Monday, September 08, 2014

Oxonia Illustrata

It is well that there are palaces of peace
And discipline and dreaming and desire,
Lest we forget our heritage and cease
The Spirit’s work — to hunger and aspire:

Lest we forget that we were born divine,
Now tangled in red battle’s animal net,
Murder the work and lust the anodyne,
Pains of the beast 'gainst bestial solace set.

But this shall never be: to us remains
One city that has nothing of the beast,
That was not built for gross, material gains,
Sharp, wolfish power or empire’s glutted feast.

We are not wholly brute. To us remains
A clean, sweet city lulled by ancient streams,
A place of visions and of loosening chains,
A refuge of the elect, a tower of dreams.

She was not builded out of common stone
But out of all men’s yearning and all prayer
That she might live, eternally our own,
The Spirit’s stronghold — barred against despair.

C. S. Lewis' poem Oxford
published in 'Spirits in Bondage'
in 1919 under the pseudonym, Clive Davis [via]

'Oxonia Illustrata' consists of about 40+ engraved plates of Oxford University colleges, buildings, grounds and maps, as produced by the artist David Loggan in 1675. A sampling from two different editions are shown below.

The lighter, double-page images below were spliced - and 'massaged' - together from separate individual page files with differing magnifications, so apologies for any apparent anomalies in appearance. The brown or slightly darker illustrations were made available for download from another host (Folger) as full, decent-sized images, but can be seen at very high resolution on their site.


High arched interior of Oxford University building, 17th century
Interior of the Divinity School



Sheldonian Theatre
The Sheldonian Theatre



Univserity College
University College
University College
University College



The Conservatory for Evergreens
The Conservatory for Evergreens



Hortus Botanicus
Hortus Botanicus



Prospectus Oxoniae Meridionalis
Prospectus Oxoniae Meridionalis



Oxoniae Prospectus
Map of Oxford University & environs


Jesus College
Jesus College



Habitus Academici
Academic garments



Frontispiece - Bodleian Library
Frontispiece - Bodleian Library



Bodleian Library interior prospectus
Bodleian Library - interior scenes



Exeter College
Exeter College



Corpus Christi College
Corpus Christi College



Christ Church
Christ Church



Canterbury Quadrangle, St John's College
Canterbury Quadrangle, St John's College



Brasenose College
Brasenose College



All Souls College
All Souls College



David Loggan (1634-1692) was of Anglo-Scottish heritage but spent the first two of decades of his life in Danzig (Gdansk), Poland. He was fortunate enough to receive artistic training from a couple of leading lights of the print-art world in Willem Hondius^ in Danzig and later, in Amsterdam, from Crispijn van de Passe^.

Loggan emigrated to England in about 1657 and settled in London. His speciality was engraving, but he originally made a name for himself because of a pencil sketch he produced of the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, just before Cromwell's death. Loggan gained further notoriety doing portraits of figures from the nobility (including King Charles II)  as miniature graphite drawings on vellum, a style of the time known as plumbago^. Chief among Loggan's other works from this period are an illustration plate of St Paul's Cathedral (1658), the engraved title page for 'The Book of Common Prayer'^(1662) and plates for William Dugale's 'Origines Judiciales' (1666).

In 1665, Loggan left London because of the plague and settled in Oxfordshire, from where his wife's family originated. In the following years, Loggan became acquainted with (and sketched portraits of) Oxford University elites, including Elias Ashmole, founder of Oxford University's Ashmolean Museum, and John Fell, Dean of Christ Church and one of the founders of Oxford University Press. At one point, Loggan is also known to have sold a printing press to the university.

It was probably John Fell's influence that saw Loggan appointed Engraver to the University in 1669, and his first task was to prepare a couple of illustration plates of the newly built Sheldonian Theatre, where the university press was (first) housed. Loggan and his assistants are thought to have produced title pages and plates for some of the books coming out of the Oxford University Press during his tenure, and a 1674 book on academic robes is also attributed to Loggan and his team.

A commission was received by Loggan to prepare bird's-eye view engravings of Oxford University's colleges, halls and buildings, together with prospect maps. His renowned 'Oxonia Illustrata' (1675) was intended to accompany Anthony Wood's 'The History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford' (1674). In the late 1600s, distinguished visitors to Oxford University were presented with copies of both books.
"Influenced by the work of Wenceslas Hollar, Loggan's meticulously detailed views were the first accurate representation of all the buildings and gardens of the university, and they have been an invaluable quarry for historians, antiquaries, and topographers ever since."(1)
Loggan returned to London, after 'Oxonia Illustrata' was released, and let rooms to wealthy patrons. He also produced views of Cambridge University colleges, buildings and grounds and the resulting publication, 'Cantabrigia Illustrata', was published in 1690. Later, as his portrait-sketching business was in decline, Loggan tried to take up the new fashion of mezzotint engraving, but apparently he suffered from an eyesight problem and he ultimately died in debt, and with few possessions, in 1692.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Baltic Heraldry

Family crests from Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
in a 1902 calendar of colour woodblock prints

Each coat of arms^ has the corresponding family name printed (in some swish, Art Nouveau-influenced fonts!) on each illustration. Although only heraldic designs are shown below, the album actually consists of a brief calendar section, the series of heraldry illustrations, followed by short family histories.


Kalender (title page)


Aderkas



Brackel



Bremen



Fircks



Howen



Kopp



Lieden



Lode



Luddinghausen Wolff



Maydell



Meyendorff



Orgies-Rutenberg



Rosen



Rummel



Stackelberg



Tiesenhausen



Ungern



Bruhns publisher



"This publication [..] contains some two dozen coats and crests in colour of nobility of the Russian Baltic provinces, with short genealogical notices. The selection appears a representative one, and includes, among others less famous, such illustrious names as Rosen, Pahlen, Lieven, Wrangel, and Uexkhuell. The Pahlen-Koskull crest, Drie Schilkolben, is uncommon, and we do not remember another example of bulrushes as helm insignia.

The style of design is, of course, German ; but even for German work the drawing is extremely vigorous, and in some cases the directness of effect obtained is quite excellent, though here and there the detail has a tendency to woodenness (i.e., the fish in the Maydell coat), and the mantling is occasionally stiff. As chromo-xylography [w], too, the work is of great merit."
[source: The Genealogical Magazine 1902]

"The Baltic Coat of Arms Calendar, published by the book and art dealer E. Bruhns in Riga and the Riga Art Institute [..] was only published for one year: 1902. Further issues were well planned initially, [but] were never realised. The signature on some leaves [with MK artist] was Martin Kortmann who worked temporarily after 1900 in Riga for the art institute. After 1905 he returned to Berlin.  
The vertical format calendar contains 24 Baltic Crests for families, namely: Lode, Tiesenhausens, von der Ropp,  Buxhoewden,  Brackelsberg,  Meyendorff-Uexkuell,  Pahlen-Koskull,  Bremen,  Lieven,  Ungern-Sternberg,  Wrangel,  Aderkas,  Rosen,  Stackelberg,  Luedinghausen called Wolff,  Hahn,  Orgies, gene. Rutenberg,  Poll,  Fircks, Manteuffel called. Zoege (Szöge),  Foelkersam,  Maydell,  Rummel and  Howen. Artistic representations of the act, who probably set a clear target for simplicity, although heraldic correct, but awkward and wooden, far removed from the artistic design of a sovereign Otto Hupp."
[source (slightly paraphrased translation; last garbled bit left as is)]


'Baltischer Wappen-Calendar 1902' (Baltic States Coats of Arms Calendar) published in Riga by E Bruhns with illustrations by M Kortmann is available online in its entirety via the National Digital Library of Estonia. High resolution individual .tif files (50+Mb) are available.
[The images above are smaller versions of those with some colour boosting and removal of handwriting from the cover page] Please visit the source site to see both the complete heraldry illustration series and the overall layout of the book/album. Note there is a thumbnail page icon in the header section: 'Indeks'.
--Coat of Arms at Wikipedia.
--Baltic States at Wikipedia.
                                                                                                                                                                 
Previous related on BibliOdyssey:
This post first appeared on the BibliOdyssey website.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Swiss Fruit

An 1860s pomological manuscript documents
the varieties of pears (birensorte) and
apples (apfelsorte) unique to Switzerland

Pomology is a branch of botany relating to the study and cultivation of fruit [W]. I don't believe a post devoted to fruit drawings has ever appeared on BibliOdyssey. It's not for want of material; it's more about the general mediocrity of the genre. Pomological collections tend to be the poor orphan of the botanical world in terms of illustrative qualities. I've saved a lot of samples over the years, but could never quite generate enough enthusiasm to pull the trigger. Until today: this naturalistic and unpretentious set caught my eye. I like it. [Yes, yes: it's all *in my opinion*. Being emperor and guardian of this site has its privileges.]


Birnensorte Winter-Dechantsbirne (Doyenné d'hiver)
Birnensorte Winter-Dechantsbirne (Doyenné d'hiver)



Birnensorte Wasserbirne
Birnensorte Wasserbirne



Birnensorte Sommer-Apothekerbirne (Bon-Chrétien d'été, Römerbirne)
Birnensorte Sommer-Apothekerbirne (Bon-Chrétien d'été, Römerbirne)



Birnensorte St. Germain (Hermannsbirne)
Birnensorte St. Germain (Hermannsbirne



Birnensorte Sülibirne
Birnensorte Sülibirne



Birnensorte Regentin (Passe Colmar, Beurré d'Argenson)
Birnensorte Regentin (Passe Colmar, Beurré d'Argenson)



Birnensorte Graue Herbst-Butterbirne (Beurré gris)
Birnensorte Graue Herbst-Butterbirne (Beurré gris)



Birnensorte Schweizer Bratbirne
Birnensorte Schweizer Bratbirne



Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil)
Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil)



Birnensorte Clairgeau's Butterbirne (Beurré Clairgeau, Poire Clairgeau)
Birnensorte Clairgeau's Butterbirne (Beurré Clairgeau, Poire Clairgeau)



Birnensorte Längler (Poire d'Etranguillon)
Birnensorte Längler (Poire d'Etranguillon)



Apfelsorte Weisser Winter Calvill (Calville blanc d'hiver, Calville blanche à côtes
Apfelsorte Weisser Winter Calvill (Calville blanc d'hiver, Calville blanche à côtes



Apfelsorte Waldhöfler Holzapfel
Apfelsorte Waldhöfler Holzapfel



Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil)
Apfelsorte Schafnase (Naht-Apfel, Baarapfel von Wädensweil



Apfelsorte Gaesdonker Reinette
Apfelsorte Gaesdonker Reinette



Apfelsorte Pariser Rambour Reinette (Reinette de Paris)
Apfelsorte Pariser Rambour Reinette (Reinette de Paris)



Apfelsorte Luikenapfel
Apfelsorte Luikenapfel



Apfelsorte Hornussecher
Apfelsorte Hornussecher



In mid-19th century Switzerland, the wider agricultural community - farmers and rural agricultural associations -  recognised that fruit production was both an important local occupation and also a significant contributor to the national economy. Fruit-growing stakeholders wanted to safeguard the industry, and had been agitating for a long time in support of creating a scientific guide and visual record of all the fruit varieties in the country. The Swiss Agricultural Society commissioned an extensive and detailed review of the apple and pear varieties, grown in Switzerland, through a St Gallen publishing house.

A committee of gardeners, civil servants and the like was formed to direct the project in consultation with Swiss growers and provincial agricultural societies. They chose the varieties of fruit to include and advised how specimens could be collected. The illustrator (Salomon Bühlmeier) was tasked with sketching specific views of the fruits and the branch twigs on which they grew. The committee also guided the nature of the text that accompanied each of the illustrations when it was published: systematic and common names, geographical distribution, general fruit, flower and tree descriptions, details about growing seasons and harvesting, characteristics of the fruit varieties and how they could be prepared and used in the kitchen. The enterprise was supported by some unnamed pomologists and farming types, including, in particular, one Herr Pfau-Schellenberg.

Salomon Bühlmeier (1814-1876) was an academy trained artist who specialised in painting and etching and taught drawing in St Gallen when the pomological project came up. Between 1863 and 1872, Bühlmeier travelled the country contacting farmers and regional agricultural societies, and he produced an exhaustive study of Swiss apples and pears. His watercolour and pencil fruit and twig sketches were drawn life-size, and were turned into lithographs for publication in serial format. I believe the intention was for twice yearly instalments, each featuring five apples and five pears and the final books (a volume for each fruit) contained up to 200 fruit varieties in total (presumably).

About 190 of Bühlmeier's actual sketches were donated to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. These charming artworks were digitised and uploaded only last year. So we are seeing the original drawings above and not the lithographic plates from the final publication (which was called, incidentally, 'Swiss Fruits' (1872), edited by the Swiss Agricultural Society). I saw commentary suggesting that 'Swiss Fruits' was the first ever lithographic publication devoted to fruit species.




 
Creative Commons License