Tuesday, January 17, 2017

George Cruikshank - Illustrations from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft," by Sir Walter Scott, 1830

George Cruikshank - Cover for "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank -"Black John" Chastising the Witches,  colored Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank -"Black John" Chastising the Witches, Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Elfin arrow Manufactory" colored Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Elfin arrow Manufactory" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "The Goddess Freya" colored Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "The Goddess Freya" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Elfin Tricks"  colored Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 ( George Cruikshank - "Elfin Tricks" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Witches Frolic" coloredIllustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Witches Frolic" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "The Spectre Skeleton" colored Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "The Spectre Skeleton" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "The Corps de Ballet" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "The Persecuted Butler" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Puck In Mischief" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Fairy Revenge" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "The Ghost of Mrs Leckie" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830 George Cruikshank - "Jak aff the Ghaist!" Illustration from "Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft" by Walter Scott, 1830

"In February 1830, Scott was recovering from a first paralytic stroke. J.G. Lockhart, hoping to distract his father-in-law from working on more arduous enterprises (preparing the Magnum Opus and writing Count Robert of Paris), suggested that he write a small volume on witchcraft for 'Murray's Family Library'. As Scott had a comprehensive collection of books on the subject immediately to hand at Abbotsford, Lockhart hoped that it would be a relatively easy project to complete. Instead Scott, who enthusiastically greeted the idea, merely added it to his task list. It was a theme that had fascinated Scott since childhood. He had previously proposed collaborating with Robert Surtees on a study of demonology in 1809, and with Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe on a comic selection of supernatural tales in 1812. In 1823, he had even written part of a dialogue on popular superstitions which had failed to attract a sufficiently enticing bid from Constable.

Lockhart's suggestion was partly sparked by the interest raised by Robert Pitcairn's serial publication of Criminal Trials of Scotland, covering proceedings between 1487 and 1624, and featuring many cases of witchcraft. Pitcairn himself sent Scott transcripts of as yet unpublished trials, and many other students of the occult sent Scott source material on witchcraft while he was working on the Letters. In addition, he drew on earlier demonologies such as Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft, Robert Kirk's Essay on the Subterranean Commonwealth, and Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi. Scott's arguments against a supernatural explanation of such phenomena were influenced by John Ferriars's 'Of Popular Illusions and More Particularly of Modern Demonology' and Thomas Jackson's Treatise Containing the Originall of Un-beliefe. Composition was rapid, with the volume complete by mid-July 1830, but Scott's interest waned long before the last page. It was published on September 14, 1830, with ten illustrations by George Cruickshank.

The book takes the form of ten letters addressed to Lockhart, the epistolary mode permitting Scott to be both conversational in tone and discursive in method. In these, Scott surveys opinions respecting demonology and witchcraft from the Old Testament period to his own day. As a child of the Enlightenment, he adopts a rigorously rational approach to his subject. Supernatural visions are attributed to 'excited passion', to credulity, or to physical illness. The medieval belief in demons is based on Christian ignorance of other religions, leading to the conviction that the gods of the Muslim or Pagan nations were fiends and their priests conjurers or wizards. In the post-Reformation period, the primitive state of science and predominance of mystical explanations of natural phenomena fed fear of witchcraft. In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, witches were hunted with near-hysterical zeal. Examining Scottish criminal trials for witchcraft, Scott notes that the nature of evidence admissible gave free reign to accusers and left the accused no chance of escape. Prisoners were driven to confess through despair and the desire to avoid future persecution. Scott also observes that trials for witchcraft were increasingly connected with political crimes, just as in Catholic countries accusations of witchcraft and heresy went together. Advances in science and the spread of rational philosophy during the eighteenth century eventually undermined the belief in supernatural phenomena, although pockets of superstition remain. Scott's account is amply illustrated with anecdotes and traditional tales and may be read as an anthology of uncanny stories as much as a philosophical treatise." - quote source

Image sources include archive.org and Bloomsbury Auctions.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - The HellThe Hell

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - The Gods Battle At The End Of The WorldThe Gods Battle At The End Of The World

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - Hell WorldHell World

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - The Revenge Of The MedeaThe Revenge Of The Medea

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - The TartarusThe Tartarus

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - The Liberation Of Andromeda By PerseusThe Liberation Of Andromeda By Perseus

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - The Chinese LanternsThe Chinese Lanterns

Illustrations from "The World Theater, or The Universal World History From Creation To The Year 1840, etc" by C Strahlheim, 1834-41 - The Battle Of The Lapiths With The CentaursThe Battle Of The Lapiths With The Centaurs

Artworks found at The British Library

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Four Captive Demons, 1470-1500

Four Captive Demons - 1470-1500Watercolor and gold on silk, artwork attributed to Iran or Central Asia.

Artwork found at The Met.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Favorite Posts of 2016

The following are ten of my favorite posts from 2016, in no particular order. I look forward to sharing more interesting monster related artists and imagery in 2017.

I should also mention that any donations towards Monster Brains are greatly appreciated and make it possible for me to devote the vast amount of time that the site requires to be able to share the amazing kinds of art as found in the list below. 

If you find any value in the hundreds of hours that I've spent scanning, tracking down, researching and preparing artwork for Monster Brains, a donation of any amount would be immensely appreciated.

The donation button can be found in the top right, thank you!

1 - Norman Lindsay
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/08/norman-lindsay.html

2 - Der Orchideengarten
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/08/der-orchideengarten-1919-1921.html

3 - Theodor Kittelsen
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/10/theodore-kittlesen-1857-1914.html

4 - James Ensor
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/11/james-ensor-1860-1949.html

5 - Utagawa Kuniyoshi
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/01/utagawa-kuniyoshi-single-panels-and.html
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/01/utagawa-kuniyoshi-triptychs.html

6 - Albín Brunovský
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/07/albin-brunovsky.html

7 - John D Batten
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/01/john-d-batten.html

8 - Vladimir Gazovic
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/05/vladimir-gazovic.html

9 - Carlotta Bonnecaze's Float Designs
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/03/carlotta-bonnecazes-float-designs-1888.html

10 - Arent van Bolten
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/04/arent-van-bolten-bronze-grotesque-oil.html
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/04/arent-van-bolten-ink-drawings1588-1633.html
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/04/arent-van-bolten-engravings-1604-1616.html

Vintage Postcards

Hell Hole, Wildwoods By The Sea, NJHell Hole, Wildwoods By The Sea, NJ

Grinning Skull, Six Flags Over TexasGrinning Skull, Six Flags Over Texas

Carniverous Spider, Superstition Mountain Mine-Ride, Legend City, ArizonaCarniverous Spider, Superstition Mountain Mine-Ride, Legend City, Arizona

Trees of Mystery, CaliforniaTrees of Mystery, California

Sleeping Giant, Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock NCSleeping Giant, Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock NC

Marine Pier, Wildwoods By The Sea, NJMarine Pier, Wildwoods By The Sea, NJ

Kong, Wildwoods By The Sea, NJKong, Wildwoods By The Sea, NJ

Amusement Park After Dark, Wildwood, New JerseyAmusement Park After Dark, Wildwood, New Jersey

House of Frankenstein Wax Museum, Lake George NYHouse of Frankenstein Wax Museum, Lake George NY

Slot Machines In NevadaSlot Machines In Nevada

Jake The Alligator Man & Shrunken Head, Marsh's Free Museum, Long Beach, WashingtonJake The Alligator Man & Shrunken Head, Marsh's Free Museum, Long Beach, Washington

Curious Creature of Unknown Origin, Indian Trading Post, Banff ABCurious Creature of Unknown Origin, Indian Trading Post, Banff AB

Gargantua The Great, Life Size Bust Made by Dr. H Chester Hoyt, Circus Hall of Fame, Sarasota, FloridaGargantua The Great, Life Size Bust Made by Dr. H Chester Hoyt, Circus Hall of Fame, Sarasota, Florida

Enchanted Forest, Turner, OregonEnchanted Forest, Turner, Oregon

The Gingerbread Castle, Snow White Display, Hamburg, New JerseyThe Gingerbread Castle, Snow White Display, Hamburg, New Jersey

"Hodag", Rhinelander, Wisconsin, "Home of the Hodag""Hodag", Rhinelander, Wisconsin, "Home of the Hodag"

indy Smith Visiting With 'Snowball', Storyland, Northwest of O'Hare FieldCindy Smith Visiting With 'Snowball', Storyland, Northwest of O'Hare Field

Prehistoric Gardens, Oregon Coast HighwayPrehistoric Gardens, Oregon Coast Highway

T Rex, Dinosaur Valley Bridge, Drumheller, AlbertaT Rex, Dinosaur Valley Bridge, Drumheller, Alberta

An Authentic Indian Scalping, Tussaud's Wax Museum, Niagara Falls, OntarioAn Authentic Indian Scalping, Tussaud's Wax Museum, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Shrunken Head, Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" Museum, San Francisco CAShrunken Head, Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" Museum, San Francisco CA

All photos found at Swell  Map's impressive collection of vintage postcards.  Some of the more unusual postcards include those in the Mock Violence album.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Peter Tillberg (1946 - 2016)

Peter Tillberg - Krakow, 1991Krakow, 1991

Peter Tillberg - Paris, 1991Paris, 1991

Peter Tillberg - London, 1989London, 1989

Peter Tillberg - Filses slokumFilses slokum

Peter Tillberg - AggsamlarenAggsamlaren

Peter Tillberg - Troll HorrorTroll Horror

Peter Tillberg - MeetingMeeting

Peter Tillberg - WaitingWaiting

Peter Tillberg - Angry PotatoesAngry Potatoes

Peter Tillberg - The Priest and the Devil, 1985The Priest and the Devil, 1985


A video showing an assortment of Tillberg's sculptures can be viewed here.


Image sources include Bukowskis and The Persson Gallery.