Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Persian masterpiece on display at the Sackler Gallery

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. offers the exhibit Shahnama: 1000 Years of the Persian Book of Kings October 23, 2010 - April 17, 2011. The rare paintings of kings, heroes and mythological creatures are from the Shahnama, Iran's national epic.

Met to present Burgundian/Dutch Renaissance exhibit

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will present Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance October 6, 2010 - January 17, 2011, the "first major exhibition in forty-five years devoted to the Burgundian Netherlandish artist Jan Gossart (ca. 1478-1532)."

Music scholar uses period instruments to score Robin Hood film

The August 8, 2010 broadcast of University of the Air featured music scholar Tina Chancey, who has created a live music accompaniment to Errol Flynn's classic Robin Hood. Chancey uses authentic medieval instruments for the work.

Middle Ages: "the default historical playground"

The great interest in medieval themes by the public has led academics to create a new educational organization: The Society for the Public Understanding of the Middle Ages, which was formed during the International Congress on Medieval Studies to address how the general public views the historical period.

"Gospel" guitar

Craftsman Larry Robinson, who designs and crafts custom inlayed musical instruments, has created a true work of art in a guitar, decorated with inlays based on the Lindisfarne gospels. The Lindisfarne Project is chronciled on Robinson's blog. (photos)

World of Khubilai Khan at the Met

September 28, 2010 - January 2, 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will play host to The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty, an exhibit of fine and decorative art from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Mona Lisa's smile explained by technique

Over the centuries, thousands of people have pondered the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile. Now French researchers believe they can explain the enigmatic expression: it was da Vinci's technique.

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)

Bard to perform Beowulf in Berkeley

October 26-30, 2010 in Berkeley, CA, medievalist and early music specialist Benjamin Bagby will perform the epic saga of Beowulf. His performance will be accompanied by Anglo-Saxon harp.

Tudor history course offered online by University of Exeter

The University of Exeter (England) will offer a non-credit, distance learning course entitled The Tudors: History, Culture and Religion for fall 2010. Deadline to register is September 15, 2010.

"New" edition of Chaucer's poems discovered

A professor in New Zealand has discovered a previously unknown edition of Chaucer's poems. The book was published in 1807 and distinguishes between poems correctly and incorrectly attributed to Chaucer. This is the earliest known edition to make such a distinction.

Photographer captures "glint of light off hand-made armor"

Venice, California photographer E.F. Kitchen has had her photos displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now she captures the "glint of light off hand-made armor" in her book Suburban Knights: A Return to the Middle Ages. Scott Timberg of the Los Angeles Times has a review.

The best - and the worst - medieval historical films

On his website Medieval History in the Movies, Professor Paul Halsall provides a comprehensive list of movies with medieval themes. The site includes "best" and "worst" lists of historical films.

Buddhist wall paintings pre-date western technique

Researchers studying 5th-9th century Buddhist cave paintings in the Afghan region of Bamiyan have learned that the paintings used an oil technique, centuries before the same technique was used in Europe.

Photos from Caid's Crown Prints Prize online

Fausta shares an album of photos taken at the recent Crown Prints Prize event in the Kingdom of Caid.

Byzantine mosaics uncovered in Syria

A wide-ranging collection of Byzantine mosaics unearthed in Daraa Province, Syria, now includes works of art from churches and private homes. Human and animal subjects are depicted in scenes of daily life. 

"Salamander" published online

Salamander, a new fantasy novel written by David Friedman (Duke Cariadoc of the Bow), is available online.

Armored critters

Tom and Jerry might have had a better chance of surviving if they had had the help of Canadian artist Jeff de Boer. His armor of cats and mice is showcased on the Beautiful Life website.

Huge collection of books on period subjects to be auctioned

In the fall of 2009, the Viking Society for Northern Research received a huge windfall when Professor Peter Foote died, leaving his library of Viking and medieval-related books to the Society. By his request, the collection will be auctioned to raise funds.

Mythcon 42

Mythcon 42: Monsters, Marvels, and Minstrels: The Rise of Modern Medievalism

Dragons in history

The Draconian.com website offers much information about dragons and dragon art. The site includes a History of Dragons Around the World which combines historic dragon legends with modern beliefs about the great beast.

Papers sought on “Love, Friendship, Marriage”

Dr. Karolyn Kinane has announced that Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, is seeking scholarly papers and lectures for its 32nd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum to be held April 15-16, 2011. The theme is “Love, Friendship, Marriage.”

"Bright Ideas" for SCAdians

In 1991, SCA author Sandra Dodd produced the book Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why, a sourcebook for all manner of topics SCAdian. The book is no longer in print, but Dodd has made it available online.

Microscopic Henry VIII brings UK£11m

Artist Willard Wigan's work cannot be hung on the wall. In fact, some is so tiny, it should be viewed with a microscope, but his delicate sculpture of Henry VIII and his wives - in the eye of a needle - along with nearly 70 other pieces, was just purchased for UK£11m. (photo)

SCAdian filmmaker debuts film

Indie filmmaker and SCA member Dana Elise recently premiered her new film set in the "fantasy middle ages." Cagin of Chrysaint debuted June 26, 2010 at the Petal Civic Center in Petal, Mississippi. (video)

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.

"Suburban Knights" photos feature SCA models

Photographs from E.F. Kitchen's new book, Suburban Knights: A Return to the Middle Ages, will be on display at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, New York beginning July 14. Kitchen will also sign copies of the book at Pennsic 39, and her work will be reviewed in the Pennsic Independent.

"Horrible Histories" author calls historians horrible

Terry Deary's Horrible Histories series appeals to schoolchildren by including disgusting and true historical details, such as the purpose of the Roman vomitorium. But the author finds modern historians even more nauseating than the Romans.

Freer Gallery to present exhibit on Chinese painting

The Freer Gallery of Art in Washngton, D.C. will present Masterpieces of Chinese Painting June 12 - November 28, 2010. The exhibit will showcase Chinese painting from the late 10th to the early 18th century.

Cleveland galleries reopen after renovation

The Cleveland Museum of Art announced that six more of its permanent galleries, including the medieval gallery and the gallery of European painting and sculpture 1500-1800, will reopen June 26, 2010 after extensive renovation.