Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Marlowe novel sparks hostility

All Ros Barber did was write a novel that theorizes that Shakespeare's plays were written by Christopher Marlowe, but The Marlowe Papers, written entirely in verse, has brought back up the dispute over the authorship of the Bard's plays.

Is there a "real" message in the Voynich manuscript?

The 15th century Voynich manuscript may be considered "the world's most mysterious medieval manuscript," and quite possibly a hoax, but a new study by theoretical physicist Marcelo Montemurro, published in the journal Plus One, theorizes that the book has a "genuine message."

Ren faire meets comicbook in Avery Fatbottom: Renaissance Fair Detective

Avery Fatbottom, Renaissance Faire organizer and detective, is the protagonist of a new comic series by Jen Vaughn. Vaughn spoke with JK Parkin of Comic Book Resources about her newly-released Avery Fatbottom: Renaissance Fair Detective.

"Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century" available for Kindle

Steven Muhlberger reports that his book Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century in now available for the Kindle from Amazon.com in eBook format. Cost to download is US $3.99.

The socio-cultural transformation of the Renaissance

In 1952, Frederick Godfrey wrote an article which transformed forever scholarly consdieration of the Renaissance. The Pictorial Records of the Medicis looked at the work of the period's artists in the "context of the society from which it had sprung and that social attitudes could be recovered from the study of art." Alexander Lee of History Today looks at the impace of the article.

Viking Veggies

Fans of Veggietales - or Vikings in general - will enjoy a look at the video We Married Vikings from Lyle the Kindly Viking. The short video is available on YouTube.

Murder at the War FREE for Kindle August 29, 2013

Murder at the War (also known as Knightfall), by the SCA's own Mary Monica Pulver, is available from Amazon.com for FREE download August 29, 2013 only. The book is set at the Pennsic War.

Machiavelli gets the sack; civilization gets The Prince

Civil servant Niccolo Machiavelli flourished at government work, but his fall from grace came in 1512 when he was fired and imprisoned for his involvement in a conspiracy against the Medicis, leading to the creation of his greatest work, The Prince. Sarah Dunant has the feature for the BBC.

Portrait of Renaissance children with guinea pig is a first

A painting of three Elizabethan children is believed to be the first to show a pet guinea pig. The portrait dates to 1580. Guinea pigs were brought to Europe by Spanish merchants in the late 1500s, but proof they were kept has pets has only been found recently.

The faces of Mary, Queen of Scots

In conjunction with a new exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, the BBC has created a website which offers a gallery of portraits and artifacts relating to Mary, Queen of Scots, including portraits, her tomb, and the document demanding her death.

Reenactor creates replica of Bayeux Tapestry

A medieval reenactor in England has completed a 2:1 scale replica of the Bayeux Tapestry. The embroidery is 40 feet long and took 18 years to complete.

Morgan Library offers online exhibit of Islamic art

In the fall of 2011, the Morgan Library and Museum hosted Treasures of Islamic Manuscript Painting from the Morgan, an exhibit of religious and secular works. An "online exhibition" was created in conjunction with the exhibit and is available to view on the library's website.

Song Dynasty murals revealed in Tibet

Experts renovating an ancient Buddhist temple in Lhasa, Tibet have discovered a number of murals dating to the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279). "This discovery is crucial for us to reconstruct the way of life of that period. We will do our best to restore the murals to their original state,they will no doubt become a national level artefact," said Chen Zujun. (photos)

Tournaments Illuminated Quest has family theme

Ariel has announced the latest Quest for Tournaments Illuminated: "SCA: Family Matters." Guest editor will be Guest Editor Erin Alderson, (Aldgytha of Ashwood.)

The impact of Shakespeare's investment

In 1594, William Shakespeare made a move that gave him financial stability and, some say, changed the way he wrote plays: he purchased a one-eighth share in the Lord Chamberlain's Men. One of those people is Dr Bart van Es of Oxford University's Faculty of English Language and Literature, who claims that the purchase gave the playwright a better relationship with and understanding of actors.

Rewriting Shakespeare

Many writers have re-interpreted the works of William Shakespeare, and a new project, The Hogarth Shakespeare, is just the latest. Launching in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the series will commission prominent authors to create "cover versions" of the Bard's plays.

Tolkien and Arthur

In the early 1930s J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit, began what was to have been an epic, narrative poem, The Fall of Arthur, only to abandon the work in 1937. Now the incomplete poem has been published, edited by Tolkien's son Christopher.

New Battle of Hastings book neglects sources, says History Today reviewer

Marc Morris, author of The Norman Conquest, finds some of the facts in a new history of the subject by John Grehan and Martin Mace "uncomfortable." The Battle of Hastings 1066: The Uncomfortable Truth places the site of the famous battle at a different location, Caldbec Hill. His review is on the History Today website.

The valor and villainy of Shakespeare's Star Wars

"'Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying...pretty much everything," reads the description for Ian Doescher's new Shakespearean parody, William Shakespeare's Star Wars.

Oxford chapel may have inspired Arthurian legend

New research finds that Geoffrey of Monmouth's great The History of the Kings of Britain may have been written in St George's chapel, a teaching base for Oxford students, which was destroyed during the construction of Oxford Castle.

Medieval guide to witch hunting

What do you know about witches? Most modern ideas of witchcraft may come from a manuscript, one of only four known copies, found in the library of the University of Alberta. Treatise against the Sect of Waldensians, written in the 15th century, created the framework for witch hunts. Paul Kennedy of CBCRadio hosts an hour-long podcast on the book.

The mind of the medieval reader

Who knows what people in the 14th century reador thought? MIT professor Arthur Bahr thinks he does.

Digitization of Vatican Library faces challenges

A year after the project's announcement, the firist digitized volumes of the Vatican Library are now available online. Experts began with the library's "most delicate" volumes, including "the Vatican’s 8,900 incunabula (books printed before 1501): the Sifra, a Hebrew manuscript written a millennia ago, a 4th century manuscript of the Greek Bible and the De Europa of Pope Pius II, printed around 1491."

Knowne World Poetry Competition and PoetryDay -- Artisan's Row, Pennsic

To all Poets, and aspiring Poets, of the Knowne World, you are cordially invited to participate in Poetry Day at Artisan's Row on Monday, July 29, 2013 at Pennsic 42. Please bring your poetry displays and plan on doing some presentations and meeting aspiring poets throughout the day.

Discovering the Green Man

On her website Myth & Moor, Terri Windling, writer, artist, and book editor, looks at the Green Man in history, architecture, folklore and contemporary art. The blog article includes many photos.

Help end the book famine for the blind

The blind and print disabled of the world need your help. John G. Paré Jr., Executive Director for Advocacy and Policy for the National Federation of the Blind, is promoting a petition to open copyright laws to allow publication of books in special formats like Braille and to be shared across international borders.

Embracing the differences of the past

Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb, historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning academic, presents a TED Talk (Technology, Entertainment, Design) on how to discuss history through its differences from modern life instead of its similarities. The 14-minute video is available on YouTube.

Scholars at conference debate cannibalism

Scholars love to debate unusual topics, a fact proven by a recent interdisciplinary cannibal conference held at the Manchester Museum in April, 2013. The museum is connected to the University of Manchester, while the conference is sponsored by Hic Dragones, a creative writing and literature organization based in Manchester.

The Shakespeare Conspiracy?

The world debate continues. Did William Shakespeare really write his plays or was it someone else? But Stanley Wells, honorary president of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and eminent Shakespearean scholar thinks he knows the truth and has gathered a small army of literary scholars to prove it: a new book William Shakespeare Beyond Doubt.

Anne Boleyn redux

In her new book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn, author Susan Bordo aims to "strip away all the 'sedimented mythology turned into history by decades of repetition' and to restore a restless, learned, freethinking and ambitious but nondemonic woman to the throne of the public imagination." Jennifer Schuessler of the New York Times has a review.