Ushnishavijaya Enthroned in the Womb of a Stupa, dated 1510-19. Creator: Unknown
Ushnishavijaya Enthroned in the Womb of a Stupa, dated 1510-19. This is one of the earliest extant images of the rarely represented Buddhist goddess Ushnishavijaya. She embodies a magical spell (dharani) recited by practitioners to reach liberation through the accumulation of merit. Multi-armed and multi-headed, Ushnishavijaya, white in color (like the autumn moon), is seated in the central stupa, flanked by red and green bodhisattvas and surrounded by the guardians of the eight directions and representations of Tara. As a manifestation of the Buddha's head protuberance, or ushnisha, she is associated with wisdom. The lowest register shows the consecration scene during the performance of the Lakshachaitya ritual, the dedication of one hundred thousand stupas.
© Heritage Art/Heritage Images
Devil and fairy, Christmas card, 1952. Creator: Shirley Markham
Devil and fairy, Christmas card, 1952. Design for a card with pantomime characters. 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
Do Spirits Return? Houdini says No - and Proves It', Lyceum Theatre, 1909
Do Spirits Return? Houdini says No - and Proves It', Lyceum Theatre , pub. 1909 (colour lithograph). After his mother's death, Harry Houdini (1874-1926) started a campaign to expose false mediums and conducted a series of shows to prove the myth.
© Historica Graphica Collection / Heritage-Images
20th Century, Black Magic, Colour, Colour Lithograph, Ehrich Weiss, English School 20th Century, Erik Weisz, Female, Flames, Ghosts, Ghouls, Girl, Harry Houdini, Harry Weiss, Historica Graphica Collection, Illusions, Illustration, Magic, Magician, Male, Man, Mediums, Poster, Skeletons, Skulls, Spirit, Spirits, Woman