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The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Posts tagged painting:

Fore-Edge Painting

Fore-edge paintingis the technique of painting the edges of the leaves of a book. From 1650 onward
binders practiced a new decorative method of fore-edge painting: floral scrolls or scenes were painted upon the fanned-out fore-edge of the leaves and concealed by a normal gilt edge when the book was closed; 
they became visible only when it was opened. This decorative device was continued 
in the 18th century, but by the late 19th century had begun to wane in popularity. 

Thomas H. Horne, in his 1814 “Introduction to the Study of Bibliography,” gives credit to the Edwards of Halifax bindery for creating a “method of gilding … and decorating the edges of the leaves with exquisite paintings.” The Edwards firm was founded by William Edwards (1723-1808) and Horne says that he has seen “landscapes thus executed with a degree of beauty and fidelity that are truly astonishing, and when held up to the light in an oblique direction, the scenery appears as delicate as in the finest productions of the pencil.”

There were also the more elaborate double fore edge paintings, in which the fore edge hides not one but two paintings, one appearing when the leaves are fanned to the left, the other when they are fanned to the right. The split fore-edge painting reveals both scenes at once when the volume is laid open at the middle, as in the central image above.

Stately homes and ruins – whether classical or medieval – were popular subjects [then] Later in the 19th century, fore-edge artists turned to more natural, everyday scenes, such as views of docks or harbor fronts, busy with activity and enlivened by the presence of workers. Less common were scenes like the winter scene, bare branches being much more tedious to paint than green, leafy clouds of trees. The imaginative design[s], rich detail, and expert execution indicate artist[s] of the highest skill. [Source]

(Source: dictionary.reference.com)

Mummy Brown
Mummy brown was a rich brown bituminous pigment, intermediate in tint between burnt umber and raw umber, which was one of the favorite colors of the Pre-Raphaelites.
Mummy brown was originally made in the 16th and 17th centuries from white pitch, myrrh, and the ground-up remains of Egyptian mummies, both human and feline, one London colourman claiming that he could satisfy the demands of his customers for twenty years from one Egyptian mummy.
It fell from popularity in the early 19th century when its composition became generally known to artists. According to Jasmine Day, in her book The Mummy’s curse: Mummymania in the English-speaking World, “In 1881, the artist Laurence Alma Tadema, famous for his romantic ancient Egyptian scenes (such as that above which is very … brown), saw his paint preparer grinding up a piece of a mummy.  Realizing where “mummy brown” came from, he alerted his fellow painter, Edward Burne-Jones [and] together with some family members, the remorseful artists held an impromptu funeral burying a tube of mummy brown paint.” [Source]
Mummy Brown was also extremely variable in its composition and quality, and since it contained ammonia and particles of fat, was likely to affect other colours with which it was used. It was produced up into the 20th century until the supply of available mummies was exhausted.

Mummy Brown

Mummy brown was a rich brown bituminous pigment, intermediate in tint between burnt umber and raw umber, which was one of the favorite colors of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Mummy brown was originally made in the 16th and 17th centuries from white pitch, myrrh, and the ground-up remains of Egyptian mummies, both human and feline, one London colourman claiming that he could satisfy the demands of his customers for twenty years from one Egyptian mummy.

It fell from popularity in the early 19th century when its composition became generally known to artists. According to Jasmine Day, in her book The Mummy’s curse: Mummymania in the English-speaking World, “In 1881, the artist Laurence Alma Tadema, famous for his romantic ancient Egyptian scenes (such as that above which is very … brown), saw his paint preparer grinding up a piece of a mummy.  Realizing where “mummy brown” came from, he alerted his fellow painter, Edward Burne-Jones [and] together with some family members, the remorseful artists held an impromptu funeral burying a tube of mummy brown paint.” [Source]

Mummy Brown was also extremely variable in its composition and quality, and since it contained ammonia and particles of fat, was likely to affect other colours with which it was used. It was produced up into the 20th century until the supply of available mummies was exhausted.

A Man With Disabilities

This is an unusual and unique late 16th-century painting of a man with a physical disability. In typical portrait-style he gazes at the viewer, while the top of his head is covered by a hat. A fashionable neck piece separates his head from his naked body, which lies chest-down on a dark green sheet. His limbs appear withered and useless. Originally the portrait was partially obscured by a sheet of red paper, which the observer would lift to reveal the subject’s body. Observers indicated that they were shocked. The man was probably a jester at a court. 
The painting currently hangs in The Chamber of Art and Curiosity at Ambras Castle. It was acquired by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, who, like many Renaissance rulers, was interested in promoting the arts and sciences. An extensive analysis of the painting is available here for anyone who reads German (or can decipher Google translated German). 

A Man With Disabilities

This is an unusual and unique late 16th-century painting of a man with a physical disability. In typical portrait-style he gazes at the viewer, while the top of his head is covered by a hat. A fashionable neck piece separates his head from his naked body, which lies chest-down on a dark green sheet. His limbs appear withered and useless. Originally the portrait was partially obscured by a sheet of red paper, which the observer would lift to reveal the subject’s body. Observers indicated that they were shocked. The man was probably a jester at a court. 

The painting currently hangs in The Chamber of Art and Curiosity at Ambras Castle. It was acquired by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, who, like many Renaissance rulers, was interested in promoting the arts and sciences. An extensive analysis of the painting is available here for anyone who reads German (or can decipher Google translated German). 

King Umberto I and his Mighty Mustache
I posted this for the mustache however my readers may also be interested in this curious story about Umberto…

In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I, went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia- Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto’s order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblances between each other and found many more similarities.a) Both men were born on the same day, of the same year, (March 14th, 1844).b) Both men had been born in the same town.c) Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.d) The restauranteur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.e) On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restauranteur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, he was then assassinated by an anarchist in the crowd. [Source]

Make of that what you will.

King Umberto I and his Mighty Mustache

I posted this for the mustache however my readers may also be interested in this curious story about Umberto…

In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I, went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia- Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto’s order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblances between each other and found many more similarities.
a) Both men were born on the same day, of the same year, (March 14th, 1844).
b) Both men had been born in the same town.
c) Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.
d) The restauranteur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.
e) On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restauranteur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, he was then assassinated by an anarchist in the crowd. [Source]

Make of that what you will.

The Monster by Juan Carreno De Miranda. 1680.
See Also, La Monstrua Desnuda.

The Monster by Juan Carreno De Miranda. 1680.

See Also, La Monstrua Desnuda.

The Haunted Park by Richard Doyle. 1824-1883.

The Haunted Park by Richard Doyle. 1824-1883.

Another depiction of the frivolities in the court of Empress Anna of Russia.
(An 1872 painting by Valery Jacobi).

Another depiction of the frivolities in the court of Empress Anna of Russia.

(An 1872 painting by Valery Jacobi).

A Horned Witch, by Anonymous. 18th century.

A Horned Witch, by Anonymous. 18th century.

Curious Anthropomorphisms from William Holbrook Beard

Beard was a prolific artist. His humorous treatment of bears, cats, dogs, horses and monkeys, generally with some human occupation and expression, usually satirical, gave him a great vogue at one time, and his pictures were largely reproduced.

(Source: arts-wallpapers.com)

Miniature portrait of Catherine of Aragon (first wife of Henry VIII) with her pet monkey. 1525.

Miniature portrait of Catherine of Aragon (first wife of Henry VIII) with her pet monkey. 1525.

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