Tag Archives: Ringling Museum of Art Library

The Merci Collection

The Books: Part II

Cities and Provinces


Many of the books in the Merci Collection are guidebooks pertaining to specific cities or provinces of France. They contain historical information about the areas and most are either illustrated or contain photographic images.


Paris (1948) by André George

“Paris” is part of a collection of books, called “Les Beaux Pays,” that covers French provinces, colonies, and foreign countries. The book has a color illustration on the cover and contains 214 heliogravure images inside. The book discusses various monuments and sections of Paris such as the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Latin Quarter.

Example of heliogravure from “Paris”

 Heliogravure is a photographic etching process, now known as photogravure, in which a photographic image is etched onto a copper plate. A photo positive is placed on a copper plate that has a layer of light-sensitive chemicals on top. The plate and positive are then exposed to light, which etches the photographic image on to the copper plate. The plate is inked, then pressed on to a piece of paper to create an image with high tonal value. Though the use of photogravures in books was popular in the first half of the 20th century, the photogravure process is now mostly used in art photography. Many books in the Merci Collection have heliogravures.

Camargue, Mon Tendre Amour! (1946) by Albert Ganeval

Camargue is a region in France in the river delta of the Rhône River and with a border on the Mediterranean Sea. The book is a mix of fiction and reality based on the author’s, Albert Ganeval, experiences and memories. There are also seventy illustrations by J. Oberthur and a preface written in the provincial language of Camargue by Marius Conte-Devolx.

Bordeaux dans la Nation Française (1939) published by Editions Delmas

Bordeaux is a city in the southwest of France and sits on the Garonne River. The book is a compilation of chapters written by different authors. Authors include the mayor, the chief architect, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaux. The Ringling Museum Library’s copy is numbered as number 104 out of 200 copies printed on vellum. Maps depicting the city from the 1st century AD to the 18th century are included along with images of the city’s various monuments and people.

Map of Bordeaux in the 18th century. Bordeaux dans la Nation Francaise.

Rue de la Republique. From “Orléans: Meurtrie et Libérée.”

Orléans: Meurtrie et Libérée (1945)

  This book chronicles Orléans, a city south of Paris on the Loire River, during the years of WWII from 1940-1944. A timeline of events is given including the German invasion and occupation, the battle for the access to the Loire River, and the eventual liberation of Orléans. The majority of the book, however, is images. The story of Orléans during WWII is told through pictures of bombed buildings, soldiers, and the daily lives of the people who lived in Orléans.


Le Chablais a Travers les Siècles (1931) by L.E. Piccard

The title of this book translates to “Chablais through the centuries” and notes the history of this former province of Savoy from prehistory to modern times. Chablais sits in between Switzerland and France, near Lake Geneva, or Lac Leman in French. Various cities of the region are discussed such as Evian, Thonon, and Yvoire. Photogravures of architecture, ports, and landscapes are included.

Page from “Sites et Monuments: La Lorraine (La Moselle)”

Sites et Monuments: La Lorraine (La Moselle) (1937) published by Touring-Club de France

This book was produced by the Touring-Club de France, which promoted tourism throughout France. Lorraine is a region in the northeast corner of France and borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. La Moselle is one of the departments that make up the Lorraine region. The text was written by Baron de la Chaise who talks about Lorraine’s major city, Metz, the industry of the region, and the forest and mountain areas.





Nimes, Uzès, Aigue- Mortes (1929) by André Chagny

This book is the only translated book in the Merci Collection. It is part of a series called “Visions of France” and completes the special volume of the series on Avignon. Nimes is in the south of France and was once part of the Roman Empire. Many of the photographic images in the book are of Nimes’ Roman structures. G.L. Arlaud illustrated the book with 60 heliogravures. Also included are the cities Uzès and Aigues-Mortes, which are in the same region as Nimes.

Angoulême (1934) by L. Burias and J.A. Catala

Angoulême is a small city in southwestern France. The book is signed with an inscription from one of the authors, J.A. Catala. Catala also took photographs for the book, which are reproduced using the photogravure process. In between all the black and white photographic images are two color plates; one is a painting of St. Pierre Cathedral and the other is an image of a manuscript page from 1572. There is even a fold out map included at the back of the book which shows the major sites of Angoulême and the expansion of the city from the 3rd century AD to the 17th century.

Page with inscription from J.A. Catala in “Angoulême.”


Some of the books from the Merci Train do not necessarily fit in to the Ringling Museum Library’s collection. For example, a few of the books are about agriculture in France.

Les Champignons (1948) by Roger Heim

Les champignons means mushrooms in English and the book “Les Champignons” discusses several types of mushrooms. The descriptions tell where the mushrooms grow, their characteristics, and whether they are edible or not. Many photos and figures are given to show the different species of mushrooms. There are also watercolors of mushrooms by Yvonne Jean-Haffen. The book was donated to the Merci Train by the Institut National Agronomique (National Agronomic Institute). It contains an inscription inside from the chairman of the institute’s students.

Les Beaux Fruits de France (1947) by Georges Delbard

This book is about the fruit grown in France. Different horticulture techniques are described such as grafting (taking a piece of one plant and grafting it onto another), commercial farming, and packaging and preserving fruits. There is even a section about how to avoid and eliminate parasites when growing fruit. There are over 200 black and white images and 32 plates of color photographs. This book, like “Les Champignons,” also came from the Institut National Agronomique and is inscribed by the president of the teacher’s corps. On the dedication page the author describes how “Les Beaux Fruits de France” began in 1943, during the German occupation of France. There were difficulties in finding materials and putting together the book, but it was able to be done thanks to the efforts of several people.









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The Merci Collection

The Books

In the Ringling Museum Library’s accession book, twenty eight books were recorded in 1949 as being a gift from the Merci Train. Over the years, books from the collection have been withdrawn, discarded, or gone missing. What remains are seventeen books that make up the Merci Collection. The books have a wide range of subjects from Paris to mushrooms, and from the military to images of the Virgin Mary. Many are inscribed by the people who donated them and include book plates that label the books as being from the Merci Train.

Art, Architecture, and Literature 

La Foire de Sorochinietz (1945) by Nicolas Gogol

La Foire de Sorochinietz was originally written in Russian about a fair that comes to a small, peasant town in Russia. The Ringling Museum Library’s copy is translated into French by Jarl-Priel and illustrated with original etchings by Vera Morosoff. Only 275 copies of this book were made. Inside is an inscription from the illustrator; it reads “En souvenir des années 1944-1945 A avec toute ma gratitude Véra le 16 XII 1948,” or in English, “In remembrance of the years 1944-1945 with all of my thanks Véra 16th of December 1948.”

In an interesting turn of events, Vera Morosoff ended up living not far from the Ringling Museum Library. In 1917, Vera and her husband, also an artist, left their homeland of Russia for Italy. They soon left Italy for Paris and lived there during WWII. In 1951, the couple moved to New York City by way of Chicago, but after 20 years in Manhattan, Vera and her husband moved to St. Petersburg, FL. A book that Vera had signed and donated to the Merci Train in 1949, not knowing where it would end up, found its way to Sarasota, only a short distance from the place she would come to over twenty years later.

La Foire de Sorochinietz, Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol.
Translated by Jarl-Priel.
Illustrated by Vera Morosoff.




Marie Mère de Dieu (1947) by Henri Ghéon

This book compiles images of the Virgin Mary. The images are organized into four categories: Ave Maria, Mater Amabilis, Mater Dolorosa, and Regina Coeli. The paintings are from collections all across Europe and include artists such as Michelangelo, Jan Van Eyck, and Giotto. Most images are in black and white, but a few have been reproduced in color.

La Vierge Douloureuse, El Greco.

  Eglises Parisiennes: Actuelles et Disparues (1947) by Yvan Christ

Inscription inside Eglises Parisiennes

Eglises Parisiennes is about the churches of Paris and is inscribed in English by the person who donated the book. The book has many images, architectural drawings, sketches, and other images of and about the churches.




La Publicité Française (1947) edited by La Fédération Française de la Publicité


La Publicité Française is a book of ads and illustrations by various artists. There are hundreds of images; Most are in black and white, but many are in color. The products advertised range from perfume and makeup to Perrier and tomato juice. For every image the artist is cited and for others a short description about where the ad appeared is included.

Les Jardins de Versailles (1924) by Pierre Nolhac

Les Jardins de Versailles (The Gardens of Versailles) chronicles the history of Versailles’ gardens from the initial plans to final installments of fountains and sculptures. The author, Pierre Nolhac, takes an art historical approach to writing about the gardens. He discusses various artists and architects and their artistic additions to the gardens. There are many black and white images of statues, fountains, and of course the gardens themselves.

Keepsake (1944) by Pierre Lestringuez

Keepsake by Pierre Lestringuez with a preface by Leon Paul Fargue. Illustrated by Robert Naly. 1944

This book of poems from Pierre Lestringuez is illustrated by Roebrt Naly. There are 25 lithographs, the majority of which are in color. Also, the book contains a preface written by the French poet, Leon Paul Fargue. 195 copies of the book were made of the first edition, but they were broken up into three categories and printed on different types of paper. The first fifty were printed on vellum from Auvergne, a province in the center of France, the next forty-five were printed on vellum from Rives, and the last one hundred copies were printed on vellum from Papeteries de Lana, a paper making company in Strasbourg, France. The copy at the Ringling Museum Library is number 117, which means it is printed on the vellum from Papeteries de Lana. There are 24 poems and every one is illustrated.

“Prevoir” from Keepsake by Paul Lestringuez


Exposition de l’Histoire de l’Ordre Souverain de Malte au Bénéfice du Pavillon des Lépreux des Oeuvres Hopitalières Françaises de L’Ordre de Malte (1929) by Comte Michel de Pierredon

L’Ordre Souverain de Malte is a medical association with a very long history. It began around 1048 at the Hospital of St. Jean in Jerusalem with individuals who cared for the sick and poor. Eventually the group became a charitable organization and throughout its nearly thousand year history L’Ordre Souverain de Malte built hospitals, universities, and libraries in Rhodes, Malta, and France. It also helped treat over 800,000 wounded individuals during World War I. In 1927 the Ordre de Malte France (the French extension of the association) was created. In 1928, the organization began to fund the building of a new section of the St Louis Hospital in Paris. The section would be used to help treat people suffering from leprosy who had come from French colonies. This book, “L’Exposition de l’Histoire de l’Ordre Souverain de Malte,” is a catalog of an exhibition held at the National Library of France. The exhibition was developed to raise money for the hospital’s leprosy wing. Inside, the book describes how donators would have their name inscribed at the head of a bed in the hospital. The exhibition included paintings, prints, and objects from the Louvre, the National Library of France, the Versailles Museum and others.

Title page of “Exposition de l’Histoire de l’Ordre Souverain de Malte”


Corot (1942) by Germain Bazin

This book has one of the book plates with the logo of the Merci Train. The inscription inside “Vous qui allez vivre, soyez dignes de nous qui allons mourir.. (un Francais de dix-sept ans)” roughly  translates to “You who are living, be worthy of us who are going to die.. (a Frenchman of 17 years),” but the message that is lost in translation means “Honor the dead by living.” The book discusses the French artist, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot. Corot mostly painted landscapes, but also painted figures and worked with engravings. Many examples of Corot’s work are included with several reproduced in color.

Example of the bookplates from the Merci Train

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New England Quaker Meetinghouses: Past and Present

New England Quaker Meetinghouses Past and Present: by Silas B. Weeks. Forward by James A. Turrell. Published by Friends United Press, 2002.Image

             The Society of Friends was founded in 1647 in England by George Fox. Raised as an Anglican, Fox grew displeased with the pomp and circumstance of the Anglican Church and was disturbed by the Puritans wrathful view of God. Since these two religious sects were the only options for Fox at the time he decided to forge ahead and create his own religious theology. Fox believed wholeheartedly that religion is personal, that the light of God is in everybody, and that each individual is of unique worth. He went on to preach these ideals throughout England and gained a large following which he called the “Society of Friends”. In the 1660’s Fox sailed to America and preached throughout the colonies finally landing in the Carolinas where he settled.

Friends believe in “simplicity and modesty, humility and equality,” and thus espouse such ideas in religious practice and social dealings. In 1688 a group of Friends led a public protest in Pennsylvania against slavery. This event has been given the distinction of the first abolitionist movement in American History almost 150 years before the abolitionist movement was in full swing.

In our collection of books here at the Ringling Museum Library we have New England Quaker Meetinghouses: Past and Present by Silas B. Weeks. The foward is written by artists James A. Turrell who also constructed one of our newest exhibits, Joseph’s Coat which is a skyspace piece.  The book travels through the six states of New England and documents the history of each meetinghouse in the state. Each Chapter of the book is dedicated to a Imagestate and has pictures of the remaining meetinghouses as well as some which are no longer. In Weeks’ opening and Turrell’s forward, the ideal of Quaker simplicity extending to meetinghouse construction is introduced. Each building shown exemplifies the Quaker tradition of modesty and simplicity. In the Quaker philosophy, the body is the temple of God, not the house in which fellowship takes place. The meetinghouses shown throughout the book take this ideal to heart and exude a type of charming simplicity in their architecture. Each meetinghouse has a paragraph about its history as well as location, date erected, if it is in use as a Quaker house today, and if it has a burial ground located on the grounds. The book has information on 138 meetinghouses and contains over 150 pictures of meeting houses all around New England.

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Rubens at the Ringling Museum Library

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is well-known for its important collection of paintings by Peter Paul Rubens.  What is perhaps less well-known is the large collection of Rubens books held by the museum’s art library. The library’s collection of Rubens books includes books about Rubens, books written by people who knew Rubens personally, and books to which Ruben’s contributed illustrations.  Many of these books are rare or are books which were owned by John Ringling.  Next year the museum will celebrate its collection of Rubens through a special exhibition.  This exhibition will feature some of the books in the library’s collection in addition to the museum’s paintings.  To prepare for this exhibition, an examination into the library’s Rubens books was conducted.  Here are some of the highlights from the Rare Books Vault and John Ringling Library.  

Rubens at the Ringling

The Ringling Museum owns ten paintings and a tapestry by Peter Paul Rubens.  These are beautiful works that have been featured in many publications.  It always exciting to find one of the museum’s paintings featured in a book; therefore some of the most interesting books about Peter Paul Rubens are those which feature works that the Ringling Museum would eventually own.

Some of these treasures can be found in the John Ringling Library.  John Ringling was continually trying to expand his knowledge of art.  To this end, Mr. Ringling purchased books for his collection that he could use to educate himself about many different artists and their works.

One book found in John Ringling’s personal collection was P.P. Rubens: des Meisters Gemalde in 538 Abbildungen.  This book is the fifth volume in the Klassiker der Kunst Gesamtausgaben series.  Each book in the series features an artist; this volume features the works of Peter Paul Rubens.  The volume was edited by Rudolf Oldenbourg and includes an introduction by Adolf Rosenberg.  This book contains 538 pictures of various works by Rubens, including paintings which Ringling purchased for his collection.  The book was published in 1922 and Ringling purchased his Rubens in 1926.  It is not known whether John Ringling purchased the book prior to or after he purchased his Rubens.  This book was repaired in 2004 by James Tapley.

John Ringling also owned a copy of John Smith’s A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French painters.  John Smith was born in 1781 to John and Anne Smith.  He was apprenticed in 1794 for 7 years to Mr. Hurwood of Conduit Street as a carver and gilder. Later he went into business on his on his own and he came in contact with the Fine Art trade.  He published his catalogue raisonné between 1829 and 1842.  The catalogue features short biographies of the artists, descriptions of their works, a statement of how much the works have been sold for, and where the works could be found at the time of the book’s publication.  The introduction to the work gives some useful advice to art collectors on how to be discerning with their purchases.  He also tells the reader what to do and not do when having art cleaned.  The work includes an entire volume devoted to the works of Peter Paul Rubens.  Among the works described in the volume are some owned by the Ringling Museum: the Fathers of the Church (now known as The Defenders of the Eucharist), The Triumph of Charity (now known as The Triumph of Divine Love), and Abraham and Melchizedek.  Since its publication, Smith’s Catalogue Raisonné has been reprinted many times and has been cited in many publications by other authors.

The Ringling Museum library also owns rare sale catalogues which feature works by Rubens that are now a part of the museum’s collections.  These catalogues are important for tracing and documenting the provenance of paintings owned by the Ringling Museum and are also interesting as pieces of history in their own right.  The first of these catalogues is The important art collection of Dr. John E. Stillwell, Part 1.  Besides being a doctor, John Stillwell was an avid collector of European and Asian art (The Frick Collection, 2011).  In 1927 Stillwell sold most of his collection in an auction in New York through Anderson Galleries.  The catalogue lists the pieces which were included in the sale.  Page 28 of this book describes the Rubens painting Thetis Dipping Achilles into the River Styx.  This work was bought by Kleinberger Galleries for William R. Hearst, New York.  Hearst later returned piece to Kleinberger in 1929 in payment for another painting.  John Ringling purchased the painting from Kleinberger in 1930 and left it in bequest to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art upon his death in 1936.

Another catalogue held by the library is Christopher Gibb’s Illustrated Catalogue.  According to the author, the catalogue is designed to showcase the variety of art held in his galleries (Christopher Gibbs Ltd, 1980).  One of the works of art featured in the catalogue is The Triumph of Divine Love.  The catalogue was published in 1980 in London, and in that same year the Ringling Museum bought the painting from Christopher Gibbs’ galleries.  Eight-hundred copies of the catalogue were published in this edition.  The cover is shown to the right.

Books by Those Who Influenced Rubens

The library is also in possession of books which were written by people who were close to Rubens and would have an influence on both his life and art.  The first of these books is t Is toch vergeven by Maria Rubens.  This book contains two letters written by Maria Rubens to her husband, Jan Rubens, while he was in prison facing the death penalty.  Jan was placed in prison by William I of Orange prison for committing adultery with William’s wife, Anna of Saxony, the Princess of Orange.  Maria wrote the letters to assure Jan that she had forgiven him and was anxious for him to return home.  After Jan was released from prison, he and Maria became the parents of artist Peter Paul Rubens.  The letters are reproduced in the original Dutch with translations in French and English.  The original letters were discovered by historian R. C. Bakhizen van den Briack in 1853 (Rubens, 1962).

Another individual who would have a significant impact on Rubens was his teacher, Otto van Veen.  It is his teaching relationship with Rubens for which van Veen is best known, however he was also known for creating popular emblem books (Praz, 1964).  Emblems are allegorical illustrations accompanied by a motto and an explanatory text.  Often these emblems drew on various sources, such as the Bible or Classical mythology, to teach a moral lesson (Praz, 1964; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).  The Ringling library has two of van Veen’s emblem books in its collections, the Othonis VænI Emblemata Horatiana and the Amoris divini emblemata.  The Emblemata Horatiana was van Veen’s first emblem book.  Originally published in Antwerp in 1607, it would become one of the most widespread emblem books (Gerards-Nelissen, 1971; Praz, 1964).  The Amoris divini emblemata is a religious adaption of van Veen’s earlier secular work of love emblems, the Amorum Emblemata(Visser, 2005).  The work was created at the suggestion of Clara Isabella Eugenia, the Spanish Infanta, to whom the book is dedicated.  The emblems chronicle the journey of the soul, Anima, as she is led by Divine Love towards spiritual growth (Praz, 1964; Emblem Project Utrecht).   To the right is an illustration from this beautiful book.

The library also possesses a 1911 facsimile of Otto van Veen’s Album amicorum de Otto Venius.  It was common in the 16th and 17th century for individuals to create an Album Amicorum, or book of friends.  Such a book would contain drawings or poems submitted by friends.  The practice was especially prevalent among scholars (Barker, 2002).  Otto van Veen’s Album Amicorum contains autographed poetry and colored designs contributed by his friends Janus Gruterus, Abraham Ortelius, Juste Lipse and others.  To the left is an image of Otto van Veen illustrated in the Album amicorum de Otto Venius.

Philippe Rubens was the older brother of Peter Paul Rubens.  Philippe was a well-known scholar and humanist who had studied Latin and Greek with Justus Lispsius.  Both brothers shared an interest in classical studies.  The two brothers lived together in Rome for a year and a half, during which time Philippe wrote his book the Philippi Rubeni electorvm libri II.  The book is an examination of Roman life and was first published in 1608.  Peter Paul Rubens provided eight illustrations to be included in his brother’s book.  This was Peter Paul’s first time preparing drawings to be used in book illustration (Judson and Velde, 1978, p. 77).  The Ringling Library owns an excellent copy of this rare and important work.  It has recently been repaired by James Tapley and is part of the library’s rare books collection.

Works by Rubens

While the Electorvm Libri II was Peter Paul Rubens first contribution to book illustration, it would not be his last.  The Ringling Museum library houses two large books with illustrations by Rubens: La Gallerie du Palais du Luxembourg and Pompa introitvs honori serenissimi principis Ferdinandi Avstriaci hispaniarvm infantis.

La Gallerie du Palais du Luxembourg includes a number of large plates engraved by Jean Marc Nattier after drawings by Peter Paul Rubens.  The 25 illustrations in this work depict the large cycle of paintings which Rubens created for Marie de Medici, the Queen Mother of France.  The cycle shows the life of Marie de Medici.  The paintings include idealized depictions of the Queen’s birth, education, marriage, children, and the reconciliation of she and her son Louis the XIII.  The paintings survive and are now on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The other work by Rubens held by the Ringling library is Pompa introitus honori Ferdinandi Austriaci Hispaniarum Infantis.  This work depicts the decorations that Rubens created for the ceremonial entry of Archduke Ferdinand into Antwerp in 1635.  In 16th century Europe it had become the established custom for cities to welcome monarchs or governors with a ceremonial Joyous Entry (Martin, 1972, p. 23).  To welcome Archduke Ferdinand, Rubens designed a series of triumphal arches and porticos that would illustrate the victories of the Archduke and the coming of peace to Antwerp.  The designs drew on a number of sources including Biblical themes, Classical mythology, and historical events.  The arches themselves were meant to be temporary and so they were constructed from wood and painted to resemble marble.  Rubens also added large canvas paintings to the arches (Martin, 1972, p. 28-29).  Rubens’ friend Jean Gaspard Gervaerts prepared the inscriptions for the decorations (Martin, 1972, p. 26).  The book itself is made up of engravings after Rubens’ designs with accompanying explanatory text by Gervaerts.  The work was published in 1641, the year after Rubens’ death.  It is the only work entirely illustrated by Peter Paul Rubens (University of Miami Libraries, 1994).  There is a great deal of literature available on the Pompa introitus honori Ferdinandi Austriaci Hispaniarum Infantis and the celebration that it illustrates.  One of the most in depth is part fifteen of the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchardby John Rupert Martin.  The Pompa introitus honori Ferdinandi Austriaci Hispaniarum Infantis gives detailed descriptions of each of the decorations created by Rubens along with illustrations and an explanation of how the event was planned and executed.  The Ringling museum’s copy of this book had been disbound for display purposes, but it was rebound and restored in 2001 by James Tapley.  Images of the Ringling library’s copy of this work are not available; however, there are other copies of the same work available for viewing online.  One such copy is this one  made available by the British Library.  The Ringling also owns a 1971 facsimile of the work, the cover of which is shown to the right.  Images of the illustrations from the Pompa introitus honori Ferdinandi Austriaci Hispaniarum Infantis will be on display in the galleries during the Ringling Museum’s upcoming Rubens exhibition.

To see more images of Peter Paul Rubens books at the Ringling library visit our contentDM site at http://ringlinglibrary.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/


Anderson Galleries, Inc. (1927). The important art collection of Dr. John E. Stillwell, Part 1. New York: Anderson Galleries, Inc.

Barker, William. (2002). Alciato’s emblems and the Album Amicorum:
A brief note on examples in London, Moscow, and Oxford
.  Retrieved from http://www.mun.ca/alciato/album.html

British Library. (n.d.). Treasures in full: Renaissance festival books. Retrieved from http://www.bl.uk/treasures/festivalbooks/homepage.html

Christopher Gibbs Ltd. (1980). Illustrated catalogue. London: Christopher Gibbs

Emblem Project Utrecht. (n.d.). Dutch love emblems of the seventeenth century. Retrieved from http://emblems.let.uu.nl/

The Frick Collection. (2011). Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America. Retrieved from http://research.frick.org/directoryweb/home.php

Gerards-Nelissen, Inemie.  (1971). Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art, 5 (1/2), 20-63.  Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/view/3780366

Gevaerts, J. G. (1641). Pompa introitvs honori Serenissimi Principis Ferdinandi Avstriaci Hispaniarvm Infantis. Antverpiae: Apvd Ioannem Mevrsivm

Gevaerts, J. G. (1971). The magnificent ceremonial entry into Antwerp of His Royal Highness Ferdinand of Austria on the fifteenth day of May, 1635, as designed by Peter Paul Rubens. New York: B. Blom

Judson, J. R. and De Velde, C. V. (1978). Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard (Vol. 21). New York: Phaidon.

Martin, J. R. (1972). Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard (Vol. 16). New York: Phaidon.

Praz, Mario. (1964). Studies in seventeenth-century imagery(2nd ed.). Roma: Edizioni di storia e letteratura.

Rubens, M. (1962). ‘t Is toch vergeven. Haarlem: J. Enschedé

Rubens, P. (1608). Philippi Rubeni electorvm libri II. Antverpiae : Ex Officina Plantiniana, Apud Ioannem Moretum

Rubens, P. P. (1710). La gallerie du palais du Luxembourg. Paris: Duchange

Rubens, P. P. (1922). P.P. Rubens: Des meisters gemalde in 538 abbildungen. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt

Smith, J. (1829-1842). A catalogue raisonné of the works of the most eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French painters. London: Smith and Son

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (n.d.). University library: German emblem books. Retrieved from  images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/emblems/

University of Miami Libraries. (1994). Treasures of South Florida libraries: A celebration of rare & unique materials. Retrieved from http://scholar.library.miami.edu/treasure/index.html

Veen, O. V. (1660). Amoris divini emblemata. Antverpiæ: Ex Officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti

Veen, O. V. (1684). Othonis VænI Emblemata Horatiana. Amstelædami: Apud Henricum Wetstenium

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Historic Fashion- Modes et Costumes Historiques

The final book in our rare books collection that is a good example of historic fashion prints and is also stable enough to be a possibilty for display is

Modes et Costumes Historiques by Hippolyte Louis Emile Pauquet. Illustrated by Hippolyte Louise Emile Pauquet and Polydore Jean Charles Pauquet. Published by Bureaux des Modes et Costumes Historiques, Paris, c. 1870.

The book is a collection of ninety-six color plates reproduced from originals by Hippolyte Louise Emile Pauquet and his brother Polydore Jean Charles Pauquet. The plates’ subject matter reproduces works throughout history from monuments, artists and fashion publications such as Modes Parisiennes and Du Petit Courrier des Dames. Each plate states the artist’s name (if known), the person depicted or title of the original and original publication fashion magazines. The plates also mention who the reigning monarch or other entity is at the time depicted.

Although the book does not claim to be intended only as a history of women’s fashions, plates depicting women outnumber those showing men or children by a wide margin. The prints are arranged chronologically to form an illustrated timeline through history. The plates begin in 493, during the early years of the reign of Clovis I, first king to unite the Franks, and the beginnings of France as a united nation. The last plate depicts the fashions of 1864 in Paris, with the influence of Charles Fredrick Worth clear in the bell-shaped skirt. This book, is the only book of the ten surveyed here that is not compiled of prints directly from a fashion periodical, attempts to create a historical time line of fashion and also comes within ten years of publishing and its most contemporary plate.

Here, I have included some of the later plates which relate to 18th and 19th Century fashions. Enjoy the grandiosity of the Golden Age, the freeform designs of the Revolution and 1st Empire, and the progressively more demure designs in mid 19th Century.

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Historic Fashion- Le Trianon

Another book in the Ringling Museum Library’s rare book vault that is of great importance to scholars and amateur Francophiles alike is

Le Trianon de Marie-Antoinette by Pierre de Nolhac.  Published by Goupil et cie, Manzi, Joyant & cie, succ., Paris, 1914.

This volume is more focused on the history than the collection of prints it contains. The subject matter of the book revolves around the Trianon, the structures and gardens built on the grounds of Versailles commonly remembered as an amusement for Marie Antoinette. She has been criticized through history for using the Trianon as a place to play “dress up” and act like a peasant, or throw lavish parties while the French people were living in squalor.

Illustrations throughout the book offer black and white or sepia toned portraits of Marie Antoinette at several stages in her life, as well as portraits of the men and women who frequented the Trianon during Louis XVI’s reign and Marie Antoinette’s time as the Queen Consort. Illustrations also include different architectural and landscape design elements, including fountains, outdoor baths, reproductions of frescos and other artistic decorations, as well as scenes of parties held on the grounds. The book itself focuses on an extravagance of the most extravagant French Queen Consort. Fashion is a part of Marie Antoinette’s reputation that cannot or will not subside, nor will the accounts of her life at the Trianon. Lifestyle and fashion go hand in hand for Marie Antoinette, as you can see in the following color plates from the volume.

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Historic Fashion Prints- E. D. Rue de la Paix

Another volume held in the Rare Books Collection of the Ringling Museum Library is

E. D. Rue de la Paix 17. Paris, c. 1880.

This volume is quite a mystery. It has no title page, or publisher. However, what we do know about it makes it magnificient. The book is bound in a cloth cover with pink flower and white background.  The volume is a collection 9 total pages, with one image on each page, all in vivid color. All the plates list a number and then major clothing pieces and description. Each plate attributes H. Sicard as its lithographer, and Rue de la Paix, 17 as the address. Other than that, we know nothing for sure. These prints were most likely done by Henri Sicard, a lesser-known lithographer, for a fashion house during the 1880s. The address on the Rue de la Paix places the business at an enviable address, close to major jewelry and fashion designers of the day, including Cartier.

It is possible that the E. D. on the front cover stands for fashion designer Edouard Doucet (1817-1897), father to more famous designer Jacques Doucet (1853-1929). If this proves to be true, these prints would be some of the earliest of Maison Doucet’s foray into women’s fashions (other than lingerie, which started their fashion house). Hopefully we will know more about these wonderful prints soon. In the meantime, just one look at these beautiful plates and you will understand their appeal. Enjoy!

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