Thursday, March 26, 2009

From The Folger Shakespeare Library

Printed by Miles Felsher, for Jacob Tonson - John Milton's "Paradise Lost" 1688.

Jacob Tonson - The Tempest, act 1, scene 1, (engraving) 1709.

Created by Francoys Fils Of France And brother Unicquue Of Roy, 1582. (This is based on a rough translation in French through Babelfish so could be wrong.)

J Smart - St George and Dragon? 1822

Pamela Coleman Smith - Caliban, 1900

Thomas, b. Trevilian - Commonplace Book, 1608

Thomas, b. Trevilian - Commonplace Book, 1608

Vincenzo Cartari - "Le imagini de i dei de gli antichi.." (Valgrisi's serpent device, 1571) The engravings are by Bolognino Zaltieri

Claude-Francois Menestrier - L'Art des emblemes... (page 264, detail of hydra) 1684.

Edward Topsell - The historie of serpents, or, The second booke of living creatures... (page 201, detail of hydra) 1608. "The historie of serpents. Or, The second booke of liuing creatures: wherein is contained their diuine, naturall, and morall descriptions, with their liuely figures, names, conditions, kindes and natures of all venemous beasts: with their seuerall poysons and antidotes; their deepe hatred to mankind, and the wonderfull worke of God in their creation, and destruction. Necessary and profitable to all sortes of men: collected out of diuine Scriptures, fathers, phylosophers, physitians, and poets: amplified with sundry accidentall histories, hierogliphicks, epigrams, emblems, and ænigmaticall obseruations. "

Edward May - illustration of "The Heart Worm"
"Most certaine and true relation of a strange monster or serpent found in the left ventricle of the heart of John Pennant, Gentleman, of the age of 21 years." Woodcut, printed by George Miller in 1639.

All artworks found in the Folger Shakespeare Library, as suggested to me by Peacay of BibliOdyssey. Thanks Paul!

It took me around 3 hours to hunt these images down as I browsed through 10,000 some images to find them. I'll likely be doing another post in the future when I get around to looking through the other 12,000 some images on the site.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nikolaj Abraham Abildgaard - The Nightmare, 1800
- source

See many more versions of Henry Fuessli's "The Nightmare" in this previous post.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Virginia Frances Sterrett
Illustration from "Arabian Nights" (1928)

Illustration from "Arabian Nights" (1928) More artworks can be found in this gallery.

Illustration from "Tanglewood Tales" (1921)

Illustration from "Tanglewood Tales" (1921)

You can download various versions of the book at

Illustration from "Old French Fairy Tales" (1920)

Download the book at

"In 1919 at the age of 19, she was given an opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream. She was commissioned by the Penn Publishing Company to illustrate Old French Fairy Tales by Comtesse de Segur. She completed the pictures – pen and ink drawings and water colors – and received $500 for the work. After receiving the illustrations, the publishers paid her another $250 for several line drawings for the inside of the front and back covers of the book. Another illustration job followed in 1921 with Penn Publishing Company again commissioned her to illustrate an edition of Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The favorite stories from Greek mythology gave Sterrett another opportunity to exercise her talent and love for the imagery of fantasy.

In 1923, the family moved to southern California and settled in Altadena. Soon afterward, Sterrett became active in the local art scene, but her physical condition had become so bad she had to enter a sanatorium. She continued to work, but only for short periods at a time. During this time, she was again commissioned by Penn Publishing Company to illustrate Arabian Nights. Like the other two books she illustrated, Arabian Nights was a large book with large type, simple stories, and designed to be a gift book for children. Sterrett provided 16 illustrations in color, 20 in black and white, a colored picture for the front cover and a drawing for the inside of the covers. This masterpiece took her three years to complete due to her failing health and limited working hours.

The 1928 publishing of Arabian Nights brought a measure of recognition for Sterrett from discriminating art critics, who praised her work and said it had an imaginative conception, grace, and delicacy of execution all its own. Children and adults alike were captivated by her artwork but were unable to name the artist. The world at large still did not know her.

Coupled with her professional success, her health began to improve at the sanatorium, and she was told the disease was arrested. She was able to move into a home with her family and over the next several years (from 1929-1930), she had several local art exhibits at the Little Gallery in Monrovia, California; the Los Angeles County Fair; Painters and Sculptors of Los Angeles, and the California State Fair.

Shortly afterward she undertook another commission from the Penn Publishing Company to illustrate an edition of Myths and Legends. However, the task was never fulfilled. She died on June 8, 1931, after a relapse of tuberculosis. Most of the images for the new book had been completed – if she had been given only a few more months of life, the work would have been finished." - quote source

While putting together this post I noticed that the excellent blog A Journey Round My Skull mentioned Sterrett just last week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Johannes Høie - Floodland

"Floodland, a dark and gloomy gothic fantasy tale where horror, mythology and the occult play head-on with twisted emotions and disturbing erotisism. Partly a love story, partly an apocalyptic elegy, and partly a grotesque portrait of corruption and evil Floodland is a poetic saga where the surreal mixes up with reality in a dystopic universe not necessarily very different from our own. Each drawing is a part of the tale as a whole, and they are now beeing developed into graphic novel books. This last year a significant part of Floodland has involved gigantic walldrawings freehand drawn directly onto the walls like temporary drawing stunts. This drawing practice is very similar to those of the older east-asian masters of ink drawing, where the zen-aspect of controlling the line with precision in one single hand movement is a central part of the drawing practice. In his walldrawings Høie is interested in the physichal experience of the monumental size, and how it amplifies the escapistic as well as the expressive aspects of his images."

See more at the artist's website.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Virgil Finlay - On The Edge Of The Galaxy
- Illustration from the October (1966) issue of "IF" magazine.

Artist previously mentioned here.