Highlights From the BPL’s Louis Prang & Co. Collection

From the archives of the Boston Public Library’s Louis Prang & Company Chromolithographs collection, all scanned in lovingly, Rodney’s-friendly high resolution. L. Prang & Co.’s cards and prints were popular in the late 19th and early 20th Century; Prang is credited with popularizing the Christmas card in America. The total digitized collection contains over 1400 images.

“Domes of the Yosemite Valley” Download Full Resolution PNG
“Lake Tahoe, Looking Southwest” Download Full Resolution PNG
“Gloucester Beach” Download Full Resolution PNG
“Chicago World’s Fair 1893” Download Full Resolution PNG
“Chicago Exposition 1893” Download Full Resolution PNG
“Chicago Exposition 1893” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Summit of the Sierras, Nevada” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Day’s Work is Done” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Autumn” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Seascape at Sunrise” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Sunny Day” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Fairy Tales” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Golden Evening” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Checkers” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“In the Garden” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Maurandia” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Cardinal Flowers” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Carnations and Mignonette” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Azaleas” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Apple-Blossoms and Bees / Cherry Blossoms and Bees” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Autumn Leaves” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Senator H. R. Revels” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“At Easter Joy” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Portrait of a Woman” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Woman’s Portrait Enframed with Yellow Roses” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“22 Species of Birds” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Among the Blossoms” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Uncle Toby” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Terrier Seated” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Saved” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Blackberries and Magnolia Grandiflora” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Two Bunches of Yellow Roses” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Chrysanthemums” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Flowers” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Flowers in a Fan Shape” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Buttercups and Apple Blossoms” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“The Eastern Shore” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Night Scene in Winter with Moon and a Church Tower in the Background” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Examples of Historical Ornament, Egyptian” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Examples of Historical Ornament, Greek” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Civil War trompe l’oeil” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Design for Christmas Card” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Boating Scene: A Critical Moment” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Night Seascape” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“La Primavera” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Little Girl with Leaves” Download Full Resolution PNG
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“Little Girl with Sunflowers” Download Full Resolution PNG

Highlights From the BPL’s Louis Prang & Co. Collection

Academic Art is a Guilty Pleasure

Academic Art: The Adult Contemporary of fine art.

Strip the striving out of Romanticism, the fear out of Symbolism, and this is what you get. Endless Joans of Arc, Opheliae, Venuses. Putti, cupids and angels. Nudes. Sentimentalism.

Note the awkward, static poses of Academic art. Any pretext for nudity. There’s a reason this movement fell out of favor. (But are Schiele‘s sneering portraits of his own corrupted harem any more pure as art for having their beauty removed?)

Note Bouguereau’s almost paternal use of the same models sometimes for decades: the same faces appearing on children, youths, mothers, lending his work a hint of something deeper than critic-pleasing cheesecake.

How hard do you come down on Orientalism? No matter how bubbled the glass, it remains a looking outward, a fascination with Otherness. Darkly will be glimpsed our dreams–sweet, cruel, lascivious, and all three–but we look only to be looked back upon. Gleyre’s Persian girl still fixes us in the gaze of an undeniable humanity.

Is there an opposite to Orientalism? Peasant fascination in Academic Art tends to represent only the dream of Arcadia, not any deeper social conscience. (But then there’s Makovsky’s gypsy.)

You know Arcadia. It’s there behind the bluetooth headphones Starbucks paperboard the stab of parking car headlights 69 megapascals of compressive force darkened glass bad music discount raincoat soap as an offensive perfume and cologne as an offensive weapon some girl life moving around you where are you going why have you been that person you should text her you should text her blue asshole lights in the rain darkness glistening like surgical instruments and the dream of Arcadia.

Imagine Peel’s juvenile shepherdess as a photograph leaked onto the internet. Is it any wonder that the soft simplicity of the dream still speaks to us?

Lawrence Alma-Tadema "A Sculptor's Model"
Lawrence Alma-Tadema “A Sculptor’s Model”
Lawrence Alma-Tadema "Spring"
Lawrence Alma-Tadema “Spring”
Pedro Américo "Joan of Arc"
Pedro Américo “Joan of Arc”
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "A Little Coaxing" (1890)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “A Little Coaxing” (1890)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros" (1880)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros” (1880)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "After the Bath" (1875)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “After the Bath” (1875)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Bather" (1870)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Bather” (1870)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "At the Edge of the Brook" (1875)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “At the Edge of the Brook” (1875)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Charity" (1878)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Charity” (1878)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Dawn" (1881)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Dawn” (1881)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Evening Mood" (1882)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Evening Mood” (1882)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "L'Amour et Psych" (1899)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “L’Amour et Psych” (1899)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "L'Amour Mouille"
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “L’Amour Mouille”
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "L'Orage" (1874)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “L’Orage” (1874)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Le Guêpier" (1892)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Le Guêpier” (1892)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Les noisettes"
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Les noisettes”
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Les Oreades" (1902)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Les Oreades” (1902)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Love on the Lookout" (1890)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Love on the Lookout” (1890)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Meditation" (1901)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Meditation” (1901)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Not Too Much To Carry" (1895)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Not Too Much To Carry” (1895)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Nymphs and Satyr" (1873)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Nymphs and Satyr” (1873)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Pêche pour les grenouilles"
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Pêche pour les grenouilles”
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Return of Spring" (1886)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Return of Spring” (1886)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Song of the Angels" (1881)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Song of the Angels” (1881)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "The Birth of Venus" (1879)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “The Birth of Venus” (1879)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "The Nymphaeum" (1878)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “The Nymphaeum” (1878)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "The Youth of Bacchus" (1884)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “The Youth of Bacchus” (1884)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Whisperings of Love" (1889)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Whisperings of Love” (1889)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau "Young Woman Contemplating Two Embracing Children" (1861)
William-Adolphe Bouguereau “Young Woman Contemplating Two Embracing Children” (1861)
Alexandre Cabanel "Albayde"
Alexandre Cabanel “Albayde”
Alexandre Cabanel "Cléopatre essayant des poisons sur des condamnés à mort"
Alexandre Cabanel “Cléopatre essayant des poisons sur des condamnés à mort”
Alexandre Cabanel "Expulsion of Adam and Eve"
Alexandre Cabanel “Expulsion of Adam and Eve”
Alexandre Cabanel "The Birth of Venus" (1863)
Alexandre Cabanel “The Birth of Venus” (1863)
Charles Chaplin "A Song Silenced"
Charles Chaplin “A Song Silenced”
Pierre Auguste Cot "Ophelia"
Pierre Auguste Cot “Ophelia”
Pierre Auguste Cot "Spring" (1873)
Pierre Auguste Cot “Spring” (1873)
Thomas Couture "Romans During the Decadence"
Thomas Couture “Romans During the Decadence”
Georges Croegaert "The Reading Woman"
Georges Croegaert “The Reading Woman”
Paul Delaroche "Henriette Sontag in her Donna Anna Costume" (1831)
Paul Delaroche “Henriette Sontag in her Donna Anna Costume” (1831)
Paul Delaroche "Execution of Lady Jane Grey" (1834)
Paul Delaroche “Execution of Lady Jane Grey” (1834)
Anselm Feuerbach "Medea"
Anselm Feuerbach “Medea”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "An Idyll" (1852)
Jean-Léon Gérôme “An Idyll” (1852)
Jean-Léon Gérôme "Diogenes"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “Diogenes”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "Harem Pool"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “Harem Pool”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "Head of a Woman"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “Head of a Woman”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "Muezzin Calling from the Top of a Minaret"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “Muezzin Calling from the Top of a Minaret”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "Pollice Verso"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “Pollice Verso”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "The Carpet Merchant"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “The Carpet Merchant”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "The Duel After the Masquerade"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “The Duel After the Masquerade”
Jean-Léon Gérôme "The Slave Market"
Jean-Léon Gérôme “The Slave Market”
Charles Gleyre "Lost Illusions"
Charles Gleyre “Lost Illusions”
Charles Gleyre "Oriental Lady" (1865)
Charles Gleyre “Oriental Lady” (1865)
Charles Gleyre "The Bath"
Charles Gleyre “The Bath”
John William Godward "A Priestess" (1893)
John William Godward “A Priestess” (1893)
John William Godward "Campaspe"
John William Godward “Campaspe”
John William Godward "L'Oracle de Delphes" (1899)
John William Godward “L’Oracle de Delphes” (1899)
John William Godward "Study of Miss Ethel Warwick"
John William Godward “Study of Miss Ethel Warwick”
John William Godward "Violets, Sweet Violets"
John William Godward “Violets, Sweet Violets”
Francesco Hayez "Accusa segreta" (1847)
Francesco Hayez “Accusa segreta” (1847)
Francesco Hayez "Bathsheba Bathing"
Francesco Hayez “Bathsheba Bathing”
Francesco Hayez "Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem" (1867)
Francesco Hayez “Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem” (1867)
Francesco Hayez "La Meditazione" (1850)
Francesco Hayez “La Meditazione” (1850)
Francesco Hayez "Meditation on the History of Italy"
Francesco Hayez “Meditation on the History of Italy”
Francesco Hayez "Self-portrait with Tiger and Lion"
Francesco Hayez “Self-portrait with Tiger and Lion”
Vojtech Hynais "Lezici akt"
Vojtech Hynais “Lezici akt”
Paul Jamin "Le Brenn et sa part de butin" (1893)
Paul Jamin “Le Brenn et sa part de butin” (1893)
Julius Kronberg "Der neue Spielkamerad"
Julius Kronberg “Der neue Spielkamerad”
Julius Kronberg "Romeo and Juliet on the Balcony"
Julius Kronberg “Romeo and Juliet on the Balcony”
Jules Joseph Lefebvre "Girl with a Mandolin"
Jules Joseph Lefebvre “Girl with a Mandolin”
Jules Joseph Lefebvre "La Cigarra" (1872)
Jules Joseph Lefebvre “La Cigarra” (1872)
Jules Joseph Lefebvre "Lady Godiva"
Jules Joseph Lefebvre “Lady Godiva”
Jules Joseph Lefebvre "Morning Glory" (1879)
Jules Joseph Lefebvre “Morning Glory” (1879)
Frederic Leighton "Perseus and Andromeda"
Frederic Leighton “Perseus and Andromeda”
Frederic Leighton "The Fisherman and the Syren" (1856)
Frederic Leighton “The Fisherman and the Syren” (1856)
Hans Makart "An Egyptian Princess" (1875)
Hans Makart “An Egyptian Princess” (1875)
Hans Makart "Japanese Kimono"
Hans Makart “Japanese Kimono”
Hans Makart "The Five Senses"
Hans Makart “The Five Senses”
Hans Makart "Abundantia: the Gifts of the Sea" (1870)
Hans Makart “Abundantia: the Gifts of the Sea” (1870)
Konstantin Makovsky "Allegorical Scene"
Konstantin Makovsky “Allegorical Scene”
Konstantin Makovsky "Beauty Preparing to Bathe"
Konstantin Makovsky “Beauty Preparing to Bathe”
Konstantin Makovsky "Geburt der Aphrodite"
Konstantin Makovsky “Geburt der Aphrodite”
Konstantin Makovsky "Gypsy"
Konstantin Makovsky “Gypsy”
Konstantin Makovsky "Happy Arcadia"
Konstantin Makovsky “Happy Arcadia”
Konstantin Makovsky "The Appeal of Minin"
Konstantin Makovsky “The Appeal of Minin”
Hughues Merle "Tristan and Isolde"
Hughues Merle “Tristan and Isolde”
Hughues Merle "Hebe apres sa chute"
Hughues Merle “Hebe apres sa chute”
Domenico Morelli "Pompeian Bath" (1861)
Domenico Morelli “Pompeian Bath” (1861)
Émile Munier "Head of a Young Girl"
Émile Munier “Head of a Young Girl”
Émile Munier "La baigneuse"
Émile Munier “La baigneuse”
Karel Ooms "Summer Fantasy"
Karel Ooms “Summer Fantasy”
Paul Peel "The Little Shepherdess"
Paul Peel “The Little Shepherdess”
Edward Poynter "Andromeda" (1869)
Edward Poynter “Andromeda” (1869)
Edward Poynter "Cave of the Storm Nymphs"
Edward Poynter “Cave of the Storm Nymphs”
Georges Rochegrosse "The Death of Messalina" (1916)
Georges Rochegrosse “The Death of Messalina” (1916)
Georges Rochegrosse "Le Chevalier aux Fleurs" (1894)
Georges Rochegrosse “Le Chevalier aux Fleurs” (1894)
Georges Rochegrosse "The Mirror"
Georges Rochegrosse “The Mirror”
Georges Rochegrosse "The Arab Guard"
Georges Rochegrosse “The Arab Guard”
Ary Scheffer "The Souliot Women" (1827)
Ary Scheffer “The Souliot Women” (1827)
Ary Scheffer "De hemelse en aardse liefde" (1850)
Ary Scheffer “De hemelse en aardse liefde” (1850)
Eugene Siberdt "Farewell Dear France, 15 August 1561"
Eugene Siberdt “Farewell Dear France, 15 August 1561”
Henryk Siemiradzki "Before the Bath"
Henryk Siemiradzki “Before the Bath”
Henryk Siemiradzki "Portrait einer römischen Schönheit" (1889)
Henryk Siemiradzki “Portrait einer römischen Schönheit” (1889)
Henryk Siemiradzki "Das Gespräch"
Henryk Siemiradzki “Das Gespräch”
Henryk Siemiradzki "Judgement of Paris"
Henryk Siemiradzki “Judgement of Paris”
Henryk Siemiradzki "Nimfa"
Henryk Siemiradzki “Nimfa”
Henryk Siemiradzki "Tanz der Schwerter Anagoria"
Henryk Siemiradzki “Tanz der Schwerter Anagoria”
Joseph Noel Sylvestre "Visigoths Sack Rome"
Joseph Noel Sylvestre “Visigoths Sack Rome”
Raja Ravi Varma "Shantanu and Satyavati"
Raja Ravi Varma “Shantanu and Satyavati”
Eugen von Blaas "Die Wassertragerin"
Eugen von Blaas “Die Wassertragerin”
Eugen von Blaas "In the Water"
Eugen von Blaas “In the Water”
Wilhelm von Kaulbach "Die Seeschlacht bei Salamis" (1868)
Wilhelm von Kaulbach “Die Seeschlacht bei Salamis” (1868)
Wilhelm von Kaulbach "The Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus"
Wilhelm von Kaulbach “The Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus”
Franz von Lenbach "Family von Lenbach"
Franz von Lenbach “Family von Lenbach”
Franz von Lenbach "Porträt Marion Lenbach" (1901)
Franz von Lenbach “Porträt Marion Lenbach” (1901)
Carl Timoleon von Neff "The Bather"
Carl Timoleon von Neff “The Bather”
Carl Timoleon von Neff "Italian Woman with Children on the Stairs"
Carl Timoleon von Neff “Italian Woman with Children on the Stairs”
Georg von Rosen "Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld målad" (1886)
Georg von Rosen “Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld målad” (1886)
Fritz Zuber-Bühler "Innocence"
Fritz Zuber-Bühler “Innocence”
Fritz Zuber-Bühler "The Poetess"
Fritz Zuber-Bühler “The Poetess”
Fritz Zuber-Bühler "Birth of Venus"
Fritz Zuber-Bühler “Birth of Venus”
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