Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Mystery of Wolsey's missing angels solved

Once upon a time, four bronze angels adorned the gateposts of the Wellingborough Golf Club in Northamptonshire, England. No one paid much attention to them until two were stolen, but now all four, identified as Renaissance treasures, are the subject of a fundraising effort by the Victoria and Albert Museum. (photo)

Oldest copy of "The Brus" restored

The oldest known copy of "The Brus," an epic poem describing the Battle of Bannockburn, has been restored in time for the 700th celebration of the event. The poem was written in 1375 by the Archdeacon of Aberdeen. (photos)

People of Color in historic art

The website People of Color in European Art History showcases "works of art from European history that feature People of Color." The resource includes images of works of art from the pre-1000s to the 17th century.

New BM digitization includes medieval "comic book"

Among over 1000 new manuscripts placed online by the British Museum is The Guthlac Roll, a history of St. Guthlac told in graphic novel style "using a series of images in roundels with labels." Mark Strauss of i09 offers his views on the manuscript.

Plumbing problem reveals crusader murals

A burst pipe in Saint-Louis Hospice, a Jerusalem hospital, has led workers to rediscover 19th century wall murals depicting "crusader knights and symbols of medieval military orders." The paintings were the work of Comte Marie Paul Amédée de Piellat, a French count, who believed himself descended from the knights. (photos)

Mona Lisa in 3-D?

The discovery of a Mona Lisa twin in the Museo del Prado in Madrid has led art historians and scientists to consider if Da Vinci's most famous work was actually the world's oldest 3-D artwork. (photos)

Discover the art of the Song Dynasty at the Freer/Sackler Gallery

The Freer/Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution presents an exhibition of Chinese landscape painting from the 10th through 13th centuries entitled Style in Chinese Landscape Painting: The Song Legacy, May 17–October 26, 2014.

Late medieval history course online

For those interested in furthering their knowledge of medieval English history, a team of scholars from the University of Leicester is offering a free, online course entitled England in the time of King Richard III.

The Muwashshaha of al-Andalus research online

In a recent issue of the Falcon Banner, the news magazine of the Kingdom of Calontir, HE Qadiya Catalina de Arazuri shares her research for a Kingdom A&S entry: The Muwashshaha of al-Andalus.

Hengwrt Chaucer online

The earliest known manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, housed at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, has been digitized and is now available online. (photo)

The potency of Shakespeare's potions

It's Shakespeare's 450th birthday. In a feature article for the BBC's Future, Claudia Hammond looks at whether the poisons mentioned in William Shakespeare's plays, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, could actually work.

Shakespeare and the Scientific Revolution

Readers of Shakespeare's works could easily dismiss his interest in science at a time when the Scientific Revolution was happening around him, but author Dan Falk believes that the Bard was well aware of the developments.

The dangerous secret of Byzantine frescoes

Researchers looking at the wall paintings of the 12th century Byzantine monastery Enkleistra of St. Neophytos in Cyprus, found something they didn't expect: asbestos. Their discovery has been published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

New books of poetry at Project Gutenberg

A text copy of all 3 volumes of Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry was recently posted to Project Gutenberg. These books contain a great deal of poetry in middle and early modern English.

Tolkien's Beowulf to be published for the first time

British professor and author JRR Tolkien is best known for his works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but now a deal has been made to publish the beloved storyteller's translation of the Old English poem Beowulf, complete with commentary.

Known World Poetry Competition

Lady Katarzyna Witkowska, of the Kingdom of Atlantia, reports that the Known World Poetry Competition will be held Monday August 4, 2014 on Artisans' Row at the Pennsic War.

Tournaments Illuminated Quest Request April 2014

Magister Riordan MacGregor, editor of Tournaments Illuminated, has announced the latest Quest Request.

New portraits of Shakespeare revealed

"I subjected the images to fundamental tests of identity and authenticity, and these revealed that we are dealing with true-to-life portraits of Shakespeare, one from his youth, the second from his old age," said Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel about two recently-discovered portraits of William Shakespeare. (photos)

Forgotten warrior-saint may have inspired Tolkien's Aragorn

British historian Max Adams believes that 7th century King Oswald has been overlooked as a hero. This opinion was apparently shared by author J.R.R. Tolkien, when he based his own warrior king Aragorn on the early English monarch who also "was exiled as a young man before returning to his homeland in order to claim his birthright and become king." (photos)

Illuminated Mystery Play Is Digitized

The British Museum has digitized, in two online volumes, a highly-decorated copy of a French medieval mystery play, with illuminations depicting scenes from the play.

#Beow100

College students forced to read Beowulf be heartened! Welsh medievalist, Elaine Treharne, has brought social media to medieval Scandinavia with Beowulf in a Hundred Tweets. The work is available on her blog Text Technologies.

British Library adding over a million images to Flickr

The British Library has announced that it will be adding its collections of public domain digital images to Flickr. The first collection set is Highlights from the Mechanical Curator, which includes images from over 65,000 books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Other collections are also scheduled to be added.

"Stunning" St George and the Dragon painting found in Welsh church

Beneath 20 layers of paint and lime, conservators have recently uncovered "stunning" 15th century wall paintings in the small, 13th century church of St Cadoc's in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. (video)

Free Shakespeare course offered online

On the Lochac list, Katherine Kerr reported that the University of Warwick and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will be offering a free, 10-week, online course entitled Shakespeare and his World.

The unicorn phenomenon

Unicorns have been a part of the known bestiary since Greek and Roman times. In his book, A Natural History of Unicorns, University of Nottingham geographer Chris Lavers looks at the history of the beast and human obsession with it.

Might Roman ring have inspired Tolkien?

The history of a stolen Roman ring and its discovery in the 18th century are the subject of a recent feature article in History Today by Lynn Forest-Hill, fellow of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture, University of Southampton, theorizing that the ring may have been the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien. (photos)

Plotting the roots of Red

A recent article for Live Science analyzes the evolution of Little Red Riding Hood from its 1st century roots to its modern place in children's literature. The article follows the work of Durham University anthropologist Jamie Tehrani whose paper The Phylogeny of Little Red Riding Hood was published in the journal Plos One.

Letters to Eung-tae tell story of love and grief

500 hundred years ago, a grieving wife wrote 13 love letters of Shakespearean pathos to her dead husband. The letters were buried along with the mummified remains in Andong City in South Korea, and tell "him she wants to see him and listen to him in her dreams."

Vatican teams with Bodleian for US$3.2 million digitization project

Thanks to a US$3.2 million grant from the Polonsky Foundation, rare manuscripts from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana will be digitized and made available online through both libraries. NPR's Annaliese Quinn has the story and interview.

"How we have heard of the might of the kings"

The Old English poem Beowulf has been the subject of many translations over the centuries, especially the first word hwæt. Now Dr George Walkden, a University of Manchester lecturer, believes he knows what the poem's first line really says.