1401 CE to 1500 CE

Scribing hazardous to health of medieval monks

New research on the bones of monks interred in six Danish cemeteries shows that the brothers may have been exposed to toxic mercury while copying Biblical texts. Mercury was used in the preparation of red ink.

"Michelangelo Code" latest renaissance mystery

Reminiscent of "The Da Vinci Code," a decades-old mystery involves the claim that Michelangelo painted subversive messages into his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, including "secret" profile of the medieval poet Dante and a portrait of Jesus on the cross.

Renaissance textiles in Kansas City

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri will present Revealing, Reversible and Resplendent: 15th-17th-Century Italian and Spanish Textiles through August 17, 2008. The exhibit includes elaborately-embroidered and woven religious and secular pieces (photo)

Bowdoin College Museum of Art presents exhibit on Renaissance marriage

Beauty and Duty: The Art and Business of Renaissance Marriage, an exhibit which "examines the manner in which art played a vital role in the rituals and celebrations of Renaissance marriage" will be on display at the Bowdoin College Art Museum (Brunswick, Maine) until July 27, 2008. The event's website also includes games and activities for children.

New book claims China started the Renaissance

“A sophisticated Chinese delegation visited Italy in 1434, sparked the Renaissance and forever changed the course of Western civilization." This is the premise of a controversial new book by Gavin Menzies 1421: The Year China Discovered the World.

The Soldier in later Medieval England

An innovative new research project, sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will look at the life of the professional soldier in England from 1369 to 1453.

Columbus-era ship yields wealth of artifacts

Geologists from De Beers, the diamond company, have discovered the wreck of a late 15th or early 16th century ship loaded with Spanish and Portuguese treasure behind a seawall in Namibia.

Tibetan Arms and Armor at Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will host Tibetan Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection through fall 2009 in the Arms and Armor Galleries, 1st floor, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gallery.

Lord Edward Mac Tavish achieves Veneur at Gulf Wars XVII

Lord Edward MacTavish was recognized as Veneur, the highest level of Hunter in the Hunt Guild Persona Challenge. He challenged each level over the course of several years at Gulf Wars.

David gets a facelift

Donatello's David, the 15th century masterpiece housed at Florence's Bargello Museum, has had "work done" in the form of laser treatment to clean off residue, including gold leaf used "on the statue to highlight its wavy hair and clothing."

Plans to exhume Galileo cause controversy

Plans to exhume the body of Renaissance scientist Galileo Galilei in order to test his DNA and establish the cause of his blindness have caused problems with the Catholic Church. The Rector of the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Florence, where Galileo is buried, is opposed to the exhumation.

Purloined map returned to Spain

A rare 15th century Ptolemy world view map stolen in 2007 from the National library of Spain has been discovered in a Sydney, Australia art gallery and returned to Spain.

Learn chess with Leonardo

Experts are speculating on whether the illustrations in a newly-discovered manuscript on chess were drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. De ludo scacchorum was discovered last year in a private collection.

Renaissance Dance Database

The Renaissance Dance Database is a tool for accessing the various dance resources available on the web. It enables searching by style, creator, primary source, or number of dancers. Suggestions of new links and resources are always welcome.

Renaissance dance weekend in England

Renaissance Footnotes will hold a weekend-long, Italian Renaissance dance workshop November 29-30, 2008 at Hurst Village Hall near Reading, England.

"Forbidden Shoes" in Toronto

On Tuesday April 1, 2008 from 6:00-7:00 pm, the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Ontario will present Forbidden Shoes: Fear and Footwear in Renaissance Italy, a lecture by Professor Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli of the University of Bologna, Italy.

Columbus may have spread "social disease"

A new study claims that explorer Christopher Columbus may have been responsible for bringing syphilis to Europe. The controversial theory has been debated for years, but the new study of molecular genetics may show whether the theory is true.

Hungary's Year-Long Rennaisance Festival

The contemporary celebration marks 550 years since the celebrated Hungarian King Matthias brought Italian Renaissance thinkers and artists to Hungary and contributed to the development of humanist ideas in greater Europe.

“People of the Book" filled with "danger, oppression and high drama"

In a review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin discusses People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, a novel about book preservation that revolves around the discovery of a medieval Haggadah, an illuminated manuscript which describes the Jewish Passover Seder.

15th century Flemish masterpiece still inspires

The Portinari Altarpiece, a three-part Flemish religious painting created by Hugo van der Goes in the late 15th century, was sent as a gift to the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova. Martin Gayford looks at the importance of the painting for The Spectator (photo)

Simonetta Cattaneo de Vespucci: Botticelli's super model

The haunting, ethereal beauty of Simonetta Cattaneo de Vespucci graced the paintings of Sandro Botticelli in 15th century Florence. Darla Goodroad tells her fascinating story in an article for the December 2007 Renstore newsletter.

Leonardo da Vinci's "Codex Atlanticus" in jeopardy

The Codex Atlanticus, "the largest collection of drawings and writings by the Renaissance master" Leonardo da Vinci, may have suffered extensive damage due to mold.

Was Leonardo da Vinci an Arab?

Based on a single fingerprint preserved in one of his paintings, scientists have speculated on the ethnicity of Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci and believe he may have had Arabic heritage.

Research photos from the Kunsthistorisches Museum online

Racaire shares an album of photos from a recent trip to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. The photos include some beautiful images of artwork and jewelry.

What happened to the Greenland colonists?

For decades, researchers have debated the cause for the disappearance of the Norse colonists in Greenland. Where they massacred? Assimilated? Or did they starve? Now scientists think they have the answer.

Persona Questions

I am in the process of developing my persona. I have gone so far as to create a bit of background for my persona (Guinevere's parents). I have a couple of questions reguarding Guinevere's mother:

Time period: 1499 A`ine has been educated by a Welsh man, Phelip. Phelip comes to A`ine's rescue. They get married with the blessing of A`ine's Father. A`ine and Phelip move to Wales because of the growing unrest between the Protestant and Cathloic's.

Newport ship closer to being identified

Researchers working on discovering information about the medieval ship found buried in the banks of the River Usk in Wales may be closer to identifying the ship. The 15th century ship is currently being cleaned and restored with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Newport City Council.

Musical notes encoded in Da Vinci's Last Supper?

Does the Last Supper have a soundtrack? Musician and computer technician Giovanni Maria Pala believes it does and that it sounds like a requiem.

FBI Returns Stolen Maps to Spain

Earlier this year, a man named Cesar Gomez Rivero from Uruguay allegedly walked into the Biblioteca Nacional de España and swiped a series of maps from a 15th century edition of Geographia (one of four major treatises of Ptolemy, the Greek scholar who lived in Roman Egypt during the second century).

The Nina tours the southern U.S.

The Nina, "the Most Historically Accurate Replica of a Columbus Ship Ever Built," will be touring the southern United States during November and December 2007. Tours are available.