Friday, August 31, 2007

Colosseum, Coliseum, Flavian Amphitheatre

Digital ID: ppmsc 06601 Source: digital file from original. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsc-06601 (digital file from original) , LC-USZ62-94156 (b&w copy negative) , LC-USZC4-10683 (color film copy transparency)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (173 kilobytes)

Additional versions and related images: Digital ID: cph 3b40327 Source: b&w film copy neg. Medium resolution JPEG version (45 kilobytes) Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (1,608 kilobytes)

Digital ID: cph 3g10683 Source: color film copy transparency Medium resolution JPEG version (83 kilobytes) Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (198 kilobytes)

TITLE: [Exterior of the Coliseum, Rome, Italy] CALL NUMBER: LOT 13434, no. 173 [item] [P&P] REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-DIG-ppmsc-06601 (digital file from original) LC-USZ62-94156 (b&w copy negative) LC-USZC4-10683 (color film copy transparency) No known restrictions on reproduction.

MEDIUM: 1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900]. NOTES: Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue J--foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905. Print no. "6782". Forms part of: Views of architecture and other sites in Italy in the Photochrom print collection.

PART OF: Views of architecture and other sites in Italy. REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

DIGITAL ID: (digital file from original) ppmsc 06601 hdl.loc.gov/ppmsc.06601, (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3b40327 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3b40327, (color film copy transparency) cph 3g10683 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3g10683 CARD #: 2001700941

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-ppmsc-06601]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Colosseum From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Colosseum or Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an eliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering.

Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian's reign.

Originally capable of seating around 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. It remained in use for nearly 500 years with the last recorded games being held there as late as the 6th century — well after the traditional date of the fall of Rome in 476. As well as the traditional gladiatorial games, many other public spectacles were held there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology.

The building eventually ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such varied purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry and a Christian shrine.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Colosseum

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Illustration Friday: ALPHABETS

All this little birdie needs is
L-O-V-E.
Micron pen on paper.
(Click on the image to see it BIGGER)

A Menagerie of Meyers Maidens


No lofty lessons or obscure ontology today. I thought we'd end our look at the work of Robert Meyers with a selection of lovely lasses (ok, there are some lads in there too).


Meyers had a way with women (yes, and men) that puts him in the good company of the other top artists of the Cooper studio. These are just a few examples of his deftness at delineating damsels... and dudes.



All of these images are available for closer inspection in my Robert Meyers Flickr set.

National Art Competition for Students with Hearing Loss

Rochester Institute of Technology announces its second annual Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition for high school students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Students with hearing loss in grades 9-12 can compete for cash prizes and an all-expenses-paid trip to Rochester, N.Y., for the awards ceremony and an exhibition of their work.

This national competition recognizes students’ artistic expression with awards in the following categories: Mixed Digital Media, Web Page Design, Graphic Media, 3-D Animation, Film, Interactive Media, Photo Illustration and Free-Hand Art in Digital Form. Film is a new category this year.

Students may submit up to two entries. Entry forms, contest rules and other details are available online. The submission deadline is Oct. 8, 2007. More

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-ppmsc-05221]Digital ID: ppmsc 05221 Source: digital file from original Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsc-05221 (digital file from original) , LC-USZC4-10733 (color film copy transparency) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (116 kilobytes).
Additional versions and related images: Digital ID: cph 3g10733 Source: color film copy transparency Medium resolution JPEG version (47 kilobytes) Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (103 kilobytes)

TITLE: [Eiffel Tower, full-view looking toward the Trocadero, Exposition Universal, 1900, Paris, France] CALL NUMBER: LOT 13418, no. 333 [item] [P&P]

REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-DIG-ppmsc-05221 (digital file from original) LC-USZC4-10733 (color film copy transparency) No known restrictions on reproduction.

MEDIUM: 1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900]. NOTES: Title devised by Library staff.

Print no. "1052". Forms part of: Views of architecture, monuments, and other sites in France in the Photochrom print collection.

PART OF: Views of architecture, monuments, and other sites in France REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

DIGITAL ID: (digital file from original) ppmsc 05221 hdl.loc.gov/ppmsc.05221 (color film copy transparency) cph 3g10733 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3g10733 CARD #: 2001698582

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-ppmsc-05221]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

The Eiffel Tower, Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-11267]Digital ID: cph 3a13663 Source: b&w film copy neg. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-11267 (b&w film copy neg.) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (1,637 kilobytes).
Unedited jpg (61k) TITLE: Eiffel tower, CALL NUMBER: LOT 6001 [item] [P&P]

REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-11267 (b&w film copy neg.) MEDIUM: 1 photographic print. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [ca. 1889]

Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain.

NOTES: This record contains unverified data from old caption card. Tissandier Collection. Caption card tracings: Exposition universelle de 1889 (Paris, France); Exhibitions--France--Paris--1880-1890; Tour Eiffel (Paris, France)--1880-1890; Shelf.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3a13663 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3a13663. CARD #: 2002723525

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-11267]
I, Germanramos, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose,
without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law. Description, Torre Eiffel vista desde el Parc du Champs de Mars. High Resolution Image (1545 × 1024 pixel, file size: 330 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

Eiffel Tower From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Parisian landmark is the tallest structure in Paris and one of the most recognized structures in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, 6,719,200 people visited the tower in 2006 and more than 200,000,000 since its construction. This makes the tower the most visited paid monument in the world per year. Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1,063 ft) high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.

At the time of its construction in 1887, the tower replaced the Washington Monument as the world's tallest structure, a title it retained until 1930, when New York City's Chrysler Building (319 m — 1,047 ft tall) was completed. The tower is now the fifth-tallest structure in France. The Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, with the second-tallest being the Tour Montparnasse (210 m — 689 ft), although that will soon be surpassed by Tour AXA (225.11 m — 738.36 ft).

The structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in), due to thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6-7 cm (2-3 in) in the wind.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Eiffel Tower

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Museum Gottwaldianum

garland of flowers


wunderkammer showroom


2 sets of medical instruments


gastro-intestinal system


turtle anatomy without organs


turtle anatomy with organs


sea shells


nautilus shell


3 shells


starfish


fish and squid


beaver


beaver skull



moths and butterflies


nautilus lamp




detail of swine
"Christoph Gottwald(t) (1636-1700) was a German physician in Danzig and created one of the largest cabinets of curiosities of his time. His collection was purchased by Tsar Peter the Great together with the famous collections of Seba and Ruysch. Like more of Gottwald's works, publication was realized long after the author's death when the publisher Raspe purchased the manuscripts."

Gottwald commissioned the Polish baroque painter, Daniel Schultz the Younger, to render drawings he made himself of the contents of his wunderkammer into engravings, which was undertaken in about 1665. A handwritten inventory of the shells, anatomical specimens and marine creatures accompanied the engravings in a 1714 compendium of which only three copies were made. The copper plates were obtained by Raspe, a conchology enthusiast, and a German version of the 'Museum Gottwaldianum' first appeared in 1782.

The illustrations above come from one of the original 1714 prints and are online at the University of Strasbourg (huge images available). There are perhaps forty further plates - many of them shells or anatomical deformities. There is little in the way of background information online. See: i, ii, and a review of conchological literature [link updated Oct '08] by Peter S Dance [pdf], courtesy of the Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. [previously]

Shop update

I made a little 5 piece series
of mixed media collages that will be up for sale tomorrow
at my Etsy shop.
They will be sold unframed and unmatted.
Signed and titled by me :)
I framed one just to show you how pretty it would look on the wall .
I will also be adding some more cards and tags
and on the second week of September a couple of watercolor originals
in case you are interested.

Robert Meyers: Master Composer

Your might enjoy seeing an illustration of a beautiful woman or a race car or a puppy - but your brain probably won't tell your eyes to linger over an image for very long unless there is an underlying construct to the piece that it finds appealing on a more abstract level. This abstract construct is all about composition and picture design... and it doesn't just happen by accident. The thoughtful artist designs his picture very deliberately to keep your brain interested in looking at it... and Robert Meyers was clearly a very thoughtful artist.


The Famous Artists Course chapter on composition and picture design tells us, "most well-composed pictures attract attention to one carefully chosen point, which we call the "center of interest". This may be a single major form, or it may include a group of forms. The center of interest is the point to which we want the observer's eye to travel immediately. Therefore we will try to make it as interesting and clear as we can. In this area we will probably have the greatest contrasts in values and edges, the most texture, the sharpest detail. The design of the whole composition will be planned to take the eye directly to this spot and hold it there."


"After the observer has seen the major object or area that is being emphasized, his eye may wander away and enjoy surrounding or minor areas; but these will be handled in such a way that they return his eye eventually to the major idea which conveys the chief message of the painting."


"When you study the center of interest and the surrounding material... you will notice that certain shapes and rhythms appear prominently. For example, the major form you have chosen as the area of interest may suggest a cube or a cone, a sphere or a cylinder. Your picture will have greater unity if you find ways to repeat this idea, with minor variations, in the surrounding composition. It will help make this idea stronger if you also select a shape for emphasis which is a strong contrast with the major shape."


"For example, if the major shape is made of flowing curves, these curves will be emphasized by placing them against rigid verticals and horizontals. The curved forms in the major shape will be strengthened still more if you include related curves in other areas of the picture. Unity is gained by repeating ideas; variety is gained through varying these ideas or by setting them against strong contrasting ideas."

I hope you'll take a little time to examine these three pieces by Robert Meyers and see how he applied the principles described above to create such successful illustrations. They are, in my opinion, textbook perfect examples of top notch composition and picture design.

Need a closer look at the details? Go to my Robert Meyers Flickr set.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty, Department of Interior, National Park Service
Department of Interior Disclaimer: Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline, photo, image credit is requested. High Resolution Image

National Park Service: Ownership - Information presented on this website, unless otherwise indicated , is considered in the public domain. It may may be distributed or copied as is permitted by the law.
Statue of Liberty, Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-87715]Digital ID: cph 3b34163 Source: b&w film copy neg. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-87715 (b&w film copy neg.) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (1,548 kilobytes).
TITLE: Statue of Liberty, CALL NUMBER: LOT 3788 [item] [P&P] REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-87715 (b&w film copy neg.)
No known restrictions on publication.

MEDIUM: 1 photographic print. CREATED, PUBLISHED: c1901. NOTES: Photoprint copyrighted by Irving Underhill, New York. No. 1. This record contains unverified data from caption card.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3b34163 hdl.loc.gov/cph.3b34163 CARD #: 2002716183

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-87715]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.
Description The Statue of Liberty front shot, on Liberty Island. Source Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here. Date 2007-06-13 (original upload date)Author Original uploader was GaMeRuInEr at en.wikipedia. Permission (Reusing this image) Released into the public domain (by the author).
This image has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, GaMeRuInEr at the wikipedia project. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible: GaMeRuInEr grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Statue of Liberty From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberty Enlightening the World (French: La liberté éclairant le monde), known more commonly as the Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté), is a large statue that was presented to the United States by France in 1886. It stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans. The copper-clad statue, dedicated on October 28, 1886, commemorates the centennial of the United States and is a gesture of friendship from France to America.

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi sculpted the statue and obtained a U.S. patent useful for raising construction funds through the sale of miniatures. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) engineered the internal structure. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc was responsible for the choice of copper in the statue's construction and adoption of the repoussé technique.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Statue of Liberty

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The Magnificent Meyers

There was nothing phony about Robert Meyers' illustration skills... he was simply magnificent.


Meyers did quite a few multiple image story assignments for The Saturday Evening Post during the 50's. Unlike some other illustrators who may have been pigeon-holed into illustrating one kind of subject matter or another, the Post's editors seem to have felt they could trust Meyers with any genre. His characters were always interesting, unique individuals appropriate to the story.


More importantly, Meyers was a master of strong composition. Given the opportunity to do a really involved piece like the one below, Meyers thoughtfully arranged line, colour and shape to compel the reader's eye to immediately locate the image's focal point.


I want to discuss Meyers' skill with composition in greater detail... but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

For now, enjoy studying these and some other pieces more closely in my Robert Meyers Flickr set.

* And if you haven't already done so, be sure to go to the comments section of yesterday's post to read some fascinating biographical information on Robert Meyers courtesy of Gary Temple, who co-authored a book on the artist, "Robert W. "Bob" Meyers, Artist of the South Fork."
You'll also find photos of the artist and additional details about his life and career at The Meadowlark Gallery.

THE GAZE OF YOUNG GIRLS



In 1913, a pernicious little busybody named M. Blair Coan spied on visitors to an art exhibit in Chicago. Coan, an investigator for the State Vice Commission, was upset by the "immorality" of modern paintings and suspected that Matisse's painting of nude dancers might even be "attracting the gaze of young girls."



Coan stirred up a great public outcry against immoral art. He then turned his talents to spreading alarm about the imminent communist takeover of the United States. In one of his books, The Coming Peril, Coan warned that socialism would ruin society by encouraging free love and giving women the right to vote. For Coan, the most "monstrously immoral" threat was that socialism might permit white women to consort with men of other races:


The negro and the white woman, the white woman and the Chinaman, They draw no race line or color line in the [Socialist] party.
Each new generation must battle its own versions of Coan. Personally, I wouldn't know "immoral art" if I saw it. Rodin used to say, "There should be no argument in regard to morality in art; there is no morality in nature." But even if we all agreed on one standard for morality in art, the law is just not well suited to prevent people from drawing dirty pictures. Author Stephen Becker wrote about the futility of using law as a tool to shape human nature:


Man comes first with his lusts, and then the law, usually in the form of an infinitely reticulated mechanism that serves variously as strait jacket, leg iron or chastity belt. Or that should so serve; but in its preventive function it usually fails and thus becomes merely punitive, the rationale for thumbscrew or dungeon or guillotine.
Today, organizations such as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund do excellent work helping to keep that punitive function from getting out of hand.

That's the easy part.

Now let's turn back to the gaze of young girls.

I may have trouble recognizing when art is immoral, but I have no trouble recognizing when art is coarse, shallow or laughably immature. A number of popular artists such as Serpieri, who is an able draftsman, have a penchant for drawing beautiful women being gang raped by monsters.



Dozens of other best selling artists, such as Manara or Noe, make a fine living selling highly explicit pictures of adolescent male fantasies. And these are the best of the bunch. There are hundreds of artists out there who, judging from their work, seem to be training to illustrate gynecology textbooks.

I am not morally or legally opposed to this kind of art. I sometimes have aesthetic objections, but not enough to merit burning the books or jailing the artist.


At the same time, we let ourselves off too easily if we deny that there are gentle young things in the world (girls or boys) that deserve a chance to find their footing unmolested. And you don't have to be Coan to conclude that easily accessible extreme images from books, magazines and the internet can distort that process.

That's what I would like to chat about in the next few postings: the artistic quality and social impact of this kind of art, the virtues of extremism and the virtues of moderation. I trust that, as usual, you will have some strong opinions to express and some good artists to recommend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stark Masonic Theosophy

handwritten frontispiece - physica, metaphysica, hyperphysica


magickal schematic x 2


kabbalistic schema


kabbalistic schema (detail)


figura cabbalistica


instrumentum fiat natura


transmutation schematic


mysterium magnum studium universale


allegorical alchemical motif


instrumentum divinum - alchemy symbols


celestial configurations for metal transmutation


alchemy model


Johann August Starck [Stark] (1741–1816) was a Professor of both oriental languages and theology in St Petersburg, Königsberg and (mostly) Darmstadt. He was a prolific author, particularly noted for his studies of comparative religions.

Starck joined the Freemasons in France when he was about twenty years old. The story goes that when he was in Russia he met with a Rosicrucian who had been closely acquainted with a founder of a Masonic Lodge in Florence in the early 18th century. The founder was a collector of ancient manuscripts and that Lodge became a centre for Rosicrucian, alchemy and theosophical discussion and enquiry. Secret knowledge divined from the 11th century Knights Templar, as laid out in the manuscripts, greatly contributed to the founding of Hermetic traditions within the developing Masonic fraternity in Germany.

Starck appears to have been what you might call a significant player in German Freemasonry as a direct result of his being exposed to the Florentine teachings. He was a leader of a faction (oh yes, Life of Brian correspondences seem appropriate) called the Klerkikat which joined with the existing Knights Templar order of Freemasons, the Strict Observance, but a schism eventually developed due to Starck's peculiar brand of Masonic beliefs. He was accused of being a Catholic and became quite an unpopular figure despite his receiving plum academic and civil appointments (he was a colleague and friend of philosopher Immanuel Kant). Apparently many of the ideas formulated or advocated by Starck persist into modern day Freemasonry.

One of the more notable subjects of his authorship appeared in the 1803 book, 'Triumph of Philosophy', in which Starck:
"claimed that the Illuminati, a freemasonry group founded by Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830) in 1776, stood behind the French revolution and were secretly pursuing similar lawless and godless schemes in German lands and elsewhere."
How does any of these conspiracy and esoteric shenanigans relate to the intriguing images in this post? The simple answer is: I'm not really sure. They appear in three manuscripts recently uploaded by Wolfenbütteler Digitale Bibliothek and all are attributed to Johann August Starck (or at least, they are listed under his name as author). It would seem they are either copies of, or notes and symbols dervied from, the renowned 'Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer' (Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians) from the late 18th century.

-Ms. Cod. Guelf. 454 Nov.
-Ms. Cod. Guelf. 455 Nov.
-Ms. Cod. Guelf. 456 Nov.

As you might imagine, background research about this topic is apt to lead a person to some 'interesting' websites to say the least, where everything from the world bank, Cagliostro and the twin towers make an appearance. Consequently I'm only going to recommend the Starck biography in the Immanuel Kant teaching site at Manchester College. Anyone with a deeper interest in all of this has already gone off on their own searching quests no doubt. Related: alchemy/'La Très Sainte Trinosophie'.