Monday, December 15, 2008

who's the artist?

Who do think is the artist? It looked like William Blake to me, but I've never seen Latin in Blake's work.

This is the question I asked myself as I looked at these images on the wonderful blog BiblioOdyssey. Apparently they from a book of drawings called De Aetatibus Mundi Imagines (Images from the Ages of the World) by the sixteenth-century Portuguese artist who at one point studied with Michelangelo. You can read more about him on the original blog (whose author and commentators also saw similarities with Blake, as well as with illustrations from alchemical books), for the moment I will leave you with a few groovy images.

The blog commentators also commented on the proto-surrealism of the praying mantus on the frontspiece.

Rock the apocalypse.

I repeat: groovy.


Jeff said...

Not bad. Nice depiction of the W.o.B. getting drunk on the blood of the saints.

cowboyangel said...

Wow - the two color plates really do look like Blake. And this guy was 200+ years before? Any indication that Blake would've seen his work? there was that whole strange British-Portuguese connection going on.

And, yes, the grasshopper image reminds me a bit of Max Ernst.

Very cool stuff.

BTW, How's the Zohar going?

crystal said...

They are cool. I think I see some resemblance also to Durer and to Botticelli (the woman in the first drawing looks like his venus and the other drawing has the clam shells :)

Kathleen Callon said...

Wow. I thought I was looking at a Blake I'd never seen before. Thanks for sharing.

cowboyangel said...

That's cool that De Aetatibus Mundi Imagines was re-discovered at the Biblioteca Nacional.

Funny, I read the article in JSTOR, then went to BiblioOdyssey and saw that it was what they used for most of their information.

Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be very much out there still on De Aetatibus Mundi Imagines or Francisco de Holanda. And interesting that they don't think he actually did the designs for the first and best images in the collection.

Liam said...

You're ahead of me on this. Did you read the article on Blake and de Holanda?

cowboyangel said...

I don't see an article on Blake and Holanda. That's what I was looking for in JSTOR and elsewhere.

Most of the information in the BiblioOdyssey post comes from a 1983 book review of the facsimile edition of De Aetatibus Mundiuses John Bury reviewing in Burlington Magazine. That's what I came across in JSTOR. There's really not much else in JSTOR. Which means this is all very obscure! :-)

BiblioOdyssey also mentions The Bible Illustrated by one Swami Bhaktipada, but I looked it up in WorldCat and it simply says there are illustrations by both Blake and Holanda.

As far as I can tell, there's not really anything out there that specifically investigates any linkage between the two.

In the end, most of Holanda's prints don't look anything like Blake. One article mentions Durer as an influence. It seems to be the prints that Holanda may not have designed that resemble Blake more. The Bury article posits some Portuguese duke as the probable designer of those particular prints.

Next time you're in Madrid, you should go see it. Looks pretty cool.

victor said...

That is such a beautiful picture Liam that I'm almost tempted to get one of my imaginary spiritual friendly cells from the hotel of fools to claim "IT" for me. Don't you think that I could accumulate a lot of tickets to heaven with that picture? :)

Me, myself and I could imagine the above two heads as Our Heavenly Father and Mother surrounded by His Son's Rays. We could also imagine Adam being at the mercy of Eve which is now one of sinner vic’s virgin and saying to him with mental telepathy something like, well what do you want me to do with him now?

I hear ya! Those three angels must be disguised as Me, myself and I! Right?

Ok! If you're so smart, what's all that fire in the background? :)

You’re right no one could even think of ever imagining The Almighty Power of God.

Happy New Year

God Bless,