The Public Domain Review

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

Update

Updating database... Please wait.

Passion and Death of Christ (1903)

Friday 6 April 2012 at 14:19



From Internet Archive: La Vie et la passion de Jesus Christ is a 1903 French silent film directed by Lucien Nonguet and Ferdinand Zecca, and is believed to be the first feature film to have colorized sequences. Colorization was achieved using the Pathecolor/Pathechrome stencil-based film tinting process, which had been invented around 1903 by Pathe Freres, one of the most important and innovative film companies in history. The film itself is a straightforward telling of the story of Jesus Christ, but does include some events usually omitted in films about Christ, like the Transfiguration. La Vie is filmed using a single camera mostly kept still in front of the set and capturing the actors and action as it unfolds. The only known cast members are Madame Moreau as Virgin Mary and Monsieur Moreau as Joseph.

Download from Internet Archive

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.










Sign up to the PDR to get new articles delivered free to your inbox and to receive updates about exciting new developments relating to the project. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/04/06/passion-and-death-of-christ-1903/


A Theory of Pure Design: Harmony, Balance, Rhythm (1907)

Wednesday 4 April 2012 at 15:51


A Theory of Pure Design – Harmony, Balance, Rhythm; 1907; Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

A book detailing the science behind harmony, balance, and rhythm in art. The author, Denman Waldo Ross (1853-1935), was an American painter, art collector, and professor of art at Harvard University. From the preface:

The terms and principles of Art have, as a rule, been understood by the artist in the form of technical processes and visual images, not in words. It is in words that they will become generally understood. It is in words that I propose to explain them in this book. I want to bring to definition what, until now, has not been clearly defined or exactly measured. In a sense this book is a contribution to Science rather than to Art. It is a contribution to Science made by a painter, who has used his Art in order to understand his Art, not to produce Works of Art. In a passage of Plato (Philebus, ^f 55) Socrates says: “If arithmetic, mensuration, and weighing be taken out of any art, that which remains will not be much.”


Open Library link










Sign up to the PDR to get new articles delivered free to your inbox and to receive updates about exciting new developments relating to the project. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/04/04/a-theory-of-pure-design-harmony-balance-rhythm-1907/


Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914)

Tuesday 3 April 2012 at 10:48



This Keystone comedy Kid Auto Races at Venice, released on 7 February 1914, was only Charlie Chaplin’s second ever appearance on film and the screen debut of his famous Tramp character. Although it was the first film released involving the Tramp, Chaplin had actually devised the outfit for the film Mabel’s Strange Predicament produced a few days earlier but released a couple days after Kid Auto Races at Venice, on 9 February 1914. Mack Sennett had requested that Chaplin “get into a comedy make-up”. As Chaplin recalled in his autobiography:

I had no idea what makeup to put on. I did not like my get-up as the press reporter [in Making a Living]. However on the way to the wardrobe I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large. I was undecided whether to look old or young, but remembering Sennett had expected me to be a much older man, I added a small moustache, which I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression. I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked on stage he was fully born.

In The Kid Auto Races at Venice Chaplin takes the Tramp to the races where he annoys a director, who is trying to film there, by continuously trying to sneak into shot.

Download from Internet Archive

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.










Sign up to the PDR to get new articles delivered free to your inbox and to receive updates about exciting new developments relating to the project. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/04/03/kid-auto-races-at-venice-1914/


Plates from Spiegel’s De formato foetu liber singularis (1626)

Monday 2 April 2012 at 11:50

Giulio Cesare Casseri, also known as Casserio, was born in about 1552 in Piacenza. His father died when he was young leaving his family poor, so when he attended medical school at the University of Padua he did so as the servant of another student. Later he was a servant to the noted Fabricius ab Aquapendente (ca. 1533-1619), whose chair in surgery and anatomy Casseri later filled. He was especially known during his lifetime for his research into the anatomy of the speech and auditory organs. In about 1600, he began work on an anatomical atlas covering the entire human body, which he still had not completed at the time of his death in 1616. In fact, it has been conjectured that Fabricius stopped its publication in 1616 because of a rivalry between the two.

Adriaan van de Spiegel, sometimes known as Spigelius, was born in Brussels in 1578. After studying medicine and philosophy in Louvain, he went to the University of Padua to study medicine under Casseri and Fabricius. Becoming an expert in anatomy, surgery, and botany, Spiegel made a name for himself practicing in Germany, Hungary, and Moravia. In 1616, he was appointed to the chair of anatomy and surgery at Padua after Casseri’s death, and he died in that city on April 7, 1625.

At the time of Adriaan van de Spiegel’s death, his son in law, another physician named Liberale Crema (fl. 1626) edited Spiegel’s unillustrated anatomical text, De formato foetu liber singularis. To accompany it, he obtained nine copperplate engravings which Casseri had created either for a work on general anatomy or one specifically on fetal development. The plates are the work of Titian’s student Odoardo Fialetti (1573-1638), and engraver, Francesco Valesio (b. ca. 1560); the same artist and engraver who created Casseri’s plates for his anatomical magnum opus which were published with Spiegel’s text, De humani corporis fabrica libri decem (Venice, 1627).

(Text and images are from the National Library of Medicine and their excellent Historical Anatomies on the Web. Clicking on the images below will take you to the higher resolution version housed by the NLM.)




























Sign up to the PDR to get new articles delivered free to your inbox and to receive updates about exciting new developments relating to the project. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/04/02/plates-from-spiegels-de-formato-foetu-liber-singularis-1626/


Remembering Scott

Thursday 29 March 2012 at 14:08

A century on from his dramatic death on the way back from the South Pole, the memory of the explorer Captain Scott and his ill-fated Terra Nova expedition is stronger than ever. Max Jones explores the role that the iconic visual record has played in keeping the legend alive.

The photographer Herbert Ponting giving a lecture on his travels in Japan to the Terra Nova team in the hut at Cape Evans.

Why are some historical figures remembered, while others are forgotten?

Major-General Henry Havelock was the toast of the nation in 1857. One of the British heroes of the ‘Indian Mutiny’, Havelock died after the relief of the city of Lucknow. Such was the fame of the devout Christian soldier, parliament approved the erection of his statue in Trafalgar Square, which still stands today. A decade ago, however, Mayor Ken Livingstone complained that most Londoners had no idea who Havelock was.

The memory of Captain Scott, who died in Antarctica one hundred years ago, has fared much better than Havelock’s. The centenary of Scott’s last expedition has generated a wave of books, events, radio broadcasts and television documentaries over the last two years, including BBC 2’s The Secrets of Scott’s Hut fronted by modern celebrity-explorer Ben Fogle, a major new exhibition at the Natural History Museum, and a national memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Scott’s exploits in the uninhabited continent of Antarctica are free of the troubling associations which surround many other imperial heroes. Should the statue of a man known primarily for subjugating India still stand in the centre of a city where over one in ten of the inhabitants have roots in South Asia? As with so many aspects of our imperial past, Britons have found it easier to ignore and forget rather than confront such difficult questions.

In part, of course, Scott is remembered today because his last expedition is such a great story: the drama of the race with Norwegian Roald Amundsen; the heart-breaking arrival at the South Pole a month too late; the agonising suspense of the return march; the tragic end only 11 miles from a supply depot which would have saved them. Yet a great story alone offers no guarantee of remembrance. Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition and his incredible boat journey to South Georgia were surprisingly neglected in Britain until the end of the 1990s.

Captain Scott writing in his journal.

Interior of the hut at Cape Evans with Cherry Garrard, Bowers, Oates, Meares and Atkinson.

Elsewhere1, I have emphasised the significance of Scott’s own words to his continued remembrance. The ‘Message to the Public’ Scott wrote at the back of his journal remains one of the ultimate expressions of bravery in the face of death. Scott’s journals are on permanent display as one of the ‘Treasures of the British Library’. The centenary celebrations would have been far less extensive if a search party had not found the journals in November 1912.

But visual iconography has also proved essential to sustaining Scott’s story. His decision-making has been widely criticised, most savagely in Roland Huntford’s classic debunking biography Scott and Amundsen (London, 1979). Scott deserves great credit, though, for his appointment of Herbert Ponting as the expedition’s self-styled ‘camera artist’. Ponting’s early life remains obscure, but we know he abandoned his family to pursue a full-time career in photography. He later observed that he wouldn’t even recognise his own son if he walked past him on the street.

Ponting exposed around 25,000 feet of film and 2,000 photographic negatives in the Antarctic. Rarely, if ever, has an expedition been documented so thoroughly and so beautifully. Publishers and film-makers today can be confident of the availability of rich visual resources for any new Scott project, with striking photographs of the central characters, wild life and Antarctic environment. Ponting frequently juxtaposed awe-inspiring natural features with tiny human figures, presenting the Antarctic as a medieval fortress besieged by brave polar knights.

The castle berg in summer

Photograph taken in January 1911 of Taylor and Wright at the entrance of an ice grotto near Cape Evans. The ship Terra Nova is anchored in the background.

In 1914, Ponting mounted a hugely successful series of illustrated lectures about the expedition at the Philharmonic Hall, performing in front of 100,000 people in only two months. The lectures proved so successful, King George V invited him to give a special performance at Buckingham Palace. Ponting had the misfortune, however, of purchasing the complete rights to the expedition’s film record from the Gaumont Company just before the outbreak of the First World War. Ponting would spend much of the next two decades attempting to exploit his Antarctic work, but never matched the success of the Philharmonic Hall lectures.

Although his work continues to shape visual representations of Antarctica, Ponting did not take the most famous photograph of Scott’s last expedition. The explorers themselves exposed ten plates at the South Pole. In one they appear to slouch around Amundsen’s tent like rock stars on an album cover. Henry Bowers pulled the cord which took the most iconic image of the Antarctic disaster. This photograph remains the most frequently reproduced: five grim faces marked by hardships endured and the certain knowledge of hardships to come, the forlorn union jack a reminder of their defeat. The survival of this remarkable photograph helps explain the enduring appeal of Scott’s story. In 2000 Hello Magazine published two special editions celebrating ‘The 20th Century in Pictures’, ‘An Heirloom to Treasure’. Scott, Bowers, Evans, Oates and Wilson stared out from the front cover.

Photograph taken by Lieut. Bowers on 17 January 1912, a day after they reached the SOuth Pole to discover that Amundsen had beat them to it. The two sitting are Evans and Oates, with Bowers, Scott and Wilson standing behind them.

Scott and his men at Amundsen's base, Polheim. Left to right: Scott, Bowers, Wilson, and P. O. Evans.

The grave of Scott, Bowers and Wilson, erected at their final camp where their bodies were found.



Dr Max Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Manchester. He is the author of The Last Great Quest: Captain Scott’s Antarctic Sacrifice (Oxford UP, 2003) and the editor of Journals: Captain Scott’s Last Expedition (Oxford World’s Classics) (Oxford UP, 2005). Max has been invited to lecture on Scott to audiences in Los Angeles, Milan and Tasmania. He is currently working on a new book on the rise and fall of national heroes over the last 250 years.


Links to Works









Sign up to the PDR to get new articles delivered free to your inbox and to receive updates about exciting new developments relating to the project. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/29/remembering-scott/


An Alphabet of History (1905)

Tuesday 27 March 2012 at 18:23


An Alphabet of History, the words by Wilbur D. Nesbit, the pictures by Ellsworth Young; 1905; Paul Elder and Company Publishers, San Francisco.

“Who frets about the mystery / Enshrouding all of history / On reading this will, maybe, see / We’ve made it plain as ABC.” From Alexander The Great, “a victim of fate”, to Zenobia, “the empress of Palmyra” – an illustrated ABC set to verse of history’s big players (at least as envisaged in 1905).

Open Library link




flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/27/an-alphabet-of-history-1905/


Alice in Wonderland (1915)

Thursday 22 March 2012 at 15:43



1915 silent film adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, directed and written by W.W. Young and starring Viola Savoy as Alice. This is a tinted and shorter cut of the film. There is an untinted longer version (though lower quality) here. Included above are two versions: the film without sound or the film with a nice soundtrack added by the original Internet Archive uploader (though be aware that the copyright info on the early vinyl recording used is unknown).

Download from Internet Archive

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.




flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/22/alice-in-wonderland-1915/


Prelinger Archive 35mm Stock Footage

Wednesday 21 March 2012 at 15:48



A fantastic new collection titled “35mm Stock Footage” has recently been uploaded by the Prelinger Archive to the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Digitized into HD from 35mm original negatives and release prints dating back to the first decade of the 20th century, these unedited sequences were shot for feature films but never used. Much of the footage is “process plates” — film shot for the rear-projection screens you see out of car, taxi and train windows in old movies. Here we have included a few highlights from the bunch – above: miniature shots of a flooding river carrying away a model house and a small plane crashing in the jungle – below: various war related footage including beautiful shots of a convoy of tanks crossing a river at night under fire, and beneath that aerial footage of military planes in flight (with some athletes running round a track sneaking in at the end).





We also recommend checking out the outtakes from these early shorts.

Note these film are in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.




flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/21/prelinger-archive-35mm-stock-footage/


Illuminated pages from 15th century Breviaries

Monday 19 March 2012 at 12:28

A breviary (from Latin brevis, ‘short’ or ‘concise’) is a liturgical book of the Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office (i.e., at the canonical hours or Liturgy of the Hours, the Christians’ daily prayer). Below is a selection of illuminated Breviary pages from various unknown miniaturists working in and around Paris, Bruges and Gent in the middle of the 15th century.

For more info and higher res versions please see Wikimedia Commons






flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/19/illuminated-pages-from-15th-century-breviaries/


Robert Browning attempting to recite ‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’ (1889)

Friday 16 March 2012 at 11:13



The voice of great English poet, Robert Browning (1812 – 1889) recorded while at a dinner party given by Browning’s friend the artist Rudolf Lehmann, on April 7th, 1889. The sales manager of Edison Talking machine, Colonel Gouraud, had brought with him a phonograph to show the guests and to record their voices. Browning, though reluctant at first, eventually gives in and begins to recite his poem ‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’. Unfortunately, he “cannot remember me own verses” and gives up going on to expressing how he certainly won’t forget though this “wonderful invention”. He was to die just under 8 months later. When the recording was played in 1890 on the anniversary of his death, at a gathering of his admirers, it was said to be the first time anyone’s voice “had been heard from beyond the grave.”

I sprang to the saddle, and Joris, and he;
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
‘Speed’ echoed the wall to us galloping through…
‘Speed’ echoed the…
Then the gate shut behind us, the lights sank to rest…


I’m terribly sorry but I can’t remember me own verses,
but one thing that I shall remember all me life is the astonishing [inaudible] by your wonderful invention.

Robert Browning!

[other voices]
Bravo, bravo, bravo.
Hip, hip, hooray.
Hip, hip, hooray.
Hip, hip, hooray.
Bravo.


MP3 Download
Internet Archive Link




flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/16/robert-browning-attempting-to-recite-a-poem-on-the-edison-cylinder-1889/