Happy World Book Day!!! Celebrate by perusing our Books collection, a library of curiosities from the far-flung corners of history - http://bit.ly/1cxNJg3
An anatomical “still life” display created by Frederik Ruysch, featuring foetal skeletons humorously arranged on a bed of bladder-, kidney- and gall-stones, from the midst of which rise ‘trees’ of dried blood vessels filled with a red wax-like substance.
See more of these remarkable creations in our latest essay exploring the Dutch anatomist’s work - http://bit.ly/1ncRlEV
Happy Fat Tuesday!!! Making pancakes tonight? Here’s a recipe from the 16th century which includes “two or three spoonefuls of ale”:
To make Pancakes
Take new thicke Creame a pine, foure or five yolks of egs, a good handful of flower and two or three spoonefuls of ale, strain them together into a faire platter, and season it with a good handfull of sugar, a spooneful of synamon, and a little Ginger: then take a friing pan, and put in a litle peece of Butter, as big as yourthumbe, and when it is molten brown, cast it out of your pan, and with a ladle put to the further side of your pan some of your stuffe, and hold your pan …, so that your stuffe may run abroad over all the pan as thin as may be: then set it to the fire, and let the fyre be verie soft, and when the one side is baked, then turn the other, and bake them as dry as ye can without burning.
(from a book entitled “The Good Huswifes Jewell”, courtesy of the British Library)
Costume from the 1869 New Orleans Mardi Gras. (More here: bit.ly/wxD3Rj)
The Book of Topiary (1904), on the noble art of verdant sculpture http://bit.ly/1fLIKaf
Detail from a page of Thomas Jefferson’s “Weather Record (1176-1818)”, in which he meticulously and somewhat obsessively notes down the temperature on everyday of the year. From our latest article exploring how Thomas Jefferson and his fellow Founding Fathers believed in manmade climate change. Read the article here: http://bit.ly/1bLPXYI
"The Open Country of Woman’s Heart, Exhibiting its internal communications, and the facilities and dangers to Travellers therein” (1830s), by D.W. Kellog.
Two women (personifications of “Friendly Welcome” and “Courteous Welcome”) ensnare “fickle and flighty” hearts in a net.
From Pierre Salas’ beautiful Little Book of Love (ca.1500). Read about it here: http://bit.ly/1f1bQ5a
The Emblem Book of the “partially insane” George Wither:http://bit.ly/1c24AEJ
—The Music Written on This Dude's Butt
Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era.
so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell
500 year old butt comes to musical life!
Detail from a version of Sebastian Münster’s sea monster chart (ca.1544), composed from copies of the vignettes found in Olaus Magnus’s Carta Marina from 5 years earlier. Read our latest article all about Magnus’s Sea Serpent and its iconic and literary legacy through the centuries here: http://bit.ly/1cURASh
A German cartoon from 1914 showing the lay of the political land as seen from the German perspective at the outbreak of World War One. As the text below the picture states, Germany and the Austro-Hungary Empire defend “blows from all sides”, particularly from the east in the form of a huge snarling Russian face.
Learn more, and see another similar map of a very different Europe in 1870, in our post here: http://bit.ly/Mv6CnX
The image is from a fantastic new project from Europeana just launched today - “Europeana, 1914-18” - which is marking 100 years since the outbreak of WW1 with a remarkable pan-European pooling of material, from both individuals and institutions, relating to the “Great War” -http://bit.ly/1eg7syC