JF Ptak Science Books Post 1887
In working on an alphabet of the occupations of children in 1910/1920 America based on the photographs of the immortal Lewis Hine (and found via looking at other materials on the excellent Retronaut website), I came across this extraordinary image:
The detail seems to show lip rings on what I think is a very young woman. She is very slender (you can see very thin wrists), and is wearing a number of layers of clothes, not the least of which is a long white apron on top of which sit Civil-War-like shawls, She is stepping into the street, caught mid-stride. It looks as though it is frosty, the sidewalk and steps seem to have a thin veneer of ice It is cold. And she is carrying an ungainly, heavy burden, which might weigh half of her own weight. And she is young. And she has no gloves.
Where did she go?
It also that Hine--in his notes onthe back of the photograph-- identifies her with kindness and grace as a "tenement gleaner". (In my notes I was less kind and called her a "ragpicker" I'm a little ashamed to say. Mr. Hine taught me a lesson.) Gleaner.
Hine documented things that were part of everyday life that made cities like New York what they were, much of which went unnoticed, or scuttled by intentional indifference. People like this made the city run--then as now--and Hine was one of the early photographers in the United States who "discovered" these people and made their standing a cause of his life.
Like many other pioneers/artists/social observers, Hine (1874-1940) didn't fare so well in his later life. After four decades of huge service in photography, people became disinterested in his past/present/future work, and Hine lost his resources. And his house. And then, in a few years, his life. His personal collection of negatives and prints were given by a relative to the New York Photo League, but they were displaced when the League was dismantled in 1951. Unsettled, they were offered out to places like the Museum of Modern Art, which rejected the collection. Ultiamtely, fortunately, the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, accepted the collection and saved it from the unknown.
This image easily could have been Atlas, but Libertas seemed better.
Source: New York Public Library Digital Collection. "Photographs concerning labor, housing and social conditions in the United States. / L. W. Hine. "
JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I've just written a short post on the beautiful key to iconography by Cesare Ripa, Iconologia overa descrittione d'imagini delle virtu, viti, sffetti, passioni humane, corpi celesti, Mondo e sue parti..., which was published in Padua in 1611. The version I used was an 18th-century English translation with new illustrations--now though the translation was very appreciated, the images were not so. As I pointed out, they do serve the purpose of illustrating the specifics in iconography, the images were not that pleasing. I wanted to include here an example from the original, and in particular the imagery of "Dawn".
It is a gorgeous thing, a very striking, very strong woodcut showing the messenger of the new day coming, attacking the night with arrows of dawn.
I enjoy he earlier, more robust images for this iconology, even though there are many variants to choose from--there were more than 40 editions of this work since its first non-illustrated edition in 1593--but given it all I much prefer the early 17th century flavor.
JF Ptak Science Books Post 1885
These images come from a later (and English edition) of Cesare Ripa's essential keybook to Renaissance iconogrpahy, the Iconologica overa descittione d'imagini delle virtu, viti, affetti, passioni humane...first published in the early 1590's with Ripa's artwork. I don't much like the English version of his work, nor do I care that much for the artwork (inferior in most ways to the great craftsman-like feel of the Renaissance images), though it does serve the purpose of place-holding the symbolism and explaining the elements of the icons.
I've chosen a few emblems for the sciences to illustrate this important work of deduction and explanation, as it would be an aid to anyone interested in the art of the Renaissance--and that would be an interest at virtually any level.
I chose "Arithmetic" as my first example because of the lovely parallels found in the folds of Arithmetic's dress--musical notation, underneath which we see the faint "Pars Impars" (even and odd) to help settle the old scores of symmetry. The connection between music and mathematics is thousnads of years old, and though I might've used "mathematics" rather than its oldest branch (of "arithmetic") to show the ancinet connection between music and numbers, it should be remembered that not every aspect of arithmeic is standard, and that there is a good and strong relation between music and "higher arithmetic" (number theory). In general I just like the emblzoned connection here between the two, showing a temporal sequencing representation, a placing of music in relation to number right out there in time-and-space,an adept of the mental image of music. There is no doubt that when a viewer was finsihed with this image that there is a lasting property of the mathematical properties of sound and teh harmony of number. Its not exactly "music of the spheres", but it does work.
JF Ptak Science Books Post 1882
['Joom']--Sound of a pebble being thrown in a pond
["Seet']--Sound of someone eating something very spicy
I'm not sure that the idea of phonoaesthetics comes into play with the concept of onomotopeia--perhaps they're mutually exclusive. Or inclusive? Does cacophony fight euphony in lists of words that are composed to sound like the thing they represent? Or perhaps it is a given quality of this state that some of these words must sound cacophonus--"zok", "thak", or even "ptak" (which I saw in an issue of Sgt. Rock in the mid '60's as the sound bullets make when they strike a wooden dock)--simply because of what they represent, and must be so.
Then of course there's the issue of onomatopoeia that look like or presented like the sound they are describing. For example, the word "Whaam" that appeared in comic book and which was famously derived as art by Roy Lichtenstein.
When researching this I came upon cross-cultural examples of onomatopoeia--big an diwde and beautiufl and very far-ranging. It is a rich literature, and the examples are varied and deep. TO display an example I chose a list of of Thai onomatopoeia, all of which have been collected by the author of Weird Vibrations, who collected these many fine examples one-by-one and for whose work in this and other areas I deeply enjoy and appreciate. I include them below in an odd alphabet of oddness--all that I've done here is separate them into a handy assembly, but let's make sure that all of the credit of collection and transliteration belongs entirely to Weird Vibrations.
For example: "[Seet] Sound of someone eating something very spicy" is a curious word, mainly because I'm not sure what this might like unless "seet" is a quick ontake of breath. "Joom" is a lovely word, and it really does sound like a pebble striking a pond surface. Here are the others:
Thai Onomatopoeia (alphabetized to the English-language action rather than the Thai transliteration). Try sounding them out--many sound like their sounds, which might give a little credence to Mr. John Locke's theory of knowledge (or not).
[Gra It Gra Eeuan] To delay action through words
[Guy] Sound of someone bragging
[Krok Kraak] Sound of fluid bubbling in the stomach
[Gra Jaawng Angaae] Sound of children crying annoyingly
[Khaak] Sound of coughing something up
JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I've collected some of the unusual posts that I've done on this blog regarding the hard tendencies and shallow measures of meat.
The Ineffable Religiosity of American Meat Memory, here.
Anatomy of Womanly Desire–Aprons, Plastics and Meat, here.
"The String Department" and "Curled Hair Machines" at the Meat Plant (here)
Spam, Smeat, Spic, Prem, Mor & Arf: Food by Any Other Name (here)
States of Perfection: the Refrigerated Archaeology of Meat, here.
Food, Food Packaging and Creating Desire: the du Pont Company, WWII. (here)
Selling to Simple Women, 1939: "She's Not Interested in Bloody Meat", here.
The Importance of Bridges in the Invisible Evolution of Meat, here.
JF Ptak Science Books Post 1818
This delightful semi-progression of existence was found in Charles de Bouelles' beautifully titled Que hoc volumine continuentur; Liber de intellectu; Liber de sensu; Liber de Nichilo; Ars oppositorum; Liber de generatione; Liber de sapiente; Liber de duodecim numeris; Epistole complures, and printed in 1510 in Paris. It is, in a way, in a light way, truly a representation of a literal progress of the state of things, perhaps from an Aristotlean point-of-view.
I've no real expertise in this matter whatsoever, and I don't know the de Bouelles book, but I can do a bit of interpretation of the woodcut, which displays different stages of the existence of all manner of things--of all things.
It starts at left with a rock, with an inanimate object ("Minerale", and then "Petra":, with the overall statement of its being, "est"--that it, it "exists". This is the common basis to all eight stages of progress: "est" all the way across, and all the way down.
Next are the plants, the "vegetables"and "arbor", which live ("vivit"); followed at close heal by animals, "equus", which have"sensibilite", or senses. and sense, "sentit", which is a shared ability of four of the eight stages.
The shared height of progress comes next, in man, of "rationale", who is capable of thought ("intelligit"); these factors are shared by the scholar ("studiosis", who comes next, "virtus"). It is next that we start our descent, back to the simple existence of things, to the "est": the sensate, living, existing luxuriant, observing himself in a mirror, determined to see all that was possible to see. "Luxuria" follows, a man eating, enjoying nothing but the pleasure of consumption, simply "living"/Vivit". And then, lastly, to "acedia", to the indolent man, sitting, performing no task, doing nothing: existing, "est". Up and down, back to the rock.
JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
We've all heard of the saying, "playing the money card" but until this morning I've never actually see it, so far as I know. While looking for WWI aerial combat games in the patent records I stumbled across "Capture the Kaiser", a card game created by Charles Hopkins (which was entered into the register at the Patent Office in November 1917 and received the patent less than three weeks after the end of the War)--it was a game of pursuit/capture using 45 cards in which players used the various strengths of nations (airplanes, submarines, battleships) to secure the outcome. It seems pretty much like a standard game of "War" with a few exceptions, one of which was the "finance card". It was one of the strongest cards in the deck, or so it seems, rivaling that of another interesting bit, the "fate card". In any event, it was interesting to see the root of power portrayed so in a card game for kids.
Sometimes when you look hard enough you will see (if not actually "find") what you're looking for; determined to make a discovery, you can sometimes force yourself into believing that what you're seeing is what it was that was needed to be seen .
The microscopical world of astonomical antiquarian prints is an interesting one--and in some ways, modern ways, are on the Robert Hooke/Micrographia magnitudes for the remarkable magnified worlds that their detail reveal--but mostly right now I'm interested in the odd/beautful designs that are hidden in larger scientifc engraved presentations.
These images from the title of this post, on the other hand, are just simply "there"--all you need is a little magnification and some sharp vision, and the things come to life. When looking hard at these images and seeing the teaming non-representational artforms that swim through so many of them it seems remarkable to me that these things weren't seen as art before Kandinsy finally "discovered" this artform in 1911.
(For example Mr. Marey produced a very remarkable Nude descending-like series of photographs 40 years before Duchamp--but the Marey images were observed scientifically, and I'm unaware of anyone who ever wrote an artistic appreciation of that work before 1900. [Marey left, Duchamp right.] But that is another story.)
For us today with almost 100 years of Kandinsky/Klee/Duchamp/Braque/Malevich under our belts it is relatively easy to see the artfullness of the pieces and bits of these engravings--not so a hundred-plus years ago, and harder yet for 200+.
For example, there are some things that take on an absolutely pre-biotic flavor, like material that we'd come to see a half-century ago, as in these details from an 1850's French lithograph on nebualae:
JF Ptak Science Books Post 1762
The ouroboros--and in this particular case, the double, over-and-under ouroboros--is an interesting and ancient symbol. In my experience, the single unit is to be expected, but the double seems uncommon. The symbol ("oura" or tail and "boros", eating, in Greek, one who eats one's tail) stretches back into the dim and dusty past, at least to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and is Plato's first living thing--its is the primordial unity, the rebirth of forever, death/life/birth/rebirth, continuing into infinity, the great world soul...a kind of Western equivalent of the Taoist Yin Yang.
There's much more to be said about this symbol, especially by such people as Erich Neumann and Carl Jung, but I'll resist, mainly because it is just too complicated for me to make an intelligent statement. (I've tried to read the Great Mother as well as The Origins of the History of Consciousness by Neumann, but only made my way around the edges of the first, and picked through the interesting bits of the later. Jung is someone I've never had much luck with.)
The first symbol, and a gorgeous one it is, comes from the Theatrum chemicum (1659-1661, and published in six volumes by Lazarus Zetzner in Strasbourg), and shows the combination of what was supposed to be an alchemical highpoint: the spiritual coming together of sulfur and mercury, elements of what the practioners believed were the basic constituents of all metals and minerals. And of such stuff miracles were understood to be made, except that of course, they weren't--the fact that this stuff never worked to produce something more substantial than mercuric sulfide wasn't due to the theory or practice or thought but to the "fact" that the mercury and sulfur used in the process weren't "pure" enough. That said, the Theatrum was a very important work, the largest collection of alchemical works ever gathered and published together--it was also evidently much appreciated by Isaac Newton, who was said to consult it often and who owned the set in his library.
A more classical appearance of the ouroboros (De Lapide PhilosophicoTriga Chemicum (Prague 1599) compiled by Nicolas Barnaud), depicting a dragon seizing the polarities of its soul, ultimately uniting them:
And in the discussion of the ouroboros and philosophical aspects of infinity it should be mentioned that there is some connection between it and the mathematical symbol for infinity, which seems to arise from (the remarkable and original) John Wallis' De Sectionibus Conicibus, which was published in 1655. Wallis employed the old Roman symbol for 1,000 to use for the mathematical infinity, which of course is the ouroboros on its side. (Wallis it should be noticed was also among the earliest people to put into print the symbol for pi, as well.)
JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
This lovely, and short, pamphlet was published by Baltazar Moncornet in Amsterdam in 1635 as Livre de fleurs et de feuilles pour servir a l'art...Dessins de fleur pour orfeverie, with designs by Francois Lefebvre. Slender and tall, there was an engraved title followed by five plates for the entire production. It is a very fine work, hard in detail, and worthy of close inspection.
I was getting ready with what was supposed to be the real post for today when I stumbled upon this woodcut of the Roman god Saturnus. What makes this image so terrifically compelling is how benign it is—in its weird, mechanical, disinterested observational manner the artist conveys almost nothing about the act that we witness as the god plots his way across the sky in its celestial chariot. Saturn (equated with the Greek Kronos, and the Titan father of Zeus, and also the name of the gaseous oblate six planet) commits acts of horror, and becomes, again and again, perhaps the greatest coward of the Roman pantheon of questionable deities.
It begins with Saturn being told his future: that at some point in his life his son or sons will supplant him, catch him, replace him and kill him. And the best thing that Saturn can think to do is to methodically eat his children, and he does manage to consume all but one—Zeus—who then fulfills the prophecy; but then again, who wouldn’t? There is really very little like this in mythology—and, really, why should there be?
Our artist—or engraver—is George Pencz (1500-1550), alive and dead very neatly at the century and half-century mark, and his work ("The Life of the Children of the Planet Saturn") is illustrated in Folge der Planeten . The image of Saturn racing along with his son’s head in his mouth looks naive compared top the rest of the illustration, which is a very lively, if quiet, depiction of the industry that his dead sons would have applied themselves to if they hadn’t been consumed by their father. The illustration of Saturn is very disturbing to me, particularly when you notice the son-in-waiting, who is watching his father eat his brother, and in an incredibly pathetic and heart-breaking way is trying to protect himself by holding his head. I think it is so very moving because it is a perfectly logical (from a child’s point of view) reaction to an unimaginable terror, and perhaps this is how Pencz can best deal with the vile god.
Images of Saturn really are legion, but there are a host-and-a-half that are pretty upsetting, like the one above, and the one coming, below. I think that the one that is the test against which all others are measured is by Francisco Goya, who during his “black period” painted the truly terrifying image of Saturn devouring his child right on the wall of his house in 1824 (or thereabouts). It really is bad stuff. The scene as painted by Peter Paul Rubens isn't much better.
Admittedly, J.I.I Grandville (1803-1847) didn't conceive of this series of bridges as a plausible means of interplanetary travel and is in all probability an allegorical creation, but the image does--in an odd way--allow a dialogue on the idea of moving from planet to planet, which was still pretty solitary thinking in the mid-19th century. Although this didn't have a direct effect on the perception of man's place in the solar system, it did have a great and direct impact upon a vast number of illustrators and cartoonists who followed in his considerable wake.
In addition to an interplanetary bridge that there is another singular creation here in Grandville's cosmos--a balcony constructed of the rings of Saturn (if indeed this was supposed to be Saturn--it is as advantageous as not to think of it in this way) and if we think of a balcony being a place to watch and observe, then we are brought instantly to W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn, which is a textural masterpiece, and mostly I guess a novel about everything that Sebald observed in his walk through Suffolk. (Another Saturn-related work of fiction is Sirens of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut, a very mature and insightful 1959 novel which really has nothing to do with anything here; I just needed to throw that in, what with him being a master storyteller, crank and human-caricaturist-observer and all…) And so by 1844 it comes to pass that one French caricaturist/imaginist comes to draw an extraordinary and impossible land/space bridge between the planets only 234 years after Galileo first glimpsed Saturn's "handles"--give the optics of his telescope Galileo didn't see the rings of Saturn as such, seeing rather two "extra bodies" on either side of the planet It would take another 65 years and accumulations of observations by some of the greatest names in the history of astronomy (Galileo, Casini, Hevelius, Huygens) to show that the disk (singular) on Saturn was actually a series of rings. (I should add that the first photograph of Saturn's rings is not made until 1883.
Which somehow brings me to the troubled world of the "Saturn Gnosis", the Fraterniti Saturni. Actually the only place I'm getting to here is a picture (above), which I tried to understand before I realized what it was, and how much of an expanding hocus-pocus (otherwise defined as "woo woo" in the words of James Randi) rabbit hole of diminishing returns it leads to, a dizzying history of competing complexities and nonsense. But the image (found in a book edited by Eugen Grosche, (Offizielles Publikations-Organ der deutschen Gross-Loge Fraternitas Saturni Orient Berlin, 1929), comes from a psycho-sexual-astrological-magical group (one of a number of such associations in Germany and particularly Berlin in the 1920's), and seems no less a part of reality as does Grandville's Saturn. Sameness ensues when you try to approximate the volume of limitless emptiness, or belief.
JF Science Book
I started out in this post to write about the scholar pictured in Andrew Borde's book, The Breuiary of Healthe, for all maner of syckenesses and diseaes, Expressynge the obscure terms of Greke, Araby, Latyn, and Barbary, in Engluish concernying Phisicke and Chierurgerie...., which was printed in London in 1556. Underneath this rather long title is perhaps the earliest "modern" work on hygiene--or at least (in a real test of qualifications) it was the first book written by a medical man on hygiene that was originally written and published in English. In its way it is a wonderful book, being a compendium, really, of 384 short chapters on the this-and-that of medicine, all alphabetically arranged, which made it a simpler book to compose than a full treatise on the subject arranged in a medically-logical way. But what I liked in it was the contrasting image of the scholar, which to me is the very picture of ennui, laid side-by-side with the chief element by which this book is probably best remembered, which is "Myrth is one of the chiefest thygnes in physicke" (or "humor is the best medicine"). Borde's scholar may not be taking his own medicine, here.
In looking for the text for this fine book I came across something else, Borde's Aristotelian celestial spheres in his The First Book of the Introduction of Knowledge, printed in 1542, the year before the publication of Copernicus' De Revolutionibus. It is a magnificent woodcut, and tells the story of a vision of mankind that would soon come to vast change.
Source: the Luminarium, here.
The image shows us the geocentric universe, the creation, and eleven-sphere unit that follows the Earth at center and the four subluminaries (earth wind air fire), followed by the orbit of the Moon and Mercury and Venus, after which comes the Sun, followed by the rest of the planets. These spheres are followed by the fixed stars/the starry firmament), and ultimately by the Primum Mobile, divided into the crystalline heaven, the first mover, and the Empyrean. Its a beautiful image.
The following is in a sense a cross-section of the Borde image, which shows pretty much the same information (with the Sun being in the fourth sphere). This is manuscript is more than a hundred years earlier than the Borde, and accurately represents the elements of cosmology of the time.
Image source: Luminarium, here; From Les Echecs amoureux ("Amorous Chess") Manuscript made for Louise of Savoy, 15th c. Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Manuscrits; Mss.fr.143, fo 20.
An even earlier version of this more-or-less static image, the perfect image of the perfect creation in which all of the stars in the visible sky were always there, in some perfect number, in the configurations for all time. (This idea of course would be one of the greatest disfigurers of ancient thought that the telescope of Galileo would provide.)
Robert Fludd, a visionary of a different sort, as his celestial sphere will show:
Fludd’s (1574-1637) features a complicated astrological existence well beyond the point of Copernicus. In addition to everything else, real and imagined, Rosicrucianism and astrology and puffy-birds, Fludd, who was an English physician, delved deeply into the real stuff of the world in this book in addition to all of the other make-believe--optics, the musical intervals, perspective drawing, hydraulic engineering, construction of lifting machines, military engineering and many other interesting, physical science topics. But this drawing, right there on the title page, reveals Fludd’s real interests and shows what governs what he does. Everything else, the math and and the physics, services this need. Of course the image is beautiful, which is why it is here, but it is also a deeply personal, exploitative, cover-all for the things that Fludd *wanted* to find.
JF Ptak Science Books Post 1666
The depiction of the anthropomorphic Sun featured with a broad toothy smile seems a commonplace fixture in modern times--at least in the very popular media--but it seems to me that the Sun was an impressively dour character in the most misty and moldy past. Its a much harder issue for me to locate a happy Sun than a phlegmatic one, as we can in the coming examples. Here, for instance, the Sun is actually disappointed, and dark:
[Georgette de Montenay/Anna Roemer Visscher, Cent emblemes chrestiens (c. 1615)]
The Sun (representative in this case of the Christian god) disavows the heavily robbed false philosopher, finding nothing but fault in the erroneous thinking and pronouncements, so much so in fact that it distances itself from the phonylogian by turning itself black and devoid of light, absenting the light that was supposed to be shone via the heretic's teaching.
Feigning to be a philosopher with your long cloak
You bring forward all false theories about the pure Sun.
First learn to recognize what is the true light.
The balmy day does not shine in obscure night
Conversely, the sun would also shine to dispel the false teaching of other philosophers, as so, though this time without any face at all:
But mostly it seems the Sun appears to those who came before with a mostly blank expression:
Where was the smilign Sun hundreds of years ago? Anthropomorphic images of the Sun have appeared in books in the West for several hundred years, and in almost every case where the Sun has a face, it is usually expressionless, its mouth drawn into a mid-Western farmer/Abe Lincoln horizontal, a tightly drawn nothing. Two thin lips, firmly repulsing all emotion. The face of the Sun was insurmountable, a tabula rasa, showing perhaps that there was nothing there at all inhabiting this iconographic image of The Creator to give the poor observer a glimpse into the depths of the future.
This observation seems to stand for Sun Gods and Goddesses as well, even the ones who are being tugged or pulled or charioted a cross the vaults of the heavens—the Nordic Sól, Greek Helios , Roman Sol Invictus, Vedic Surya and of course Elijah ascending to Heaven in a Chariot of Fire, all seem pretty intractable. But in general images that we see of Sun deities like Apollo, Greece and Rome; Freyr, Norse; Garuda, Hindu; Huitzilopochtli (Uitzilopochtli), Aztec; Inti, Inca; Liza,West African; Lugh, Celtic and Re (Ra) and Isis, and on and on, show a small, set pair of lips, if they have a mouth at all, and this going back beyond the Sumerians (Shamash).
When the Sun really loses its human personae in the 17th century (the scientific sun and stars beginning much earlier, as in for example Allessandro Piccolomini's Della Sfera del Mondo, 1552, with simple star maps unadorned by icons and written in the vernacular), it is replaced with starry images which seem to somehow have more emotional authority than the sun images with faces. Perhaps the sun was meant to have this Delphic, blank-mirroring quality, given its importance as a giver (and taker) of things,
and that it was not within human capacity to understand it as an emotive entity, especially during bad times. But in those times of Good and Bad it wasn’t necessary to see a frown or a smile on an image of the Sun, I guess because of the complaints of redundancy.
No matter, though, as the modern astronomical text took care of the Sun and its missing buckets of smiles in due course—until more modern times, when the Sun is made to have a matching disposition, a result of kinder modern artists.
This Sun seems to rule with an ennui Daniel de la Feuille, Devises et emblemes (1691); and then again, in the following superbly engraved work by Jacob Cats, Sinne- en minnebeelden (1627):
The Sun here seems to have a knowledge-worn expression, a sense of having-seen-it-all, in this beautiful work by Georgette de Montenay/Anna Roemer Visscher, in Cent emblemes chrestiens (c. 1615)
And again from the Montenay we see a smirking Sun (definitely not a smiling one) judging the efforts of humans once again, and finding them coming up far to short:
I guess you could make a case for an "amused" Sun in the Montenay, though in a third-person sort of Royal way of being removedly amused. Here--in a rare and very important work in the history of alchemy--we see a rising Sun in an amused state, welcoming the book's author, on his alchemical pilgrimage.
In another illustration from this book (by Salomon Trismosin, Auretum Velius oder Guldin Schatz und Kunsthkammer, printed by Georg Straub at Lake Constance in 1598/9, and also known as "Splendor Solis") we find the following expected facial posture:
And so on and on this continues, this presentation of the Sun as both removed and judging, until--in some cases--the business of representing the Sun anthropomorphically disappears altogether, even in allegorical representation, like so:
The Man in the Moon will just have to wait his turn, though I can't resist the following couple of images, the first of which shows the Moon in a phase of nothingness and a nil expression:
[Source: Daniel de la Feuille, Devises et emblemes (1691)]
And then this classic image from an iconic and early science fiction film:
And from the 1905 motion picture version of Jules Vernes From the Earth to the Moon called A Trip to the Moon--upon the approach, the Moon's surface was blank, but quickly developed a face, which was sort of smiling--until struck in the eye by the Verne capsule.
Offhand, though, my memory doesn't offer too many smiling-Moon expressions.
JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 1664
See the other Extra-Earth posts: Mondo Bizarro, Science Afflictions and the Dubious Mind—Bad Science, Part 1. NYC in Space (?!) here and Extra-Earth Humano-Alien Souls From Outer Space Repopulate Earth-Hell!!(??) here.
Peter Brueghel (the elder, born ca. 1525 and dying in 1569), was the Dutch semi-discoverer and king of "normality" of Renaissance art--and by "normality" I mean that he depicted non-royal things that were generally off the palette for almost everyone else, finding subjects in peasants and small life (hunting, meals, working at agriculture, festivals, dances, and so on). Brueghel was also perhaps the first painter to depict a landscape for the sake of its own beauty, without being a backdrop for a religious study or building or historical scene. He was extraordinarily prolific in his skimpy 45 years, fully populating his scenes with suites of busy and evolving life.
Browsing through some of his work, I came across the print called "Temerpance", which in general I think was supposed to warn us against excessive pleasure, but which really just confused me a little.
(TEMPERANTIA; and then, VIDENDVM, VT NEC VOLVPTATI DEDITI PRODIGI ET SVXVRIOSI//APPAREAMVS, NEC AVARA TENACITATI SORDIDI AVT OBSCVRI EXISTAMVS. "We must look to it that, in the devotion to sensual pleasures, we do not become wasteful and luxuriant, but also that we do not, because of miserly greed, live in filth and ignorance".)
To me, it looks like people here are pretty industrious, mostly engaged in scientific or musical pursuits: lots of books, musical instruments, people writing and reading. But I guess that these were sensual pleasures, pleasures of the mind and heart, and not a pleasure devolved from the godhead. Perhaps the complete opposite is true: the print showing the triumph of the pursuit of the mind over sensual graft, lifting mankind above the filth and ignorance of the body. Sheesh.
But the real grit of my interest is the action lurking in the background, the man, the astronomer, making measurements in the sky, triangulating the Moon and the Sun (perhaps). What on earth is he standing on? He does seem to be standing on earth in the background of the earth on which thee people in the foreground are standing--which means, with a stretch, we have the fourth entry in this blog's short "Extra Earths" category.
The more I think about it, and the more closely I look at the print, this confusion must be my own--this must be Brueghel's way of showing the possible worlds that exist outside the sensual and self indulgent. He shows children (and adults) learning their ABC's at the feet of teh schoolmaster at bottom right, a theatre scene at upper left, a large musical ensemble (complete with choir). An industrious man measures his fields, while builders to his right measure their progress and trueness on a column; at bottom right we see an "accountant" of the times working his tables and figures, while another to his right works on a math problem, clutching his pot of ink. The figure in the middle (with "temperance" written in the hem of his garment), reminds us of our mortality, with a sword in one hand and a clock on his head. All in all, it is a delightful scene of industry and invention--and it has an extra earth.
Of course the extra-earth is allegorical, but, still, it is an unusal thing to see.