Category Archives: prints and drawings

prints and drawings

A Slap at Slop


The Lenny Bruce of the early nineteenth century, William Hone (1780-1842) was a radical comic writer and publisher who joined forces with the visual artist George Cruikshank (1792-1878) to expose and ridicule abuses in British politics as well as the news media supporting the conservative government.

Hone was charged with three counts of libel in 1817 but brilliantly acquitted of all charges citing his use of parody. It wasn’t a crime to be funny.


One of the greatest but least celebrated publications issued by the two men was a serial news sheet titled A Slap at Slop, lampooning the work of John Stoddard, publisher of The Times and The New Times newspapers.

Along with two variant editions of A Slap at Slop, the Graphic Arts Collection holds Hone’s personal copy of Factiae and Miscellanies (1827), a collection of 14 of his tracts and 120 engravings by George Cruikshank, which includes Hone’s manuscript annotations, autograph letters, newspaper clippings, and a likenesses of William Hone and George Cruikshank. These came to Princeton thanks to the astute collecting and generous gift of Richard W. Meirs, Class of 1888 and Gordon A. Block Jr, Class of 1936.

Rather than talk about their work, here are some examples (obviously just a taste) reproduced hopefully large enough for you to read the hilarious texts for yourself:





George Cruikshank (1792-1878), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-Street gang: Royal cuckoo clock, 1821. Pencil drawing for the Royal Cuckoo Clock, with inscription in George Cruikshank’s hand “Reward for the discovery of the Royal Society–south of the pendulum of England”. References: Cohn 749. Graphic Arts Collection GC022/George/Drawings

William Hone (1780-1842), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-Street Gang (London: Printed by and for William Hone, 1822). Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1819.41

William Hone (1780-1842), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-Street Gang; with twenty-seven cuts (London: Printed by and for William Hone, 1822). Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1817.28

William Hone (1780-1842), A Slap at Slop and the Bridge-street gang ([London, W. Hone, 1821]) 5th edition; 26 illus. by G. Cruikshank. “By a closer setting of the material, room is made for an extra illus. and over a column and a half on the Queen’s death. Included also is an octavo sheet with 4 original pencil sketches with explanations, 3 of them from “A slap at slop.” The two issues and the drawings inserted in a red cloth wrapper and slip case. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1821.28

William Hone (1780-1842), Factiae and Miscellanies. With one hundred and twenty engravings drawn by George Cruikshank (London: Published for W. Hone by Hunt and Clarke, 1827). A collection of 14 of Hone’s tracts gathered together and published under the above title. There is an additional woodcut on the title representing two men seated at a table. These are likenesses of William Hone and George Cruikshank. Laid in: “The queen’s matrimonial ladder / printed by William Hone, Ludgate Hill, London. Price (with the pamphlet) One shilling.” 30 x 6.5 cm., folded to 15.5 x 6.5, on cardstock. Provenance: The author’s copy, containing his ms. annotations, with autograph letters bound in, and newspaper clippings laid in. Front free endpaper has trial title page, entitled “A history of English parody …” Annotations by George T. Lawley, noting he purchased the volume from Hone’s family. Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1827.61

Édouard Chimot and Les Editions d’Art Devambez

From 1923 to 1931, the fine print publishing house of Maison Devambez established the imprint, Les Éditions d’Art Devambez (also written Ed. d’art Devambez), which produced a series of limited edition, artist illustrated books. Édouard Chimot (1880-1959) was named artistic director of the imprint that he led with close, personal interaction with his fellow artists, often matching them with texts by nineteenth-century French authors. Most volumes include intaglio prints, with drypoint a particular specialty of their printers.

In its first years, Chimot published:
Anatole France, Le Petit Pierre, illustrated by Pierre Brissaud, 1923
Anatole France, La Vie en Fleur, illustrated by Pierre Brissaud, 1924
Henri de Regnier, La Canne de Jaspe, illustrated by Drian, 1924
Pierre Louÿs, Les Chansons de Bilitis, illustrated by Édouard Chimot, 1925
Maurice Barrès, La Mort de Vénise, illustrated by Edgar Chahine, 1926
Claude Farrère, L’Homme qui Assassina, illustrated by Henri Farge, 1926
Gustave Flaubert, Salammbô, illustrated by William Walcot, 1926
Pierre Loti, La Troisième Jeunesse de Madame Prune, illustrated by Tsuguharu Foujita, 1926
Pierre Louÿs, Les Poésies de Méléagre, illustrated by Édouard Chimot, 1926

Born in Venice, Edgar Chahine (1874-1947) became a French citizen in 1925 and spent the next few years creating prints as illustration for fine press editions. His work on Mort de Venise is of particular interest because his Paris studio was destroyed by fire in 1926, making the prints in this book some of the few surviving impressions from his Venice series (begun in 1906 with Impressions d’Italie). Chahine went on to illustrate books by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896); Anatole France (1824-1924); Collette (1873-1954); Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880); and others.

Maurice Barres (1862-1923), La mort de Venise. Illustrée de vingt-six eaux-fortes originales gravées par Edgar Chahine (Paris: Editions d’Art Devambez, 1926). Copy 94 of 231. Graphic Arts Collection GAX Q-000649

L’Almanach des poètes

L’Almanach des poètes pour l’année ... (Paris: Edition du Mercure de France, 1896-1898). Volumes for 1896 and 1898 illustrated by Auguste Donnay; for 1897 by A. Rassenfosse. The editor for the series is R. de Souza. Graphic Arts Collection PQ1163 .A463 in process

These rare fin-d-siècle almanacs were designed by the Belgian artists Auguste Donnay (1862-1921) and A. [André] Rassenfosse (1862-1934) under the watchful supervision of poet and editor Robert de Souza (1864-1946), a disciple of Stéphane Mallarmé. Small and unassuming, they include poems by such celebrated authors as André Gide, Gustave Kahn, Henri de Regnier, Emile Verhaeren, Stuart Merrill, Camille Mauclair, and many others.

Benezit Dictionary of Art mentions that as a young artist Donnay spent “five months in Paris, where he got to know the Nabis. However, he was particularly attracted to Egyptian statuary, Japanese art and the Italian primitives, before he discovered the work of Puvis de Chavannes.

In 1894 he participated in the first Salon de la Libre Esthétique, and in 1896 he took part in the Salon de l’Art Indépendant in Paris. In 1901 he was appointed to teach at the Académie de Liège and gave lessons in ornamental composition. He left Liège in 1905 and went to live in Méry-sur-Ourthe.” Donnay was equally interested in art and poetry, illustrating many books and magazines throughout his life, including the issues of this Almanach.

Rassenfosse was the same age as Donnay and involved with many of the same people and projects. He spent time in Paris and became friends with Félicien Rops, together perfecting ‘Ropsenfosse,’ a soft varnish for paintings. By 1934, he was appointed the director of Fine Arts at the Belgian Académie Royale des Beaux Arts.




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The Pennyroyal Alice

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [by] Lewis Carroll; illustrated by Barry Moser; preface and notes by James R. Kincaid; text edited by Selwyn H. Goodacre; printed by Harold McGrath at Pennyroyal Press (West Hatfield, Mass.: Pennyroyal Press, 1982). Bound volume and additional portfolio of 68 black and white engravings, signed by Moser. “The Pennyroyal Press Sesquicentennial Edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was printed in an edition of three hundred and fifty copies, of which fifty have been reserved for participants & patrons” –Colophon. Copy 317 of 350. Graphic Arts Collection Oversize PR4611 .A7 1982bF

Notes on the prints by Barry Moser (1981) “To illustrate Alice entails a certain indelicacy, for Alice is a story of loneliness. Its illustrators, beginning with Carroll himself and including Tenniel, Rackham, Steadman, Pogany, Furniss, and Dali, have intruded on the privacy of Alice’s adventure, standing apart and observing Alice in her dream. They have been voyeurs, and yet there can be no voyeurs to dreams. In The Pennyroyal Alice, the reader is a voyeur only when Alice is associated with her sister: first, on the bank; then, after awakening, running home for tea; and finally in her sister’s reverie. The images of Alice’s dream are always seen from Alice’s point of view, for after all, the dream is Alice’s dream.

…Carroll’s thoughts on his own creation provided important keys which took The Pennyroyal Alice in interesting visual directions. For instance, Carroll commented to Alexander Macmillan in 1864, that the binding cloth for Alice should be bright red—not because it was the best, he said, but because it would be “the most attractive to the childish eyes.” I used that note as a displaced chromatic key: red for the shoulder commentary, and red for Alice’s name when it is shrieked by the White Rabbit in the trial scene. Similarly, Carroll’s habit of writing letters in purple ink suggested the use of violet leather for the binding. The blue that appears in the chapter heads and other titles is, of course, Oxford blue. Carroll’s (often meddlesome) letters to and about Tenniel, Arthur Hughes, and G.W. Taylor gave me insights into Carroll’s vision of Wonderland, a contradictory vision which embraced the “weird” and “grotesque” as enthusiastically as it embraced the “graceful and pretty.”…

The Cheshire Cat is modeled after the hairless Sphinx, a ridiculously rare feline, which like a mule cannot reproduce itself.”

“In 1977 Moser met Andrew Hoyem, who asked if Moser would be interested in illustrating Arion Press’s forthcoming Moby-Dick. He was, he did, and it was published to great fanfare. This had profound ramifications for Pennyroyal Press because, as Moser reasoned in retrospect, he could certainly design a book as well as Hoyem, and Harold McGrath, who was widely considered as the finest letterpress printer in America at the time, was certainly as good a pressman as any of Hoyem’s. And so Moser, McGrath, and Jeff Dwyer, their business manager and partner, determined to produce something that was much grander than any of the previous Pennyroyal books. In 1982 the Pennyroyal Press edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland appeared and subsequently won the 1983 American Book Award for the trade edition published by the University of California Press in Berkeley, California.”–

Fables drawn by Gustave Doré

Princeton University Library lists 696 versions of the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) dating from 1668 to 2018 in twenty identified languages, including both paper and online, audio, manuscript, visual, projected, and a senior thesis. Yet it was a surprise when a request came for the book illustrated by Gustave Doré.

His more than 300 designs were first published in Paris by Librairie de L. Hachette in 60 parts between 1866 and 1868. Our London and New York edition published by Cassell, Petter, and Galpin has no date connected to it but sources list 1868. It was a generous gift from the great book collector W.T. Scheide.


Don’t miss the lizard hanging from the ceiling.


Doré’s designs were handsomely wood engraved by T. Ettling; Huyot; Adolphe François Pannemaker (born 1822); George Auriol (1863-1938); Paul Jonnard (ca. 1863-1902); and possibly others, but the prints were not well received. “La Fontaine sees clearly and true; M. Doré sees falsely, strangely and eccentrically,” wrote a critic (recorded by Jules Claretie). The artist himself was worn out by the effort and wrote, “-the job appalled me, crushed me.”

Regardless, readers loved the translation and the prints leading to multiple editions, including a sold out trade edition. The unusual presence of human beings in these animal tales seemed to resonate with people. Situations are presented with great dramatic flare and a realistic terror usually reserved for Dante or Milton. What do you think? Read more about the project in Nigel Gosling, Gustave Doré, (Newton Abbott: David and Charles, 1973) Marquand ND 553.D7G6.


Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), The Fables of La Fontaine, translated into English verse by Walter Thornbury, with illustrations by Gustave Doré (1832-1883) (London and New York: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, [1800?]). GAX copy: Bookplate of William Taylor Scheide (1847-1907). Graphic Arts Collection Oversize 2003-0072Q


Justus Freiherr von Liebig (1803-1873)

Sérgio Costa Araújo, a colleague from Portugal, noticed that although we have wonderful tradecards from the chemist Justus Freiherr von Liebig (1803-1873), we don’t have a good portrait and so, he sent one.

The wood engraving is titled Justus v. Liebig in seinem Arbeitszimmer. Originalzeichnung von G. Theuerkauf [Justus von Liebig in His Study. Original Drawing by Gustav Theuerkauf], and was published in Über Land und Meer. Allgemeine Illustrierte Zeitung [Over Land and Sea. General Illustrated Newspaper], Stuttgart, 1873, the year of Liebig’s death.

The print is after a drawing by the German artist Christian Gottlob Heinrich Theuerkauf (1833-1911), who made numerous illustrations for high-circulation publications of his time, such as Over Land and Sea. For more information see: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart / 33 Theodotos – Urlaub.

Liebig is pictured in his study by a large desk with numerous papers and books. Unfortunately none of the portraits on the wall or the books on the shelves can be identified by title.

See also: August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818-1892), The life-work of Liebig in experimental and philosophic chemistry, with allusions to his influence on the development of the collateral sciences and of the useful arts; a discourse (London: Macmillan, 1876). Series: Faraday lecture; 1875. ReCAP – Lewis Library 8303.584.47

Louche binding

This book was purchased by the Graphic Arts Collection in small part because the binding was listed as “louche.” Louche is an adjective that describes something of questionable taste or morality while at the same time kind of attractive—ugly/beautiful–; one definition reads “the louche world of the theater.”

It seems apropos of Jim Dine’s consciously informal facsimile of the annotated script and his sketches for a never realized production of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. This is perhaps his most well-known artists’ book and the first of many celebrated volumes from Petersburg Press. Later projects include Foirades by Samuel Beckett and Jasper Johns (1976); The Departure of the Argonaut by Alberto Savinio and Francesco Clemente (1986); Notes in Hand by Claes Oldenburg (1971); Shards by Richard Meier and Frank Stella (1983) and dozens of others.

The Petersburg Press had two incarnations, first in London in 1968 and again in New York in 1972, publishing limited edition prints, livres d’artistes, and artists’ books in collaboration with a list of noted contemporary artists that few presses could rival. Here is the Guardian’s obituary for its founder Paul Cornwall-Jones.

Jim Dine, Picture of Dorian Gray: a working script for the stage from the novel by Oscar Wilde (London: Petersburg Press. 1968). Limited edition, 125/200 signed by Jim Dine. Bound in emerald green velvet over boards with the title blocked in silver on the upper cover. This is edition B of Dine’s three editions of Dorian Gray. The original colour lithographs, etchings and text pages were prepared on zinc and aluminium plates by Jim Dine in February 1968 and subsequently printed on Velin Arches at the Atelier Desjobert and Atelier Leblanc in Paris. It contains twelve lithographs six of which are the signed set issued loose in Editions A and C. This copy lacks the four signed etchings which are called for in the publisher’s notes. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process


Bidloo’s Martyrdom of the Apostles

As many people are in their first week of new year’s resolutions, it might be appropriate to look at the popular volume Brieven der gemartelde apostelen [Letters of the Tortured Apostles] by the Dutch surgeon and professor of anatomy Govard Bidloo (1649-1713). First published in 1675 and reissued several times before Bidloo’s death, the text and plates depict the author’s warning against the seducing power of good food, wine, and other earthly delights. Gruesome suffering shown includes stoning, quartering, beating, burning, and other bodily tortures endured by these saints, as necessary preparation for the next world.

A complete transcription of the texts can be found on The Digital Library for Dutch Literature (DBNL), the wonderful digital collection of texts that belong to Dutch literature, linguistics, and cultural history from the earliest times to the present. The collection represents the entire Dutch language area and is the result of a collaboration between the Taalunie, the Flemish Heritage Library and the Royal Library in The Hague.

Although the plates are not signed, several sources attribute the engravings to the gifted and socially well connected artist, Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708). There might have been dissatisfaction with the result because Bidloo writes elsewhere about the artist’s incompetence* and later, the plates for Bidloo’s monumental Anatomia humani corporis, published in Amsterdam in 1685, were drawn by Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711) and engraved by Abraham Blooteling (1640–1690) and Peter van Gunst (1659?–1724?).



Govert Bidloo (1649-1713), Brieven der gemartelde apostelen [Letters of the Tortured Apostles] (Amsterdam: Hieroymus Sweerts, 1675). Plates by Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process.


*Luuc Kooijmans, Death Defied: The Anatomy Lessons of Frederik Ruysch (Leiden: Brill, 2010), Firestone Library QM16.R89 K6613 2010

Henk Van Nierop, The Life of Romeyn de Hooghe, 1645–1708: Prints, Pamphlets, and Politics in the Dutch Golden Age (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018)

What is printmaking?

You may have already received this link but in case you missed it over all the winter holidays, here it is again:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with the assistance of the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University, has posted a new site visually explaining artistic printmaking materials and processes. It is clean, specific, and easy to follow with basic printing technology. Of course there is more, but this will go a long way to exhibit the fundamentals to students, historians, and the general public about “the principle of transferring images from a matrix onto another surface.”

Coming soon in 2019 will be a similar site on the basic drawing materials and techniques used by artists throughout history. I look forward to learning more about silverpoint, which has never been made clear to me.

Joubert Medailles

François Etienne Joubert, Medailles (Paris: Joubert, rue des Mathurins, aux deux Piliers d’Or, ca. 1793). 2 vol., 50 engravings. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process

New to the Graphic Arts Collection are two volumes with 50 color stipple engravings, 25 of which are by François Etienne Joubert. Possibly a unique collection, one guess is the books were made to show the printer’s ability. Many plates highlight classical or allegorical subjects, most in a classical circular frame, featuring putti and angels in pastoral settings.

The British Museum posted a biography for François Étienne Joubert that reads in part:
“Began career as engraver and print publisher in Lyons. In 1787 moved to Paris and bought stock of J F Chéreau; the two worked together for several months, before Joubert took over sole running of business in 1788. Moved to new address c.1795 when Depeuille took over his building.

In 1801 published a four page pamphlet, Définition des mots copie et contrefaction en gravure (reprinted by C Hould, Images of the French Revolution 1989, pp.415-6). In 1821 published 3 vols. Manuel de l’Amateur d’Estampes (being a biographical dictionary of engravers, with notes on their principal plates and current prices, plus introductory essays).” –Marquand Library NE90 .J82