As many of you know, our blog title comes from Lévi-Strauss’s book Pensée Sauvage, translated in English as The Savage Mind, but which is a pun on the French word for “wild pansies” (viola tricolor). We are now working on a redesign of our website and I’ve been spending a lot of my time searching Google for good images of wild pansies that we could use for our banner.
The image on the blog sidebar right now is the one that was on the cover of Lévi-Strauss’s book. It is by Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Unfortunately, it seems impossible to find high-resolution scans of this image in the public-domain. I have found some other botanical illustrations that I like, but was still looking when I discovered the work of Count Franz Pocci, who painted this delightful painting, which I just had to share with everyone:
Here is a poem he wrote to go with it, titled “Faculty Professors”:
Here stand the University chaps,
In their grand official gowns and caps;
And thinks full sure, each learned elf:
“The cleverest here? – ‘tis I myself!”
He did many more illustrations in a similar vein, but alas, I am also having difficulty finding any which are high resolution. (Although, to be honest, this image probably wouldn’t work very well as a banner…)
If anyone can help us find high quality, public-domain or CC-licensed, illustrations of wild pansies, including those mentioned in this post, we would be much obliged. Or if you are artistically talented and would like to submit your own drawing for consideration, feel free to do so. (The image should be 1600 x 230 pixels, although it can be taller if you wish. Note that the image should look just as good when cropped to the middle 600 pixels as when at full width.)
UPDATE: Thanks so much to Will Schofield at 50watts.com (the site that posted the image used above), I now have a high resolution scan of Pocci’s image! Still looking for other public domain pansy illustrations though, if you have any!