The Churning of the Ocean of Milk, ca. 1780-90. Creator: Unknown
The Churning of the Ocean of Milk, ca. 1780-90. At the time of the great deluge aeons ago, many treasures— including amrita, the nectar of immortality—were lost beneath the primordial ocean. Gods and demons still jockeying for power decided to raise these powerful objects from the watery depths. They harnessed the serpent Vasuki as a rope to turn Mount Mandara and Vishnu assumed his tortoise avatar to support the giant pivot. The demons, tricked into pulling the head of the snake, were weakened by its poisonous breath. Here, many of the treasures have already been raised and are visible in the sky, while Vishnu is seen twice, below and atop the peak.
© Heritage Art/Heritage Images
Indian embroidery, weaving, plaiting and lacquerwork, (1898). Creator: Unknown
Indian embroidery, weaving, plaiting and lacquerwork, (1898). 'Fig 1: Embroidered carpet of the 16th century. Figs 2-6: Borders from silk-embroideries. Fig 7: Pattern embroidered in silk. Figs 8 and 9: Cotton carpets. Fig 10: Mat of plaited rushes. Figs 11 and 12: Border patterns of Cashmere shawls. Fig 13: Painted lacquerwork...In consequence of British competition, the art of weaving, formerly brought to the highest perfection, is now decaying; also in modern silk embroidery the former quiet harmony is frequently disturbed by using the too vivid aniline colours. But the Cashmere shawls, being celebrated for ages all over the world, will still keep their renown for a long time owing to their unrivalled fineness and delicacy and to their magnificent colours'. Plate 16 from "The Historic Styles of Ornament" translated from the German of H. Dolmetsch. [B.T. Batford, London, 1898]
© The Print Collector/Heritage Images
'The Circus', mock-up for a book cover, c1950. Creator: Shirley Markham
'The Circus', mock-up for a book cover, c1950. Illustration for "The Circus" by E Dermot Wellington. Shirley Markham (1931-1999) studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central School of Art in London from 1950-1952. The writer, artist, poet, and illustrator Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) was one of her tutors, and her style of drawing was also influenced by other British illustrators such as Edward Ardizzone, Quentin Blake and Edward Bawden. Markham spent time in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy, and also visited Rome, sketching classical buildings. After graduating from Central, she worked as a graphic designer, producing book illustrations, cartoons for comics, menus and programmes. She gave up her promising career however when she got married in 1957. Middle-class women at that time were expected to devote their energies to bringing up children and running the home, and despite her obvious talent, she lacked the confidence to return to illustration. Her portfolio remained in the family attic for many years, but now her work is published here for the first time.
© Shirley Markham Collection / Heritage-Images