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Mosaics, central courtyard: Ulysses and Sirens, House of Dionysos and Ulysses, Mid 3rdc, Dougga, Tunisia. Data and image from William L. MacDonald Collection, Princeton University

Mosaics, central courtyard: Ulysses and Sirens, House of Dionysos and Ulysses, Mid 3rdc, Dougga, Tunisia. Data and image from William L. MacDonald Collection, Princeton University

Artstor and Princeton University have collaborated to release approximately 4,500 images of architecture from the archives of William L. MacDonald in the Digital Library.

The collection in the Artstor Digital Library documents the city of Rome in great depth, as well as ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman architecture, Byzantine and Baroque architecture, and American architecture. The photographs were taken by MacDonald over a period of more than 40 years and include sites that now are largely inaccessible and monuments that have permanently changed.

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Luigi Garzi, Bellarmine Chapel, dome fresco, Rome, Italy. John Pinto Collection (Princeton University)

Luigi Garzi, Bellarmine Chapel, dome fresco, Rome, Italy. John Pinto Collection (Princeton University)

Artstor and Princeton architectural historian John Pinto have collaborated to share approximately 2,000 images of Italian architecture, landscape, and urbanism in the Digital Library.

Pinto’s photographs document Renaissance and Baroque architecture, landscape architecture, and monuments, including Hadrian’s Villa and Trevi Fountain. These images trace Rome’s history as a center of artistic production through the ages.

John Pinto is the Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of the History of Architecture in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology and is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Continue Reading »

Robert Howlett, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern, ca. 1857-1858. George Eastman House, eastmanhouse.org

Photographer: Robert Howlett | Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern | ca. 1857-1858 | George Eastman House, eastmanhouse.org

Some stories we’ve been reading this week:

The odd couple

A friendship as unexpected as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella: Salvador Dalí and Harpo Marx.

Moving vases

This is really fantastic: ancient Greek vases turned into animations.

Unusual supports

This artist uses coins as his canvas, which reminded us of “hobo nickels.”

And this artist uses Baltimore as his canvas as he draws with two wheels.

The perfect accessory 

New discoveries on a 500-year old Da Vinci painting: The Lady with an Ermine didn’t always include the ermine.

Dear diary

The secret diaries of American artists, not so secret anymore.

Russia before it turned red

Pre-revolutionary Russia, in color.

Paul-Émile Bécat, André  Gide,  1919, La Bibliothèque de l'INHA-collections Jacques Doucet. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.; artres.com

Paul-Émile Bécat, André Gide, 1919, La Bibliothèque de l’INHA-collections Jacques Doucet. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.; artres.com

This year’s Nobel Prize winners in literature are set to be announced next week. Despite there being no public information about the candidates–the list is kept secret for fifty years after each award–U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes has been busy taking bets.

While we’re as much in the dark as to who will win as anyone else, we can offer a list of all the previous winners, along with links to dozens of their portraits (or, in the case of Thomas Mann, to a photo of his hands) in the Artstor Digital Library.

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Byron Company, Sports, Field Sports, Manhattan Field, 1896. Museum of the City of New York.

Byron Company, Sports, Field Sports, Manhattan Field, 1896. Museum of the City of New York.

Reminder: The deadline for Artstor’s Digital Humanities Awards is October 15, 2014.

The award aims to facilitate the most innovative and intellectually stimulating projects in the field. Winners will receive five years’ free access to Shared Shelf, Artstor’s digital media management software, to upload, catalog, manage, store, and share their project.

To enter, simply describe your Digital Humanities project in 1,000 words or less.

Full rules and application instructions at artstor.org/dha.

Winners will be announced in early December.

Artstor’s informative webinars are available for everyone, from those considering a subscription to experienced users.

The schedule below is separated into two sections: It begins with the Artstor Digital Library and is followed by Shared Shelf.

ARTSTOR DIGITAL LIBRARY

Intro to the Artstor Digital Library
Find, view, print, download, and organize images into groups, present images online or offline, share images and image groups, upload your personal collections, and more.
October 2, 11:00 AM ET Register now

Advanced Artstor Digital Library
Instructor-level users can learn about the tools and features in the Artstor Digital Library for integrating images, your own and those in the Digital Library’s collections, in course curriculum.
October 10, 12:00 PM ET Register now

Administering the Artstor Digital Library
Local administrators can learn the special features of the Digital Library.
October 3, 10:00 AM ET Register now

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It wasn’t a particularly auspicious start. On February 6, 1799, an announcement appeared on the front page of the Diario de Madrid advertising Los Caprichos:

A series of prints of whimsical subjects, invented and etched by Don Francisco Goya. The artist, persuaded that the censure of human errors and vices—though it seems to belong properly to oratory and poetry—may also be the object of painting, has chosen as appropriate subjects for his work, among the multitude of extravagances and follies which are common throughout civilized society, and among vulgar prejudices and frauds rooted in custom, ignorance, or interest, those which he has believed to be most apt to provide an occasion for ridicule and at the same time to exercise his imagination.[1]

The advertisement goes on to assure potential collectors that the subjects of the prints are imaginary and that “in none of the compositions constituting this series has the artist proposed to ridicule the particular defects of this or that individual…”

It closes with the address where the prints can be bought—the ironically named No. 1 Calle del Desengaño, or Street of Disillusion #1—and the price: 320 reales for the set, the equivalent of one ounce of gold. The unusual venue, a perfume and liquor store near Goya’s apartment, was the result of the artist not being able to find a regular bookshop to handle the sale, according to Goya biographer Robert Hughes.

The venture was a resounding failure. Only 27 sets of the edition of 300 sold, and Goya withdrew Los Caprichos from public sale shortly after their release, afraid of falling foul of the Inquisition. It was a substantial monetary loss for the artist.

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