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Picturing a World

Background

Background landscapes in manuscript illuminations (and paintings of any era) fascinate me. More than the depiction of dramatic events, they make the past seem real. I found this one a couple of days ago in an elaborate three-part illustration of a  Read More 
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Calm waters

Surfing on the net (not the sea!) landed me yesterday at a sale at Christie’s, where this painting was up for auction. It’s just the sort of thing I had in mind for Charlie Post’s obsessively pursued subject of sea, horizon, and shoreRead More 
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Celestial measures

Website alert: I’m working on a story set in an imaginary late-medieval or early-modern university, where my central character is introduced to scientific ways of looking at the sky. This image delighted me, and the entire Manuscript Art website has absorbed all my  Read More 
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Ellen Clacy

Serendipity landed me on an unattributed posting of this image. I have a friend who has a specialist’s knowledge of blue-and-white china, so pictures of it always catch my eye. This painting, moreover, made me think of Jeanette at the Musée Cluny.  Read More 
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The more things change—

The more things change, the more they stay the same! Long before presidential tweets, there was pulp fiction. This morning, while looking into a question about the early 20th C publishing industry for ANONYMITY, I came across this title and couldn’t resist posting it.

It was published in Cleveland by The Arthur Westbrook Co. I suppose I could have had my Ohio heroine, Mattie, work closer to her native Circleville; but it would have been harder for her to keep her secrets there. She headed for the big time.

Incidentally, New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections Guide to the Levy Dime Novel Collection is rich source of titles to borrow, alter, or parody. Read More 
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Rembrandt en plein air

This etching on paper is the earliest image of an artist at work outdoors that I’ve ever run across. Jeanette and her friends in Where the Light Falls would have loved it!

Even though etching is a painstaking technique, Rembrandt has retained the informality and liveliness of a sketch for this  Read More 
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