The Life, Death, and Miracles of Saint Francis of Paula

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Les figures et l’abrégé de la vie, de la mort et des miracles de S. François de Paule instituteur et fondateur de l’ordre des minimes recueillies de la Bulle de Léon X et des enquestes faites pour procéder à sa canonization. Text by Antoine Dondé (Paris: François Muguet, 1664). Engraved vignettes by Adriaen Lommelin (1637?-1673), Nicolas de Poilly (1627-1696), F. Campion, Abraham Bosse (1602-1676) Jean Bollanger (1607-16??); Michael Noël Natalis (1610-1668); Etienne Picart (1632-1721); Nicolas Pitau (1632-1671); Pierre Petit; Gérard Scotin (1643-1716); and Antony van der Does (1606-1680). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2014- in process

Bound with: Antonio Tempesta (1555-1530), Vita et miracula D. Bernardi Clarevallensis abbatis (1587) and Les Portraits de quelques personnes signalées en piété … (1668). More about these in other posts.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired three books bound as one, each book presenting a set of engraved plates depicting the life of one or more saints. This post shows the second book with an incomplete life of Saint Francis of Paula (1416-1507). Our volume holds only 8 plates with 4 scenes each offering a total of 32 scenes. The complete copy in the Bibliothèque nationale shows 20 plates with a total of 80 scenes, along with preparatory material.

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At the age of fourteen, Francis returned to Paula. “…he selected a retired spot on his father’s estate, and there lived in solitude…. Here he remained alone for about six years giving himself to prayer and mortification. In 1435 two companions joined him in his retreat, and to accommodate them Francis caused three cells and a chapel to be built: in this way the new order was begun. The number of his disciples gradually increased, and about 1454, with the permission of Pyrrhus, Archbishop of Cosenza, Francis built a large monastery and church.

…The rule of life adopted by Francis and his religious was one of extraordinary severity. They observed perpetual abstinence and lived in great poverty, but the distinguishing mark of the order was humility. …In 1474 Sixtus IV gave him permission to write a rule for his community, and to assume the title of Hermits of St. Francis: this rule was formally approved by Alexander VI, who, however, changed their title into that of Minims. After the approbation of the order, Francis founded several new monasteries in Calabria and Sicily. He also established convents of nuns, and a third order for people living in the world, after the example of St. Francis of Assisi.
–Hess, Lawrence. “St. Francis of Paula.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909.

Printed in Hopewell, New Jersey

williams, sixtyC.K. Williams, Sixty ([Hopewell, New Jersey]: Pied Oxen Printers, 2014). Printed by David Sellers. Copy 4 of 60. Graphic Arts Collection 2014- in process


williams sixty3On the afternoon of 9 March 2014, pianist Richard Goode and poet C.K. Williams took the stage of the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton University’s Alexander Hall. The event, billed as “A recital with poetry,” sold out almost immediately and every seat in the auditorium was filled.

Williams, only recently retired from Princeton University, read his poem “Beethoven Invents the Species Again,” which he wrote for the occasion. In addition, he read from his most recent collection of poems All at Once (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2014), including the series that is shown here, first published as Sixty. Goode played ten pieces, including works by Schumann, Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Bach, Janácek, and Beethoven.

The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired one of the limited-edition, fine-press copies of Williams’ Sixty, with prints by David Sellers. The artwork, letterpress-printed from type-high magnesium photo-engravings, was created by the printer from a detail of an original Edo period Zen Buddhist hanging scroll: a negative mirror image for the title page, the original sumi-e ink design following the title poem, and an overlapping image at the center of the book.

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Princeton Magazine published a profile of the Sellers’ press nearby in Hopewell, New Jersey, and you can read the article at:


Rubbing a 1446 Skeleton in Margate

day collection of memorial brass rubbings3day collection of memorial brass rubbings2Possibly Richard Notfelde (skeleton)

The Day Collection of Memorial Brass Rubbings, ca. 1980s. Graphite on paper. Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of Kent Day Coes of Upper Montclair, New Jersey and H. Vinton Coes, Class of 1936 of Sussex, New Jersey, in memory of their grandfather Harry Kent Day and their mother Agnes Wickfield Day Coes.
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day collection of memorial brass rubbings52. Sir Rodger de Trumpington, crusader; 1289, Trumpington, Cambridgeshire

3. Sir Robert de Saptvans; 1306, Chartham, Kent

16. Robert Wyvil; 1375 – Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire

18. John de Campeden; 1382 – Chapel of St. Cross, Winchester

19. Sir William de Bryene; 1395 – Seal, Kent

27. Judge John Martyn and Anna, his wife; 1436, Graveney, Kent

28. Jane Keriell; about 1461, Ash, Kent

31. Christina Phelip; 1470 – Herne, Kent

32. William Gysborne (half-figure of a priest); 1451, Farningham, Kent

33. Robert de Brentyngham (half-figure); about 1380, East Horsley, Surrey

35. Lady Catherine Howard; about 1520, Stoke, Suffolk

38. Sir Thomas Isly and wife; 1520, Sundrldge, Kent

42. Lady Fyneux; 1539, Herne, Kent

50. Thomas Hamon; about 1620, Rye, Sussex

65. Nicholas Canteys; 1431, Margate, Kent

68. A civilian and wife; 1480 – Chelsfield, Kent

75. John Rusche; 1498, All Hallows, Barking, London

76. Thomas Sibill and wife; 1519, Farningham, Kent

77. Lodewyc Cortewille and his wife Colyne Van Caestre; 1496 and 1504, from Corteville, France now in the Museum of Economic Geology, London

81. Nicholas le Brun; 1547, Jeumont, France, now in the British Museum

85. Dame Joan de Favereham and her son John; about 1370, Graveney, Kent

86. Cardinal Frederic Casmir; 1510, Cathedral of Cracow, Poland

no number. Peryent and wife Joan; 1415, Digswell, Hertfordshire

no number. Edvarod Valontyne and wives Agnes and Joan; 1559 and 1570, Thanet, Kent

no number. Skeleton (not otherwise identified); 1446, Margate, Kent

no number. Sir Robert de Bures; 1302, Acton, Suffolk

no number. Fitzhugh, crusader; about 1320, Pebmarsh, Essex

no number. Knight, possibly a crusader

no number. Sir William Tendring; 1408, Stoke, Suffolk

For information on how to get started with a collection of your own, see: The Monumental Brass Society, a website for those interested in any aspect of monumental brasses and incised slabs of all dates in all countries.


You can’t turn the page of a book that is still burning.

mexican revolution poster1Unidentified artist, No se Puede Dar Vuelta la Pagina de un Libro que Sigue Ardiendo = You can’t turn the page of a book that is still burning, no date [2013]. Stenciled poster. Graphic Arts Collection, acquired with the assistance of the Program in Latin American Studies.

September 11, 2013, marked the 40th anniversary of the Chilean military coup led by Augusto Pinochet (1915-2006), which overthrew the socialist President Salvador Allende (1908-1973). Three of the many posters that commemorated the event have been acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University.

mexican revolution poster3Unidentified artist, Con memoria subterraneanente avanza nuestra historia. Identidad / memoria a 40 anos del golpe ni perdón ni olvido.= With memory our history advances underground.  Identity/memory forty years after the coup, neither forgiveness nor oblivion,
no date [2013]. Stenciled poster.
Graphic Arts Collection acquired with assistance from the Program in Latin American Studies.

“On 11 September 1973, Pinochet oversaw a fierce aerial bombardment of the presidential palace. The Socialist President, Salvador Allende, committed suicide rather than surrender. His death marked the start of a brutal 17-year dictatorship. The government estimates that 3,095 people were killed during Pinochet’s rule, including about 1,200 who were forcibly “disappeared”. Pinochet died under house arrest in 2006 before he could stand trial on charges of illegal enrichment and human rights violations.”–Associated Press

mexican revolution poster2Unidentified artist, La Dicta aun dura. La misma constitucion, educacion, salud, empleo, represion, explotacion. La misma mierda = The Dictatorship still lasts. The same constitution, education, health, employment, repression, exploitation. The same shit, 2013. Stenciled poster.
Graphic Arts Collection acquired with assistance from the Program in Latin American Studies.


“Authors are small potatoes”

nast education2Thomas Nast’s illustration in Harper’s Weekly, January 21, 1882, p. 37, is a commentary on Mark Twain’s struggle with Canadian copyright laws and the unauthorized publication of his books.

nast education Before there were international copyright laws, Canadian publisher could release books by American authors without paying royalties, sometimes even before the books were published in the United States. This happened to Mark Twain, who fought back in November 1881 by traveling to Montreal to establish temporary residency before releasing The Prince and the Pauper. The odd practice of requiring authors to register their works with the Canadian Minister of Agriculture, led to the green grocer theme in Nast’s cartoon.

Twain made a number of public appearances during his stay, including a speech at a banquet given in his honor on December 9, 1881. The New York Times printed his remarks in full the following day. Here is a small section:

“That a banquet should be given to me in this ostensibly foreign land and in this great city, and that my ears should be greeted by such complimentary words from such distinguished lips, are eminent surprises to me; and I will not conceal the fact that they are also deeply gratifying. I thank you, one and all, gentlemen, for these marks of favor and friendliness; … I did not come to Canada to commit crime – this time – but to prevent it. I came here to place myself under the protection of the Canadian law and secure a copyright. I have complied with the requirements of the law; I have followed the instructions of some of the best legal minds in the city, including my own, and so my errand is accomplished, at least so far as any exertions of mine can aid that accomplishment. This is rather a cumbersome way to fence and fortify one’s property against the literary buccaneer it is true; still, if it is effective, it is a great advance upon past conditions and one to be correspondingly welcomed.nast education3

It makes one hope and believe that a day will come when, in the eye of the law, literary property will be as sacred as whiskey, or any other of the necessaries of life. In this age of ours, if you steal another man’s label to advertise your own brand of whiskey with, you will he heavily fined and otherwise punished for violating that trademark; if you steal the whiskey without the trademark, you go to jail; but if you could prove that the whiskey was literature, you can steal them both, and the law wouldn’t say a word. It grieves me to think how far more profound and reverent a respect the law would have for literature if a body could only get drunk on it. Still the world moves; the interests of literature upon our continent are improving; let us be content and wait.”

Mark Twain (1835-1910), The Prince and the Pauper: a Tale for Young People of all Ages (Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1882). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 1859.

Thomas Nast (1840-1902), The Department of Agriculture (truly rural-culture)…, , [1882]. Pen and ink with gouache on board. Drawing published in Harper’s Weekly, January 21, 1882, p. 37, Graphic Arts Collection GA  2008.01661.

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Of Typography and the Harmony of the Printed Page


L’art est-il utile? Oui. Pourquoi? Parce qu’il est l’art. -Charles Baudelaire
Is art useful? Yes. Why? Because it is art. -Charles Baudelaire.

ricketts3Charles S. Ricketts (1866-1931) and Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944), De la typographie et de l’harmonie de la page imprimée: Wiliam Morris et son influence sur les arts et métiers (Paris: Floury; London: Hacon & Ricketts, Ballantyne Press, 1898). Colophon: Ce livre fut commencé par Lucien Pissarro en avril 1897 et achevé au Ballantyne press sous la direction de Charles Ricketts le 2 janvier 1898./ “Il a été tiré de cet ouvrage 256 exemplaires, dont 6 sur parchemin”–P. [1].
Graphic Arts Collection 2014- in process

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In 1889, the artisan publishers Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon invited the artist Lucien Pissarro to submit images for their magazine The Dial. Within five years, Lucien and his wife Esther Pissarro established The Eragny Press and began printing books of their own, completing thirty-one titles in all. Princeton University Library only holds around a dozen of their books and surprisingly, not the collaboration between Ricketts and Pissarro De la typographie de l’harmonie de la page imprimée.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired one of the 216 copies of this important book, bound in the original grey/green boards decorated in floral motif and a printed paper spine label (256 in the book is a misprint). The text pages are beautifully printed in red and black with the Vale type that Pissarro used until 1903.


We are all fortunate that Ricketts’ essay was translated into English by Richard K. Kellenberger in 1953 []. Of Typography and the Harmony of the Printed Page begins:

“In a renewal of interest in handicrafts, the art of book-making would, at first sight, appear to be the easiest to revitalize. Its limited technique, the placing a black line on white paper, the relationship of this line to the stroke of a pen, adjusted merely to the work of the en- graver (both in printing and in wood-engraving), this does not involve the difficulties which are presented by more complicated or recalcitrant materials – difficulties such as are presented by the technique of weaving brocades or rugs, or of fitting together the pieces of a stained glass window. And yet, throughout the thirty years during which there has been, in handicraft circles in England, an intense preoccupation with the arts, the art of book-making is the last one to come on the scene.”

Is there a picture of Nassau Hall burning down?

princeton print club5We received a question this morning concerning the history of Princeton University and our seminal building Nassau Hall. “Do we have a picture of Nassau Hall burning down?

“ Mudd Library posted a long history of the building and its many disasters over the years. Even the second fire in March 1855 was still somewhat early for photojournalists and there were no painters or engravers on the scene.

The one image we have is dated 1946, documenting the fire of 1802. It was created by Joseph Low (1911-2007) through a commission from the Princeton Print Club, which had been organized in 1940 as an undergraduate activity to further interest in the Graphic Arts. Dues were $5 and in the first year the Club numbered 180 members. The founder, Kneeland McNulty, class of 1943, went on to become a print curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

princeton print club4Joseph Low (1911-2007), Burning of Nassau Hall, 1802. No date [ca. 1946]. Woodcut. “Edition of 150 copies made for the Princeton Print Club to mark the University’s 200th anniversary.”
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2007.01750.

A well-known children’s book illustrator, Joseph Low might be remembered best for his wonderful New Yorker magazine covers, the first of which appeared in 1940. For Low’s obituary Steven Heller wrote, “Using wild pen gestures he created glyphlike characters meant for both adult and child that were both sophisticated and accessible.” One can perhaps see the influence of his teacher at the Art Students League, George Grosz.

In 1960 Low established his own private press, Eden Hill Press in Newtown, Conn., named after the road on which he lived and our library holds many illustrated editions by Low. We also hold a number of other prints commissioned by the Princeton Print Club. Here are a few others:

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Robert Fulton Logan (1889-1959), Nassau Hall, Princeton, no date [ca.1944].
Etching. Graphic Arts Collection
princeton print club1Louis L. Novak (1903-1988), Joline-Campbell Hall from Blair Court, 1943. Linocut. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2007.02141

princeton print club6George Joseph Mess (1898-1962), Stanhope & Reunion, 1946. Aquatint. Seventh annual print issued by the Princeton Print Club.  Graphic arts Collection GA 2007.01883.

British Humanity or African Felicity

british humanity3After Henry Smeathman (1742–1786), British Humanity or African Felicity in The West Indies,
March 8, 1788. Etching and engraving. Graphic Arts Collection 2014- in process

“In the late 18th century, between 5,000 and 7,000 black people lived in London,” writes Simon Schama in Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (available online through Dixon eBooks) “More than 20 years before the legislation of William Wilberforce finally ended slavery in Britain, the practice was still legal – but ambiguously so. Most blacks in London were free, but not all, and slave catchers operated widely in the capital, kidnapping runaways.”

“…To his friends, Henry Smeathman was “Mr Termite”. No one knew more about ants. In 1771 he had been sent by the scientist and future president of the Royal Society, Joseph Banks, to the Banana Islands off the coast of Sierra Leone to collect botanical specimens for Banks’s collection at Kew. He had stayed there for three years, turning himself from botanist into entomologist.”

“In the 1780s he had pottered along giving his insect lectures, a harmless and slightly marginal figure in the scientific and philanthropic communities of which he considered himself a member. But then, in 1786, the cause of the black poor gave him a sudden, belated opportunity, and Smeathman set before the Lords of the Treasury his Plan of Settlement for the creation of a thriving free black colony in ‘one of the most pleasant and feasible countries in the known world’– Sierra Leone.”

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To illustrate his articles and pamphlets, Henry Smeathman made crude sketches, later reproduced and published by the London dealer G. Graham. The graphic arts collection recently acquired one entitled “British Humanity or African Felicity in The West Indies.”

The inscription continues, “This Plate Being a Slight Sketch of the Inhuman Punishments Inflicted on the Miserable Slaves is Taken from an original drawing of a whipping after Henry Smeathman. March 8, 1788 … The Slaves both Male & Female are fastened to four Stake’s in the Ground, and lashed till they are hardly able to walk without Assistance. This shocking sight is so common that although it is executed in the Public Market Place, the People buy & sell as though nothing was doing.”

See also:

Simon Schama, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (London: BBC, 2005). Firestone Library (F) E269.N3 S33 2005

Deirdre Coleman, Romantic Colonization and British Anti-Slavery (Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005). Firestone Library (F) DA16 .C627 2005

Starr Douglas, “The Making of Scientific Knowledge in an Age of Slavery: Henry Smeathman, Sierra Leone and natural history,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 9, no. 3 (Winter 2008)


The Portate Ultimatum

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Author Arthur Willis Colton (1868-1943) wrote short stories for Scribner’s Magazine and other literary journals in the late 19th century. Many involved voyages to the Far East, Africa, or other exotic locations. The Portate Ultimatum is no exception. The graphic arts collection holds only one of the five illustrations painted by the great American artist William Glackens for Colton’s story, but it is a good one.

glackens Portate UltimatumWilliam J. Glackens (1870-1938), The Portate Ultimatum, 1899. Gouache on board.  Illustration for Arthur Colton’s story, “The Portate Ultimatum” which appeared in Scribner’s Magazine in 1899. Gift of Charles Scribner III, Princeton University class of 1973. GA 2006.02375, Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 226-227.

glackens portate2Here is a brief section from Colton’s story:

“It is a pregnant idea. Ships come into it, mainly from the South Atlantic, carrying mixed crews wearing overalls, some with tropical complexions and little English, some with the rheumatism and a Down-East accent. Erom the end of the wharf one can watch up and down the mob of tugs and crossing ferryboats, long freighters, yachts, tiny catboats, and dignified trans-Atlantic steamers that glide up the bay conscious of their caste and position in the world of the sea. It was a warm spring afternoon. Caddy, the wharf-master, sat on a pile of crates in a kind of false idleness, his eye going here and there. The rest of us practised an idleness that was more genuine, except Stanley, the electrical engineer, whose idleness was dynamic. And about us were the rumbling of drays, the clatter of feet, and the thump of baled goods dropped on the planking. A newcome ship, with patched sails and a look of slow decay, was tied to the clustered piles.

“Hides,” said the engineer, sniffing the air.

“Leather, Bahia,” said the wharf-master. “I’d like to tan the man that tanned it. That’s a smoky lot of stuff,” he called to the captain, going by.

“Smoke!” said the captain, gloomily. “We’re a humpin’ censer, we are. You can smell us all up the coast. But what can you do?”

“Sacrifice the consignor to the gods of the Atlantic,” said the engineer.

It was too mythical for the captain, and he went away with his melancholy.

“I lived in South America once,” said Portate they run over more alligators than cars, and they do say that creepers grow over the tracks between trains, but I never saw it. And in the city of Portate there are wharves, which float off down the river in freshets, and have to be pursued and picked out with difficulty from among the hundreds of little sea islands, and brought back in disgrace. They have a trolley line that goes from the wharves to the Plaza and then visiting about town; and telephones, and electric lights, which are the pride of the enlightened, but some of the others think they are run by connection with that pit of the sinful about which Padre Raphael is an authority.”