Leonardo3 offers detailed studies of da Vinci's paintings

Afficionatos of the work of Leonardo da Vinci will enjoy visiting the website Leonardo3, which offers detailed studies of the artist's paintings. The site is in Italian. (photos)

2010 Palio takes place in Siena, Italy

The Tartuca (Tortoise) neighborhood is the winner of this year's Palio, a bareback horse race that takes place in the middle of Siena, Italy.

Medici "murder" solved

For centuries, it was theorized that Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his second wife, Bianca Cappello were murdered, but new evidence shows that their deaths were from natural causes.

Galileo's fingers on display in Florence

Two of Galileo's fingers were discovered during rennovations at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. The remains are currently on display along with Galileo's famous telescope.

16th century violin joins South Dakota collection

The National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota boasts instruments ranging from gamelans to medieval mandolins. Now the museum has added a 400-year-old Amati Brothers violin. Gary Ellenbolt of NPR has the audio story.

Confirmed as Tintoretto, painting still baffles scholars

When the National Trust took over the Kingston Lacy mansion, the filthy old painting on the wall could not be identified. Now, after cleaning, the painting is confirmed as the work of Renaissance master Tintoretto, but art historians aren't sure who the allegorical figures in the picture are meant to represent.

Medici collection sculpture to be sold

An antiquity once owned by Lorenzo de Medici will go on sale at Sotheby's June 11. 'Il Magnifico' laid claim to Three Satrys Fighting a Serpent shortly after its excavation in 1489.

Can Botticelli make you high?

A plant in Botticelli's Venus and Mars resembles the hallucinogen Datura stramonium. Blogger Jonathan Jones speculates that the artist intended the painting to affect the viewer like taking a love potion.

Vatican treasures at Missouri History Museum

Over two hundred rare works of art and historical artifacts are on display May 15-September 12, 2010 at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis.

[ATE] Dante's Inferno

Welcome to HELL!

Maps: "Snapshots" of history

Most of us think of a map as a tool for getting from one place to another. But throughout history, mapmakers have had other priorities than providing a factual picture of the world.

"Dante's inferno", a new take on Hell

The marketers of Electronic Arts' videogame Dante's Inferno had an unusual rollout plan: self-protest the game, based on Dante Alighieri's 14th century work, as an evil, anti-Christian entertainment to drum up publicity for the game. Reviewers found Inferno to be less hellish and more of a dud. Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times has the story.

16th century museum reopens in Venice

The concept of a museum to view art and antiquities was unknown until 16th century Venice when wealthy families designed buildings to showcase Roman statuary. Now the Palazzo Grimani, one of the pioneering museums of the city, has restored and reopened to the public.

Ultra-violet rays reveal Giotto treasures in Florence chapel

Restoration experts using ultra-violet technology have rediscovered details of 14th wall paintings by the Italian master Giotto in the Peruzzi Chapel at the Santa Croce Church in Florence, Italy. (photo)

Google to digitize Italian libraries

Google has signed an agreement to digitize one million books, written before 1868, from libraries in Rome and Florence. The books will be free on Google Books.

New da Vinci code predicts end of the world

Vatican researcher Sabrina Sforza Galitzia believes that Leonardo da Vinci worked out a code predicting the world to end on November 1, 4006.

Italian village hosts annual 13th century reenactment

A small town in central Italy stages an annual festival, lasting ten days, in which residents divide into four neighborhoods and compete to see who can best reenact life in that town in the 13th century. (video)

"Modeling Devotion" showcases Renaissance sculpture

A new exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusets, focusses on the largely-overlooked field of painted Renaissance terracotta sculptures.

Lasers to be used to clean historic paintings

Long used to clean metal and stone, lasers may be the new tool of choice for cleaning famous works of art. The technique is the same used to remove tattoos.

DNA may help solve 16th century murder

Gaetano La Fata, Mayor of Carini, Italy, has an extremely cold case on his hands: the murder of Baroness Laura Lanzaand her lover Ludovico Vernagallo, killed in 1563 when caught in bed together.

The love poems of Michelangelo on display

In his fifties, it appears that renaissance master Michelangelo fell in love with a Roman nobleman 40 years his junior. A record of the infatuation can be found in handwritten sonnets on display for the first time at the British Museum in London.

Shroud of Turin expected to draw crowds from around the world

Whether it is real or an inspired hoax, the Shroud of Turin is one of the most recognized holy relics in the world. Its upcoming display is expected to draw over two million visitors to Turin Cathedral.

Renaissance texts "unread and unstudied"

In a podcast for the Classics and Ancient History website, Peter Mack and Maude Vanhalen discuss Renaissance thought and the fact that much of its works, most written in Latin, have been "largely unread and unstudied." (MP3)

Mona Lisa identity may cause da Vinci exhumation

A team of experts from Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage are requesting permission to exhume the remains of Leonardo da Vinci in hopes of revealing the real identity of the Mona Lisa.

Source of Aqua Traiana discovered

British father and son filmmaking team Ted and Michael O'Neill believe they have found the source of the Aqua Traiana, the 2nd century aqueduct, constructed by the Emperor Trajan, 30-40km northwest of Rome. (photos)

Michelangelo drawings show "unequaled understanding of the human body"

Michelangelo is revered one of the greatest masters of Renaissance art, especially when it comes to depicting the form of the human body. A new exhibit at the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia, explores this aspect of his work.

Bronzino: most influential 16th century painter in Florence

In the mid 16th century, Agnolo Bronzino was the most respected portraitist in Florence. Now a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Drawings of Bronzino, offers 59 of his works on paper. (slideshow)

Da Vinci resume online

In a letter to the Duke of Milan, Lenoardo da Vinci outlines his qualifications as an engineer and an artist. A scanned version of the resume with translation is available online.

Secret Vatican documents published

A collection of 105 documents, some dating back over 1,000 years, has been published in book form by the Vatican. The Vatican Secret Archives features a such diverse documents as a letter from the grandson of Genghis Khan to a 1550 note from Michelangelo demanding payment.

Mona Lisa suffered from high cholesterol

Vito Franco of the University of Palermo thinks Mona Lisa is sick, that is, she suffered from "worryingly high levels of cholesterol." Franco bases his observations on a "xanthelasma – a subcutaneous accumulation of cholesterol – in the hollow of the Mona Lisa's left eye, and a tell-tale lipoma, a fatty tissue tumour, on one hand."