The examples listed are from the collections of Stanford University. ARTL refers to Art, Locked Stacks, and RBC or Felton refers to Special Collections, Green Library.
Early collection catalogs, or inventories, and auction catalogs are useful for the art historian because the descriptions (and, occasionally, illustrations) they contain can help verify the existence, and trace the movement, of specific works of art. They also reveal information about the art collecting and recording practices of their times and places.
Stampart, F. Prodomus, seu praeambulare lumen reserati. Vienna, 1735. RBC N5250.K3S7.1735
Teniers, D. Theatrum pictorium. Antwerp, 1684. ARTL ND615.T4
Guides written for pilgrims or other travelers, and travelers' memoirs that include eye-witness descriptions of architectural monuments and art collections, can be of importance to art historians, particularly if the buildings have since been destroyed or altered and the art collections dispersed. In cases in which the memoir had a powerful art-related effect on contemporary readers, it will be that much more interesting to the modern art historian. Occasionally, a travel book will have been written by a significant artist and may consequently be important for the light it sheds on his or her career.
Denon, D. Voyages dans la basse et la haute Egypt. Paris, 1807. RBC DT53.D4.1807
Hodges, W. Travels in India. London, 1794. ARTL DS412.H62
These publications, written by artists, connoisseurs, or critics, can be valuable to modern art historians for the light they shed on the artistic conflicts, aesthetic or technical problems, and beliefs of a specific period. In those cases where the author is a significant art-historical figure in his or her own right, the writings usually help illuminate his/her relationship with the culture of the period and place.
Hogarth, W. The Analysis of beauty. London, 1753. ARTL N70.H7.1753
Webb, D. An Inquiry into the beauties of painting. London, 1760. RBC ND1130.W4.1760
Materials in this category, which includes perspective and anatomy manuals published from the 1500s and "drawing books" of the 18th and 19th centuries, reflect advances in technical expertise in the practice of the visual arts, the rise and fall in popularity of certain art forms and subject matter, and social attitudes toward the arts. They also give insight into the pedagogical methods of specific artist/teachers.
Bosse, A. Sentimens sur la distinction des diverses manieres de peinture. Paris, 1649. RBC N7430.B56.1649
Fielding, T. On painting in oil and water colours. London, 1839. ARTL ND1260.F53
Publications produced by architects to present their interpretations of architectural history and theory and, often, to advertise their own work and comment on the designs of their contemporaries. These books can provide clues to a period's attitudes toward the architecture of the past. They can also be important source material for the understanding of the architect/author's own designs, unaltered by the perceptions of later interpreters and critics. In addition, they can provide important incidental information about a period's building methods, architectural styles, and the construction of specific buildings.
Alberti, L. ...Libri de re aedificatoria. Paris, 1512. RBC KB1512.A4
Chambers, W. A Treatise on civil architecture. London, 1768. ARTL NA2517.C44
Books associated in one way or another with a specific artist and which may help illuminate an aspect of his or her career. In some cases they are books that were expressly designed as vehicles for an artist's reproduced work; in others, the text is the book's raison d'etre, and the artist's illustrations were intended to be subsidiary.
Trollope, A. The Small house at Allington. Illus. by J. E. Millais. London, 1864. 2 v. Felton PR5654.S63.1864
Turner, J. Picturesque views in England and Wales. London, 1832-38. 2 v. ARTL NC242.T9A4.1832
These books, published from the 17th through early 19th centuries, are usually lavishly-produced folio volumes filled with illustrations of Greek, Roman, or Ancient Near Eastern ruins. It seems clear that publications like these played a role in the spread of Neoclassicism in mid-18th-century Europe and therein lies their major interest for art/architectural historians. (Could be regarded as a subset of category 2.)
Mazois, C. Les Ruines de Pompei. Paris, 1824-38. 4 v. ARTL DG70.P7M33
Wood, R. The Ruins of Palmyra. London, 1753. ARTL NA335.P2W8
Includes pictorial works that presented motifs that artists regularly appropriated, such as the emblem books of the 16th through 18th centuries, and Ripa's Iconologia (1593). Books that present biographies of artists, a genre that began in the Renaissance, and early art/architectural dictionaries and encyclopedias, which reflect the attitudes toward art of the periods and places in which they were produced, are also in this category.
Alciati, A. Emblemata. Lyons, 1566. RBC KB1566.A4
Roland le Virloys, C. Dictionnaire d'architecture. Paris, 1770. 3 v. ARTL NA31.R6
Since the Art Department's medievalist is an illuminated manuscript specialist, there will be a demand for this material into the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, even the least expensive examples that are currently appearing at auction are well out of the Art Library's reach, although the possibility of combining Art Library and Special Collections funds to purchase one, as in last year's acquisition of a 15th-century Flemish book of hours (see below), could be a way of adding an occasional illuminated manuscript to the Stanford collection. (Facsimiles remain our principal access to illuminated manuscripts. They are expensive too, but nowhere near the cost of an original.)
Catholic Church. Book of Hours and Psalter. [Bruges?, ca. 1450]
1 v. (221 leaves) vellum, 147 mm. by 102 mm. Special Collections
Summary: A Calendar (f.1); the Fifteen O's (f.7); Memorials to theSaints (f.13); the Hours of the Virgin, Use of Sarum, with Matins (f.22), Lauds (f.29) incorporating further Memorials, Prime (f.46), Terce (f.45), Sext (f.48), None (f.50), Vespers (f.52) and Compline (f.54); the Joys of the Virgin (f.58v) preceded by a long rubric telling that St. Thomas Becket had the text revealed to him by the Virgin Mary, followed by other efficacious and votive prayers ascribed to St. Jerome and Bede; the Penitential Psalms (f.69), Psalms of Degree and Litany; and, very unusually in a Book of Hours, the whole Psalter and Canticles (ff.86-221). Two full- page miniatures, eleven large illuminated initials, and twenty-six historiated initials. In Latin, gothic liturgic hand.
During the 1960's artists such as Lawrence Weiner and Ed Ruscha began producing a type of literature, often cheaply published in a limited publication run, which by its existence indicated the artist had engaged in an artistic activity or intellectual process. The publication identifies, illustrates, or in some fashion physically manifests that occurrence.
Ruscha, Edward. Real Estate Opportunities. Special Collections.
Weiner, L. Flowed. ARTL NE2740.W45
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