The Portraits of Giovanni Moroni circa 1570.

Gian Girolamo Albani, c1570 by Giovanni Battista Moroni. Photograph: Private collection Sixteenth-century Italian portraitist Giovanni Battista Moroni spent most of his 30-year career painting the people around him in Bergamo. His paintings, are alive with human presence. Young Lady, c1560-65. Photograph: Private collection The Tailor, 1565-70. Photograph: © The National Gallery, London See more Images […]

The First Children’s Picture Book, 1668.

John Comenius’ Orbis Sensualium Pictus (or The World of Things Obvious to the Senses drawn in Pictures) is, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “the first children’s picture book.” Originally published in 1658 in Latin and German, the Orbis — with its 150 pictures showing everyday activities like brewing beer, tending gardens, and slaughtering animals — […]

‘Dissected Heads’ by Gautier, 1748.

Credit: Wellcome Library, London Two dissected heads seated on sacking. Dissections by P.Tarin. Coloured Mezzotint 1748 by Jacques-Fabien Gautier d’Agoty From: Anatomie de la tete Published: Gautier etc. Paris 1748

Modeling a Prada dress in a sinking boat.

In the gloaming … Amber Valletta on the Tiber. Photograph: Glen Luchford by Nell Frizzell We had to shut the river Tiber in Rome for this picture. It’s expensive to shut down a whole river, but this was for the Prada 1997 autumn/winter campaign, so we had the budget for it. You can’t see them, […]

‘The Blue Room’ (Odalisque) 1923 by Suzanne Valadon.

Suzanne Valadon (1867-1938) The Blue Room (Odalisque) 1923 Valadon was interested in shaking up preconceived ideas. Here is a tough odalisque, perhaps more interested in smoking cigarettes and reading than in luring a male companion. Odalisque comes from a Turkish suffix expressing a function, sort of as English “er” or “ary” might when added to […]

The Model Book of Calligraphy, circa 1561–1596.

Pages from a remarkable book entitled Mira calligraphiae monumenta (The Model Book of Calligraphy), the result of a collaboration across many decades between a master scribe, the Croatian-born Georg Bocskay, and Flemish artist Joris Hoefnagel. In the early 1560s, while secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, Bocksay produced his Model Book of Calligraphy, […]

Antonio Basoli’s Architectural Alphabet.

Antonio Basoli was an Italian artist that lived between the 18th and the 19th century working mostly in Bologna. Among other things, he created these beautiful architectural alphabet engravings called Alfabeto Pittorico. I wish there was a place called Alphabet City* where all these buildings were real. See more images at SPLOID via Beautiful architectural […]

Peter Paul Rubens, Master Decorator.

Rubens’ The Garden of Love, c. 1633. Photograph: Museo Jonathan Jones Peter Paul Rubens the Flemish painter who decorated palaces and banqueting halls, went on diplomatic and spying missions, owned a landed estate and somehow found time to fill the Old Master galleries of the world with colossal canvases of boar and lion hunts, characterful […]

Frankfurt viewed through a Raindrop spotted Window.

On a very rainy day the tall buildings of the Banking district in Frankfurt, Germany are photographed through the raindrops falling on a glass railing from one of the buildings. Image Credit: Photograph by Michael Probst/AP. Source: Obama’s tears, Mosul and fashion in New York – the 20 photographs of the week | Art and […]

‘Illustrations for Alice’ (of Wonderland).

by Maria Popova Down the rabbit-hole, Moomin-style. As a lifelong lover of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, I was thrilled to discover one of its most glorious creative permutations over the past century and a half came from none other than beloved Swedish-speaking Finnish artist Tove Jansson. In 1959, three years before the publication of […]