Illustrated Aesop's Fables through history
August 30, 2012 12:18 AM   Subscribe

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.

Incomplete list sorted by story (by Perry index number).

Here are a few quickly selected images, to give a taste of the personality in these sets:
Wolf, Fox, and Monkey by Brescia, 1557;
The Boaster by Crane;
Frog and Ox by Caldecott;
Monkey and Dolphin by Detmold 1909;
The Tall Tree and the Low Bramble by Arthur Rackham;
Fox and Grapes by 20th century watercolorist Felix Lorioux

(Bonus: this nice look at Lorioux's work at Animation Resources; including a wild cast of insect revelers and this nice crow)
posted by LobsterMitten (11 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Delightful! Thank you! Looking forward to delving into this post properly. The Rackham photo set is great.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:26 AM on August 30, 2012

I love this idea but I'll be damned if I can figure out how it's organized.
posted by DU at 5:28 AM on August 30, 2012

DU, are you referring to the Perry Index? Gibbs also provides a different index, sorting by title, so all the stories of Ant and [other] are in alphabetical order by the English title.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:37 AM on August 30, 2012

No, I get the index. I don't get where I click to see the images.

Like, here is Tortoise v Hare clicked from the name index. No images to be found. But if you go by the Perry Index, you get this page which is totally different. Some of the links below have some images but most have text. It's all very confusing.
posted by DU at 5:51 AM on August 30, 2012

I think Gibbs' focus was the text, and the images are a separate effort. They are sorted in all sorts of ways, which does make it hard to find all examples of a text and graphics for a given story, but probably made sense to Gibbs in terms of organization by collection and artist.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 AM on August 30, 2012

This is excellent! Thanks!
posted by OmieWise at 7:54 AM on August 30, 2012

Yes, the images are not linked to the texts in a predictable or user-friendly way. I get the sense she has put this whole (huge) set of resources together on a shoestring and started with the texts (to support students learning Latin?). The Flickr sets are the best-organized of the several places she has images, and the labeling on them is unfortunately very minimal. In a perfect world, it would all be better integrated and systematically labeled and cross-referenced.

I found it last night and just thought it was so fun that I was willing to put up with the idiosyncratic labeling.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:39 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't have kings
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:30 PM on August 30, 2012

Sam the Eagle and pal, in the 1400s.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:25 PM on August 30, 2012

medieval devil-mermaid?
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:29 PM on August 30, 2012

Oh man, this is the best. What a superb find!

I really like how pissed off most of the animals in Milo Winter's edition look. For instance, that's one angry sheep.
posted by Kattullus at 5:22 PM on August 31, 2012

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