Historic Illustrations of Art & Architecture (Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

Pantheon section, ca. 118-125 C.E. Illustration from: Fletcher, Banister, A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method, Sixth edition.

This collection is the result of a project undertaken by Allan Kohl, Visual Resources Librarian at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. These historic illustrations were originally published during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many appeared in publications that predated the widespread use of photography for art documentation (see list of publications below). As a result, these engravings, line drawings, and plans reflect both the technological and aesthetic standards of their time. By their very nature, they often represent subjective interpretations of monuments and works, offering fascinating insights into the cultural values of Art and Architectural History during the formative years of these disciplines. Thus, anyone wishing to use these images for teaching or research should bear this in mind. Moreover, some of these illustrations many no longer reflect current scholarship due to subsequent research and critical reassessment of individual sites and works since the original publication of these illustrations. Therefore, the pedagogical use of these images should always be complemented by comparison to updated plans, drawings, and photographs of the subject works and sites. Nevertheless, however outdated, these illustrations do offer beautiful examples of the draughtsman's or engraver's skill, and may be appreciated as visual works in their own right.

The historic illustrations contained in this collection were scanned from the following publications:

  • Architecture, Sculpture, and the Industrial Arts Among the Nations of Antiquity / a series of illustrations arranged chronologically, and forming an atlas, to be used in connection with any work on the history of art. Authorized American edition, published under the supervision of S. R. Koehler. Boston: L. Prang and Company, 1879. Series I.
  • Architecture, Sculpture, and the Industrial Arts Among the Nations of Antiquity / a series of illustrations arranged chronologically, and forming an atlas, to be used in connection with any work on the history of art. Authorized American edition, published under the supervision of S. R. Koehler. Boston: L. Prang and Company, 1879. Series II.
  • Fletcher, Banister. A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method. Sixth edition, rewritten and enlarged. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921.
  • Lübke, Wilhelm. Outlines of the History of Art. A new translation from the seventh German edition, edited by Clarence Cook. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1881. Volume I.
  • Michel, André. Histoire de l'Art / depuis les premiers temps chrétiens jusqu'à nos jours. Paris: Librairie Armand Colin, 1905. Tome I, Deuxième partie.
  • Reinach, Salomon. Apollo / an illustrated manual of the history of art throughout the ages. From the French by Florence Simmonds. New edition, revised by the author. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914.