Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ladies' Manual of Art

Ladies' Manual of Art (1887)

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A guide to all types of decorative art and crafts (their idea of ladies' art) that starts with rudiments of drawing and goes to move involved forms such as stained glass, oil color landscapes, paper-flower making.  It's interesting to see crafts that no longer exist or more likely have been mechanized so much that nobody does them by hand - Pearl Embroidery on Velvet, Vitrimanie, Wax Art, China Painting.  The book doesn't hesitate to include photography and even taxidermy!  Not many craft manuals today would explain how to preserve insects and certainly not intestinal worms (p279).

As you can see from the second illustration below it's generally on such an introductory level that I'm not sure the instructions would help anybody learn anything.  Who could possibly figure out how to draw from being shown the idea of perspective?  The previous pages even explained what a circle is.  I don't think this is entirely due to it being aimed at the "Ladies" in the title since the introduction says this is also intended to teach children.