Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ramelli: From Original Drawing to Plagiarism

I'm inspired by some other bloggers who actually post images of the topics they covered. Following their lead, I'm posting a sequence of images that demonstrate the translation of Ramelli's work.

Each set contains three images. The first depicts what are supposed to be Ramelli's original sketches for various machines. They are contained in the Dibner library and have been digitized by the Smithsonian. The second image depicts the same machine as it appeared in Ramelli's Various and Ingenious Machines (digitized by the Smithsonian). Martha Gnudi maintains that these plates were etched by Amrboise Bachot some time prior to 1887. The third image depicts copies of Bachot's plates as prepared by Andres Bretschneider for Henning Grossen den Jüngern's copy of Ramelli, Schatzkammer, mechanischer Künste (1620). Keller describes them as "appalling plates." I scanned the images from the 1976 reissue.

Walking up some stairs beside a funky machine

Breaking a gate while standing on a boat

Lifting a block with a fly-wheel

Lifting cannon

Dragging something heavy

Dragging something else that's very heavy

Two gangs of horses moving something

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Some More Theatrum Machinarum

It seems that a few other bloggers have started providing some commentary on the Theatrum Machinaru... although we're still a long way from a micro-community.

Of particular interest is BibliOdyssey. Although young, it features sample plates from Bockler and Besson. Since Hooke owned a copy of Bockler's work I may want to revisit it. There are even some other Besson scans out there.
Henri II and Catherine de'Medici Enter Lyon

I remember reading somewhere--I'm not sure where--that Jacques Besson was somehow involved in the pageant surround Henri and Catherine's celebrated entrance to Lyons.

The definitive record of the event has been placed online by the British Library. I haven't found Besson's name in it.

Not to be outdone, the Library of Congress has put together a very admirable digital collection dedicated to wood cuts. I'm particularly partial to their scan of Vegetius's De Re Militaria. The page form used in the work resembles the later Theatrum Machinarum. Perhaps some of my ideas concerning Huguenot influence and printing laws are a bit off-base!