Hermann Struck - Bildnis R.B. - etching, 1905
Hermann Struck - Bildnis R.B. - etching, 1905
The first six books of the Elements of Euclid in which coloured diagrams and symbols are used instead of letters, by Oliver Byrne; 1847; W. Pickering, London. Pictured, pages 36 and 39 (dependent on copy format).
via Kristine Joy Mallari: Relief for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The awesome folks at McClain’s Printmaking Supplies will be generously offering a $10 gift certificate to every artist who donates a print. Gamblin Artists Colors will be taking prints until December 9th. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any Qs or mail prints directly to:
Gamblin Artists Colors
c/o Joy Mallari
323 SE Division Place
Portland, OR 97202
Please include your email (for your gift certificate) and a suggested starting price.
opera by Richard Wagner.
illustration by Willy Pogány.
DAILY PIC: This image is of the margin of a book printed (in ancient Greek) in 1544, and then annotated within a decade or two by the English scholar and statesman Sir Thomas Smith. It was shown at a wonderful lecture given last night at the headquarters of Cabinet magazine in Brooklyn. Sina Najafi, Cabinet’s founder, got pioneering scholars William Sherman and Anthony Grafton to talk about how and when they’d come to realize that we were lacking a history of precisely how printed books first came to be used – and abused, especially, given all the scribbling that scholars did in their margins. Never again will I take reading for granted; Sherman and Grafton made clear that bookishness is a behavior worth looking into.
Sherman gave an especially lovely and lively account of the “manicule”, a little pointing hand that scholars drew, sometimes in time-wasting detail, to point from a book’s margin to a passage in the text that they cared about.
My own guess is that, once books began to be mechanically produced by a printer, the manual act of writing came to be the special sign and property of the scholar – the manicule hand thus standing, synechdochally (sorry, I’ve been among bookworms) for the wise and elevated and unmechanical reader who draws it. The manicule also points back, nostalgically, to a time in the middle ages when the scribe writing a text and the scholar annotating it might be the same person, or at very least were using the same biological equipment in producing and then using a book. Later, in a world where the hand of the scribe had been sidelined by the printer’s press, the manicule represents the return of the repressed.
The peculiar manicule in today’s Daily Pic makes all this even clearer. The hand isn’t shown simply pointing; it is shown in the act of writing or drawing, as though it were depicting itself as it annotates – you could say that it’s a manicule that talks about, or points to, or even represents, the culture of manicularism! (Today, Grafton told me that Smith himself never dripped ink when he used a pen, so his manicule’s blots are there just to make what it’s doing seem inkier, more clearly messy and manual.)
Even that isn’t the end of the matter, given the passage that’s being maniculed: the text is Flavius Josephus’s first-century “Jewish Antiquities”, and Smith’s drawn (and drawing) hand is drawing (sorry) our attention to the lines that describe Belshazzar’s famous and blashphemous feast, and especially the moment when the Hand of God appears and (literally) puts the Writing on the Wall. (Although – and it took Sherman to point this out to me – no one at Belshazzar’s meal can decipher it.) As Smith reads this mechanically printed page, pen at the ready, his hand draws the image of a writing hand to point to a text about the divine effect of writing.
As Freud might have said, if he’d had Smith on the couch: I think now we are getting somewhere …
(And tomorrow, a Daily Pic that doesn’t take quite so long to write – or read.)
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Street Art Confronts Sexual Harassment
I want so badly to know how this image came to exist. TinEye yielded no satisfactory results.
Vintage Bookplates Featuring the Grim Reaper
On each bookplate, you will notice the words Ex Libris. A bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, “from the books of…”], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner.
Bookplates typically bear a name, motto, device, coat-of-arms, crest, badge, or any motif that relates to the owner of the book, or is requested by him from the artist or designer. The name of the owner usually follows an inscription such as “from the books of…” or “from the library of…”, or in Latin, ex libris….
Bookplates are important evidence for the provenance of books. In the United States, bookplates replaced book rhymes after the 19th century. The earliest known marks of ownership of books or documents date from the reign of Amenophis III in Egypt (1391–1353 BC).
However, in their modern form, they evolved from simple inscriptions in books which were common in Europe in the Middle Ages, when various other forms of “librarianship” became widespread (such as the use of class-marks, call-numbers, or shelfmarks). The earliest known examples of printed bookplates are German, and date from the 15th century.
Behold now Behemoth which I made with thee (Behemoth and Leviathan)
Artist/Maker: William Blake
Allen Memorial Art Museum