Wednesday, August 21, 2019

graham sutherland illustrating frances quarles ... an original 1943 lithograph sold in tenby museum this week ... turns out to be a late manifestation of a long-lived publishing format

So have I seen a well-built castle, stand 
Upon the tip-toes of a lofty hill, 
Whose active power commands both sea & land, 
And curbs the pride of the bleag’rers’ will; 
At length her ag’d foundation fails her trust, 
And lays her tott’ring ruins in the dust. 

So have I seen the BLAZING TAPER shoot 

Her golden head into the feeble air; 
Whose shadow guilding ray, spread round about, 
Makes the foul face of blade brow’d darkness fair; 
Till at the length her waisting glory fades, 
And leaves the night to her invet’rate shades 

Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man published in 1637, was the sequel to Francis Quarles' best-selling Emblems (1635) which was lavishly illustrated, containing five books of meditative verse. The poems are introduced by a scriptural motto, then a commentary based on quotations from various sources, and at the end closure is achieved with a short didactic epigram. To Francis Quarles, an emblem is but a short parable and the verse puts the visual into the mental. In this way, the words and pictures complement each other, therefore having a double impact on the reader.

Sutherland's litho was from a set of three ... they are the first three images in this set ...

there still exists an imprint of all three Sutherland designs on one sheet ...

later ... it seems that "emblem books" were a popular renaissance publishing format ...

Ah-ha ! After MUCH GOOGLE-ING ... Here's some proper scholarship relating to the printing of the Emblems ...  by Whitney Trettien 

"It is the argument of this chapter and this monograph more broadly that the creativity and cultural work of books like Theophila become legible when we read them not as texts but as multidimensional media objects designed with meaning and purpose."

david inshaw ... larger images of his paintings find their way on to the internet now and then ... these are from all periods and they are in no particular order

Monday, August 19, 2019

crows and ravens and jackdaws and magpies in art

andrea kowch

peter de seve

bruegel the elder

william heath robinson

c. f. tunnicliffe

arthur rackham


rudi hurzlmeier

david inshaw

Thursday, August 15, 2019

titian ... the offerings to venus, c.1518 ... compare and contrast ... rubens, 1636 etc

rubens' copy of the titian  ...

rubens' re-invention of the titian ...

the preliminary sketch that fra bartolomeo had made of the subject, his commission and the sketch being passed on to titian after his death

footnote ... fra bartolomeo, a lovely painter, largely ignored since his achievements were overshadowed by the giants of the italian renaissance ...

full translation of philostratus of lemnos here ...