1401 CE to 1500 CE

"Venice and the Islamic World" at the Met

What inspired Renaissance artists? According to a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was the Islamic world. Venice and the Islamic World, 828-1797 showcases works that borrowed from the eastern traditions. Blake Gopnik of the Washington Post has the story.

Mona Lisa revealed?

The discovery of some archival documents may have solved the mystery of the identity of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. The woman may have had humble origins and lived a few hundred feet from the Ponte Vecchio.

Upper Belvedere in Vienna: Redisplay of the Medieval Collection

Upper Belvedere in Vienna redisplays the Medieval Collection Masterpieces of Medieval Art.

Exhibit of European perceptions of foreign realms now at the NGA

"Fabulous Journeys and Faraway Places: Travels on Paper, 1450-1700" will be on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, through September 16.

Da Vinci Music Decoded

An Ex-Royal Airforce Codebreaker and his son claim to have unlocked the mystery of symbols on the Rosslyn Chapel.

New Getty exhibit is a light in the dark

"Radiant Darkness: The Art of Nocturnal Light" will be on display at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, through July 22.

America's only medieval church

According to the research of the late historian Alwyn Ruddock, America's only medieval church may have been located in Newfoundland. Now University of Bristol researcher Evan Jones wants to use the notes to find the church purportedly built by an Italian friar in 1498.

Luca Pacioli's card tricks

A book of Renaissance card tricks, number puzzles and illusions written by Luca Pacioli, Franciscan monk and best friend to Leonardo da Vinci, has been discovered in the vaults of the University of Bologna in Italy.

Rib bone NOT Joan of Arc's

John Leicester of the Globe and Mail reports on the ongoing controversy over the remains of Joan of Arc. The verdict: It is a rib bone, but it did not belong to Joan of Arc.

Muslim tiles herald early mathematical breakthroughs

A new study of Islamic tile art indicates that the designers had made stunning breakthroughs in mathematics. The quasicrystalline designs, produced in the 15th century, were not created until 500 years later in the western world.

"Unusual building features" found inside Bodiam Castle

Archaeologists are puzzled by the discovery of a wall and "circular feature" inside the Great Hall area of Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England. The mysterious ruins might be part of an 18th Century gardener's cottage, or they might be part of the original medieval hall.

York's Barley Hall holds pleasures

Genevieve la flechiere of the Kingdom of Drachenwald reports on a visit to Barley Hall, a 15th century merchant's house, in York, England.

New exhibition of drawings at the Getty

"Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts" will be on display at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, through May 20.

"per manus sororum" published in German

The book of Tanja Kohwagner-Nikolai "per manus sororum" - a great book about mediaeval Klosterstich tapestries from the Low German language area is now available at the publishing house Martin Meidenbauer Verlagsbuchhandlung.

Bones probably not those of Joan of Arc

Eighteen experts, working to determine if a rib bone and a piece of cloth belonged to St. Joan of Arc, have not completely finished their task but now feel that "there is relatively little chance that the remnants are hers."

Swedish knight's oath

Sven Norén has posted a translation of a 15th century oath taken by 70 knights at the coronation of Christoph of Bavaria as King of Sweden in 1441.

Tower of London hires first female Beefeater

For the first time in its 522 year history, the Tower of London will enlist a female Beefeater. The name of the new Yeoman Warder has not been made public, but she was chosen from a group of six applicants, five men and one woman, as the "best candidate for the job."

Today in the Middle Ages: December 21, 1494

The city of Naples reported an outbreak of a new disease on December 21, 1494 C.E. Its modern name: syphilis.

Joan of Arc Relic Authenticity in Doubt

A piece of bone and fragment of blackened cloth preserved in France since the fifteenth century may not be authentic relics of St. Joan. A new scientific examination of the items raises questions.

England's First Printed Page

A photography of an indulgence printed by William Caxton in 1476 is available to view on the website of the UK National Archives. The page was the first printed in England.

Estate of Retired Librarian Includes Lost Fra Angelicos

Several paintings of saints created by 15th century monk and artist Fra Angelico have been discovered in England and are scheduled to be auctioned. The sale is expected to bring nearly US$2 million.

Odescalchi Castle has Rich History

Odescalchi Castle, the site of the November 18, 2006 nuptials of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, is a 15th century residence with a great deal of history including the family of Pope Innocent XI and a murderous noblewoman.

Soper Lane

A group of women in London have joined together to study and re-create the working lives of their counterparts in the 15th century. Soper Lane, named after the silkweaving district in London, offers information on textiles, costuming and other activities.

Optics Scholar Offers Discussion of Use of Projectors by Renaissance Painters

Dr. David G. Stork, Chief Scientist of Ricoh Innovations, heads up a discussion of a theory by David Hockney that painters, as far back as 1420, used projection devices to enable them to trace images onto canvas.

New exhibit of northern European art at the National Gallery

Prayers and Portraits: Unfolding the Netherlandish Diptych will be on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, through February 4.

Da Vinci's Mom May have been Middle Eastern

Analysis of a fingerprint left by Leonardo Da Vinci suggests the prototypical Renaissance man may have been the son of a Middle East-born slave woman.

Close Up: the Unicorn Tapestries

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has provided an online source for viewing their famous Unicorn Tapestries. The website invites visitors to zoom in for close up details of the designs.

"Gates of Paradise" to Tour USA

Lorenzo Ghiberti's immense gilded doors, completed in 1452 and nicknamed the "Gates of Paradise," will tour the United States beginning in April 2007. The intricately decorated doors are 20 feet high and weigh three tons.

Seeking Answers to Columbus Riddles

"Genovese nobleman or Catalan pirate? Adventurous explorer or greedy tyrant? What if the Italian gentleman who discovered America was in fact a brutal torturer and slave owner? And what if he wasn't even Italian?" Two Spanish scholars hope to answer some of the long-debated questions about Christopher Columbus using newly obtained evidence.

Welsh Barn Holds Secret: Medieval Dining Hall

Homeowners in Hengoed in Denbighshire, Wales were surprised to learn that a barn on their 21-acre farm contained a secret: the building was originally a rare, 15th medieval hall.