07 May 2016

Random readings

Wonderfully colourful fish from Louis Renard's Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabbes... (1st ed 1717, 2nd ed 1754) - 
"The prints, coloured by hand," says the caption in the book [see below], "were based on drawings by Samuel Fallours, an ex-soldier who lived on the island of Ambon, Indonesia. Details [of some species] are broadly accurate, but many creatures recorded in this book were exaggerated of invented to satisfy western taste for exotica."

"While the drawings may be outlandish," says the University of Glasgow's special libraries collection, "this book is important in the development of animal illustration.  As Pietsch has pointed out, if we ignore the colouration and anatomical errors and 'concentrate on color pattern and certain key generic and familial characters ... we can associate many of these drawings with existing animals'.  "

You may recognise William Morris's work on this page -
and Bill Brandt's Picture Post article  here -
 They come from this book, which draws on the collections of the National Art Library, situated in the V&A.

No comments: