Heroic Devices
February 9, 2015 12:42 PM   Subscribe

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.

The pictures all originate in period emblem books—collections of allegories and moral lessons in image, motto, and verse. Thomas J. Wise posted a fine survey of emblem book sites back in 2006.
posted by Iridic (5 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
This is pretty awesome and weirdly timely as I've been spending this horrible New England winter alternatibe between shoveling snow and playing around with block printing using woodcuts as my main point of reference.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:00 PM on February 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Whoa, that is some pretty serious metadata right there ("here, fifty different kinds of nude"). Props to the site's creators.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:20 PM on February 9, 2015

Annoying restrictive copyrights on the images, tho
posted by scruss at 2:39 PM on February 9, 2015

Oh, I love these. Just pick a topic and save a hundred or so for no particular reason, that's a pleasant half hour for me! Thanks a ton!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:07 PM on February 9, 2015

Perfect for homebrew bottle labels.
posted by spock at 5:02 PM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

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