Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Sunset over Liverpool (2016)


Image Copyright M.G. Reed

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Anatomy of the Horse (1766)




Images from HERE.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Freshly turned Hay (2016)


Copyright M.G. Reed 2016

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

An exhaustive reference to problems seen in real-world data along with suggestions on how to resolve them (2016)



An exceptional and serious resource HERE. By the look of this it is written for (data) journalists, but full of insights for anyone who makes a living from the objective analysis and presentation of data. By Chris Zarate of Quartz (HERE).

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Is anything we eat associated with Cancer?


A superb piece HERE

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A Short History of the Printed Word (1998)


Above - a portion of the Decameron published by the Ashendene Press in 1920 - the image is from HERE. The type is the Ashendene Subiaco which was based on the type face created by Sweynheym and Pannartz at Subiaco, Italy, in 1465. The type is neither roman nor italic, but an earlier form of Carolingian script that predates the splitting of script into roman and italic.

Below - from A Short History of the Printed Word by Warren Chappell & Robert Bringhurst:
It is possible that printed books as repositories of human experience and creativity may in time be overshadowed or even replaced by digital replicas.  Once made, such replicas are very quickly copied and easily stored in a small space—but they cannot be read without a prosthesis.  They are invisible and useless without the intervention of an exceedingly complex, electrically powered machine.  Such a scheme may look good to accountants and to marketers.  But for authors and for readers, there can be no substitute for a well-designed, well-printed, well-bound book that one can see and feel as well as read.  A tangible, stable, well-made page is just as desirable, and just as useful, now as it was in the fifteenth century.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Strung Out (2016)

A superb collection of photographs of cormorants by the Japanese artist Yoshinori Mizutani HERE.




Image copyright Yoshinori Mizutani/IMA Gallery

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Cubies' ABC (1913)

Published in 1913, The Cubies' ABC was a satirical take on Cubist art created by Mary Mills Lyall and her husband Earl Harvey Lyall. For D, the fun is poked at Marchel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 which had been painted the previous year. 



More on the book and a recent reprint HERE.

Friday, 12 August 2016

To the vector belong the spoils

From the Norton Juster illustrated book The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics from 1963. More on the book HERE.

The author went on to make an Oscar winning short cartoon from the book that is very entertaining and is HERE.


By Labour and Constancy - Christophe Plantin (1580)

The Renaissance scholar and printer Christophe Plantin adopted a pair of compasses as his printer's mark. This mark  appeared in multiple different forms over the years on the title pages of the books he published through the Plantin Press. His Latin motto, Labore et Constantia (`By Labour and Constancy') is associated with an image of a compass held by a hand extending from a bank of clouds and inscribing a circle. The centre point of the compass indicates constancy, the moving point that creates the circle is the labour. Here  are three examples from a collection of several volumes printed by Plantin in 1680. For more examples and commentary see HERE.


The scanned volume is HERE. More information on Plantin HERE.

 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Haiku of the Shiki School


A Haiku from a vast database that once existed at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Compiled, translated, illustrated and calligraphy by Helen Shigeko Isaacson. 

Her comments on this Haiku are:

Siki Haru-no hi/Haru: Zikoo

Haru-no hi ya
tiyo-gami-no turu
hariko no tora

The Spring sun ya
a paper crane,
a paper-mache tiger.

Under the Spring sun--
a designed-paper crane,
a paper-mache tiger.

Tiyogami is a colored paper, usually thicker than origami (colored paper for folding cranes etc) of traditional designs which was used decoratively to line boxes, book, and for making toys. It may be used in the same way as origami, as in this case. The two objects are typical examples of old Japanese toys, as fragile as beautiful, innocent as the springtime. The kigo may be thought of as the power, the toys the playful - the yang and the yin.


More HERE
More on Masaoka Shiki HERE.

Sixth century Lombardic capitals (1784)


Facsimiles of sixth century Lombardic capitals from The origin and progress of writing, as well hieroglyphic as elementary, illustrated by engravings taken from marbles, manuscripts and charters, ancient and modern : also some account of the origin and progress of printing by Thomas Astle. Book available HERE.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A Story as Sharp as a Knife: The Classical Haida Mythtellers and Their World (2016)

The Folio Society has produced an illustrated edition of Robert Bringhurst's book length translation and annotation of a number of Haida myths. HERE.

IMAGE CAPTION: On top of the screens forming a point in the rear of the house, sleek blue beings were preening themselves.

Illustration Copyright Don Yeomans.

A Tranquil Star

In 1978, the Italian writer Primo Levi (1919--1987) published an exquisite short story called A Tranquil Star. Amongst other things, in this story Levi explains how difficult it is to use common language to describe objects that are much smaller, bigger, shorter lived or longer lived than we can directly experience as humans. The story was translated by Ann Goldstein and is in the New Yorker HERE.




Monday, 8 August 2016

Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful (2016)

This paper by John Ioannidis is, as usual, thought provoking. His conclusion is:

Overall, not only are most research findings false, but, furthermore, most of the true findings are not useful. Medical interventions should and can result in huge human benefit. It makes no sense to perform clinical research without ensuring clinical utility. Reform and improvement are overdue.
 
The author is quite an entertaining character - he also wrote "Why most published research findings are false" (1.5 million hits) and "How to make more published research true." His profile is HERE.





Ornitographies (2016)

The Spanish photographer Xavi Bou has just created a brilliant project (HERE) using a modern digital technique similar to chronophotography. In this technique, a series of successive still frames are captured with short shutter times and then superposed. Bou uses this technique to record birds inflight. The results are beautiful and also show the sinuous rhythm inherent in the art of flying with flapping wings.  



 Image Copyright X.Bou 2016

Friday, 5 August 2016

Anne Truitt in Japan (1964-1967)

An illustrated essay by Anna Lovatt on the works created by Anne Truitt in Japan 1964-1967 (HERE

 

South China Sea (2014)

A still from a surprisingly mesmerising very long single take video of the South China Sea, shot from the bow of the container ship Gunhilder Maersk by Toby Smith (HERE).




Image Copyright Toby Smith




Thursday, 4 August 2016

Reading a Painting as a Feeling (2016)

A piece in The Paris Review here on the artwork of the British artist Michael Kidner (1917-2009) and a link to an exhibition of his work on paper at the Flowers Gallery New York. 

Images Copyright  Kidner / Flowers Gallery

Sunday, 31 July 2016

what3words (2016)

There are a number of different ways to address specific locations on the surface of the Earth. Most of them are machine readable and require a great deal of expertise to both understand and remember.  

What3words is a new technology platform that directly addresses each and every 3 metre x 3 metre patch of the Earths surface using three words. 

The addressing scheme is not hierarchical so adjacent patches have completely unrelated addresses. For example, the address covertly.suave.charities and covertly.suave.deputy are in North-West England and the remoteness of the Yukon territory in Canada respectively. 

The approach is very clever and allows people who live in an otherwise difficult to describe location on the Earth's surface to be able to describe WHERE they live. It is language independent and because people only need to remember a short set of words rather than a 6 or 8 digit number it is very memorable. 

I have no doubt that within a few years a number of poets will realise that they can describe a journey between two places with the stream of what3words triplets that a person moves through. The phrases could form surprisingly melodious "found poetry".  I can certainly imagine a conceptual artist using a GPS to record the stream of what3words triplets that they experienced as they walked through Dublin following the route that Leoplold Bloom took in James Joyce's Ulysses! 

Below some what3words from one of my favourite locations in central london. 


 
 Image Copyright M.G. Reed 2016


 



 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

291 Art Journal (1915)

 The photographer and art promoter Alfred Stieglitz edited a journal called 291 that was published in 12 issues from 1915 to 1916. Scans of the volumes are available to download HERE

Below from Issue 9 the front cover by Braque.



 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Brushing the Past (2000)

HERE is a superb volume, Brushing the past : later Chinese calligraphy from the gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth  by Joseph Chang, Thomas Lawton and Stephen D. Allee. This is the catalogue from an exhibition held at the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Apr. 30, 2000-Jan. 2, 2001.

Below is a close up of a single character from a Qing dynasty couplet in running script by Jian Ren (1743-1795). The original calligraphy is on a pair of hanging scrolls in ink on gold flecked paper.

The full couplet that this character is taken from reads:

Ten meters around, dragon bamboo stands taller than the trees,
In five colors each, sacred mushrooms blossom as big as a fist.






Saturday, 16 July 2016

Carcinogenesis

About 25 years ago, I was lucky enough to read in proof copy a book by the cancer biologists Anna Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein called The Society of Cells. In this book, the authors outlined a theory of carcinogenesis (Tissue Organisation Field Theory - TOFT) that was antithetical to the very commonly adopted theory of carcinogenesis known as the Somatic Mutation Theory.  As a neutral (and ignorant) non-biologist it looked to me that the evidence that Sonnenschein and Soto presented supported their theory and that it had some features that made it more attractive than the then dominant one.

Every now and then I try and find out what happened to TOFT and how it is faring against the Somatic Mutation Theory. One of the things that strikes me is that in a field as hellishly complex as cancer biology it is highly unlikely that a full understanding will emerge quickly. If we take as a yardstick the development of physics, from the publication of Newton's Principia in 1687 to the recent and outstanding example of a theory led observational study such as LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), we see 350 years of development of a science by a huge number of incredibly clever people. I assume that we might reasonably expect a full elucidation of cancer to take at least as long. This estimate is a balance of two factors. We would expect that understanding cancer should be quicker due to the application of modern measurement and computing technology. But we should also expect it to be slower because biology does not enjoy the incomparable advantage that physics has of being built on a small number of mathematically tractable and universal laws. 

To help others who are as ignorant of biology as me HERE is a thought provoking personal piece by Prof Robert Weinberg in the journal Cell that describes a story of nearly a hundred years of cancer research. The abstract reads:
Cell has celebrated the powers of reductionist molecular biology and its major successes for four decades. Those who have participated in cancer research during this period have witnessed wild fluctuations from times where endless inexplicable phenomenology reigned supreme to periods of reductionist triumphalism and, in recent years, to a move back to confronting the endless complexity of this disease. 
This paper describes some of the recent history of how cancer research developed, particularly in the US, and a number of frank admissions about current difficulties that mainstream cancer research faces. These lead me to suppose that a full and robust understanding of how cancer develops (to the same level of rigour of LIGO) is still quite some decades away (Weinberg uses the word endless twice in his abstract)  - for example: 
The data that we now generate overwhelm our abilities of interpretation, and the attempts of the new discipline of ‘‘systems biology’’ to address this shortfall have to date produced few insights into cancer biology beyond those revealed by simple, home-grown intuition. The coupling between observational data and biological insight is frayed if not broken.

We lack the conceptual paradigms and computational strategies for dealing with this complexity. And equally painful, we don’t know how to integrate individual data sets, such as those deriving from cancer genome analyses, with other, equally important data sets, such as proteomics. This is most frustrating, since it is becoming increasingly apparent that a precise and truly useful understanding of the behavior of individual cancer cells and the tumors that they form will only come once we are able to integrate and then distill these data.
For what it is worth, and I freely admit it is worth next to nothing, my money is on Soto and Sonnenschein's Tissue Organisation Field Theory of carcinogenesis - if only because they begin their explanation of cancer with the complexity of real tissues, rather than with an extreme form of probably misplaced reductionism. 





 




 

Aristotle to Zoos (1985)

Scientists who seek to explain their specialised area of knowledge to a wider audience run the risk of either dumbing down their exposition or peppering their prose with unexplained and arcane technical jargon. One outstanding example of a world class scientist who was able to explain his area of science in a pithy and engaging prose style was the brilliant Nobel prize winner Sir Peter Medawar (1915-1987).

My favourite example of Medawar's superb writing is his `philosophical dictionary of biology',  Aristotle to Zoos, which he co-authored with his wife Jean Medawar. Below is part of the entry on Hypothesis and Theory. 

 Text copyright Harvard University Press
 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Hockney-Falco Thesis (2000)

HERE is a superb and up to date site describing the development of, and evidence for, the Hockney-Falco thesis propounded by David Hockney and Charles Falco.
The Hockney-Falco Thesis: Our thesis is that certain elements in certain paintings made as early as c 1430 were produced as a result of the artist using either concave mirrors or refractive lenses to project the images of objects illuminated by sunlight onto his board/canvas. The artist then traced some portions of the projected images, made sufficient marks to capture only the optical perspective of other portions, and altered or completely ignored yet other portions where the projections did not suit his artistic vision. As a result, these paintings are composites containing elements that are "eyeballed" along with ones that are "optics-based." Further, starting at the same time, the unique look of the projected image began to exert a strong influence on the appearance of other works even where optical projections had not been directly used as an aid. 
Below is a close-up from The Arnolfini Wedding by Jan van Eyck, painted in 1434. The detailed fore-shortening, shadowing and reflection of light captured in this image of a chandelier are all typical of an image that has been obtained via optical projection (probably with a concave mirror).



Travels with a donkey in the Cévennes (1888)

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more clearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints. Alas, as we get up in life, and are more preoccupied with our affairs, even a holiday is a thing that must be worked for. To hold a pack upon a pack-saddle against a gale out of the freezing north is no high industry, but it is one that serves to occupy and compose the mind. And when the present is so exacting who can annoy himself about the future?




Frontispiece by Walter Crane from HERE

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Taking the Proposition of the Beseiged Bastille


Image from HERE

The Open Door (1844)

Below is The Open Door by William Henry Fox Talbot from his book The Pencil of Nature. It is a classic Camera image. An image created by, or similar to, an optical projection seen within a camera - either captured by an artist within a camera obscura or captured chemically or electronically in a modern camera. These images have some typical features; often highly detailed, captured from a monocular position, frozen in time as if by a shutter mechanism, obey or approximate the laws of perspective, include shadowing due to strong directional lighting and foreshortening.

More on the creation of this image HERE by Prof Larry J Schaaf - part of the growing online William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné hosted by the Bodleian library at Oxford.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

OS map of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (2014)

Here is an Ordnance Survey map of Treasure Island. The inhabitants of the Shetland island of Unst claim that  it was the geography of their island that was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson of his map of Treasure Island.The artist Tony Davis has taken digital mapping data of Unst and stripped out the modern locations and re-created a topographically detailed Treasure Island map. 

 Copyright Tony Davis. 
 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Little White Bugs in a Shaft of Sunlight (2016)

In the early years of the 20th century, whilst working on Maxwell's equations and Einstein's theory of special relativity, the Polish-German mathematician Hermann Minkowski (1864-1909) found that it was necessary to meld together three Euclidian dimensions of space and one dimension of time to create a new four dimensional spacetime. (see Corry, L. (1997) `Hermann Minkowski and the postulate of relativity', Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 51(4), pp 273-314 for more background).  One of the concepts that Minkowski develops is that of a spacetime thread (also known as a world-line) - which maps out the x,y,z position of an element of matter over time. 

It is hard to imagine such a world-line, but the superb video of small insects flying in a shaft of sunlight in Rhode Island, is a good way of visualising how such a world-line develops. This was filmed by Dennis Hlynsky, a Professor and Dept Head of the Film/Animation/video Department at the Rhode Island School of Design. Recorded with the Black Magic pocket cinema camera in RAW, 29.9 fps 1920x1080 shutter 360 ISO200, Processed with Adobe After Effects CC. Full Video HERE.



 Image Copyright D. Hlynsky

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Cluster Failure and the Future of fMRI (2016)


All science is comparative - either comparing one thing to another, or one group to another (for example Treatment vs Control) or observations to a theory. Good quality quantitative studies require a numerical answer to the question Compared to What? 

HERE is a study by Anders Eklund, Thomas E. Nichols and Hans Knutsson that asks whether the statistical methods that are routinely used in tens of thousands of functional MRI (fMRI) studies around the world are any good. 

The authors provide a long, detailed and closely argued answer to this question. The short answer is NO.
 
The authors conclusions on the Future of fMRI are as follows.

It is not feasible to redo 40,000 fMRI studies, and lamentable archiving and data-sharing practices mean most could not be reanalyzed either. Considering that it is now possible to evaluate common statistical methods using real fMRI data, the fMRI community should, in our opinion, focus on validation of existing methods. The main drawback of a permutation test is the increase in computational complexity, as the group analysis needs to be repeated 1,000–10,000 times. However, this increased processing time is not a problem in practice, as for typical sample sizes a desktop computer can run a permutation test for neuroimaging data in less than a minute. Although we note that metaanalysis can play an important role in teasing apart false-positive findings from consistent results, that does not mitigate the need for accurate inferential tools that give valid results for each and every study. Finally, we point out the key role that data sharing played in this work and its impact in the future. Although our massive empirical study depended on shared data, it is disappointing that almost none of the published studies have shared their data, neither the original data nor even the 3D statistical maps. As no analysis method is perfect, and new problems and limitations will be certainly found in the future, we commend all authors to at least share their statistical results [e.g., via NeuroVault.org] and ideally the full data [e.g., via OpenfMRI.org]. Such shared data provide enormous opportunities for methodologists, but also the ability to revisit results when methods improve years later.
 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Updated classification of Pictorial Representations

Now including both ABSTRACT and PATTERN at top level.


Copyright M.Reed 2016

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Universal Map(s) - 2016

Well over a billion people regularly use either Google Maps or Apple Maps apps. The cartography used by the two platforms is surprisingly different and this essay gives a super detailed comparison of the differences. Below a direct comparison of the mapping of Central London by Google Maps (Left) and Apple Maps (Right).

  


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A measured drawing of a skull (1826)

By Cornelius Varley - from Yale Centre British Art (HERE).

 

Portrait of a Zebra (1763)

A close up portion of Stubbs' painting of a Zebra from HERE.


A complete listing of the Stubbs holdings of Yale Centre British Art is HERE

Rhinoceros (1790)

The first anatomically accurate picture of an adult rhinoceros was painted by George Stubbs. The story of how it came to be in London and painted by Stubbs is HERE

The animal itself is lost, the painting now hangs in the Royal College of Surgeons (HERE).  


Monday, 27 June 2016

A Comparative Anatomical Exposition of the Structure of the Human Body with that of a Tiger and a Common Fowl - George Stubbs

A close up portion of a superb observational drawing of the anatomy of a Tiger by George Stubbs from HERE.




Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Richard Seewald - Landscape (1921)

Landscape by the German painter Richard Seewald (1889-1976) (more on him HERE). Image from HERE.


Friday, 10 June 2016

Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry Fukagawa Hidetoshi & Tony Rothman (2008)

Sacred Mathematics:Japanese Temple Geometry
Fukagawa Hidetoshi & Tony Rothman

This is a beautiful book. It describes the Japanese art and mathematics that are combined in sangaku, or Temple Geometry. It has a foreword by Freeman Dyson, which is worth reading to understand the unique way that this book came to be.  From this Foreword:
I am lucky to have known two scholars who have devoted their lives to cultivating and teaching geometry. They are Daniel Pedoe in England and the United States, and Fukagawa Hidetoshi in Japan. Each of them had to swim against the tide of fashion. For the last fifty years, both in art and mathematics, the fashionable style has been abstract: famous artists such as Jackson Pollock produce abstract patterns of paint on canvas; famous mathematicians such as Kurt Gödel construct abstract patterns of ideas detached from anything we can feel or touch. Geometry is like representational painting, concerned with concrete objects that have unique properties and exist in the real world. Fashionable artists despise representational painting, and fashionable mathematicians despise geometry. Representational painting and geometry are left for amateurs and eccentric enthusiasts to pursue. Pedoe and Fukagawa are two of the eccentric enthusiasts. Both of them fell in love with sangaku.
 From the Blurb on the book's website:
Between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries Japan was totally isolated from the West by imperial decree. During that time, a unique brand of homegrown mathematics flourished, one that was completely uninfluenced by developments in Western mathematics. People from all walks of life--samurai, farmers, and merchants--inscribed a wide variety of geometry problems on wooden tablets called sangaku and hung them in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines throughout Japan. Sacred Mathematics is the first book published in the West to fully examine this tantalizing--and incredibly beautiful--mathematical tradition.

Fukagawa Hidetoshi and Tony Rothman present for the first time in English excerpts from the travel diary of a nineteenth-century Japanese mathematician, Yamaguchi Kanzan, who journeyed on foot throughout Japan to collect temple geometry problems. The authors set this fascinating travel narrative--and almost everything else that is known about temple geometry--within the broader cultural and historical context of the period. They explain the sacred and devotional aspects of sangaku, and reveal how Japanese folk mathematicians discovered many well-known theorems independently of mathematicians in the West--and in some cases much earlier. The book is generously illustrated with photographs of the tablets and stunning artwork of the period. Then there are the geometry problems themselves, nearly two hundred of them, fully illustrated and ranging from the utterly simple to the virtually impossible. Solutions for most are provided.
Website HERE, below a typical two-page spread.

Shinpen Jinkoki (1689)

From the illuminating site Japanese Mathematics in the Edo period (HERE).

Shinpen Jinkoki is a three-volume book edited by Yoshida Mitsuyoshi (1598-1673). The book underwent many revisions in Mitsuyoshi's lifetime. The version published in the eleventh year of the Kan'ei era (1641) became the most widespread, and the last version Yoshida himself published was the Idai book, in the eighteenth year of the Kan'ei era (1634). 

The first volume of Shinpen mainly describes multiplications and divisions using the soroban, while the second and third volumes include an assortment of practical and recreational problems. The included problems are not arranged according to any specific order. The book includes ideas that keep readers from boredom by adopting a wide variety of problems such as calculations of areas of rice fields, problems related to the construction of rivers and banks, geometric progression, and the Josephus problem. This Shinpen Jinkoki was the most widespread version among the copies of Jinkoki widely used as a textbook for soroban throughout the Edo period.

The image below is from a 1689 edition of Shinpen Jinkoki.

 

 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

A Machine Engraver - Karl Mahr (1928)


The blurb from Internet Archive

This is an advertising booklet published in the USA by the Bauer Type Foundry (Germany) in 1937. It argues that Bauer type, while machine-made, retains that "human touch." It is notable for three features, however. First, it was printed by Joseph Blumenthal's Spiral Press, one of the great commercial fine arts presses of the 20th century. It is therefore piece of fine printing uncommon in the advertising world. Second, it acknowledges as valid and important the method of making typefounding matrices by engraving a patrix and then electroforming a matrix from it. This method, while of great importance in 19th and 20th century typefounding, is often ignored or disparaged. Third, it reprints three illustrations by Karl Mahr depicting aspects of the type-making process. These appeared originally in Mahr's "Der Druckbuchstabe" (1928). 

The Book is HERE.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

De Plinii et aliorum medicorum erroribus liber (1529)




Nicolai Leoniceni uiri doctissimi De Plinii et aliorum medicorum erroribus liber : cui addita sunt quaedam eiusdem autoris De herbis & fruticibus. Animalibus. Metallis. Serpentibus. Tiro seu uipera. Nicoleos uere dictus, Victoria nomen praebet, Aristotelem uincit & Hippocratem 
by Niccolò Leoniceno (1428-1524). Printed by Heinrich Petri (1508-1579).


HERE.

Geographia universalis (1540)

HERE is an edition of Ptolemy's Geography from 1540.
 
"A new and important edition, revised and edited by the geographer Sebastian Munster, who designed the maps anew, and added an appendix ... The 48 double-page woodcut maps, sometimes colored, are accompanied by descriptions printed on the first leaf of each, within ornamental borders designed in Holbein's style ..."

Wilberforce, E. A list of editions of Ptolemy's Geography, 1475-1730.

 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Printers Mark of Petri (1538)

Printer's mark of Petri; with a hand emerging from clouds, holding a hammer and hitting a flintstone; a windface at upper left; illustration to Ptolemy, 'Geographia universalis', Basel: Heinrich Petri, 1545. c.1538 Woodcut

 © The Trustees of the British Museum

Seiki shūzu (1800)

A wonderful book full of beautifully designed Japanese flags and banners, Collected Illustrations of Banners and Standards (Seiki shūzu),  written by calligrapher Tozawa Morinori.



Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1628)

Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, from 1628. Highlights and scans HERE.  An edition of In Our Time on the book HERE




Saturday, 28 May 2016

Painting is getting closer and closer to poetry...

From Renoir to Picasso by the French artist and writer Michel Georges-Michel (1883-1985) was published in English translation in 1957.  This is a collection of chatty first-hand accounts of artists that Georges-Michel had known through the early to mid 1900's. In 1917 he had organised an exhibition of Picasso's work in Rome. 

A quote from George Braque: Painting is getting closer and closer to poetry, now that photography has freed it from the need to tell a story. Like music, painting must have its own means of expression. 

Below a drawing of Georges-Michel by Picasso. The full book is HERE.


 


The Tibetan Book of Proportions

From the Getty Museum - more HERE. at Public Domain Review: 

An eighteenth-century pattern book consisting of 36 ink drawings showing precise iconometric guidelines for depicting the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures. Written in Newari script with Tibetan numerals, the book was apparently produced in Nepal for use in Tibet. The concept of the ‘ideal image’ of the Buddha emerged during the Golden Age of Gupta rule, from the 4th to 6th century. As well as the proportions, other aspects of the depiction – such as number of teeth, colour of eyes, direction of hairs – became very important. The V&A have produced a good guide to the iconography of the Buddha, including the 32 Lakshanas or special bodily features.  

Friday, 27 May 2016

An introduction to perspective : practical geometry, drawing and painting : a new and perfect explanation of the mixture of colours, with practical directions for miniature, crayon, and oil painting (1845)

An introduction to perspective : practical geometry, drawing and painting : a new and perfect explanation of the mixture of colours, with practical directions for miniature, crayon, and oil painting : in a series of familiar dialogues between the author's children, and letters addressed to his pupils : illustrated with numerous wood engravings, from drawings by John Hayter ..., and coloured plates
 
From HERE.

 

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