29.4.11

Baroque Violin Pattern


Violin pattern attributed to a Cremonese workshop, 17th century.
http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/Violins/ViolinPattern/ViolinPattern.html

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26.4.11

de Motv Animalivm



Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, 1608-1679
From the Iowa Universtiy Digital Library, John Martin Rare Book Room

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23.4.11

Amorum Emblemata

124 Woodcut vignettes by Otto van Veen (1556-1629) showing cupids with bow, arrows & torch, inscribed with the motto "Amor vincit omnia". The emblem is in an oval on the right-hand page, with text facing it on the left-hand page.





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22.4.11

Vintage dressmaking patterns































A huge collection of sewing patterns starting from the early 20th century. These can actually be purchased as patterns and used for dressmaking purposes today!
http://www.sovintagepatterns.com/vintagepatterns.html

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21.4.11

Die Neue Graphik

Re-blogged from Designers Books




Markus Kutter & Karl Gerstner
Designed by Karl Gerstner

Arthur Niggli Ltd., Teufen, 1959
Blocks by Schwitter AG, Basle
Printed by R. Weber ag, Heiden
Bound by Max Grollimund, Basel
23 x 23 cm

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17.4.11

Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot

The Thoth Tarot was painted by Lady Frieda Harris according to instructions from Aleister Crowley. Crowley referred to this deck as The Book of Thoth, and also wrote a book of that title intended for use with the deck.

Crowley originally intended the Thoth deck to be a six-month project aimed at updating the traditional pictorial symbolism of the tarot. However, the project was to span five years, between 1938 and 1943, as its scope grew ever wider. Crowley and Harris were meticulous in their work, and Harris painted some of the cards as many as eight times. Early editions of the deck included two of Harris' early drafts of The Magus card, each making use of markedly different style and symbols.

The illustrations of the Thoth deck are rich in symbolism, based upon Crowley's desire to incorporate symbols from many disparate disciplines, including science and philosophy, as well as to draw on his extensive knowledge of various occult system (as described in detail in his Book of Thoth). For example, The Hanged Man and The Moon draw from Egyptian mythology, and the Princess of Disks holds a disk bearing the Taijitu. The pip cards in the four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Disks) depict their objects in carefully crafted positions; for example, the Four of Swords (which Crowley named "truce") shows four swords with their points toward the center of an imaginary square, suggesting a possibly tense peace. The card illustrations are uniformly stark and vividly illustrated throughout.




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16.4.11

Zoomorphic Islamic Calligraphy

The calligraphic art of Hassan Musa from Sudan, re-blogged from Biblio-Odyssey.



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14.4.11

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Mythology

Many thanks to HVC website reader Ms. Erin Jones, who sent me this brilliant resource:

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Historic Chinese Cats


Shen Zou, Ming Dynasty, "Sketches from life"


Emperor Xuangdong, Ming Dynasty, "Cats below flowers"


Anonymous, Song Dynasty, "Cats playing"


Anonymous, Song Dynasty.

Many many thanks to the amazing blog Poemas del río Wang for having compiled a huge collection of Chinese cat paintings, both historic and contemporary, from where I found the ones above:
http://riowang.blogspot.com/2010/05/chinese-cats.html

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Ernst Haeckel: Kunstformen der Natur




The full book can be viewed and downloaded as a pdf from here:
http://caliban.mpiz-koeln.mpg.de/haeckel/kunstformen/index.html

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12.4.11

Johann Bayer's "Uranometria"




http://www.lindahall.org/services/digital/ebooks/bayer/

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11.4.11

Bioshock

BioShock is a first-person shooter game developed by Irrational Games and designed by Ken Levine. Set in an alternate history 1960, the game places the player in the role of a plane crash survivor named Jack, who must explore the underwater city of Rapture, and survive attacks by the mutated beings and mechanical drones that populate it. The game incorporates elements found in role-playing and survival games, and is described by the developers and Levine as a "spiritual successor" to their previous titles in the System Shock series. The game received overwhelmingly positive reviews, which praised its "morality-based" storyline, immersive environment and Ayn Rand-inspired dystopian back-story.

BioShock has received praise for its artistic style and compelling storytelling. In their book, Digital Culture: Understanding New Media, Glen Creeber and Royston Martin perform a case study of BioShock as a critical analysis of video games as an artistic medium. They praised the game for its visuals, sound, and ability to engage the player into the story. They viewed BioShock as a sign of the "coming of age" of video games as an artistic medium.

In February 2011 the Smithsonian Institution announced it will be holding an exhibit dedicated to the art of video games. Several games were chosen initially and the public can vote for which games they feel deserve to be displayed via a poll on the exhibit's website . BioShock is considered a front runner to be displayed because of its status as a game that demonstrated how artistic the medium can be.

The following screenshots are linked from a thoughtful post on Bioshock, which can be read here >>>.




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9.4.11

Shakespeare, the typographer

http://www.archive.org/details/shaksperetypogra00bladrich

Authored by William Blades (1824-1890) and printed by the Winthrop Press, New York in 1897; the full book can be found at archive.org, at the link above.


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8.4.11

Interior with a woman at her toilet (Anonymous, Chinese School, 19th Century)

Yet another treasure from Centralasian's Flickr:



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7.4.11

African Masks

Great site for African art: http://www.zyama.com/

I am only putting two masks here, however there is much more, including some beautiful sculptures. Of the two below, the top one belongs to the Bwa tribe and the bottom one to the Punu tribe.



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5.4.11

Paul Franck's Flourishes



From a wonderful book entitled "Kunstrichtige Schreibart: allerhand Versalie[n] oder AnfangsBuchstabe[n] der teütschen, lateinischen und italianischen Schrifften aus unterschiedlichen Meistern der edlen Schreibkunst zusammen getragen" which was authored by Paul Franck, Paul Fürst and Christoph Gerhard in 1655.

The entire book can be viewed online or downloaded as a pdf from archive.org.

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3.4.11

Géricault - revisited by Mark Squires


Géricault's "Raft of the Medusa" (above) as re-interpreted for a contemporary fashion magazine cover by Mark Squires (below).





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2.4.11

Patent Drawings

The U. S. National Archives collection on Flickr is one of the greatest places to find visual communication history related material. 131 sets in total, and one of them is all about patent application drawings, mostly from the 19th Century - although there are a few contemporary prize gems (such as Michael Jackson's application for anti-gravity shoes) as well:



View the full set here >>>.

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1.4.11

Electrolux Cooker Hood - Family Lunch


Found on Centralasian's wonderful Flickr stream. While this appears to be a contemporary illustration, it still has a great retro feel to it and so I am labeling it accordingly.

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