Tag Archives: 19th century

Even John James Audubon Sold Clip Art

In 1824, John James Audubon wrote in his journal that he had drawn a heath hen for a Philadelphia engraver. The drawing was intended as incidental art for private bank notes – there was no national paper money at the time. Audubon’s drawing would be considered clip art today. It’s believed to be his first commercial illustration, although a printed example was found only recently by Audubon scholar Robert Peck, a curator at Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences, and numismatic historian Eric Newman. Continue reading

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Robert S. Duncanson: Blue Hole, Little Miami River

Robert S. Duncanson. Blue Hole, Little Miami River. Oil on canvas, 1851. Cincinnati Art Museum.

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Cranking Up Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine

Some years back when I read The Difference Engine, the “alternate history” novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, I thought Charles Babbage was just a fanciful blip in the authors’ metaverse. Later I learned that Babbage was the real … Continue reading

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Goya’s Iconography of Provocation & Fear

Francisco Goya. The Third of May 1808. Oil on canvas, 1814. Museo del Prado, Madrid. [Source: Wikimedia Commons] Babu Kuriakose  left a comment recently noting congruencies in Goya’s famous painting and Spartan Girls Provoking Boys by Edgar Degas. Babu has … Continue reading

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Flaneur’s Gallery: Paris Street, Rainy Day

Gustave Caillebotte. Paris Street, Rainy Day (La Place de l’Europe, temps de pluie). 1877. Oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago. [Source: Wikimedia Commons] See the permanent page for Gustave Caillebotte: Paris Street, Rainy Day.

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