Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Kells beauty "in the (crossed) eyes of the creators"

The intricate and precise artwork of the manuscripts of 7th and 8th century England and Ireland, including the Book of Kells, has amazed artists and scholars for centuries. Now paleontologist John Cisne believes he knows how it was done. (photo)

Austrian museum photos online

Racaire reports that she has posted a number of albums of photos from her recent museum excursions on her Flickr website.

The ancient origins of fairy tales

A new study by cultural anthropologists shows that popular fairy tales may be older than previously believed, some dating back as much as 2500 years. The experts traced the origins of the stories through many cultures around the world.

Land grudge brought about Bosworth treachery

Historians have long held that Richard III was killed at Bosworth field in retribution for his slaying of his nephews, the young, rightful heirs, but new evidence may show a different motive: a decade-old power struggle between Richard and William Stanley.

Talking medieval philosphy with Ian Mortimer

The Medievalists' Network website has posted an interview with Dr. Ian Mortimer, author of The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century.

Renaissance Magazine offers special rate until November 15, 2009

Lady Janet of Renaissance Magazine reports that the magazine's special SCA member offer of six issues for US$24 has been extended to November 15, 2009.

Showing your best side: transparent armor

In an August 2004 web article, Will Segerman, British artist and engineer, discusses his project for his final show for his fine art degree at Sheffield Hallam: two suits of transparent Gothic armor. (photos)

Search of the grave of Fulke Greville could solve Shakespeare mystery

A group of parishioners at St. Mary's church in Warwick, England have requested permission to open the tomb of Fulke Greville, a writer and contemporary of Shakespeare, who, some believe, wrote at least some of Shakespeare's plays. They hope that mysterious "boxes" in the grave might contain manuscripts.

"Born of Hope" trailer online

A trailer for the fan film Born of Hope, based on Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, is available to view on the Daily Motion website.

Byzantine angel revealed

Concealed for more than 100 years behind plaster, a mosaic angel dating to the 14th century has been revealed in the Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul.

Nuns a-plenty

Obsessed with nuns? Looking for good research sources? Or just interested in a good read with ecclesiastical flair? The New Yorker Magaine's Book Bench looks at seven essential books about nuns.

Arthur legends inspired by Carausius, say experts

A Roman cavalry lance head may prove that the legends of King Arthur were inspired by Roman soldiers and sailors. The contos head, dating to the 3rd century, was discovered in Norfolk County, England.

The best of the best historical libraries

Where would the study of history be without the library to preserve it and make it accessible to the world? Nowhere. An article on The News in Print looks at the 7 most impressive libraries in history.

Pergamon Museum to house Islamic treasures

The Pergamon Museum in Berlin has signed a long-term agreement to become the home of the Keir Collection of over 1,500 pieces of priceless Islamic art. The pieces were collected over the past fifty years by Hungarian-born property developer, Edmund de Unger. Upon his death, the collection will become the property of the museum.

"Naked Mona Lisa" sparks controversy

Long hidden behind a panel, a portrait of a semi-nude woman bears a striking resemblance to Leonard Da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa. The painting was once believed to have been done by the Da Vinci, but now experts feel that it may have been inspired by a lost masterpiece. (photo)

Medieval stained glass inspires mosaic artists

What to do with thousands of fragments of medieval pottery? Make them into a mosaic work of art mirroring a 13th century stained glass window, of course! That is what Emma Biggs and Matthew Colling have done at St Mary’s Church, in Castlegate, England.

400th anniversary of Shakespeare's sonnets

On May 20, 1609, the first collection of Shakespeare's sonnets was published in London. On his book blog Paper Cuts, New York Times reviewer William S. Niederkorn looks at the impact of some of the world's most famous poetry.

Dragons invade Canada

Does the Canadian air suddenly seem a little bit more sparkly? Have residents caught a glimpse of an unusual burst of fire in the sky over Montreal? Perhaps it is because Mythic Beasts have invaded the Canadian Museum of Civilization!

Medieval conference marks Cambridge University's 800th anniversary

Knowledge and Learning in the Middle Ages: A Conference Celebrating the 800th Anniversary of the University of Cambridge is the title of the one-day conference hosted by the Magdalene Society of Medievalists. registration is now open for the June 13, 2009 conference.

Free early music sampler online

Fans of early music will be glad to know that Amazon.com has a FREE MP3 download of the album Very Best of Naxos Early Music.

Debate continues over Michelangelo crucifix

A EU3.3 million wooden crucifix, bought recently at auction by the Italian government, may or may not have been created by Michelangelo. The newly-purchased piece made its debut in December at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, and was visited by the Pope.

Verrocchio sculptures by student da Vinci?

Were two of the sculptures in Andrea del Verrocchio's silver altar panel Beheading of the Baptist actually created by the artist's student assistant Leonardo da Vinci? Gary M. Radke, a professor of the humanities at Syracuse University, thinks so. The work will be on exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA.

Peacock and pomegranates subject of Byzantine painting

An archaeological team working near Salqin, Syria have discovered a large painting dating to the Byzantine era. The work depicts a large peacock (a symbol of the early church), two pomegranates, a small bird and olive trees. (photo)

NPR series follows path of modern Canterbury pilgrims

A recent multi-part NPR series retraces the steps of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales pilgrims in modern England from London to Canterbury. The site includes an interactive map of the journey.

Viewing Giotto through modern eyes

An article on great works of art for the UK's paper The Independent discusses how works of art from the past are viewed through modern eyes. Included is The Lamentation of Christ by 14th century Italian master Giotto, whose angels seem to zoom about like jet planes. (photo)

"Harken to Me" Late Middle English romances online

A special edition of Medieval Forum offers translations of late Middle English romances, "accompanied by brief commentaries on issues raised in the poems." The site also includes a bibliography and material on the various poems.

Da Vinci to be subject of cultural theme park

Was Leonardo da Vinci, "poet, musician, philosopher, engineer, architect, scientist, mathematician, anatomist, inventor, architect and botanist," the true Renaissance man, or was he just a "frustrating dilettante?" Curators of the Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise, France, da Vinci's last home, are betting on the former and hope for the success of their "world's first "intellectual and cultural theme park."

Rediscovered "Siege of Boulogne" drawing to be displayed at British Library

A huge drawing of Henry VIII"S 1544 Siege of Boulogne, once mislabeled and believed lost, will go on display at the British library as part of an exhibition entitled Henry VIII: Man and Monarch.

Dream exhibit at the Folger Library

The dreamworld was a popular subject for medieval and renaissance people. Now a new exhibit at Washington D.C. Folger Library looks at the world of sleep and dreams through the eyes of William Shakespeare and others. Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post has a review.

"A Yorkshire Tragedy" added to Shakespeare's works?

British academic John Casson believes that he has discovered previously unrecognized works by Williams Shakespeare. Included in these are a poem, a comedy, and his first two tragedies. Casson also claims to have proof of Shakespeare's authorship of the "lost play" Cardenio.