Ramage

Archive for November 2003

More on De Florum Cultura

There’s some interesting background to De Florum Cultura in David Freedberg’s excellent and very beautifully produced book The Eye of the Lynx, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Ferrari was a Jesuit, professor of Hebrew and Syriac, and also of Rhetoric, at the newly built Jesuit College in Rome, who switched careers in the mid 1620s, when he was about 40, and became a gardener, chief horticultural consultant to the Barberini family. He designed parterres, and introduced many exotic plants into Europe for the first time. De Florum Cultura was “the first book ever to be devoted to the cultivation of flowers for solely ornamental and horticultural purposes”. One of the flower pots illustrated in it, perhaps one of those in the illustration in my previous post, was designed by Galileo’s famous Jesuit opponent, Orazio Grassi. (1633, the year of the book’s publication, was also, of course, the year of Galileo’s trial for heresy. It seems, however, that many people in Rome were more interested in cultivating their gardens…)

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Written by Dave Lovely

November 30, 2003 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

De Florum Cultura

vessels of different kinds, in which to arrange flowers

One of the beautiful illustrations from Giovanni Battista Ferrari’s De Florum Cultura, published in Rome in 1633. Found at Librit, where the treasures of the University of Bologna, including many, many more wonderful things, are online.

Giornale Nuovo sent me there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

November 28, 2003 at 10:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

ein Atemkristall

Remembering Paul Celan, born November 23rd, 1920.

Paul Celan, 1967

WEGGEBEIZT vom
Strahlenwind deiner Sprache
das bunte Gerede des An-
erlebten &#8212 das hundert-
züngige Mein-
gedicht, das Genicht.

Aus-
gewirbelt,
frei
der Weg durch den menschen-
gestaltigen Schnee,
den Büßerschnee, zu
den gastlichen
Gletscherstuben und -tischen.

Tief
in der Zeitenschrunde,
beim
Wabeneis
wartet, ein Atemkristall,
dein unumstößliches
Zeugnis.

(Etched away by the
radiant wind of your speech,
the motley gossip of pseudo-
experience &#8212 the hundred-
tongued My-
poem, the Lie-noem.

Whirl-
winded,
free,
a path through human-
shaped snow,
through penitent cowl-ice, to
the glacier’s
welcoming chambers and tables.

Deep
in the time crevasse,
by
honeycomb-ice
there waits, a Breathcrystal,
your unannullable
witness
.)

translated by John Felstiner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

November 23, 2003 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tumbling

tumbling, from Jacques Stella's Les jeux et plaisirs de l'enfance, 1657

Jacques Stella, illustration from Les jeux et plaisirs de l’enfance (The games and pleasures of childhood), 1657. From the online exhibition Picturing Childhood: The Evolution of the Illustrated Children’s Book, at the Univerity of California.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

November 21, 2003 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Drowned fly?

It has suddenly dawned upon Ramage that several of his readers may, at this very moment, be pitifully plunged in deepest mourning for a beloved drowned fly. Fear not, gentle readers! Help is at hand! For, once again, Lateral Science, via The Young Man’s Book of Amusement, has the answer:

To recover a Fly after being drowned several hours. From The Young Man's Book of Amusement (1854)

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

November 16, 2003 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Boy’s toys

From the wonderful, if slightly odd, Young Man’s Book of Amusement of 1854:

illustrated pullout from The Young Man's Book of Amusement (1854), showing various gadgets and experiments

From Lateral Science, where a larger version is also available for your delectation; you may also learn how to illuminate eggs (strange, isn’t it, how so few people wish to do this these days?), and how to obtain exquisite skeletons of small animals, for those frequent occasions when nothing else will do.

Meanwhile, back in the 18th century, chaps were quite content to walk around on stilts, play skittles, or attempt to shoot each other down off swings with pea-shooters:

boys' sports, 1781

From the 1781 Nuremberg edition of Orbis Sensualium Pictus, at the Virtual Museum of Education Iconics. 8 out of 10, I think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

November 16, 2003 at 9:30 am

Posted in art, Science

Unicorns

unicorns

And I’ll bet you thought there was only one kind.

From Nicolas L&eacutemery’s edition of Pierre Pomet’s ‘A Compleat History of Drugs’ (1712). Found in an online exhibition on the origins of modernity from the Rare Book Library at the University of Sydney .

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dave Lovely

November 10, 2003 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized