Norbertine von Bresslern-Roth, Beetle, n.d. Opaque watercolor. Austria. Via FAMSF
Few writers have inspired so many artists, so deeply and for so long, as Dante Alighieri. His epic poem the Divine Comedy (find in our collection of Free eBooks)has received striking illuminations at the hands of Gustave Doré, Sandro Botticelli, Alberto Martini, and Salvador Dalí
Premodern 3D design
It may be hard to believe, but this illustration is over 400 years old. It’s from the age of the Renaissance, when folks loved perfect shapes and measurements. They enjoyed experimenting with geometry, but also with perception - and deception, for that matter. And so illustrations like this were produced: perfect three-dimensional designs in a two-dimensional space (the page). This one is part of a book with 97 drawings made by Lorenz Stör, a late-16th-century designer with a love for geometrical designs that resemble the style of Escher. I love how Stör gives us the impression that we can just grab these objects from the page and toss them around.
Smart page with string
These pages from a late-16th-century scientific manuscript share a most unusual feature: they contain a string that runs through a pierced hole. Dozens of them are found in this book. The pages contain diagrams that accompany astronomical tracts. They show such things as the working of the astrolabe (Pic 1), the position of the stars (Pic 4), and the movement of the sun (Pic 6). The book was written and copied by the cartographer Jean du Temps of Blois (born 1555), about whom little appears to be known. The book contains a number of volvelles or wheel charts: revolving disks that the reader would turn to execute calculations. The strings seen in these images are another example of the “hands-on” kind of reading the book facilitates. Pulling the string tight and moving it from left to right, or all the way around, would connect different bits of data, like a modern computer: the string drew a temporary line between two or more values, highlighting their relationship. The tiny addition made the physical page as smart as its contents.
The Famous “The Kiss” Painting by Edvard Munch-(1863 /1944)
1.The Kiss, 1897, Oil on canvas, 99 x 81 cm, Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway.
2.The Kiss, 1895, etching, aquatint and drypoint, 34.5 x 27.8 cm, signed in pencil lower right, Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway.
3.Kiss IV, 1902, Woodcut printed in black 62,1 x 59,1 cm, Light brown cardboard
4.Edvard Munch, The Kiss, about 1896/97, Oil on wood, 38.7 x 32.5 cm
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century.
One of his most well-known works is The Scream of 1893.