Mothers and Children

Today's picture features Bedouin mothers and children. The picture was taken in the late 1800's in the middle east.

Bedouin Shepherds

Today we feature another photochrom print. The picture shows two Bedouin Shepherds. The picture was taken in the late 1800's. The picture was taken in Syria

The Memoirs of Babur

Baburnamah : a 16th c. autobiographical, illuminated, Persian / Islamic manuscript (copy), courtesy of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

The manuscript miniatures below are cropped: please click through to the full-sized, full-page images hosted in Walters' Flickr set.

Mughal manuscript miniature of battle

The Fall of Samarkand

Mughal manuscript miniature of a Persian battle

The battle of Sultan Ḥusayn Mīrzā against

Sultan Masʿūd Mīrzā at Hiṣṣār in the winter of 1495

Indian mughal miniature of castle siege

The siege and battle of Isfarah

Islamic manuscript miniature of Sultan receiving guests; falconry

Ḥamzah Sulṭān, Mahdī Sulṭan and Mamāq Sulṭān pay homage to Babur

Islamic manuscript painting; rural setting, sultan on horseback

Foray to Kuhat (Kohat)

Persian manuscript miniature of date palms, birds and dogs

Date Trees of Hindustan

MS miniature from India - people on raft on river

Babur, during his second Hindustan campaign, riding a raft from Kunar back to Atar

Islamic battle in Hindustan in manuscript painting

The battle of Panipat and the death of Sultan Ibrāhīm, the last of the Lōdī Sultans of Delhi

Islamic MS miniature of horse/rider procession into castle

Babur entering Kabul

Indian mughal MS miniature of Hindu devotees outdoors partly clothed

Babur and his warriors visit the Hindu temple Gurh Kattri (Kūr Katrī) in Bigram

MS miniature - Turkish/Islamic/Persian/Indian : hunting

Babur and his party hunting for rhinoceros in Swati

Mughal miniature painting of peacock and other animals 1500s

Animals of Hindustan: monkeys, rodents and a peacock

"Recognized as one of the world’s great autobiographical memoirs, the Baburnamah is the story of Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur (1483-1530), who conquered northern India and established the Mughal Empire (or Timurid-Mughal empire).

Born in Fergana (Central Asia), Babur was a patrilineal Timurid and matrilineal Chingizid. Babur wrote his memoir in Chaghatay Turkish, which he referred to as Turkic, and it was later translated into Persian and repeatedly copied and illustrated under his Mughal successors.

The present copy in Persian, written in Nasta'liq script, is a fragment of a dispersed manuscript that was executed in the 16th century." {very slightly edited: PK}

Walters manuscript W.596 (Memoirs of Babur or Baburnamah) is available from the Walters Art Museum website or from their Flickr set.

Follow along on Twitter: Walters Art Museum and Will Noel (Manuscript Curator). Thanks Will! [Also see Will's great blog, Parchment and Pixel, where he features items of interest from the Museum].

The Walters Art Museum's online collection of manuscripts and rare books includes one hundred and forty Islamic works; or see the list: The Digital Walters.

Previously: arabic || illuminated


Bedouin Week continues with this picture of the Sheik of Palestine. The picture was taken in the late 1800's. Looks like he might be smoking a cigarette.


I have decided to make this Bedouin Week. We will spend the week looking at these nomads of the desert. We kick things off with this picture from the late 1800's. It is a photochrom print showing the Prince of Palmyra. The picture is from Tadmur, Syria.

Neapolitan Cephalopods

I Cefalopodi!

cephalopod lithograph

mollusca illustration

lithograph of mollusca species

lithograph of cephalopod

monograph illustration of cephalopod

1920s lithograph of cephalopoda species

marine species book illustratio

UPDATE: The following quote relates to the author of a different volume
"Adolf Naef (1883-1949) was a Swiss zoologist and palaeontologist, famous for his work on cephalopods and systematics.

[He] studied at the University of Zurich, under the guidance of Arnold Lang, a former Professor of Jena University and close friend of Ernst Haeckel*. Naef visited and worked in Anton Dorn’s Zoological Station in Naples, Italy in 1908, studying the squid Loligo vulgaris, the subject of his dissertation.

Naef returned to the Naples Zoological Station in the mid 1920s to study cephalopods, publishing a two-part monograph in the Station’s 'Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel und der Angrenzenden Meers-Abschitte' ('Fauna e Flora del Golfo di Napoli') series, which formed the basis for his two short but significant monographs on systematic theory. In 1922 he became Professor at the University of Zagreb, and in 1927 was Professor of Zoology at the University of Cairo."

'I Cefalopodi' is hosted by the Biodiversity Heritage Library on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution

The overall series from Naples is dated 1896 (presumably when it began) and this mid-1920s monograph (Vol. 35) on cephalopods features about thirty lithographs, most in black & white. (The digital book consists of only illustration plates)

UPDATE (Sep. 2011) I am indebted to Carlo C who emailed to advise the following:
"Actually the book they are from is not monograph n.35 by Naef, but rather the 1896 monograph n.23 by Giuseppe Jatta.

The author of the magnificent color and b/w plates you posted is Comingio Merculiano (1845- 1915), a professional watercolor painter hired in 1885 by prof. Anton Dohrn as in-house illustrator for the Naples Zoological Station.

He has been one of the best scientific illustrators of all times and this book on cephalopods is probably his masterpiece."
UPDATE II: (Sep 2011) The Biodiversity Heritage Library blog featured 'I Cefalopodi' in its Book of the Week.
Perhaps via; I don't quite recall. Click through on the images above to see them the right way up!

Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel -- I Cefalopodi (sistematica) di Giuseppe Jatta 1896

Mystery Person

Ready, Set, Go!

Dutch Dress

Traditional costumes in Holland in the 18th century

1803 milk maid and customer engraved illustration

engraving of 2 ladies at an old piano-type instrument

engraving of female fishmonger pleading for more money from customer

man with spade standing next to woman (early 1800s)

illustration of famer meeting peasant woman on the way to the market

pipe-smoking 19th c tricorned hat-wearing man meets outdoors with peasant woman (colour engraving)

illustration of 2 Dutch women, one selling butter; the other with enormous overhanging hat gestures with outstretched arm

engraved sketch of 2 ladies, 1 seated; both wearing customary 19th c Dutch clothing

man stands mending net; seated woman spins yarn (coloured engravings of Dutch customs 1803)

vicar doffs hat to woman at her front door (hand-coloured engraving)

well-dressed woman in sled alongside standing woman (engraving of 19th c Dutch customary clothes)

(click through for slightly enlarged versions; mouse-over for captions in French)

'Afbeeldingen van de kleeding, zeden en gewoonten in de Bataafsche Republiek, met den aanvang der negentiende eeuw' [Pictures of the dress, manners and customs of the Batavian Republic, at the beginning of the 19th c] by E Maaskamp, 1803 was recently uploaded through the Frisian Historical and Literary Centre {@Tresoar}

"The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on January 19, 1795, and ended on June 5, 1806, with the accession of Louis Bonaparte to the throne of the Kingdom of Holland."

"..a nice series of hand-coloured plates showing various Dutch costumes and scenes from Dutch daily life, including ice-skating, a maid pouring milk, and a young girl playing the piano, engraved by Lodewijk Portman (1772 - ca. 1813), who excelled in illustrating customs and folk-lore.

These plates were published and re-issued several times by the famous firm of Evert Maaskamp in Amsterdam, specialized in publishing very beautiful hand-coloured plates of costumes, landscapes and views." [Source]

Previously: costumes.

Alfred Waud

Today we feature another picture of Alfred Waud, a Civil War Illustrator for Harper's Weekly. In this picture he is shown sitting on a rock at the Battle of Gettysburg, with his sketch book. I like this picture because it gives a little more perspective on the job these illustrators did. It is believed that Waud was the only sketch artist to draw Gettysburg Battle pictures "live". Below is another of his sketches.

Winslow Homer

Today we feature another portrait of Winslow Homer. For someone who was such a prolific artist, it is sure hard to find many photographs of him. As you know, Homer got his start working for Harper's Weekly. Initially he was used to create wood block carvings of Mathew Brady photographs, but later was used to sketch Civil War battles for inclusion in the newspaper. His two most famous sketches during the war were of the "Sharpshooter" and of the "Surgeon at Work in the Field", both of which are presented below.

Thomas Nast

I wanted to feature another picture of Thomas Nast. Nast is mostly remembered for his political satire artwork of the late 1800's. He was also responsible for creating our modern image of Santa Claus. The thing I wanted to point out is that he got his start as a war illustrator for Harper's Weekly. I consider him to be the best war illustrator Harper's had, and that is saying a lot, given that Winslow Homer also worked there at the time. 

Harper's Weekly published thousands of Civil War illustrations during the conflict, but I consider the absolute best to be "On to Richmond", shown below. Yes, it was done by Thomas Nast. Click on the illustration and look at the incredible detail in the drawing.


Il y a un peu plus de dix ans que le grand dessinateurs d'humour Robert Lassalvy nous a quittés. Pour lui rendre hommage, une sélection de quelques dessins olé olé du grand monsieur qui aimait dessiner de plantureuses pin-ups ridiculisant la gent masculine avec leurs charmes.

Lassalvy. Folies. Ed. Egé-Lassalvy. Numéro spécial hors série d'Eclats de Rire, 1979.