Yesterday I found some Japanese designs from 1860, today I’m sharing some 1890s illustrations that are definitely western interpretations of eastern subjects. These two graphics, that I have altered for my purposes, are from a book entitled Gospel of Buddha published in 1894 and reprinted in 1917.
The lotus and ivy frame appeared on a chapter title page with another image and two text boxes, but I think the juxtaposition of English ivy with the lotus imagery from Buddhist thought and the cute little songbirds that are everywhere in popular late Victorian and turn of the century drawings is so interesting that I wanted to use the image by itself. So here it is.
I have no idea what mermaids have to do with the Buddha, I think absolutely nothing other than in the mind of the illustrator, but I love the drawing’s whimsy.
I hate to think of the work of the graphic artists who were so creative being lost, and with the digitization of print materials on archive.org and companion projects there is a wealth of material that can be recycled in a perfectly legal fashion while bringing the efforts of past generations to the future. I like to give credit where credit is due and this material was originally drawn by O. Kopetzky. The featured image that appears on the main blog page with a snippet of this post is also by Kopetzky. It is good karma to acknowledge creators, doesn’t it? I mean this is a work about the Buddha after all.