Remarkable Impressions” is an exhibit from the Oviatt Library’s collections devoted to the legacy of the great illustrators of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The exhibit will be on display until Dec. 22, and is located on the second floor in the C.K. and Teresa Tseng Gallery.
Included in the exhibition are examples and explanations of the processes used to publish prints, including engraving, etching, lithography and hand-tinting.
The artists on display include William Hogarth, George Cruikshank, William Blake, Honore Daumier, Kate Greenaway and several others.
“The Rake’s Progress,” made in 1735 by William Hogarth, is a depiction of a man who seems to have hit rock bottom.
“Tom Rakewell is a victim of himself,” the caption underneath the picture reads.
Tom Rakewell’s progress seemed more like a weekend in Las Vegas. One of the pictures shows all-night entertainment in what seems like a hotel room. Tom wanted to have an orgy so he invited a friend and lots of prostitutes.
Tom and his acquaintances and the prostitutes trashed the rooms. They broke chairs, mirrors and destroyed paintings.
In another picture Tom is getting married to a one-eyed woman, whom he did not love or even care about. Tom gets arrested in the next picture.
Then, Tom gambles all of his money away and begins to lose his mind. In the last picture of this series, Tom is in an insane asylum with some pretty interesting looking characters.
Hogarth tells stories in his prints. Each picture is like a scene from a movie. There is no color in the Hogarth pictures, which makes each one seem more realistic. Each of his characters have a lot of detail in their faces. The men are more beautiful than the women.
“The Harlot’s Progress,” created in 1744, is another series by Hogarth on the life of a prostitute. Mary “Moll” Hackabout is the prostitute. In almost every scene Moll has her breasts revealed and she is ready for a man. Unfortunately for Mary, she dies from syphilis at the age of 23. The last scene is at Mary’s funeral, which is swarming with other prostitutes.
“Beer Alley,” another one of Hogarth’s creations, is full of functioning alcoholics. Everyone in the picture has a beer in their hand. The women delivering fish drink beer. The men riding people around in carriages are drinking beer. Men working on the top of a building are drunk as well.
“Gin Alley” is a picture that depicts the exact opposite. Instead of people being happy like in “Beer Alley,” it looks like the city destroyed itself. CSUN does not have “Gin Alley,” but they do compare the two pictures in their descriptions.
Hogarth was an English painter, engraver, pictorial satirist and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from excellent realistic portraits to comic strip-like series of pictures.
“The William Hogarth prints are recent donations,” said Tony Gardner, curator of the Oviatt Library’s Special Collections and Archives. “This collection has been built over the past 30 or so years.”
Many of the pieces that were encased looked very old, and some had to be repaired recently.
In order to keep the pieces looking their best they are stored in an area similar to a vault with the humidity controlled. The temperature is kept at 65 degrees and the humidity is stabilized at 50 degrees.
The collection also contains some George Cruikshank caricatures of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and sketches of plays.
“We have a few Cruikshank scenes, illustrated books and caricatures,” Gardner said.
One book had different scenes of men with wooden legs and all of the predicaments they can get themselves in. Cruikshank’s sketches and scraps were printed from a single copperplate etching. His work is similar to that of a modern-day cartoonist.
Cruikshank was a caricaturist and book illustrator from London. He illustrated “Oliver Twist” in 1838.
American Magazine, created by Louis Godey during the Civil War period, shows women’s fashion. Godey created the fashions based on what women were wearing from 1837 to 1877.
Although they cannot compare to Vogue, Godey’s art of women’s clothing was the haute couture of those days. The clothing looks similar to what Scarlett O’Hara wore in “Gone with the Wind.” The colors are bright and look as if they were done recently, considering how old the books are.
Godey founded the first successful women’s magazine, Lady’s Book, in 1830. The magazine also featured articles by famous authors and colored plates of the latest fashions.
“Books and Illustrations,” made by Honore Daumier in 1908, has a collection of his drawings and was issued on the anniversary of his birth.
Daumier was a French caricaturist, painter and sculptor. He mastered the technique of lithography.
“Reclining Nude,” a copperplate print, artist unknown, depicts a naked woman stretched out on a chaise lounge, her face is not shown. The library believes that this was crafted around the 19th or 20th century. An etching of the copperplate is above it to show all the detail that was imprinted on the plate.
The picture looks similar to the sketching of Rose by Jack from the movie “Titanic.”
Engraving tools were on display to show students what the artists used to create their pictures and etches. Burin, twisted needle, scraper, roulette, roller and etching grounds were the tools displayed. A brief description of each tool and what they were used for is available.
“Students can purchase any of these tools at a good art store or on the Web,” Gardner said.
Another method used by many of these artists is lithography. Lithography is a method for printing on a smooth surface. It can be used to print text or artwork onto paper or another suitable material.
Next to the tools in the display case there is a picture of a lithograph machine and a text by the person who invented it.
“Invention of Lithography,” written by Alois Senefelder in 1798, is near the picture of the machine. Senefelder created lithography because he was having trouble printing his play and went broke trying to get it printed. He experimented with other inks and types of printing and came out with lithography, which was originally printed on limestone.
According to Gardner, next semester there will be a comic book exhibit in the same location.
“I like how they do a different exhibit every semester,” said Valentina Korehagine, senior biotech major. “The guitar exhibit was the best the school ever had.”