The Public Domain Review

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Joseph-Balthazar Sylvestre’s Alphabet Album (1843)

Wednesday 16 September 2020 at 08:44

Alphabets from across the ages, drawn and collected by the French paleographer Joseph-Balthazar Sylvestre.


Der Naturen Bloeme: The Flower of Nature (ca. 1350)

Thursday 10 September 2020 at 09:07

Early Dutch illuminated manuscript containing imaginative images of both real and fantastic creatures.


Food Pasts, Food Futures: The Culinary History of COVID-19

Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 09:30

A criti-fictional course-syllabus from the year 2070 — a bibliographical meteor from the other side of a “Remote Revolution”.


Nonsenseorship (1922)

Tuesday 8 September 2020 at 09:05

A lighthearted but serious-minded anthology of American writings against censorship written during the Prohibition era in America, including pieces by Dorothy Park, Ben Hecht, and Ruth Hale.


“I Am My Own Heroine”: How Marie Bashkirtseff Rewrote the Route to Fame

Wednesday 2 September 2020 at 14:01

The diary of Marie Bashkirtseff, published after her death from tuberculosis aged just 25, won the aspiring painter the fame she so longed for but failed to achieve while alive. Sonia Wilson explores the importance of the journal — one of the earliest bids by a woman to secure celebrity through curation of “personal brand” — and the shape it gave to female ambition in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Of Chickens, Eggs, and Cannonballs: Roger Fenton’s Valley of the Shadow of Death (1855)

Tuesday 1 September 2020 at 06:01

Controversial early photograph of a battle site during the Crimean War, taken by the British artist Roger Fenton.


Joseph Ducreux’s Self-Portraits (ca. 1790)

Thursday 27 August 2020 at 08:30

Strikingly modern self-portraits by a French painter whose fixation on his own physiognomy has made his paintings readymade material for internet memes.


Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum (1652)

Wednesday 26 August 2020 at 08:55

Early anthology of English alchemical texts, including by Geoffrey Chaucer among others, accompanied by charts and illustrations.


Work with The Public Domain Review

Tuesday 25 August 2020 at 16:04

We are looking for an experienced editor, researcher, and writer to work with us.


Primary Sources: A Natural History of the Artist's Palette

Thursday 23 July 2020 at 08:54

For all its transcendental appeals, art has always been inextricably grounded in the material realities of its production, an entwinement most evident in the intriguing history of artists' colours. Focusing in on painting's primary trio of red, yellow, and blue, Philip Ball explores the science and stories behind the pigments, from the red ochre of Lascaux to Yves Klein's blue.