Category Archives: painting and watercolors

paintings

The new normal

We continue to teach live using the original material in the graphic arts collection to reach our students who are not on campus. Today was the practice run for Professor Linda Colley’s Junior Seminar in History, in which we will compare George III with George Washington while demonstrating the many mediums and formats through which you can learn. Here is a pochoir print reproducing the oil painting by Charles Willson Peale of George Washington at the Battle of Princeton together with a mezzotint after Thomas Gainsborough’s George the Third, King of Great Britain.

 

 

One of the many complications is adjusting the equipment to accommodate the very large as well as the very small, while continuing to talk about specific details.

Some material like the John Trumbull’s 1786 sketch of the Death of General Mercer [Sketch for The Battle of Princeton] is already digitized online: https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/10660639. But others, like the watch in an open face case worn by Col. Thomas Turbott during the Battle of Princeton, is not.

 

 

Besides it is more fun to see and talk about the material live, than to hand out digital addresses. Such as Baricou Montbrun’s L’Apotre de la liberte immortalize (The Apostle of Freedom Immortalized or The Apotheosis of Benjamin Franklin), [Paris: Montbrun, ca. 1790], a stipple engraving in which Franklin is being assumed into heaven as the world mourns his loss.

Or Wha wants me, 1792, in which Thomas Paine holds a scroll of the “rights of man” surrounded by injustices and standing on labels.

Thanks to the many, many people who have helped set this up and continue to make these classes possible.

 

 

Decoration at Pynson Printers

Several years ago, while renovating Firestone Library, a canvas was found abandoned inside a temporary wall. The enormous painting of a Chinese bonsai tree could not be identified and was placed in our painting storage vault. Until now.

Recently we discovered this was the painting that hung in the offices of Elmer Adler’s Pynson Printers, positioned between his Pegasus logo and that of his colleague type designer Lucian Bernhard. Bernhard sublet space from Adler, who rented an entire floor in the New York Times Annex on 43rd Street beginning in 1923.

“From the twentieth of March, 1922, the Pynson Printers are at your service for the planning and production of all printing in which quality is the first consideration. We have founded our organization on the belief that the printer should be primarily an artist—a designer and a creator rather than a mere manufacturer. Toward this end, we have assembled a group whose several abilities and varied experience cover every phase of the art and business of printing. . . . We will do no work in which quality must be sacrificed to exigencies of time or cost” (Reprinted in Lawrance Thompson “Forty Mercer Street,” Princeton University Library Chronicle 2, no. 1 (November 1940): 32).

Together with designers Walter Dorwin Teague (1883-1960), Hubert L. Canfield, and David Silvé, Adler opened a small, fine press printing shop at 122 East 32nd Street named Pynson Printers, after the sixteenth-century printer Richard Pynson. Within six months, the others had moved on, leaving Adler the sole owner of the firm (see: John F. Peckham “Forty Mercer,” Princeton Alumni Weekly 41, no. 12 (December 16, 1940): 8). As stated in the opening announcement, concerns with quality rather than commercial practicality led production.

The Pynson Printers office moved to the New York Times Annex at 239 West 43rd Street, elegantly decorated by Lucien Bernhard. In a 1925 letter to Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), with whom he was already in business, Adler wrote, “Since you were last here Mr. [Lucien] Bernhard has arranged to build a studio adjoining our shop which will help create more of the kind of thing we want to have….” (Adler to Kent, February 13, 1925. CO262, box 32, Adler papers). These three men, Adler, Kent, and the recently emigrated German designer Lucien Bernhard (1883-1972), began working together on a variety of printing and design projects. Their first fine press book, Candide, began in 1925 when 27-year-old Bennett Cerf and his 23-year-old friend Donald Klopfer decided they wanted a business of their own, which became Random House.

Adler closed the Pynson Printers in 1940, when he was invited to move to Princeton, New Jersey, and established a department of Graphic Arts for Princeton University. He brought with him a personal collection—fourteen tons of books, prints, paintings, records, and equipment—which became the basis for the graphic arts collection we enjoy today. Although he donated some records of the Pynson Press to the NYPL in 1936, he retained a large amount of material with which to teach, including papers, proofs, and plates, which he sold to the Princeton University Library in 1948 for one dollar.
See also: https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2014/03/21/exhibition-chronology-of-the-little-gallery-of-the-pynson-printers/

 

Graphic Arts reference collection holds four enormous volumes documenting jobs produced by Elmer Adler’s Pynson Printers from 1922 to 1940 when the press was closed. An index to these volumes has been created by Sherry X. Zhang and Jena Mayer with help from Brianna R. Cregle and AnnaLee Pauls, which is key word searchable allowing researchers, for the first time, to study Adler’s commercial work. PDFs are attached here and to the voyager record for these scrapbooks. https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/7343684 Pynson Printers jobs. Graphic Arts: Reference Collection Oversize Z232.P99 A9f
Volume one:Copy of PynsonPrinters_Volume 1
Volume two:Copy of PynsonPrinters_vol.2
Volume three:Copy of PynsonPrinters_vol.3
Volume four:Copy of PynsonPrinters_vol.4 (1) (1)
Extras: Copy of PynsonPrinters_Presses

Dictionnaire botanique or livre d’artiste, take your pick

J.J. Audubon spent his life tracking and painting all the birds in America. Edward Curtis spent the majority of his adult life photographing the Indians of North America. In this extraordinary set of four volumes, a Belgian natural history enthusiast or scientist or doctor spent “most of my life” writing and illustrating a study of transformism, or what we would call evolutionary theory. And if that weren’t enough, the elephant folio Étude sur la transformisme comes with a three volume Dictionnaire botanique, every page hand written and hand colored.

This massive and extraordinary gathering of knowledge addresses everything from air currents to the working of the inner ear; from geography to biology; from Charles Darwin to Victor Hugo. The books are illustrated throughout with thousands of the watercolor paintings. It has been dated from the early 20th century, although the truth is there is no date yet found in any of the volumes. We can only hope it will catch the interest of a future researcher, patient enough to read the small print and find out the truth about the books and their anonymous author.

Étude sur la transformisme holds approximately 150 leaves, many folded, all heavily illustrated in full color. The three volume Dictionnaire botanique offers more than 1200 with several thousand color diagrams, charts, and paintings.

Although the sheer weight of the volume is pulling the paging from the binding, its impressive cover still holds the book together, offering four quotes to the reader:

La vie sans science est presque l’image de la morte, C. Volpi = Life without science is almost the image of the dead

Chercher. Comprendre. Vouloir. Pouvoir. Oser. Sentir. Méditer = Search. Understand. Want to. Power. Dare. Feel. Meditate

Naître, mourir et renaître sans cesse, telle est la loi, telle est lavie. V. Hugo = To be born, to die and to be reborn without ceasing, such is the law, such is the life.

Travailler pour être estimé. Etre estimé pour être aimé. Etre aimé pour être heureux = Work to be esteemed. To be esteemed in order to be loved. To be loved to be happy

 

 


There is the name Dumoulin, but we known absolutely nothing about him or her or them. It is unlikely this refers to the French artist Louis-Jules Dumoulin (1860–1924), who founded the Société Coloniale des Artistes Français in 1908. “Dumoulin is an Orientalist painter linked to the official artistic circles and a great traveler from the various missions that will be entrusted to him. He made his first major trip outside Europe in 1888 on the occasion of an official mission to Japan ordered by the Ministry of Education.”

 

 

 

Here is the description that comes with the set:

The large folio volume is really a huge collection of charts devoted to human anatomy, animal and plant biology, the fossil record and evolution (or transformisme). Botany makes up the largest proportion, but there are sections on insects, reptiles, birds, flying lizards, marsupials and mammals. Dumoulin also had an interest in Africa and there are sections on the Sahara and on the Belgian Congo. The focus is worldwide and is drawn from reference works rather than original research, but the arrangements are highly idiosyncratic. Several evolutionary charts are attempted, mentioning Linnaeus, Darwin, Lamarck and Jussieu.

The Dictionnaire botanique is a large 3 volume compilation mainly devoted to botanical classification, from the smallest mosses and seaweeds, to exotic flowering plants and forest trees. Like the larger folio volume, these volumes are illustrated throughout, with accompanying text in coloured inks and often containing emblematic figures of human figures appropriate to the origins of the plant: including Africans and Americans. They have apparently been bound from a large number of separate files (whose stiff paper cover with labels are preserved) each devoted to a different botanical family. The third volume contains additional materials at the end, including a study on Pasteur and germs, another on insects and another on bird classification. Like the preceding parts, these are also copiously illustrated in colour.

There is a note inserted that the author hoped his/her/their work would find its way into a university. Happily, the unusual set found a home in the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University. Please share the few facts presented here with colleagues and let us know if you have a theory about this massive undertaking.

Thomas Eakins and the Making of Walt Whitman’s Death Mask


“Thomas Eakins and the Making of Walt Whitman’s Death Mask,” will be the second in a series of live webinars highlighting Special Collections in Firestone Library, Princeton University. Please join Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator, and Karl Kusserow, John Wilmerding Curator of American Art, at 2:00 on Friday, June 26, 2020, as we focus on two American pioneers in art and literature. The event is free and open to all, but please register here for the zoom invitation: Register

During the last five years of Walt Whitman’s life, Thomas Eakins was a frequent guest at the poet’s Camden, New Jersey, home where Whitman agreed to sit for an oil portrait. Eakins’ protégé Samuel Murray often joined them, photographing Whitman in preparation for a sculpted bust. On the day Whitman died, March 26, 1892, Eakins and Murray gathered all the necessary supplies to cast his face in plaster and early the next morning crossed the Delaware River, walking the final blocks to 330 Mickle Street. At least three death masks survive from the matrix they produced that day, one preserved at the Princeton University Library.

Thomas Eakins’ studio at 1330 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, to Walt Whitman’s house, 330 Mickle Blvd., Camden, New Jersey

That Whitman and Eakins were similar in temperament and talent is well documented. Their lives intertwined not only in the creation of American masterworks, but in the critical scorn and institutional censor they were each forced to endure throughout their careers. Each found a way to work independent of academia, sharing a common bond in their eternal search for truth within their work.

Samuel Murray, Thomas Eakins and William O’Donovan in Eakins’s Chestnut Street Studio

Here is a timeline merging the two careers:

1855: Whitman publishes the first edition of Leaves of Grass, containing twelve poems.
1856: Fowler & Wells, phrenologists, print and distribute the second edition of Leaves of Grass.
1865: While in Washington, Whitman is discharged from his position by Secretary James Harlan, supposedly for writing obscene poetry.
1865: Eakins studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), also attending lectures in anatomy and participating in dissections at Jefferson Medical College.
1873: Whitman suffers a paralytic stroke and moves in with his brother George in Camden, New Jersey.
1875: Eakins paints The Gross Clinic. Public and critical response is hostile.
1876: The Gross Clinic is rejected from the art exhibition at the Centennial Exposition.
1878: Alumni of Jefferson University scraped together $200 to buy the painting.
1882: Osgood withdraws his edition of Leaves of Grass on complaint of Boston District Attorney and the edition is reprinted in Philadelphia, along with Specimen Days. News of the censure leads to a boom in sales.
1884: Whitman uses the royalties to buy a house at 328 Mickle Street in Camden.
1885: Eakins paints The Swimming Hole.
1886: Eakins caused a scandal by lifting the loincloth of a male model in front of female students and is forced to resign as an instructor from the PAFA. He forms the Art Students’ League of Philadelphia but eventually stops teaching.
1887: Whitman lectures to hundreds in New York City at Madison Square Theater. Eakins is ostracized from Philadelphia society and spends the summer on a ‘rest cure’ at a ranch in the Dakota Badlands.
1888: Eakins is taken to Camden to meet Whitman by his friend Talcott Williams. Whitman finds the artist’s lack of social graces refreshing and offers to sit for him. “Mr. Eakins, the portrait painter, of Philadelphia; is going to have a whack at me.” Later that year, Whitman suffers another paralytic stroke followed by severe illness.
1889: Eakins paints The Agnew Clinic.
1889: The artist attends Whitman’s 70th birthday party and describes painting the poet, “I began in the usual way, but soon found that the ordinary methods wouldn’t do,—that technique, rules and traditions would have to be thrown aside; that, before all else, he was to be treated as a man.”
1890: Whitman pays $4,000 to have a tomb built for himself in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden.
1892: Whitman dies at 6:43 p.m. on March 27. The following morning, Thomas Eakins and his protégé Samuel Murray go to Camden to make a cast of Whitman’s face and left hand. Whitman’s brain is removed and sent to the American Anthropometric Society.
1895: Murray and Eakins use Whitman’s mask to carve Moses, one of ten biblical prophets commissioned for the Witherspoon building in Philadelphia.

The Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks, Princeton University

Teaching with images

When teaching with images, don’t forget the obvious. Wikimedia Commons is a collection of 61,896,277 images in the public domain as well as freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) available to everyone (including many from our Graphic Arts Collection).

Now 16 years old, the resource is not perfect but free and sometime spectacular, such as this digital reproduction of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights from the Prado in Madrid. The painting is next to impossible to see in person, (when travel is available) given the crowds. Here you can zoom in on any corner of the panels, producing extraordinary views. Click on each thumbnail to enlarge it.

The three panels might represent Adam and Eve on the left, a bacchanal of pleasures in the middle, and hell on the right. Commissioned by Engelbert II of Nassau, it was meant to be seen by a very few and only recently moved to a public museum. Note the prevalence of strawberries. The oak panels are not signed but attributed to Bosch.

Each wikimedia page also provides the object’s current location, Bosch is in room 56, the object history and bibliography. In this case, there are multiple files to download from various sources. Here are a few close-ups.


This man is being talked into signing a document, perhaps a papal indulgence, by the pig with a nun’s habit. One year after Bosch’s death, Martin Luther would protest against the sale of papal indulgences.

 

 

 

A brief introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD_nwg9CMzw

Last Portraits

Charles Mottram (1817-1876) after Joseph Ames (1816-1872), The Last Days of Webster at Marshfield: to the Family and Friends of the Late Daniel Webster, This Plate Representing a Scene During His Last Days at Marshfield, Is Most Respectfully Dedicated by the Publishers, 1858. Etching and engraving. Published by Smith & Parmalee, 59 Beekman Street, New York, NY.

 

In 2002, the Musée d’Orsay held an exhibition of Last Portraits. “The purpose of the exhibition is to evoke a practice of the past: portraying a deceased person, on their deathbed or in their coffin. This ‘last portrait’ – death mask, painting, drawing or photograph – remained in the narrow circle of relatives and friends, but, in the case of famous personalities, it could be widely circulated in public. This practice, extremely common in Western countries in the nineteenth century and until the first half of the twentieth century, is today fast disappearing, or at least it remains strictly within the boundaries of the private sphere.”

The last portrait of Daniel Webster (1782-1852), a Whig senator from Massachusetts, was not included in their show but was the subject of a recent reference question. Webster, who Sydney Smith once called “a steam-engine in trousers,” died at his home in Marshfield in 1852 after falling off his horse.

Who are the others in this scene? Joseph Alexander Ames (1816-1872); Daniel Webster (1782-1852); Charles Henry Thomas; Jacob Le Roy; Edward Curtis; Caroline Bayard Le Roy Webster (1797-1882); Mrs. James Paige; James W. Paige; George Ashmun (1804-1870); Rufus Choate (1799-1859); Peter Harvey (1810-1879); Col. Fletcher Webster, 1819-1862; Caroline L. Appleton; Daniel Webster, Jr.; Mrs. Fletcher Webster; Caroline Webster (1845-1884); J. Mason Warren; Unidentified Woman; John Taylor; Porter Wright.

“The whole household were now again in the room, calmly awaiting the moment when he would be released from pain. …It was past midnight, when, awaking from one of the slumbers that he had at intervals, he seemed not to know whether he had not already passed from his earthly existence. He made a strong effort to ascertain what the consciousness that he could still perceive actually was, and then uttered those well-known words, “I still live!” as if he had satisfied himself of the fact that he was striving to know. They were his last coherent utterance. …At twenty-three minutes before three o’clock, his breathing ceased; the features settled into a superb repose; and Dr. Jeffries, who still held the pulse, after waiting for a few seconds, gently laid down the arm, and, amid a breathless silence, pronounced the single word ‘Dead.’ –“The Death-bed of Daniel Webster,” Appletons’ Journal [Volume 3, Issue 49, Mar 5, 1870; pp. 273-275].

Princeton is fortunate to also hold a life mask [left] of Webster’s face taken in Washington D.C. by Clark Mills (1810-1883) in 1849.

“Clark Mills … developed a new technique for creating life masks that was quicker and cheaper than the existing method and as a result received many commissions for sculptures. In 1847, Mills traveled to Washington to study the statuary in the Capitol. He was selected by Congress to create an equestrian statue of President Andrew Jackson, winning the commission over the artist Hiram Powers. This piece was the first monumental equestrian statue in the country to be cast in bronze….”—Smithsonian American Art Museum

Laurence Hutton wrote “I cannot to this day understand how Clark Mills managed to make moulds from life of the entire head of Webster and of that of Calhoun, each so distinct and so near to nature, without leaving in the casts some traces of the hair they wore. Their faces were smooth shaven, but they were both far from being bald. The occiput must have been carefully and closely covered with something which left no mark; but what that something was I cannot determine. Each cast is signed by the artist and dated — Calhoun’s in 1844, Webster’s in 1849,—and that clearly enough establishes their identity. … both he and Webster—the phrenologists tell us—had unusually large heads; and we need no phrenologists to tell us that there was a good deal in them.” Laurence Hutton, Talks in a library with Laurence Hutton (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1905)

Some of the many other deathbed scenes include:

Junius Brutus Stearns (1810-1885), Washington on his Deathbed, 1851. Oil on canvas. Dayton Art Institute, Ohio.

 

Jacques Louis David (1748–1825), Death of Socrates, 1787. Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1931

 

Pierre-Nolasque Bergeret (1782-1863), Honors Rendered to Raphael on His Deathbed, 1806. Oil on canvas. Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio.

 

William L. Walton (1796-1872) after Oakley, John Calvin on his deathbed, with members of the Church in attendance, ca. 1865. Lithograph. Wellcome Trust, London.

 

Artist Unidentified, A Deathbed: a man breathes his last, the devil flies down and grabs his soul (in the form of a baby) from his mouth, 17th century. Engraving, inscription: “L’un de ses lieux sera ta demeure eternelle, Il faut l’un de ces deux te sauver, ou perir, Mourir comme un chrestien, ou comme un infidelle” [loosely translated One of its places will be your eternal home, One of these two must save you, or perish, Die like a Christian, or like an infidel]. Wellcome Trust, London.

 

Alexander Hay Ritchie (1822-1895), Death of Lincoln, ca. 1874. Mezzotint. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2008.01243

 

Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) after Richard Newton (1777-1798), Giving up the ghost or one too many, ca.1813. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2014.00260.
A dying man lies on a miserable bed. A fat doctor sits asleep at the bedside. Beside him are the words:
“I purge I bleed I sweat em
Then if they Die I Lets em”

Formerly known as

This is a confirmed portrait from the Graphic Arts Collection of the Dutch historian and cartographer John Speed (1594-1678), who biographers often compliment as “having had twelve sons, and six daughters, by one wife.”– James Granger, A Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution … (J. Rivington and Sons, 1804).

The portrait may or may not relate to an oil painting in London’s National Portrait Gallery, currently labeled:
Unknown man, formerly known as John Speed
by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1550-1575
© National Portrait Gallery

 

 

How many other portraits are now “formerly known as”?

 

 

Online London’s National Portrait Gallery turns up 223: https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait-list.php?search=sp&sText=formerly%20known&firstRun=true

These include 12 portraits of unknown women formerly known as Anne Boleyn, such as: Probably by Robert White, after Hans Holbein the Younger, Unknown woman formerly known as Anne Boleyn, line engraving, published 1681?, NPG D21020

Online the British Museum currently lists 79 portraits formerly known as someone, now unknown (although my count in F. O’Donoghue, Engraved British Portraits Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 1908, lists over 200). Not one of the 1,650 portraits of William Shakespeare is listed as ‘formerly known as’.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the doubly confusing: Thomas Wright (1792-1849) after Cornelius Janssen (formerly known as), William Shakespeare (formerly known as) 1827. Stipple engraving in Wivell’s Inquiry into the History of the Shakespeare Portraits (1827).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917 (17.3.756-2422)

“…based on a painting then attributed to Cornelius Johnson (or Janssen), owned by Charles Jennens and believed to represent Shakespeare at the age of forty. That worked passed from Jennens, to the Duke of Hamilton, Duke of Somerset, then Lady Ramsden at Bulstrode Park, near Reading, before entering the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Today, the “Janssen Portrait” it is no longer believed to portray Shakespeare and has been retitled “Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman, possibly Thomas Overbury” (see also 17.3.756-1714).”

Artist: After Anonymous, Anglo-Netherlandish, 17th century
Artist: Once said to be after Cornelius Janssen (British, London, baptised 1593–1661 Utrecht)
Sitter: Once said to portray William Shakespeare (British, Stratford-upon-Avon 1564–1616 Stratford-upon-Avon)

 

In addition, the MET has a portrait of the artist formerly known as Prince, by the artist currently known as Prince:

Richard Prince (born 1949), Untitled, 1999. 4 gelatin silver prints and a button. Described: “Signed in ink on printed card attached to frame verso: “R [illegible]”; printed text on card affixed to frame verso: “Left to right an inscribed Barbara Streisand, the artist formerly known as Prince, Sid Vicious, with an attached untitled “Joke” pin and Sylvester Stallone with a signed card by Stallone. [signature] 1999″

“…In his most recent Publicity series, the artist created Duchampian “assisted readymades” by obsessively collecting 8 x 10-inch glossy promotional photographs of show business personalities-in this example, Barbra Streisand, Prince, Sid Vicious, and Sylvester Stallone. Interspersing “authentic” autographs from celebrities (or usually their assistants) with those forged by the artist himself, Prince [not the artist formerly known as Prince] makes explicit the issues of authorship and appropriation that he has explored throughout his career, by demonstrating that the meanings of images are determined primarily by the unruly desires of the viewer.”.

Our database turns up the much less interesting: Princeton University, formerly known as the College of New Jersey and Richardson Auditorium formerly known as Alexander Hall.

More on our engraving:

Salomon Savery (1594-1678), John Speed, ca. 1631. Engraving. Also used as a frontispiece to Speed’s Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World and History of Great British Isles Atlas, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine as well as the combined editions of the two atlases. Hollstein D.24.62 (No. 133). Graphic Arts Collection Dutch prints

Latin dedication legend by publisher George Humble: “AEt [ernae] M [emoriae] | Viri clarissimi | Joannis Speed, Farndoniae nati in Comitatu Cestriae, Civis Londinensis, Mercatorum Scissorum fratris, | Servi fidelissimi regiarum majestatum Elizae, Jacobi, et Caroli nunc Superstitis: Terrarum nostra = | rum Geographi accurati, et fidi antiquitatis Britannicae Historiographi, Genealogiae Sacrae elegan = | tissimi delineatoris; qui post quam annos 77. superaverat non tam morbo confectus, quam mortalitatis | taedio lassatus, Corpore suo levat [us] est July 28, 1629 “
=The eternal memory of the famous John Speed, born at Farndon in the county of Chester, citizen of London, brother of the MS [?], most loyal servant of the royal majesties Elisabeth, Jacob I and the now reigning Karl I .; the exact geographer of our country and faithful historiographer of British antiquities, the witty designer of a biblical genealogy; who, after 77 years behind him, was not so exhausted from sickness as exhausted from his body from weariness from mortality on July 28, 1629.

The DNB lists John Speed (1552?-1629) as historian and cartographer and continues: “…On 15 June 1598, on Greville’s recommendation, Queen Elizabeth gave Speed ‘a waiter’s room in the custom-house’ … Speed first used his leisure in making maps of the counties of England. … These, accompanied by a description of each map, were collected in 1611 in Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, for which George Humble, the publisher, had received a license three vears before…. A second edition appeared in 1614, and a third in 1627, with the title A Prospect of the most Famous Parts of the World. …Meanwhile Speed had become a member of the Society of Antiquaries, where he met Camden, Cotton, and other scholars. Encouraged by their help, he had commenced his great work The History of Great Britaine under the Conquests of ye Bomans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans . . . . An anonymous portrait of Speed was in 1879 transferred from the British Museum to the National Portrait Gallery, London. An engraving by G. Savery, from a painting belonging to Speed’s grandson Samuel, is prefixed to the later editions of most of Speed’s works.”

James Granger, A Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution: Consisting of Characters Disposed in Different Classes… (J. Rivington and Sons, 1804), p. 320 below:

27 tableaux vivants


The Graphic Arts Collection has two new book projects with covers designed by Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), along with her original painted designs. Our expert rare book conservator, Mick LeTourneaux, solved the problem of how to store each painting with the published book by constructing custom clamshell boxes with two compartments.

The first book is Delaunay’s 27 tableaux vivants published in Milan by Edizioni del Naviglio in 1969. Pochoir designs on leporello or accordion pages stretch out to form a small exhibition of 27 costume designs created over the 84 year old artist’s lifetime. Princeton’s book is no. 457 of 500 copies on velin Aussedat, from a total edition of 650.

Sonia attracted wealthy clients: a woollen embroidered coat was made in 1925 for the movie star Gloria Swanson, in geometric shades of rich spicy reds, browns and creams. In these fashion creations, straight lines predominate as diamonds and stripes and straight-edged lines turn at right angles. It’s as if the excitement of the whirling ballroom has been supplanted by the glamour of the road. But not for long: in the 1930s the curves and wheels and arcs were very much back.

For four more decades Sonia designed fabrics for the Amsterdam luxury store Metz and Co, and latterly for Liberty. She didn’t abandon the poets, it must be said. A “poem-curtain” of the time has verses by the surrealist Philippe Soupault embroidered in wool. She made “poem-dresses” – words that walked – and lectured at the Sorbonne on “the influence of painting on clothing design”.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/mar/27/sonia-delaunay-avant-garde-queen-art-fashion-vibrant-tate-modern


The book is accompanied by two trial designs for the cover along with the painted binding. Inside the covers, Delaunay’s work is illustrated with an introductory text from publisher Jacques Damase (1930-2014, who was also the former owner of this volume), extracts from Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), and a poem from Blaise Cendrars (1887-1961), with whom Delaunay had earlier worked on Prose du Transsibérien (1913).

 

The second book, also from the estate of Jacques Damase and with a painted cover design by Delaunay is André Salmon’s Propos d’atelier, published in France 1938–1967. It is also accompanied by a serigraph poster for a 1967 exhibition in Arras, in which the same design from Delaunay re-appears in inverted fashion.

Winsor & Newton watercolor paintbox

Gambose; raw sienna; yellow ocher; chro.yel.pale; chro.yel.deep; burnt sienna // vermilion; light red; chimson lake; purple lake; new blue; prussian blue // emerald green; hooker’s grn.2; brown pink; neutral tint; burnt umber; lamp black

What is Gambose? It’s a bright mustard yellow, with a great story attached to it: https://www.theawl.com/2017/11/gamboge-a-sunny-yellow-with-a-deadly-past/

Read the story of Hooker’s Green: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2018/10/03/hookers-green-the-color-of-apple-trees-and-envy/

What is a Lake color? A lake pigment is an insoluble material that colors by dispersion. Lakes are basically a pigment which has been manufactured from a dye by precipitating a soluble dye with a metallic salt. The resulting pigment is called a lake pigment. These are often used to color food.

What is New Blue? This is Ultramarine blue, also sold as French blue, Gmelin’s blue (A synthetic ultramarine blue first manufactured by Christian Gmelin in Germany in 1828), Royal blue and New blue. Different brand-names offer different strengths, degree of grinding, and consequently, differences in tinting power.


If you find the hidden pin and remove it, a secret bottom drawer can be opened and used to hold all your personal color recipes.

Unpublished drawing by F. O. C. Darley

Friends,

This angling drawing signed by F.O.C. Darley just turned up. It is not his usual work and we are having trouble matching it to a publication or project. Any thoughts would be appreciated at: jmellby@princeton.edu

 

Some interesting links that have been consulted:
https://www.brandywine.org/museum/exhibitions/magic-pencil-amazing-foc-darley
https://www.nypl.org/events/exhibitions/inventing-american-past-art-foc-darley
http://www.avictorian.com/Darley_Felix_Octavius_Carr.html