A French officer and his comrade in arms read the New York Times.
During the World War I era (1914-18), leading newspapers took advantage of a new printing process that dramatically altered their ability to reproduce images.
Rotogravure printing, which produced richly detailed, high quality illustrations—even on inexpensive newsprint paper—was used to create vivid new pictorial sections.
Publishers that could afford to invest in the new technology saw sharp increases both in readership and advertising revenue.
The images in this collection track American sentiment about the war in Europe, week by week, before and after the United States became involved.
Events of the war are detailed alongside society news and advertisements touting products of the day, creating a pictorial record of both the war effort and life at home.
The collection includes an illustrated history of World War I selected from newspaper rotogravure sections that graphically documents the people, places, and events important to the war.
A couple having sex metamorphoses into a crocodile. Fish eyes from some weird creature float on the surface of the sea, staring at me. A man is riding his own coffin.
Text accompanies these surreal images, handwritten, seemingly ancient but totally unintelligible. I’ve just stepped into the bizarre universe of Codex Seraphinianus, the weirdest encyclopedia in the world.
Like a guide to an alien world, Codex Seraphinianus is 300 pages of descriptions and explanations for an imaginary existence, all in its own unique (and unreadable) alphabet, complete with thousands of drawings and graphs.
Issued for the first time in 1981 by publisher Franco Maria Ricci, it has been a collector’s favourite for years, before witnessing a sudden rise in popularity thanks to a growing fandom on the Internet.
The author, Luigi Serafini, born in Rome in 1949, is an Italian architect-turned-artist who also worked in industrial design, painting, illustration and sculpture, collaborating with some of the most prominent figures in contemporary European culture.
Roland Barthes gladly accepted to write the prologue to the book, but after his sudden death the choice fell to Italo Calvino, who mentioned it in his collection of essays Collezione di sabbia. Another admirer was Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, to whom Serafini offered a series of drawings for his very last movie La voce della Luna.
Serafini’s amazing studio, a few steps from the Pantheon in the center of Rome, reveals everything about his fantasy world.
Wandering around the place is like having a journey through a lysergic version of a Kubrick movie set, or a pyrotechnical staging of Alice in Wonderland. The imaginary space of the Codex spreads across the real world, a virtual-reality short-circuit even more powerful than the one created by technology itself.
We sit down for an (electric) fireside chat, facing the statue of a deer that won’t stop staring at us, trying to interpret the recent online success of his bizarre work.
Pictured: Miniature of a plant and boys standing in the branches of a fruit tree picking fruit and throwing it down to a woman standing below.
Selections from a beautifully illustrated 15th century version of the “Tractatus de Herbis”, a book produced to help apothecaries and physicians from different linguistic backgrounds identify plants they used in their daily medical practise.
No narrative text is present in this version, simply pictures and the names of each plant written in various languages – a technique which revolutionised botanical literature, allowing as it did for easier transcultural exchanges of scientific knowledge.
This particular “Tractaus de Herbis”, thought to date from around about 1440 AD and known as Sloane 4016 (its shelf-mark in the British Library), hails from the Lombardy region in the north of Italy and is a copy of a similar work by a figure called Manfredus, which itself was a version of the late 13th century codex known as Egerton 747. As Minta Colins writes in Medieval Herbals:
The Illustrative Traditions (University of Toronto Press, 2000), as opposed to these early versions, this sumptuously illustrated 15th century copy was most likely created with the wealthy book collector in mind rather than the physician, as “the primary scientific purpose had by then given way to the bibliophile’s interest”.
Some of the delightful highlights of the selection given below include: a demon repelled; a trio of mouse, cat and human corpse; an animal engaging what seems to be a spot of self-castration; an aphrodisiac induced scene; and a man slyly urinating into a pot.
Miniatures of a plant and a fish.
Miniature of a lion, a leopard, a rabbit, and an elephant.
Read more via Tractatus de Herbis (ca.1440) | The Public Domain Review.
“A Breakfast Dish made with oats, very hot water, salt and stirred becoming a sticky mess generally consumed by the lower classes in England and in Australia.” OR
“A prison sentence in a British Prison, e.g.”doing your porridge”. Immortalised in the wonderful British TV Comedy “Porridge” starring Ronnie Barker. OR
“In South Australia down at The Old Guv on King William Road, to be porridged meant you had been bollocked by the Boss (told off).
Once the Comps found out you had been porridged they would let YOU know that THEY knew in one way or another about your serve of “porridge”.
John Buckby would sing the old Elvis song “All Shook Up” and change the words to “All Stirred Up” right in front of you. Some would whistle the song.
Others would ask, “What did you have for Breakfast?” “Some Porridge Arsehole?”
And some would simply say, “Serves you fuckin’ right! ” They were the suckholes.
The telegram was discovered by Peter Plowman — a volunteer with the local Peterborough History Group.
Mr Plowman spent his working life in printing businesses and did not know why telegram was kept.