oiseaux et Grotesques. The "happy cuckold" does not mind his lost honor, because his "horns of plenty" bring him immeasurable happiness. (French caption)."

Coins and Conscience - Popular Views of Money, Credit and Speculation is a presentation of 70 satirical, allegorical, religious, parodic and caricaturic prints (among some other faithfully rendered works) from the Bleichroeder Collection at Harvard Business School's Baker Library.

I think this is a brand new exhibition, which I found completely by accident, searching for a map of all things. There are high resolution images available and I know I've posted a couple of these prints before, including yesterday, but these Harvard files are of a very high quality. The exhibition includes an introductory essay.


Anonymous said...

This is a great find. I enjoy these thematic on-line exhibitions, and this one seems especially well done. If they’d had the space for a second design of Bruegel’s, I think this image would have fit their theme very nicely.

peacay said...

Yep, that's a great image. I've seen it recently but can't recall where. Of course it may have been at your site but I don't think so. No doubt it's posted in numerous places online. So many images, so little memory..

Lilliana Ramos-Collado said...

I have spent hours browsing your BibliOdyssey. I love it because it is an improbable trip to oddsville under the wings of improbable books. I entered it looking for JJ Grandville prints and illustrations, and I have seen elsewhere some fo the ones you display here. But your display is way better, more intelligent. Your blog is fun, strange, rich, and... splendid. As witnessed by your blog, civilization sure has a penchant for the rare, the obscure, de unspeakable. Loved your selection. I hope it keeps growing!

peacay said...

Thanks very much for the kind words Lilliana.

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