Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The Nineteenth Century Picturesque

I was waylaid by Mary Howitt's 1856 publication 'Illustrated Library for the Young' this weekend. Having a stray magpie gene, my eye way caught by the scarlett morocco leather cover with punched gilt tooling and it had to be opened; how refreshing to find a book in our shelves that had not had a few of the choicest illustrations removed and framed or used in a scrap album. 

Oddly, it was not the Cobra - though a marvellous specimen he is - that caught my attention; it was the fallen Egyptian capital.   Entirely secondary to the scene, it, to my eye at least, stals the attention totally.   And so the pictures went on

A pack (?) of Hyena's strolling across an Ottoman hillside amongst the turbaned tombstones of Turkish men or

A magnificent fountain in the middle of a wildfowl strewn lake.

Totally bewitching.

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