Imperceptible in the light, only when illuminated by flame in the dark is a 19th-century lithophane image revealed. A series of photographs demonstrating this often overlooked imaging process, where very thin porcelain displays a hidden three-dimensional imprinted image only when backlit, were recently added to Wikimedia Commons by the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht, Netherlands, south of Amsterdam.
The lithophanes are part of over 2,600 high-resolution images contributed from the museum’s collections, which focus on religious art dating back to the Middle Ages and Dutch paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. There’s also a silver memento mori casket from the 18th century, a clay monk with stigmata emerging from the mold that made him from the 15th century, and a stunning early 17th-century reliquary still holding some saintly remains attributed to St. Willibrord.
The Museum Catharijneconvent lithophanes are illuminated in an 1860–79 cast iron frame with an embedded lamp, the light radiating through religious scenes, such as the Holy Family journeying by donkey and the luminous Christ Child. Lithophanes were sometimes used to decorate lamps, as portraiture, and in stained glass. With their discrete nature they even on occasion were designed to reveal clandestine erotica when held up to a flame. Although obscure, they’re not completely forgotten, as a small museum is devoted to them at the Toledo Botanical Garden in Ohio, and some people are reviving the technique with 3D printing. You can see the Museum Catharijneconvent lithophanes below, and explore hundreds more of the museum’s objects now in the public domain of Wikipedia.
View all of the over 2,600 images from the Museum Catharijneconvent on Wikimedia Commons.
Artist Minouk Lim wants to offer a very different perspective on how one might deal with a grim history whose effects continue to be felt in the present.
This week: Should Washington have a national memorial for gun violence? Have cats used us to take over the world? What is Cluttercore? And more.
Jo Sandman / TRACES opens with a reception for the artist on June 3 at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
Workers told Hyperallergic that they were tired of meager pay and a lack of job security.
The artist’s style blends aesthetic and cultural elements from Ghana, London, and New York’s graffiti scenes.
Funding MFAs and all full-time graduate degrees, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports immigrants and the children of immigrants in the US.
Authorities say Jean-Luc Martinez helped facilitate the Louvre’s purchase of objects illegally pillaged during the Arab Spring.
The suspects attempted to take a Basquiat artwork valued at $45,000 from Taglialatella Galleries but instead made off with a half-empty bottle of whiskey.
Five shortlisted applicants will each receive a $25,000 production grant and participate in an online residency program with Eyebeam. The Grand Prix recipient will be awarded an additional $25,000.
From music and architecture to comedy and horror, these films showcase Ukrainian culture and its long-held ethos of resistance.
The artists showcased in Archival Intimacies examine the colonial trauma’s impact on Asian Americans and search for ways to overcome it.
Eiffel inadvertently paints its protagonist not as a great man worthy of scrutiny or praise, but as the Elon Musk of his day.