"[John] Gould (1804–1881) [photo], one of the most prolific ornithological artists of the 19th century, had a romantic enthusiasm for winged creatures, as well as a passion for natural history and an impulse to catalog. Drawing on his outstanding scientific and artistic talents, he embarked on a series of projects that would eventually make him the leading publisher of ornithological illustrations in Victorian Britain. Gould’s unparalleled career spanned five decades, during which he produced a series of books depicting birds from all over the world." [source]The images below were sourced from the first two volumes of Gould's seven volume series on Asian birds.
"Kawanabe Kyôsai (Gyôsai) (1831-89) was a Kano painter, printmaker, and illustrator, the son of a Samurai. At the age of six he entered the studio of Utagawa Kuniyoshi^, and from the age of nine became a student of the academic Kano school, studying under Maemura Towa and then Tohaku Chinshin, who gave him the name "Toiku". He exhibited at the Vienna International Exposition in 1873, and at the first and second Paris Japanese Art Exhibitions of 1883 and 1884. In the early years of the Meiji period (1868-1912) he attained considerable popularity with his political caricatures, for which he was arrested and imprisoned in 1870. His famous 'Kyosai Gadan' (1887), an attempt to show a variety of traditional Japanese and Chinese painting styles, was widely appreciated in Europe, and was issued with English captions for the export market.
Kyosai's 'Ehon Taka Kagami' is the major resource on Japanese falconry, with wonderful woodcuts of hawks, field work, breeding, hoods, gloves, and other associated tools and items of equipment. It records the ancient Japanese methods of care, raising, and training of the Siberian Goshawk, considered the best variety for use in falconry since ancient times. Harting 371. Schwerdt III p. 245; see G. Schack. Kyosais...
"Like people today, people of the medieval and Renaissance periods read how-to books. This manuscript by the greatest fencing-master of the late 1300s, Fiore Furlan dei Liberi da Premariacco, instructs the reader in the intricacies of combat. Lively illustrations of charging horses and armored knights accompany the text. Through words and pictures, the manuscript teaches a variety of fighting techniques including single combat on foot with sword, dagger, and ax[e], and also mounted combat in all its variations. Nicolò III d'Este, ruler of Ferrara, ordered at least three copies of this text, including this one. Nicolò's interest in such a manual was quite natural, since fighting played an important role in the education of young nobleman, and he himself was raising three sons." [link]See the *combat* tag for a range of previous BibliOdyssey posts on swordsmanship, weaponry, munitions, war arts, defensive emplacements &c.
"[S]till enjoying, though in the afternoon of life, a reasonable share of health and vigour, I am now ready to proceed to any part of the globe, to which your Majesty's commands direct me. Many are the portions of it that have not yet been fully explored by Botanists - all of them are equal to my choice. To extend the science of botany, to enrich the Royal Gardens at Kew, and to obey your Majesty's gracious commands, are the only objects of ambition that actuate the breast of Your Majesty's most humble, most dutiful, and most grateful Servant, FRANCIS MASSON." (source)The genus Stapelia (tribe: Stapeliae, family: Apocynaceae^) consists of around forty low-growing, succulent plants from southern Africa. They may resemble cactus at times, but they are not related. The Stapeliads were a larger group back in the late 18th century when the illustrations below were first designed.
"The hairy, oddly textured and coloured appearance of many Stapelia flowers has been claimed to resemble that of rotting meat, and...
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]
"A calligram is a poem, phrase, or word in which the typeface, calligraphy or handwriting is arranged in a way that creates a visual image."Previously: Zoomorphic Calligraphy || Hebrew Micrography.
"For her period, her work is scientifically accurate and she is considered by modern scholars to be one of the founders of entomology, the study of insects." [source]'Erucarum Ortus' features some 150 plates of butterflies, caterpillars, moths and other insects together with their associated plants. The book is divided into three sections and about half of the first section of illustrations - in this particular copy - has been enhanced with hand-colouring. The balance of engravings below were sampled from throughout the book. The opium...
"This ‘most auspicious’ appointment [of Lord Carrington] attracted much ceremony in NSW and as a consequence saw the creation of highly decorative illuminated addresses and photograph albums to be officially presented to he Governor. During his time as Governor of NSW it was said Lord Carrington, aided by his wife, re-established the opulence of Government House and the grandeur of the office of Governor.
Upon conclusion of his time as Governor, Sydney gave Lord and Lady Carrington an unprecedented farewell, with thousands lining the streets and showering their carriage with flowers. In a parting speech, Carrington declared they were 'guests who found their welcome at once an adoption, and whose farewell...