English writer, gardener, and diarist, John Evelyn publishes Sylva, or a Discourse of Forest-Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in His Majesty’s Dominions. . . .To Which is Annexed Pomona, or an Appendix Concerning Fruit-Trees…also Kalendarium Hortense; or Gardeners’ Almanac… .
Sylva was a protest against the destruction of England’s forests being carried out by her glass factories and iron furnaces. The work was influential in establishing a much-needed program of reforestation in order to provide timber for Britain’s burgeoning navy. This program had a lasting effect on the British economy.
Sylva also bears the distinction of being the first official publication of the Royal Society, which had been permitted to publish in 1662. The first edition contained two appendixes, “Pomona” and “Kalendarium Hortense”; the second of these was often reprinted separately, and proved to be Evelyn’s most popular work.
Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 745.
Pieter Dircksz van Santvoort, Landscape with Farmhouse and Country Road, 1625
Pieter Molijn, Dunescape with Trees and Wagon, 1626
The term landscape comes from:
landshaft — German
landshap — Dutch
landskip — English
lendh2- open land, heath, prairie; skep- to cut, scrape, to hack, form, creation (<“cutting”): shape.
The inception of landscape painting coincides with the dates of landscaping.
General Notes: Landscape and Power, Edited by W. J. T. Mitchell, Chicago, 2nd Ed. 2002, pp. 35-76
From the late sixteenth century the united provinces of Holland undertook an extensive land reclamation project—at that time it was the largest land reclamation project ever undertaken in the world. Between 1590 and 1664 More than 110,000 hectares, (425 square miles) of land were reclaimed from the sea and inland lakes by means of a complex system of dikes and drainage. The land area of the province of North Holland alone increased by 52.7 percent during this period.
Ann Jensen Adams, Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Painting, (Quoting H. Blink), 1994
Landscape and Power, Edited by W. J. T. Mitchell, Chicago, 2nd Ed. 2002, pp. 39-40
Imitator of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Landscape: A River Among Mountains, ca. 1600
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Corn Harvest, oil on panel 1565
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, oil on panel 1558
Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (La Gioconda), oil on poplar, between 1503 - 1505
Domenico Ghirlandaio, An Old Man and His Grandson 1480
(Source: Flickr / snarfel)
Matteo Giovanetti da Viterbo? Hunting scenes, fresco, (Chambre du Cerf, Papal Palace, Avignon) c.1340-50
Carmina Burana, (full title in Latin: Cantiones profanae cantoribus et choris cantandae comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis), parchment folio, The Forest and its Animals, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, c. 1225-30,
Hunting Scene, Mosaic, Palazzo dei Normanii (Palazzo Reale), Palermo 1160
a mediaeval scribe
The Latin word incunabulum (plural incunabula, and often anglicized as incunable) literally means cradle, and more loosely refers to the infancy, birthplace or origin of something. It is most often used in reference to early printed books, and in this sense an incunabulum is further defined even more specifically as being a book printed using moveable type prior to the year 1501 AD.
Before the invention of printing using moveable type, books were copied by hand, word for word, letter by letter, by scribes, generally onto parchment or vellum. Obviously, this was an extremely laborious and time-consuming method, and the level of production was minimal — not to mention the potential for errors during transcription. Later, the method of block printing was devised (i.e. in Europe, as this method had been used for centuries in the Orient) wherein the entire text for a page was cut into wood and thus printed, although even this method was rather labour-intensive as well. However, great care was often undertaken in the reproduction of books in both of these ways, and the pages were often subsequently “illuminated” with wonderful illustrations and ornaments. Some of the most beautiful books ever made come from the time before the invention of printing with moveable type, and the first books which were printed using this latter method endeavoured to emulate that beauty and form.
Giotto, The Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Veneto, Italy 1305
Ambrogio Lorenzetti, frescos in the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, circa 1338 - 1340
Chu-jan, Layered Mountains and Dense Woods, 10th century
Circa 6th Century CE
Paper cutting is the art of cutting designs in paper (black, white, or colored), then gluing them to a contrasting surface or a transparent surface. Paper cutting is intended to be decorative, i.e., a thing with which to adorn something else, not as a free-standing work of art, though today they are of course framed, in much the same way that a painting would be framed, by lovers of papercuttings worldwide.
Though the art of paper cutting evolved differently in different cultures, it appears to have originated in China – since paper itself originated in China* – possibly as early as the 2nd century CE, or shortly after paper itself was invented. The oldest example of a papercutting is from the 6th century CE and stems from Xinjiang Province in China. This uniquely Chinese art remained a secret to the outside world until around the 8th or 9th century CE, where it appeared in areas of West Asia and in what was once called Asia Minor (the area comprising modern-day Turkey). From there it spread to Europe and then to the rest of the world. The art of paper cutting remains one of the most popular traditional arts in China.
The themes involved in the art of Chinese paper cutting are as diverse as they are colorful, reflecting a multitude of regional and national motifs. The themes vary from scenes of everyday life, with which people are quite familiar, to scenes of a future life of good fortune to which people aspired – or at least dreamt of – to symbols suggesting good health, prosperity, etc. The art of paper cutting originated – and continues to this day – as a true folk art immediately accessible to the masses. The subject matter of these works of art provide an insight into the simple, unadulterated feelings of working peoples everywhere throughout time, having evolved uniquely in different parts of the world to meet the needs of the local culture.