The Public Domain Review

This is just an automatic copy of Public Domain Review blog.

Bruegel the Elder’s Big Fish Eat Little Fish (1556)

Tuesday 1 March 2022 at 09:40

Bruegel's drawing, based on a proverb and subject to numerous adaptations, relates the natural world to injustice: the feeling that human predation is innately born and instinctive.


“Pajamas from Spirit Land”: Searching for William James

Wednesday 23 February 2022 at 09:18

After the passing of William James — philosopher, early psychologist, and investigator of psychic phenomena — mediums across the US began receiving messages from the late Harvard professor. Channelling these fragmentary voices, Alicia Puglionesi considers the relationship between communication, reputation, and survival after death.


Albrecht Dürer’s Pillow Studies (1493)

Tuesday 22 February 2022 at 11:46

Completed in his early twenties, Dürer's pillow studies seem to slip between the waking world and the stuff of dreams.


Arthur Wesley Dow’s Floating World: Composition (1905 edition)

Thursday 17 February 2022 at 07:19

Arthur Wesley Dow's influential arts education handbook fused Japanese ukiyo-e with the author's unique minimalism, which he derived from the landscapes of New England.


Unnatural Selection: Emil Schachtzabel’s Pigeon Prachtwerk (1906)

Tuesday 15 February 2022 at 10:50

This turn-of-the-century guide to pigeon breeds marries the concerns of fanciers with the evolutionary theories of naturalists.


A Paper Archaeology: Piranesi’s Ruinous Fantasias

Wednesday 9 February 2022 at 11:19

From the vast confines of his imaginary prisons to the billowy scenes that comprise his grotteschi, the early works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi wed the exacting details of first-hand observation with the farthest reaches of artistic imagination. Susan Stewart journeys through this 18th-century engraver-architect’s paper worlds.


Judith Sargent Murray’s On the Equality of the Sexes (1790)

Tuesday 8 February 2022 at 07:32

Against the backdrop of the American Revolution, Judith Sargent Murray’s essay made what was, at the time, a radical claim: women are the intellectual equals of men.


A Renaissance Riddle: The Sola Busca Tarot Deck (1491)

Thursday 3 February 2022 at 07:36

The oldest complete seventy-eight card tarot sequence, this mysterious deck contains a multitude of puzzles for both scholars and cartomancers.


Portrait of a Scaphander

Wednesday 2 February 2022 at 12:22

Brad Fox tells a history-story that pulls on a life-thread in the tangle of things. But that only makes it all a little knottier, no?


William James on the Stream of Consciousness (1890)

Tuesday 1 February 2022 at 12:50

For William James, “the stream of thought” becomes a carefully chosen image for the flux of subjectivity.