Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Shakespeare and politics

With the presidential election looming and politics on everyone's mind, the Los Angeles Times ponders the words of the Bard and how he would see our modern world in an opinions piece by Jess Winfield.

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."

Heraldrydiculous hits 100!

Baron Khevron of the Principality of Oertha in the West Kingdom reports that his heraldry-related comic Heraldrydiculous has passed the 100 mark (104 at last count.)

Royal children subjects of Columbus exhibit

Lady Faoileann reports that the Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art will sponsor a special exhibit Great Expectations: Aristocratic Children in European Portraiture through June 8, 2008.

"Beowulf, Lay of the Last Survivor" reading online

The recent release of the animated film Beowulf has rekindled interest in the epic poem. Harper's Magazine provides a stanza from the poem, read in Old English, as well as a great photo of a jeweled brooch.

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.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Exhibits "Treasures from the national Palace Museum, Taiwan"

Soon a new exhibition will be on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna: Treasures from the national Palace Museum, Taiwan begins at February 26, 2008 and runs until May 13, 2008.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Exhibits "Arcimboldo"

Soon a new exhibition organised by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in collaboration with the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris will be on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (Picture Gallery): Arcimboldo begins at February 12, 2008 and runs until June 1, 2008.

To punt or not to punt...

Only on NPR could the Bard, in the guise of Morning Edition's Frank Deford, comment on the upcoming Super Bowl football game.

Western States Folklore Society seeking conference papers

Michael Adams has announced that the Western States Folklore Society is seeking papers for two panels at the upcoming conference to be held Apri; 11-12, 2008 at the University of California, Davis.

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)

Nicola Barker's "Darkmans" reviewed

Nick Owchar of the Vancouver Sun offers a review of the new novel by Nicola Barker, Darkmans, which tells the story of "a long-dead king's jester, a precocious child and the debris of history that keeps floating to the surface."

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.

"Far Traveler" on NPR's not-to-miss list

On the Christmas Eve 2007 All Things Considered radio program, reviewer Lynn Neary spoke with Laura Miller of Salon.com and blogger Mark Sarvas of The Elegant Variation about which books from 2007 should not be missed. Included was The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown.

“Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!” called "giggle-worthy"

"I itch in the cathedral; When I pray upon my knees: God, You saved us from damnation; Now save us from the fleas!" writes Laura Amy Schlitz in Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village, a new children's book reviewed by John Schwartz for the Sunday New York Times.

A Wodwo in Camelot

According to reviewer Edward Hirsch, a Wodwo is a "raw, spooky, elemental," a Middle English word meaning “half-man, half-animal spirit of the forests” which appeared in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Hirsch reviews a new translation by Simon Armitage.

Peter Jackson to produce The Hobbit

After much deliberation, Peter Jackson, the Academy-Award-winning director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has partnered with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios to produce the Tolkien prequel: The Hobbit.

Michelangelo's last sketch found in the Vatican

A red chalk sketch of the dome of St Peter's Basilica, believed to be the last work of the Renaissance artist Michelangelo, has been discovered in the Vatican archives. The sketch dates to 1564.

V & A treasures at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will host Medieval and Renaissance Treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum May 20, 2008 – August 17, 2008.

Camelot Project offers Arthurian research sources

The Camelot Project at the University of Rochester is an online research source which includes searchable texts for images, texts, bibliographies and basic information on King Arthur.

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.

Richard III deconstructed

British actor Sir Ian McKellen delves into Shakespeare's Richard III's most famous speech in a video clip on the Stagework website.

Hamlet: the Text Adventure

Bored? Want to have a real literary adventure? Try Hamlet: the Text Adventure, a text-based mystery game.

"Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" author dies at 64

Author Richard Leigh, best known as one of the co-authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, has died in London at the age of 64. The nonfiction work proposed that Jesus Christ fathered a child and that the bloodline continues.

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.

An academic reviews "Beowulf"

Tim Machan, professor of English at Marquette University, offers his thoughts on the latest version (2007) of Beowulf. He finds it "consistent to the original atmosphere that produced it."

Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise on display at the Met

"The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti's Renaissance Masterpiece" will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 13.

Mona Lisa's eyebrows

A new exhibition, "Mona Lisa Secrets Revealed," uses technology to unlock questions that have plagued art historians for generations, including, "What happened to the lady's eyebrows?"

Download hi-res research photos from the Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum in London now allows you to browse and download high-resolution photos of their collections for free.