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Leonid Meteor Storm, as seen over N. America 188 yrs ago onthisday on the night of Nov 12-13th, 1833, pictured in E. Weiß's Bilderatlas der Sternenwelt (1888).⠀ ⠀ More meteors (and comets) in our post "Flowers of the Sky" —Human cantilever used to demonstrate that the Forth estuary in Scotland could be bridged on the cantilever and central girder principle. Alison Metcalfe on the triumphs and disasters of 19th-century Scottish bridge building:Born onthisday in 1790, Ludwig Emil Grimm. He was the youngest and lesser known of the 3 Grimm brothers and artist for the 2nd edition of his older siblings' famous fairytales collection. More on the Grimms (+ Ludwig's images) in our essay by Jack Zipes:Caricature a "sadistic tooth-drawer" who frightens his patient with a hot coal to make him pull back his head and so extract the tooth, 1810. ⠀ ⠀ Featured in our essay "Sicko Doctors: Suffering and Sadism in 19th-Century America" by @UnrealCitoyenne —Illustration from The Living Forest (1925), by the Canadian painter Arthur Heming who — having been diagnosed with colourblindness as a child — worked for most of his life in a distinctive palette of black, yellow, and white:The nature photographer Richard Kearton in 1900 carrying one of his and his brother Cherry's "mimetic hides", inventions concocted by the brothers in their pioneering attempts to get ever closer to their subjects. More in our essay by John Bevis:Mongolian manuscript from the 19th century, full of charts and diagrams that astrologers (generally Buddhist monks) would use to calculate the best time to do certain things, such as depart on a trip or remove a dead body from a dwelling:Born onthisday in 1840, the French symbolist artist Odilon Redon. Known for his surreal and often haunting imagery, some of his most stunning works are his illustrations for Flaubert's failed masterpiece Temptation of St Anthony:David Ramsay Hay’s mapping of colour onto musical notes, a diagram from his The Laws of Harmonious Colouring (1838).⠀More in @carmelrazmusic's essay "Music of the Squares" on a Hay's attempt to use music theory to evaluate visual beauty —Dream Vision; A Nightmare (1525), by Albrecht Dürer, who died onthisday in 1528. The watercolour and accompanying text describe an apocalyptic dream he had on the night of 7-8th June 1525. More art depicting dreams here:"Man is a mere machine; his every thought and action forced, possessing no will power, and in no way responsible for his actions." From 1902 book Is Man a Free Agent?: The Law of Suggestion, Including Hypnosis, What and Why it Is, and How to Induce It:Wonderful series of photographs offering a glimpse into female friendship in Maine, ca. 1898:Born onthisday in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe. Many illustrators have tackled Poe's dark and macabre tales but perhaps none so hauntingly and brilliantly as Irish artist Harry Clarke. See his exquisite imagery for Poe's Tales of Mystery & Imagination here:The city of Soltaniyeh in Iran, painted in the 16th century by the Bosnian-born polymath Matrakçı Nasuh. More of his beautiful miniatures of Middle Eastern cityscapes and maps here:The Fourth Dimension and the Bible (1922) — William Granville's gallant attempt to explain the more mysterious aspects of the Bible through the rigours of pure mathematics:Sniffing ozone, 1910.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ One of the many bizarre photos in High Frequency Electric Currents in Medicine and Dentistry (1910) by champion of electro-therapeutics Samuel Howard Monell, who did “more for static electricity than any other living man”:Beautiful series of images by Eduard Pechuël-Loesche from an 1888 book on the strange skies produced the world-over after the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa:Today Mexico celebrates DiaDeLosMuertos, the #DayoftheDead! Skeletal imagery features heavily, influenced in no small part by the wonderful work of José Guadalupe Posada, known for his satirical and politically acute "calaveras" (skulls)Happy birthday Beatrix Potter, born onthisday in 1866. Here she is as teenager with her pet mouse Xarifa. More in our essay on her life by the late Frank Delaney:Happy #UnicornDay! A fine time to delve into @the_manticore_'s essay "Greenland Unicorns and the Magical Alicorn", which explores a fascinating convergence of established folklore, nascent science, and pharmaceutical economy...."Hallowe'en is the one time of all the year when witches, ghosts and elves hold gay revels. Come and join them!" Hosting a Halloween party on the weekend? Here's a 1920 book jam-packed with tips for decorations and costumes:Stunning set of maps depicting the changing course of the Mississippi River over millennia, created by US Army engineer Harold Fisk in 1944: https://t.co/t1jIwrdaLN Featured in our new book Affinities: https://t.co/edHhIH2Wbj And prints available here:"They were three months passing through the forest", an illustration (for Old French Fairy Tales, 1920) by Virginia Frances Sterrett who died of tuberculosis onthisday in 1931, at the age of just 30. See more of her magical illustrations here:Widely celebrated by art historians as the first design text of the American Arts & Crafts movement, Arthur Wesley Dow’s Composition: A Series of Exercises Selected From a New System of Art Education revolutionized the American classroom:"The flying Dragon is somewhat troublesome to compose..." The Mysteries of Nature and Art (1634). Julie Gardham describes the wonderful technical manual that is said to have spurred a young Isaac Newton onto the scientific path:NEW ESSAY — “Jumbo’s Ghost”, in which @BullenRoss looks at the overlap between elephants and machines — in adventure novels, abandoned roadside hotels, and psychic science — revealing latent anxieties at the century’s turn:Pages from a beautifully illustrated account of a journey made from Venice to the Middle East. Although the book was once purported to reflect a journey made in 1465 it is actually a German translation of an account from more than a century earlier:Edvard Munch, Towards the Forest II, 1915. One of 500+ images to grace the pages of our new book Affinities, an exploration of echoes and resonances across two millennia of visual culture:Salad oil advertisement by Jan Toorop. This 1894 poster was so iconic that Dutch Art Nouveau became known as the “salad oil style”. Toorop also made art on less commercial themes, such as loss of faith and death, which you can see more of here:Replace these “wireless telegraphs” with smartphones, update the dress a little, and this vision of "isolating technology" from a 1906 issue of Punch magazine could easily be from today:Medieval marijuana, from a 12th-century medical and herbal collection: https://t.co/gO7J8SDj12 The Latin at the bottom reads: "Grows but in waste places, and at roadsides, and along hedges. The very best medicine for healing."The Sun card from the summer "suit" of the Astronomia playing card deck, published in 1829. Featuring 3 other seasonal suits, the pack was used to play two games — Conjunction and Combination — which were trumps-based, similar to Whist. More here:The Berlin of the 1920s is often associated with a certain excess and decadence, but it was a different side of the city — the “sobriety and desolation” of its industrial and working-class districts — which came to obsess the painter Gustav Wunderwald:A selection of beautiful firemen’s coats from 19th-century Japan. The coats were reversible — one side was plain and the other side (worn on the inside while tackling blazes) was decorated with rich and symbolic imagery:Woodcuts from Lorenz Stoer’s Geometria et Perspectiva, 1567. From Stoer's unique, image-based treatise on linear perspective — in each woodcut a complex polyhedron or combination of solids are embedded in a kind of dreamlike ruinscape. More here:"This droll Fellow as well as his Betters Knows how to form the Writing Letters." An alphabetic contortionist from a rich tradition:From fairy-rings to Lewis Carroll's Alice, mushrooms have long been entwined with the supernatural in art and literature. @MikeJayNet on early reports of mushroom-induced trips and how one species in particular became established as a stock motif of Victorian fairyland.Chart of the Hand.⠀ ⠀ From Dr Alesha Sivartha's enigmatic 1898 work titled The Book of Life: The Spiritual and Physical Constitution of Man. More images from the book: https://t.co/btAOMc9GZ8 Prints for sale: https://t.co/d2m8cTHWry And please... WASH YOUR HANDS!Did Renoir actually suck at painting? Some people think he did (https://t.co/qKDQoK81fD). Some people don't (https://t.co/mlizeENvH1). You can judge for yourself with a peruse of this fantastic collection from @byrawpixel of more than 200 of his works:Athanasius Kircher’s design for a hydraulic organ, complete with dancing skeleton, featured in his Musurgia Universalis (1650). One of the many "frolicsome engines" explored in Jessica Riskin's essay on the wonderful history of automata:In 1561, a fish was caught in the Mediterranean which was said to have been adorned with tattoo-like marking on its skin that looked like images of ships. Here it is in a watercolour from Adriaen Coenen’s huge 16th-century treatise on fish:Cranes from Momoyogusa–Flowers of a Hundred Generations (1909) by Kamisaka Sekka. One of many works by Sekka (1866–1942) on view over at"Pandemonium" — 1824 illustration by John Martin for John Milton's Paradise Lost. The word "Pandemonium" was actually coined by Milton and was his name for the capital of Hell ("place of all demons"). More of Martin's images for the poem here:Letters to Dead Authors (1886) — a book of letters written by Scottish writer Andrew Lang to 22 bards, poets, and novelists from Homer to Rabelais to Austen:An "alphabet album", a beautiful book of calligraphy and typographic engraving from 1843 assembled by Joseph-Balthazar Silvestre. Ranging from the old-fashioned to the surprisingly modern looking, from the elegantly unreadable to the crystal clear...Depictions of the "Great Sea Serpent", as featured in Pontoppidan's Natural History of Norway (1753). Joseph Nigg explores the legacy of the controversial Great Norway Serpent from its beginnings in the medieval imagination to modern cryptozoology:Postcards by Pedro de Rojas reimagining the adventures of Don Quixote for the 20th century. We see the Knight of the Melancholy Countenance ballooning into windmills and fighting with a park ranger (identified in the caption as the Knight of the Forest):The German biologist, philosopher, and artist Ernst Haeckel died 100 years ago today. Pictured here "Discomedusae", one of the many stunning illustrations for his Art Forms in Nature. More of his mesmerising jellyfish depictions here:Woodcuts from Lorenz Stoer’s Geometria et Perspectiva, 1567. From Stoer's unique, image-based treatise on linear perspective — in each woodcut a complex polyhedron or combination of solids are embedded in a kind of dreamlike ruinscape. More here:This unique self-portrait, also known as “view from the left eye”, is the creation of Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach (famous for his work on supersonic fluid mechanics), who died onthisday in 1916. Read more about the image here:OnThisDay in 1912, the Titanic sank. Later that year a short film came out that appeared to show the interior and deck of the ship only minutes prior to its ill-fated voyage, but it was a (fairly convincing!) fake. Watch it here:Bishop's Cap Cactus. Native to the highlands of northeastern and central Mexico, it gets its name from its resemblance to a bishop's mitre. More stunning 19th-century cacti illustrations here:For the first day of spring ... the glorious print of tulips from Robert John Thornton's stunning “Temple of Flora” (1807): https://t.co/XjC0TYAzEz Read more about the Thornton's work here in Martin Kemp's essay here:Born onthisday in 1774, the Romantic poet Robert Southey. As well as being poet laureate for 30 years and a prolific writer of letters, Southey was an avid recorder of his dreams. W. A. Speck on the poet’s dream diary:Today Mexico celebrates DiaDeLosMuertos, the #DayoftheDead! Skeletal imagery features heavily, influenced in no small part by the wonderful work of José Guadalupe Posada, known for his satirical and politically acute "calaveras" (skulls)SundayReads: Allison C. Meier on the 19th-century French photographer Nadar and his determined efforts to document the beauty and terror of this realm of the dead:As a lab study announces that cannabis compounds could help prevent COVID19 infection, here's a look at the first cannabis trials in western medicine, undertaken in 19th-century Calcutta:Abstract design from an 1886 catalogue showcasing the work of stained glass artist Henry Belcher and his New York-based Belcher Mosaic Glass Company. More from the catalogue here:The story of Shen Nong, born of a princess and heavenly dragon, and teacher to the ancient Chinese of agriculture and herbal medicine:SundayReads: "Emma Willard's Maps of Time", on a leading feminist educator's 19th-century infographics:"Thackerayana" — a remarkable compendium of nearly 600 doodles made by Vanity Fair author William Makepeace Thackeray, who was born onthisday in 1811:

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