Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: the Nymphs of Elihu Vedder

Elihu Vedder is an American artist who spent his late years living in Rome. His painting The Pleiades is inscribed: Rome, 1885. The nymphs being pulled towards the stars remind of the women in the Voynich Manuscript, which in 1885 was reportedly just few miles away from Vedder - in Frascati.


10 comments:

  1. Ellie: Guess I'm kinda weird, but I've always liked Vedder's work. Much of it is connected to the Egyptian revival of his time. I haven't found a source for any reproductions.
    Don

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  2. Hi Ellie: As I wrote to the VMs-net, "As usual you've found a thought-provoking comparison. From my perspective, I'd like to repeat some observations of mine:

    "When a striking comparison is found, the image is always either in a collection in a place that Wilfred Voynich is known to have frequented; or was published in a book before 1912. Also, I note that such really close comparisons are not made for images and items exclusively post-1912, although they cover the range from about the beginning of literature to about 1912.

    "But perhaps nude women holding dotted stars by strings is an concept that is seen elsewhere, in other works, of other times. Is it?" Rich SantaColoma

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  3. Hi Don. I've never heard of Vedder before, but from what I saw - I really like his work. He actually went to Egypt and traveled the Nile - I saw his notes with sketches from this journey. I thought that maybe he is the kind of person that the people holding the VMs in 1885 would seek for opinion, since he was residing in Rome and in high social circles :)
    Hi Rich. I agree - it is interesting to find out if there are more examples of stars on strings. Was this discussed before on the list?

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  4. It may have been discussed, but I don't remember. For your interest, the painting appeared as an engraved copy in an 1885 magazine, "The Magazine of Art", on page 121: http://books.google.com/books?id=mkscAQAAMAAJ

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  5. Ellie, somewhere recently I read that one could determine if some plants/vines were cultivated by the structural details of how their stems were trailing, and how far apart the main stems were. Perhaps this is what we are seeing with the "boat roots". One can also determine if a particular plant is "aquatic" by the length of the mainstem from the "root-bed". What you may be seeing in the painting's women with stars on strings is symbolism for the "Pleiades" goddesses (aka: Nymphaeae).

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  6. Hello Ellie! Has anyone else yet clued you to "Castel Del Monte" discussion in re a book recently published by Fallacara & Occinegro? Professor Fallacara has recently posted a couple of comments on Nick's pages. The gentlemen just had a televised conference several days ago. Beautiful castle! And just what I have been tracking down, with my translations of various very valuable "trade items" portrayed on Boenicke ms 408. Let's see if this post will post only once on your comment page!

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  7. What do I do to prevent duplicate posts? Maybe go through the "anonymous" route?

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  8. Hi BD, yes, I follow Nick's blog and read about the Casa del Monte idea. Beautiful castle, but I don't understand how it relates to the VMs. Interesting discussion though.
    Don't worry about the double posting. I have no idea why it is happening. Not a problem.
    I knew you will be interested in the Pleiades post - you've been talking about it for a long time.
    All the best! Ellie

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  9. Nick now has two discussion pages discussing the Del Monte castle. Both Nick and Prof. Fallacara have overlaid the castle's photos with the Vms "Nine-Rosettes" folio. I've been reading quite a lot of "hard copy" the last few days which discusses Frederick IIs other castles and fortifications -- some dozen of them. What seems to have sparked the interest of Professor Fallacara is my recent references to the Treaties of Nymphaeum.

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  10. There is also pictures of ritualist dances where women in the set number of the Voynich and dance.

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