JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This work—according to scholars most probably by Johann II of Bavaria1—was published in 1531, the effort of a true Renaissance Man, capable in languages, a scholar, draftsman, scultptor, artist. The book was important in the history of art for introducing the perspective studies of Durer on a grand scale. And in all of this greatest and beauty of this book, I have chosen as my focus for this moment an odd little bit of the book--smoke.
In this woodcut we see the central figure on a horse working his way down a tight street of crowded buildings in a walled city, a city gate just ahead. The image was intended to illustrate principles of perspective, but I noticed the smoke and associated it/them with Renaissance (and later) word balloons--they're not really that closely associated, but are suggestive of one another.
There is a certain amount of poetical attraction to associate images in smoke and words, but I think that is going a little beyond the reasonable scope of analogy.
1. Johann II (1492 – 1557), and Count Palatine of Pfalz-Simmern from 1509-1557. And the book's title:
Eyn schön nützlich büchlin und underweisung der kunst des Messens, mit dem Zirkel, Richtscheidt oder Lineal. Zu nutz allen kunstliebhabern, fürnemlich den Malern, Bildhawern, Goldschmiden, Seidenstickern, Steynmetzen, Schreinern, auch allen andern, so sich der kunst des Messens (Perspectiva zu latein gnant) zugebrauchen lust haben.
Published by H. Rodler, Simmern, 1531
RODLER, Hieronymus ?] / JOHANN II OF PFALZ-SIMMERN