The Public Domain Review

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

Elephants, Horses, and the Proportions of Paradise

Monday 5 November 2018 at 16:22

Does each species have an optimal form? An ideal beauty that existed prior to the Fall? These were questions that concerned both artists and breeders alike in the 17th century. Dániel Margócsy on the search for a menagerie of perfect prelapsarian geometry.


Kumataro Ito's Illustrations of Nudibranchs from the USS Albatross' Philippine Expedition (ca. 1908)

Thursday 1 November 2018 at 19:56

Remarkable depictions of nudibranchs from the waters of the Philippines in the early 20th century.


Spells Against the Evil Spirits of Babylonia (1903)

Wednesday 31 October 2018 at 16:56

Babylonian and Assyrian incantations against various demons, ghouls, vampires, hobgoblins, ghosts, and evil spirits.


1970: A Vision of the Coming Age (1870)

Thursday 14 June 2018 at 18:09

A vision of the world hundred years in the future, in which societies have been transformed into Quakerly perfection.


British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (1880)

Tuesday 12 June 2018 at 14:09

Wirt Sikes, US consul to Cardiff from 1876 to 1883, describes the mythology and traditions of Wales, a land steeped in folklore.


Fore-Edge Book Paintings from the Boston Public Library

Thursday 7 June 2018 at 18:57

Wonderful examples of "fore-edge painting", where an illustration or design appears on the "fore-edge" of a book.


Early Modern Memes: The Reuse and Recycling of Woodcuts in 17th-Century English Popular Print

Wednesday 6 June 2018 at 18:19

Expensive and laborious to produce, a single woodcut could be recycled to illustrate hundreds of different ballads, each new home imbuing the same image with often wildly diverse meanings. Katie Sisneros explores this interplay of repetition, context, and meaning, and how in it can be seen a parallel with the meme culture of today.


The Bakemono Zukushi “Monster” Scroll (18th–19th century)

Tuesday 5 June 2018 at 16:09

Ghoulish array of shapeshifting monsters from Japanese folklore.


Ernst Haeckel’s Jellyfish

Thursday 31 May 2018 at 15:54

Haeckel's stunning illustrations of medusae, in whose ethereal forms he glimpsed a reflection of his first wife, who died tragically at the age of 29.


Mary Wollstonecraft’s Adventures in Scandinavia

Wednesday 30 May 2018 at 19:22

Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, the book produced after the radical philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft took her infant daughter in 1795 on an expedition through Scandinavia in search of stolen treasure.