Great Moments in Art*

Onesipe Aguado, Woman Seen from the Back, 1862; Winkle
 Grant Wood, American Gothic, 1930; Winkle
Francis Bacon, Three Studies, 1967; Winkle
Alexandre Cabanel, Samson and Delilah, 1878; Winkle

Weegee, Body of Dominick Didato, Elizabeth Street, NYC, August 7, 1936; Winkle
Pierre Bonnard, Siesta, 1899-1900; Winkle
Alexandre Cabanel, Albayde (detail), 1848; Winkle
Jacques-Louis David, Death of Marat, 1793; Winkle
Lucian Freud, Naked Portrait With Reflection, 1980; Winkle
Walter Sickert, The Iron Bedstead, 1908; Winkle
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Tepidarium, 1881; Winkle
Parmigianino, Madonna of the Long Neck, 1530; Winkle
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Le Grande Odalisque, 1814; Winkle
* As interpreted by my cat. // The cat photos are random, taken over the course of several years, and are virtually unretouched except for some lighting. The art matches came about this past weekend, part obsessive inspiration, part avoidance mechanism.


Flags of All Nations—and then some

Note the sphinx was still buried-- it wasn't fully excavated until 1925!

A close up of Sicily showing the layers of color and wonderful tiny stippling detail.
The smokestacks of the Northeast
Scenes of Old Dixie and slaves abound, unfazed by Emancipation
A repost with updates: Flags of All Nations-- a keen bit of chromolithography I picked up years ago. Ganged together across several disbound pages, the flag tableaux are small, approximately 1.5" x 2.75" each, but surprisingly detailed. (I am particularly fond of the otherworldly view of Iceland: ice-bound ship, two gratified seals.) The inclusion of a flag for "Washington Territory" tells me, with a little help from Google, that this collection is from before 1889. The Statue of Liberty, which appears elsewhere, indicates it's after 1886.

My small cache of pages doesn't even remotely cover "All Nations" but I do have regalia for a good many territories, states, principalities, and parcels of land that would give even a cartographic historian pause. There are surprises, to me at least, like flags for Tuscany and the Ionian Islands. There are the expected instances of 19th century exotica such as Zanzibar and the Transvaal. And then there are the complete mysteries, like the Heligoland and
the Society Islands. (George Plimpton and Brooke Astor didn't die, they retired to the Society Islands! National staples: petit fours and Champagne )

was a wildly popular color reproduction process in the 19th century. I can't understand how it became so common because it sounds like an almost unfathomably cumbersome and complicated process. An image is drawn onto a stone slab– in reverse–with a grease-based crayon. A separate stone was drawn for each color, and as many as twenty stones were used at times. Each stone was inked in an appropriate color on a press and imprinted onto the paper. (A glimpse at engravers drawing on the stones, below. The fellow on the left, Leonetto Cappiello, is working on, I believe, the tremendous poster you see in the background)

Paper would be passed through for each color – each pass having to be aligned and registered exactly. A good example of what progressive proofs in the process of printing looked lik
e here. Perhaps the work ethic was stronger in the 19th century. Or the tolerance for tedium higher.


Hands off my Red Royal Limbertwig

Pomona Britannica ; or, A collection of the most esteemed fruits...with the blossoms and leaves... (1812)

A repost with updates
highly subjective sampling of some of the more intriguing names
bestowed on the apple:

Red Astrachan, Beautiful Arcade, Bigg's Nonsuch, Bismark, Bottle Green, Bramley's Seedling,
Bulmer's Norman, Calville Rouge d'Automne, Chisel Jersey, Cockagee,
Coe's Golden Drop,
Cole's Quince, Cox's Orange Pippin,
Devonshire Quarrenden, Doctor Matthews, Dolgo Crab, Double Red Jonathan,
Edith Smith, Egremont Russet, Ellison's Orange, Esopus Spitzenburg, Etter's Gold,
Five Crown Pippin, Fortune, Foxwhelp, Frauen Rotacher,
Geeveston Fanny, Gravenstein, Gray Stark, Green Sweet,
Horneburger Pancake, Horse, Hubbardston Nonesuch,
Idaho Spur, July Red,
Keswick Codlin, Kidd's Orange Red,
Kirk's Scarlet Admirable, Knobbed Russet,
Lamb Abbey Pearmain, Lehigh Greening, Lombart's Calville, Lydia's Red Gala,
Mincham's crab,

Newell's Late Orange,
Newton's Wonder, Old Nonpareil, Perrine Transparent, Plum Crabbie,
Queen Cox,
Red Royal Limbertwig, Rubinola, Runkel,
Saint Germain, Striped Beefing, Sullenworth Rennet,
Tompkin's King, Tydeman's Late Orange,
Virginia Greening,
Walter Pease,
Watkin's Large Dumpling, Wealthy, Winterstein, Yellow Tremlett’s, York Imperial,
Zabergau Reinette

Codling An immature or green apple. Pippin A seedling apple. From the old French 'pepin' meaning seed. Russet The word means red, but the term here refers to the texture of the apple skins–from 'russet coat' the dull red/brown wool coats of peasants.

costermonger– In Britain, a street seller of fruit and vegetables, originally from "costard seller." Costard, which was a family of large British cooking apples popular as far back as the 13th century, became a slang term for 'head' by Shakespeare's time.

Apples of Sodom was a term I'd never heard before. The fruit of trees reputed to grow on the shores of the Dead Sea which, while lovely on the outside, are full of ashes within. Josephus, Strabo, and Tacitus evidently refer to them. Like an apple of Sodom signifies disappointment and disillusion.

Images from NYPL Digital Gallery and Mary Evans Picture Library


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