The Public Domain Review

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Alexander in the Bathysphere

Thursday 12 May 2022 at 12:29

The story of Alexander the Great descending into the sea in a diving bell has led to diverse visual representations across countries, languages, and centuries.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/alexander-bathysphere


Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies (1757–1795)

Thursday 12 May 2022 at 12:18

As historical documents, the surviving editions of Harris’s List offer today’s readers a rare glimpse into London's 18th-century sex trade.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/harris-list-of-covent-garden-ladies


Petrified Waters: The Artificial Grottoes of the Renaissance and Beyond

Thursday 5 May 2022 at 11:00

Idling alongside the waters of artificial grottoes, visitors found themselves in lush, otherworldly settings, where art and nature, pleasure and peril, and humans and nymphs could, for a time, coexist. Laura Tradii spelunks through the handmade caves of the Italian Renaissance and their reception abroad, illuminating how these curious spaces transformed across the centuries.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/petrified-waters


Jan Luyken’s Frontispiece for *Osteologia* (1680)

Tuesday 3 May 2022 at 13:34

This etching seems to speak to the Enlightenment’s mission to give order to the natural world.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/luyken-osteologia


Orra White Hitchcock’s Scientific Illustrations for the Classroom (1828–40)

Thursday 28 April 2022 at 09:47

These hand-coloured scientific illustrations — on poster-sized linen swaths designed to be hung on classroom walls — are striking for their modern abstraction.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/hitchcock-illustrations


Trade Edition of *Affinities* Now Available for Pre-order

Wednesday 27 April 2022 at 12:46

Published by Thames and Hudson, the trade edition of Affinities will be out in the UK on May 26th and in the US on June 7th.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/blog/2022/04/affinities-trade-edition-available-for-pre-order


“A Sword was Seen in the Sky”: *A True and Wonderful Narrative* (1763)

Wednesday 27 April 2022 at 08:47

Pamphlet, printed in Philadelphia, describing strange sky phenomena witnessed over Riga and Kirschberg.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/a-true-and-wonderful-narrative


Handy Mnemonics: The Five-Fingered Memory Machine

Thursday 21 April 2022 at 13:55

Before humans stored memories as zeroes and ones, we turned to digital devices of another kind — preserving knowledge on the surface of fingers and palms. Kensy Cooperrider leads us through a millennium of “hand mnemonics” and the variety of techniques practised by Buddhist monks, Latin linguists, and Renaissance musicians for remembering what might otherwise elude the mind.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/handy-mnemonics


The Stream of Time (1803–58)

Wednesday 20 April 2022 at 11:25

In "stream of time" charts, Friedrich Strass and later artists depict human history as bodies of flowing water.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/stream-of-time


*Ostentatio Genitalium* in Renaissance Art

Thursday 14 April 2022 at 09:13

In the Renaissance ostentatio genitalium tradition, the visual virility of Christ affirms his divinity.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/ostentatio-genitalium