Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Spray Paint copyright Bruce Waldman

Spray Paint

Cello Players copyright Bruce Waldman

Cello Players

Bud Waldo copyright Bruce Waldman
Bud Waldo

All etchings above (posted here with permission) © Bruce Waldman,
a lecturer at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Day of the Dead papercut  made in San Salvador Huixcolotla, Mexico (1980s)

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) papercut motif produced in the 1980s by Maurilio Rojas from San Salvador Huixcolotla in Mexico. The image comes from the British Museum and the chisel/paper technique is referred to as Papel Picado.

A Skeleton by Alexander Mair 1605

"A skeleton; half-length; set in an oval frame with hourglasses and skulls and bones"

The Damned by Alexander Mair 1605

"The Damned; three bust-length male figures surrounded by
flames; set in an oval frame with bats, devils and seven-headed beasts"

From a series of six engravings of memento mori* by the German artist Alexander Mair, 1605. (these are definitely the best of the series) [British Museum]

Astronomisches Handbuch by Johann Rost 1718 Frontispiece (HAB)

Frontispiece featuring muses (?) from
'Astronomisches Handbuch' by Johann Rost*, 1718 from HAB.

Carebna Babushucka (Queen-Frog, Fairy Tales) by Bilibiu (illustr. HA Ghangnai) 1901 (PBA)

This is a cover from 'Carebna Babushucka' 'Carevna Lyagushka' (Queen-Frog, Fairy Tales) by Bilibiu (illustrated by HA Ghangnai) Ivan Bilibin, 1901 (the above image came from one of the catalogues at PBA Galleries) [see comments at the end of this post]

Cynographia Curiosa Seu Canis Descriptio by Christian Franz Paullini - 1685 (HAB)

Frontispiece from 'Cynographia Curiosa Seu Canis Descriptio' by Christian Franz Paullini - 1685 (HAB), a zoological treatise as the reliable Philological Museum advises (a great resource for finding online neo-latin texts).

Engraving of Solomon's Temple from 1660 King James Bible (pub. John Field) (PBA)

Solomon's Temple from a 1660 version of the King James Bible
(published by John Field) (from PBA Galleries)

Hydrodynamic rotsisseries - Gaspar Schott

Well height - Gaspar Schott

Gaspar Schott (previously) was an assistant to Athanasius Kircher. All of his works are fairly eccentric and most are derivatives or additives to Kircher's own large and eccentric body of work. The above two images were the more interesting examples from his 1667 book, 'Ioco-Seriorum Naturae Et Artis, Sive Magiae Naturalis Centuriae Tres', from HAB. The work is said to describe more then three hundred physical, chemical, alchemical and magical experiments and tricks.

Khamsah of Nizami  (U.Louisville)

'Khamsah of Nizami' - a 19th century copy of a 12th century Persian poem. We are told:
"Persian poetry, written in calligraphy on handmade paper. One of Persia's most famous poets, the twelfth century Nizam-uddin Abu Mahommed Ilyas bin Yusuf lived most of his life in Ganja, in what now is Azerbaijan. Nizami is best remembered for his Khamsah, or Quintet, which also is known as Panj Ganj or Five Treasures. Nizami wrote the five long narrative poems in couplets, using different meters for each. Three of the poems are romances and celebrated as the most important Persian language examples of the genre. This fragment of the Khamsah of Nizami was done in calligraphy in the mid-nineteenth century."
These pages come from the 'Illuminating the Manuscript Leaves' exhibition site at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Kunstliche Wolgerissene Figuren by Tobias Stimmer and Christoph Maurer 1605 (HAB)

Kunstliche Wolgerissene Figuren by Tobias Stimmer and Christoph Maurer 1605 a

Kunstliche Wolgerissene Figuren by Tobias Stimmer and Christoph Maurer 1605 b

Kunstliche Wolgerissene Figuren by Tobias Stimmer and Christoph Maurer 1605 c

A hunting (and less so, agriculture) book by the Swiss pair, Tobias Stimmer and Christoph Maurer, called: 'Künstliche Wolgerissene Figuren und Abbildunge Etlicher Jagdbahren Thieren' from 1605 (at HAB). There are about forty woodcuts; interesting to me for all the incidental details in the scenes.

Monogrammist FVB 1475 or so

"St Michael; the archangel standing on top of a devil,
piercing him with a lance; the demon holds onto a shield"

Samson rending the lion by Monogrammist FVB 1475

Samson rending the lion

Prints from between 1475 and 1500 by the Dutch
artist known as Monogrammist FVB [British Museum].

Scotia illustrata by Robert Sibbald 1684

A gannet, "a bird that was of enduring interest to Scots because its association with the Bass Rock gave it its Latin name, given here as Anser Bassensis, and in its modern form, Sula Bassana"

This illustration of a gannet comes from the 1684 publication: 'Scotia Illustrata' by Robert Sibbald. I did a very cursory search around (some weeks ago) and was disappointed only to find a couple of other poor quality animal drawings from this intriguing work. We are told:
"Sir Robert Sibbald (1641-1722) was appointed Geographer Royal to King Charles II. His description of Scotland begins with the peoples, geography and climate of the different regions, followed by an account of diet, diseases and the medicinal uses of Scotland's natural products. He then lists all known flora, fauna and minerals. His plan, outlined in his 1683 'Account of the Scottish Atlas, or the Description of Scotland', was to produce a two-volume work: 'Scotia Antiqua' and 'Scotia Moderna'. In the event, this Atlas was never completed. Only the natural history, 'Scotia Illustrata', was ever published. It is nevertheless a key work in establishing the absolute value of objective, empirical information in all fields."
I found the plate somewhere in the Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library.

Seder Hagadah shel Pesah, Venetsiah - 1609 - Jewish Theological Seminary

My notes say: "Seder Hagadah shel Pesah, Venetsiah - 1609 - Jewish Theological Seminary". Again, I found the various background details in the woodcuts that make up this titlepage intriguing.

Zhong Kui and a demon - 17th cent.

Zhong Kui and a demon with a vase of plum blossom

Zhong Kui assaulting a demon with an axe - 17th cent.

Zhong Kui assaulting a demon with an axe

Zhong Kui drawing his sword - 17th cent.

Zhong Kui drawing his sword, attended by a
demon carrying magic jewels on a tray on his head

These 17th century coloured woodblock prints come from the British Museum. The biography of the mythologoical Chinese figure, Zhong kui:
"God of Literature, vanquisher of demons. Zhong Kui excelled in the metropolitan examinations and was due to receive honours from the emperor. The emperor found Zhong Kui's ugly face repulsive and refused to give him the honours. Zhong Kui threw himself into the sea, but was saved by the ao-monster, which carried him to the surface on its back. Zhong Kui has come to be associated with the Kui-constellation, often regarded as his heavenly palace. His fame came after the Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty, during an illness, saw Zhong Kui in a dream, where he dispatched two demons tormenting the emperor and Yang Guifei. Upon awaking, the emperor was restored to health."

Zwey Nachdänckliche Traum-Gesichte 1684 (HAB)

'Zwey Nachdänckliche Traum-Gesichte' 1684 by Georg Speer, a travel book I believe. It comes from somewhere in the recesses of HAB.

french gothic ornament via glyphjockey

French gothic ornament

Glyph Jockey has uploaded some further scans from
'History of Architecture and Ornament', 1909. LINK. (previously)

Homer H. Boelter 1969 Portfolio of Hopi Kachinas (pba galleries)

Polik Mana and Mongwa - Homer H. Boelter - Hopi album 1969

These illustrations are presumably © the estate of Homer H Boelter.
In 1969 Boelter published an album of lithographs of Hopi Indians - 'Portfolio of Hopi Kachinas' - limited to one thousand copies. The first illustration above comes from PBA galleries. The paired image and the balance of the sixteen plates in the series - and background - can be found at Native American Links.

australia post advertisement

Bouquinosphère 3 was some sort of conference. I just liked the sentiment expressed in the picture which was found here a couple of months ago. I don't know if it's derivative and I spent way too much time unsuccessfully trying to work out its origin when I first found it. No, I couldn't find a larger version. Click on the image for larger original version (Australia Post advertisement) [Thanks Sveta!].

Other things...

For those that read via rss and don't visit the site, I've added a feed from my own del.icio.us bookmarks to the sidebar. It naturally gravitates towards the book, illustration, exhibition, library, gallery, manuscript kind of material, plus other bits and pieces. It also tends to be the place I accumulate links that may or may not end up on BibliOdyssey.
Some blogs:
  • Cartophilia - a lover of maps.
  • Notes for Bibliophiles - "The official blog of the Special Collections department of the Providence Public Library".
  • bookn3rd - "Book History and diversions therefrom."
  • Grain Edit - "Inspiration from vintage kids + rare graphic design books"
  • Publick Occurrences - "blog of historical and political punditry by the inimitable Common-place columnist and former History News Network blogger Jeffrey L. Pasley."
  • Library Preservation - Kevin Driedger on rare book conservation/preservation.
  • Le territoire des sens - art . architecture . design . nature . science


The Bearded Belgian said...

Very nice!

Thanks for the bible illustrations!
I can never have enough of them.

You probably already know, but Dore's bible illustrations are all free online, in high resolution.


Anonymous said...

The title of Russian fairy-tale book is Carevna Lyagushka.

Anonymous said...

And the word babushka means grandmother, not frog.

peacay said...

Well, I'm not really in any position to argue. I knew the meaning of babushka. I was going off what is around and Carevna Lyagushka isn't obvious either on searching (although I see it in reference to a kids book among a few other things). So thanks!

John Rabou said...

Dear Peacay,
For some time now I follow your posts with great interest.
In this case I might be of help, for I admire Bilibin for a long time already.
The cover says:
Tsarevna Ljagushka:
Rysunky N. JA. Bilibina:
Drawings (paintings) by Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin
And finally: Published by the Department for the Production of State Documents.
So there is no reference to an author whatsoever.
Bilibin painted this picture in 1899.
In his time Bilibin was a very well-known artist; illustrator, graghic-designer, stage-set- and costume designer, e.g. for operas by Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Stravinsky and Moussorgsky. He
painted beautiful landscapes and portraits as well.

John Rabou said...

I'm afraid it's only in russian but on this link you could see more of Bilibin's work plus a portrait:

peacay said...

Thanks very much John. Wikipedia actually has an article on Bilibin with a selection of illustrations.

Karla said...

I trust there will be more Bilibin to come. Some of his contemporaries also did very fine fairytale illustrations but I think (my friends will correct me if I'm wrong) that Bilibin is pretty much the cream of the crop. He has such a nice mix of traditional ornament, arts-and-crafts, and art nouveau all going at once.

Dona Minúcia said...

These photo, girl in hug with text, is an advertise from POST - it was made in Australia.
See more in

If you dont could find it, please, write me, and I send you the image.


peacay said...

Dona, that web address is dead. Do you have any other information??

Unknown said...

it's actually Tsarevna Lyagushka - Frog princess

Unknown said...

i just realized john already posted about that, sorry!

lotusgreen said...

thanks for more wonderful resources, pk.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the hugged by a letter illustration. It's definitely an Austrailian ad, done by M&C Saatchi for the Austraillia Posts Social Mail campaign.


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