Illustration from medieval French manuscript
I love how I can always rely on the web for interesting discoveries and pleasant surprises.
From awesome artists I had never heard about, to wonderful blogs and information
resources, I can find it all in the comfort of my studio, at any time I please, for the small
price of an ADSL connection. I try to remember not to take this for granted, and to be
grateful to the countless people who in their personal way contribute to this incredible
and ever growing public repository of knowledge and art. Having worked in the past as an
iconographic researcher in the publishing field, I know well how hard it used to be to
find images for specific projects without having to pay high prices to agencies or spend
hours looking around in dusty bookstores (by the way, I do enjoy dusty bookstores).
Medieval illustration from beekeeping manuscript
Illustration by Mark Catesby from History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, 1780
This morning, when thanks to Tumblr I came upon vintageprintable.com, I reacted with
the classic "How come I haven't seen this before?". The website, as the name implies,
hosts a huge collection of downloadable and printable public domain images. The animal
section alone contains hundreds of variously catalogued images, from medieval
bestiaries to Buffon, from Japanese prints to 1960s stamps. The kind of stuff one can
usually find in Dover books, great for collages, crafts, and overall inspiration, but in a
free digital format. The project is the brainchild of Swivelchair, a biopharma professional
with the hobby of curating out-of-copyright scientific illustration.
Elephant and Zebra from Infants cabinet of Birds and Beasts, 1820
Ink wash illustration from Jean Baptiste Vérany's
Mèmoire sur deux nouvelles espèces de Céphalopodes trouvées dans l'océan, 1839
Indian snake charmers, 18th-19th century
Cover of A Cat Alphabet by Louis Wain, 1910
Brothers Grimm German stamp, 1963
All images in this post are a semi-random selection of things found at vintage printable.
Go take a look and try not to get lost; there's a lot more to see.