The University of Glasgow's French Emblems project hosts thousands of 16th century woodcuts and etchings. The archive boasts an unusually thorough metadata scheme, allowing you to browse cryptic images of beards, birds in cages, pointed fingers, triumphal conquerors, and fabulous animals, among many other categories. [more inside]
The Art of Incredipede is a short video documenting the inspiration (predominantly woodcuts) and progression of the unique game-art for Incredipede. [more inside]
Historical versions of Aesop's fables - text and pictures - collected by Laura Gibbs. She gives thousands of historic texts in English, Latin, and Greek, but even better, has Flickr sets of the historic illustrations (that page is sorted by artist) from editions by Rackham, Caldecott, and other artists going back to the 1400s. [more inside]
Old Book Illustrations are vintage pictures that were originally wood engravings or woodcuts, etchings or metal engravings. Old Book Art is pictures, drawings, maps and other images from antiquarian, public-domain books and other old documents. [more inside]
"The 1894 book Revolted Woman: Past, Present, and to Come by Charles George Harper is hideously, horrendously sexist," and is reviewed by David Malki! of the inestimable Wondermark. (Wondermark previously, and more fun true stuff as tagged there).
Cards of Wu. A series of woodcuts in the form of a fictitious deck of divination cards by Ellis Nadler. They're available to buy online as high quality digital prints. [Via]
The yearly show on contemporary printmaking, Originals 10, is currently on in London. Some of the artists and work include: Anthony Dyson’s etching The Voyeur; John Bryce’s wood engraving Thames Arachnid; Morna Rhys’s Taf Estuary; Leila Pedersen’s etching Gloria gets Dizzy; Cordelia Cembrowicz’s etching Avon Amazons; Eileen Cooper’s woodcut Skipper; Hilary Paynter’s amazing wood engravings (site requires popups); Giulia Zaniol’s My City; Emiko Aida’s aquatint Reverie in the Rain; Paula Cox’s aquatint Magnolia Tree; Jessie Brennan’s Six Boys; and Graham Smith’s linocut Tattooed Lady. The gallery site has a brief summary of the exhibition and a link to the press release mentioning the work of Barton Hargreaves and Ralph Steadman.
The Wriston Art Center Galleries Digital Collection at Lawrence University has over 1500 images of various artworks, focusing especially on prints & printmaking and ancient coins. All can be viewed in extremely high resolution (click "export image" above the artwork). Here are a few I particularly like: Beginning of Winter (Japanese woodcut), Rising Sun (Paul Klee painting), From Distant Lands (watercolor), Three Kings (Jacques Villon engraving), Untitled I (netting) and Noble Lady and Prince (Japanese woodcut).
Around 1965ish, artist Joel Rothberg created a series of woodcuts illustrating Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars (gutenberg link), the first book in the John Carter series. In the series, Rothberg detailed Carter killing his first Thark; a herd of thoats; and Carter winning Dejah Thoris. Via. [more inside]
Cranach Magnified, courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, enables users to compare and analyze the "surprisingly minute features" of several paintings by the great Lucas Cranach the Elder. For much more Cranach, visit the extensive listing at Artcyclopedia, which includes, among other things, the woodcuts at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco; several paintings at the Kunsthistorisches Museum; and more paintings at the National Gallery of Art.
Keeping the meme alive, lolmanuscripts. Except they're really lolwoodcuts. Whatever.
Graphic novels without words are the silent movies of the printed page. Now, the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to the father of the genre, one Frans Masereel. Up to recently, the most notable of Masereel's successors was Lynd Ward, whose most famous work was God's Man, subtitled A Novel in Woodcuts. Here are some more plates from God's Man for sale. Yet more plates can be found, along with a bad midi, at the Texas based Woodcuts - Lynn Ward: Gods' Man. And here are some illustrations from Georgetwon University's Lauinger Library September 2001 exhibit Lvnd Ward as Illustrator. Here, also, is Graphic Witness: visual arts & social commentary - Lynd Ward. And here is his Madman's Drum in its entirety. But now we have a contemporary working in the same vein--Eric Drooker. More inside
The Word on the Street :: A collection of over 1800 broadsides published in Scotland between 1650 and 1910, featuring both digital images of the original Broadsides as well as transcriptons of the texts. You can just review the highlights or search or browse the entire collection.
The Renaissance saw the publication of many great romantic epics: Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso in 1516; Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered in 1581; and Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene in 1590 and 1596. But perhaps the most ambitious and mysterious of them all was the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili published in 1499 by Aldus Manutius (previously discussed here). The Poliphili has usually been attributed to an Italian monk named Francesco Colonna, although recently some have claimed that it was the work of architect and humanist Leon Battista Alberti, even though he died in 1472. The Poliphili has long fascinated scholars because of its amazing typography, the cinematic style of its woodcuts, and the strange messages seemingly hidden in this multi-lingual text. Written in Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldean, and even some hieroglyphs, it has only recently been translated into English. This strange text has inspired a great deal of research and even a New York Times best-selling murder mystery.
Carlos Cortez, Rest in Peace. Carlos Cortez-- poet, woodcut artist, veteran wobbly, WWII conscientious objector, longtime contributor to The Industrial Worker newspaper, longtime board president of working-class publishing house Charles Kerr Publishers, passed away last week. In a time of dime-silly protests, we lost a great man (Chicago Tribune) who leaves behind a simple, powerful example of sustained resistance.
"I follow a dog chasing some invisible bird." Four Stories: Some of the most breathtaking woodcuts I've seen a good while illustrating four sparse but moving stories. After a decade of metafiction and Raygun typography, this letterpressed book of mythic narrative is refreshing, and inspiring.
Zoological Bloopers and Practical Jokes. Strange Science is a great little page of missteps in the classification and illustration of exotic and extinct animals. It's hard to classify all the links; some are dinosaur screwups, some are just poor depictions of animals from the time before photographs. Most are fascinating. Although, they skip over one of my favorite examples, Michelangelo's Jonah and the Whale.