9 results in English
Peony and Canary
The Japanese art of Ukiyo-e (“Pictures of the floating [or sorrowful] world”) developed in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa or Edo Period (1600-1868), a relatively peaceful era during which the Tokugawa shoguns ruled Japan and made Edo the seat of power. The Ukiyo-e tradition of woodblock printing and painting continued into the 20th century. This print, made in 1833 or 1834, is part of the series "Small Flowers" by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). It is unusual in its background color and its size. Other examples of this ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Description of the Most Important Kingdoms of the West
This work, Xi fang yao ji, also entitled Yu lan Xi fang yao ji (Description of the most important kingdoms of the West for the emperor’s inspection), was written jointly by Li Leisi (Chinese name of Ludovico Buglio, 1606–82), An Wensi (Gabriel de Magalhães, 1609–77), and Nan Huairen (Ferdinand Verbiest, 1623–88). Buglio was an Italian Jesuit mathematician and theologian. He arrived in China in 1640 and preached in Sichuan, Fujian, and Jiangxi. He and fellow Jesuit Magalhães were pressed to serve the rebel leader Zhang Xianzhong ...
Contributed by National Central Library
The Empire and Expeditions of Alexander the Great
This 1833 map in Latin shows the conquests of Alexander the Great (356–323 BC), whose empire stretched from present-day Greece through Turkey and the Middle East to Afghanistan. In 326 BC Alexander set out to conquer India, but he was stymied when his exhausted armies mutinied on the banks of the Hyphasis River (now known as the Beas River) in northern India. The map shows the cities that Alexander founded and named after himself, including Alexandria Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan), Alexandria Ariana (Herat, Afghanistan), Alexandria, Egypt, and many others. Place-names ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Arabia: Comprising Its Geography, History, and Topography
Josiah Conder (1789–1855) was a British publisher and author who wrote or compiled 33 volumes of travel literature about nearly every region of the world, including the Middle East. Conder himself never traveled abroad and composed his works by drawing upon the writings of earlier scholars and explorers. As indicated in the subtitle, Conder organized his book on Arabia into sections. He begins by describing the topography of the different regions of Arabia and such climatic phenomena as the semoum (poison) winds that blow across the Syrian Desert in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Shibaura
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was a prolific artist and woodblock printer ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Enlightening the Bewildered about the New Calendar
Xin li xiao huo (Enlightening the bewildered about the new calendar) is by Tang Ruowang, the Chinese name of Johann Adam Schall von Bell (circa 1592–1666), the German Jesuit missionary and astronomer who became an important adviser to the first emperor of the Qing dynasty. Schall had trained in Rome in the astronomical system of Galileo. He arrived in Macao in 1619, where he studied Chinese and mathematics, and  reached the Chinese mainland in 1622. After impressing the Chinese with the superiority of Western astronomy by correctly predicting the ...
Contributed by National Central Library
Fairmount Waterworks. From the Forebay
This lithograph is a partial view of the Fairmount Waterworks, on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, one of America’s earliest municipal water-treatment systems. Powered consecutively by steam engines, waterwheels, and pumps that lifted water to reservoirs on a hill (Faire Mount), the waterworks and its beautiful setting were a tourist attraction from the beginning. They are seen here from the forebay, the reservoir from which the water was drawn to run the equipment. The plant was designed by Frederick Graff, and the result was an innovative engineering success and ...
Philadelphia Arcade. Joseph L. Moore, Dealer in Fancy & Staple Dry Goods
This lithograph by George Lehman (circa 1800–70) shows the south front of the Philadelphia Arcade, which was designed by John Haviland and erected in 1826−27 on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets. Joseph L. Moore was a dealer in fancy and dry goods in New York, and this advertisement is for his Philadelphia branch, with a separate section for selling wholesale. The legend says that the store “is constantly receiving from New-York auctions every description of goods in his line which will be sold at very reduced ...
Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania. Near Philadelphia
This hand-colored lithograph shows a view looking past farmland to the Eastern Penitentiary of Pennsylvania. In the foreground, two boys sit in a fenced pasture in which cows graze near sheds and an enclosed pond with ducks swimming on it. In the background, a farm is visible in front of the prison at which a carriage is parked and a man rides on horseback. The penitentiary was built in 1823–36 after the designs of John Haviland and opened in an unfinished state in 1829. Located at 2101–99 Fairmount ...