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Selection from Wellcome Library’s release of 100k openly licensed images

- January 20, 2014 in collections, Digital Copy: Attribution, history of medicine, Images, Images-15th, Images-16th, Images-17th, Images-18th, Images-19th, Images-Science, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, Wellcome Library

This morning the Wellcome Library announced its release of 100,000 of its historical images under an open license (CC-BY – meaning they are free for any re-use provided that the Wellcome Library is credited). The range and quality of the images released is phenomenal. The collection covers more than a thousand years of imagery relating to the history of medicine, including manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements – from medieval Persian anatomy to the satirical prints of Rowlandson and Gillray. This move by the Wellcome is yet another recent example of a hugely respected institution releasing digitisations of its public domain content under an open license – with the last 6 months seeing The Getty and The British Library making similar moves. It’s a really promising sign of a more general shift toward opening up public domain content that we’ve seen taking place in the cultural sector over the last couple of years. Wonderful stuff! This selection from Wellcome’s release that we’ve chosen below is from just the first 1% of the 100,000 images made available. Remember, all are published under an CC-BY license so, if re-using, you must credit the “Wellcome Library, London”. Just click on the images […]

Rainbow coloured beasts from 15th century Book of Hours

- January 9, 2014 in beasts, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, book of hours, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, grotesques, Images, Images-15th, Images-Animals, Images-Illumination, medieval, monsters, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

A selection of wonderful little illustrations found in a Book of Hours attributed to an artist of the Ghent-Bruges school and dating from the late 15th century. In the pages without full borders the margins have been decorated with an array of different images depicting flowers, birds, jewellery, animals, household utensils and these superb rainbow-coloured ‘grotesques’. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Found via: Demonagerie Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of […]

Paintings in Proust (Vol. 1, Swann’s Way)

- November 14, 2013 in collections, Digital Copy: PD Wikimedia, Images, Images-15th, Images-16th, Images-17th, Images-Painting, Images-People, marcel proust, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

As a celebration of the centennial of the publication of Du côté de chez Swann (Swann's Way), the first volume of Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu, we have put together a few highlights of the many mentions of artworks to be found in the first volume, Swann's Way, in which the narrator recounts his experiences growing up, participating in society, falling in love, and learning about art.

Medical Imagery of the 15th Century

- March 13, 2013 in anatomy, astrology, collections, Images, Images-15th, Images-Engraving-Line, Images-People, Images-Science, medicine, medieval, zodiac, zodiac man

The following images are all taken from Tradition und Naturbeobachtung in den Illustrationen Medizinischer Handschriften und Frühdrucke vornehmlich des 15. Jahrhunderts (1907) by Karl Sudhoff – a book on the topic of medical illustrations in manuscripts and early printed books (primarily) of the 15th century. Included amongst the depictions are a few of the Zodiac Man (or homo signorum), a common figure in late medieval depictions of the body who had every part of his body linked with an astrological sign. See the book to learn from where each image has been sourced by Sudhoff, and if you speak German, to learn more about them. (The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the University of Toronto). DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the [...]

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

- December 21, 2012 in apocalypse, book of revelation, collections, commentary on the apocalypse, end of the world, four horsemen of the apocalypse, Images, Images-15th, Images-16th, Images-18th, Images-19th, Images-Illumination, Images-Painting, Images-Pre15th

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described by John of Patmos in his Book of Revelations, the last book of the New Testament. The chapter tells of a “‘book’, or ‘scroll’, in God’s right hand that is sealed with seven seals”. The Lamb of God, or Lion of Judah, (Jesus Christ) opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons forth four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses. Although some interpretations differ, in most accounts, the four riders are seen as symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment. The White Horse I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. ( Revelation 6:1-2) The Red Horse When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second [...]

The Hyginus Star Atlas (1482)

- September 12, 2012 in astrology, astronomy, hyginus, Images, Images-15th, Images-Engraving-Line, Images-Maps, maps, non-article, star atlas

Hyginus’ Poeticon Astronomicon is a star atlas and book of stories whose text is attributed to “Hyginus”, though the true authorship is disputed. During the Renaissance, the work was attributed to the Roman historian Gaius Julius Hyginus who lived during the 1st century BC, however, the fact that the book lists most of the constellations north of the ecliptic in the same order as Ptolemy’s Almagest (written in the 2nd century AD) has led many to believe that the text was created by a more recent Hyginus. The text describes 47 of the 48 Ptolemaic constellations, centering primarily on the Greek and Roman mythology surrounding the constellations, though there is some discussion of the relative positions of stars. The first known printing was in 1475, attributed to “Ferrara”, though it was not formally published until 1482, by Erhard Ratdolt in Venice, Italy. This edition carried the full title Clarissimi uiri Hyginii Poeticon astronomicon opus utilissimum. Ratdolt commissioned a series of woodcuts depicting the constellations to accompany Hyginus’ text. As with many other star atlases that would follow it, the positions of various stars are indicated overlaid on the image of each constellation.. however, the relative positions of the stars in the woodcuts bear little resemblance to the descriptions given by Hyginus in the text or the actual positions of the stars in the sky. As a result of the inaccuracy of the depicted star positions and the fact that the constellations are not shown with any context, the Poeticon astronomicon is not particularly useful as a guide to the night sky. The illustrations commissioned by Ratdolt did, however, serve as a template for future sky atlas renderings of the constellation figures. (Wikipedia)

(All images taken from The United States Naval Observatory’s Naval Oceanography Portal).









































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The Hyginus Star Atlas (1482)

- September 12, 2012 in astrology, astronomy, hyginus, Images, Images-15th, Images-Engraving-Line, Images-Maps, maps, non-article, star atlas

Hyginus’ Poeticon Astronomicon is a star atlas and book of stories whose text is attributed to “Hyginus”, though the true authorship is disputed. During the Renaissance, the work was attributed to the Roman historian Gaius Julius Hyginus who lived during the 1st century BC, however, the fact that the book lists most of the constellations north of the ecliptic in the same order as Ptolemy’s Almagest (written in the 2nd century AD) has led many to believe that the text was created by a more recent Hyginus. The text describes 47 of the 48 Ptolemaic constellations, centering primarily on the Greek and Roman mythology surrounding the constellations, though there is some discussion of the relative positions of stars. The first known printing was in 1475, attributed to “Ferrara”, though it was not formally published until 1482, by Erhard Ratdolt in Venice, Italy. This edition carried the full title Clarissimi uiri Hyginii Poeticon astronomicon opus utilissimum. Ratdolt commissioned a series of woodcuts depicting the constellations to accompany Hyginus’ text. As with many other star atlases that would follow it, the positions of various stars are indicated overlaid on the image of each constellation.. however, the relative positions of the stars in the woodcuts bear little resemblance to the descriptions given by Hyginus in the text or the actual positions of the stars in the sky. As a result of the inaccuracy of the depicted star positions and the fact that the constellations are not shown with any context, the Poeticon astronomicon is not particularly useful as a guide to the night sky. The illustrations commissioned by Ratdolt did, however, serve as a template for future sky atlas renderings of the constellation figures. (Wikipedia)

(All images taken from The United States Naval Observatory’s Naval Oceanography Portal).









































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The Illuminated Sketchbook of Stephan Schriber (1494)

- June 15, 2012 in illuminated manuscript, Images, Images-15th, Images-Illumination, non-article, sketchbook

Selected pages from the Spätgotisches Musterbuch des Stephan Schriber, a manuscript which appears to be some kind of sketchbook, belonging to a 15th century monk working in South-West Germany, where ideas and layouts for illuminated manuscripts were tried out and skills developed.

(All images taken from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek found via Europeana).













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Illuminated pages from 15th century Breviaries

- March 19, 2012 in 15th century, breviary, illuminated manuscript, Images, Images-15th, Images-Illumination, non-article

A breviary (from Latin brevis, ‘short’ or ‘concise’) is a liturgical book of the Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office (i.e., at the canonical hours or Liturgy of the Hours, the Christians’ daily prayer). Below is a selection of illuminated Breviary pages from various unknown miniaturists working in and around Paris, Bruges and Gent in the middle of the 15th century.

For more info and higher res versions please see Wikimedia Commons






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