Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Roman-era tartan?

A tiny piece of cloak depicted in a Roman statue may be the "the first-ever depiction of tartan". The plaid appears on a bronze statue of the Emperor Caracalla with a bound Caledonian warrior wearing what appears to be tartan trews. The statue was found in the Moroccan city of Volubilis. (video)

Public Catalogue Foundation publishes all publicly-owned British paintings

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), together with the BBC, has created a web database of the United Kingdom’s entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership - all 211,861 of them! The works are available on the Your Paintings website.

Art historians staggered by loss from Italian earthquakes

During the past few months, medieval and renaissance art and architecture in Italy have taken a pounding from earthquakes which devasted the country's mountain towns, killing over 20 people and damaging or destroying more than 2000 historic churches and buildings.

University of Exeter app to bring Anglo-Saxon poetry to smart devices

Like Anglo Saxon poetry? The University of Exeter will soon have an app for that! An article for Phys.org writes, "The University of Exeter's Modern Languages department is working in collaboration with Antenna International to create the App which will reveal the secrets of medieval literature to a new audience."

Scottish farmhouse painting could be lost da Vinci

When cash-strapped Fiona McLaren took a family painting to an expert for evaluation, she was shocked to learn that the 23x28 inch (58x71 cm) piece might be an unknown work by Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci. (photo)

Africans in art of the Renaissance

With European exploration and expansion during the Renaissance came renewed ties with Africa. Such ties, as presented in art, are the focus of a new exhibit at the Walters Art Museum in New York City, Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe.

Subject of Holbein painting identified

X-rays and infra-red photography used during conservation work on a portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger have identified the subject as Hans, a merchant working in London's steelyards, rather than the goldsmith Hans of Antwerp, the identity given to the man for over 400 years.

Star Wars illuminated

Fandom meets fantastic when artist Chey Chao used medieval illumination techniques to tell the story of Star Wars. The illuminations were created for a school project.

William Blackfox Award winners announced

TH Lady Ysabeau Tiercelin, Chronicler for the Society for Creative Anachronism, has announced the Annual William Blackfox Awards for A.S. XLVI. The Blackfox Awards recognized excellence in the field of newsletter production, writing and illustration.

Psychological profiling by the Vikings

Dr Tarrin Wills, from the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, believes that Vikings used their understanding of human psychology to "profile" possible trouble-makers. He recently presented his research at the British Science Festival.

Air New Zealand: the airline of Middle Earth

The folks at Air New Zealand prove their connection to Middle Earth and their sense of humor in a new safety video created to coincide with the release of the film The Hobbit.

Free Renaissance eBook

Once per month, the University of Chicago Press offers a free eBook download. The book for November 2012 is How to Do It: Guides to Good Living for Renaissance Italians by Rudolph M. Bell (c. 1999).

The passion of Elizabeth Dacre

Women were rarely recognized as poets in Tudor England, but the chance discovery of a love poem by Elizabeth Dacre to Sir Anthony Coke has given new insight into courtly love in Elizabeth I's time. Dr. Elaine Treharne of Stanford University discusses the poem in podcast for WAMC's Academic Minute.

Legos retell the Battle of Maldon

The happy combination of history and Legos returns with The Battle of Maldon, an animated version of the 10th century battle between Earl Byrhtnoth and Viking raiders. The film was created by David Waugh for DTG Productions.

Masculinity in the Middle Ages

Dr Pat Cullum and Dr Katherine Lewis of the University of Huddersfield are hoping to learn more about what it meant to be a man in the Middle Ages. To foster scholarship, the two professor have created a new network, called the Bishop's Eye.

EMERAUDE, a magazine for poetry and fiction, open for submissions

EMERAUDE (ISSN 2169-0952), a magazine for poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and art of interest to the Living History community, has reopened for submissions.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight digital manuscript

Murray McGillivray of the Cotton Nero A.x. Project reports that 180 high resolution, color images from the British Library's MS Cotton Nero A.x are now available to view on the website of the University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources. The manuscript includes the complete story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Finding the bones of Mona Lisa

Historians' obsession with the real life Mona Lisa continues with the recent discovery of a complete skeleton beneath the floor of the derelict Convent of St. Orsola in Florence, Italy. Some experts believe the remains are those of Lisa Gherardini, AKA Mona Lisa.

Thermal Quasi-Reflectography new tool for art historians

Experts tasked with restoring damaged and faded works of art have a new tool in their toolbox: Thermal Quasi-Reflectography (TQR), a process which uses the mid-infrared part of the spectrum to reveal images invisible to the naked eye. (photos)

Capitoline Wolf created in the Middle Ages?

One of the most famous symbols of Rome is the Capitoline Wolf, a bronze statue depicting a mother wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. But now experts believe the statue was created during the Middle Ages, with parts as late as the 15th century.

Sicily's Roman mosaics return to public view

The 4th century Roman mosaics at the Villa del Casale at the Piazza Armerina in Sicily are considered “the finest in situ in the Roman world.” Now the newly-restored stone tiles are again open to the public. (photo)

The memorable Elizabethans

In a recent review for the New York Times, James Shapiro looks at The Elizabethans by A. N. Wilson, which chronicles the lives of a number of eminent men and women of late Tudor times "who made the age so memorable, including the most remarkable of them all, Queen Elizabeth."

Durham University prepares for arrival of the Lindisfarne Gospels

Officials at Durham Cathedral and University are readying themselves for the arrival of the 1,300-year-old Lindisfarne Gospels at the university in 2013, with such activities as a concert by the newly formed Lindisfarne Gospels Community Choir.

Godai Katsunaga winner of Known World Poetry Competition

Lady Katarzyna Witkowska reports that a winner of the Knowne World Poetry Competition was chosen at Pennsic 41. The winner was Lord Godai Katsunaga of Atlantia.

Texas Medieval Association Conference call for papers

The Texas Medieval Association is seeking papers for its conference at the University of Houston October 12-13, 2012. The deadline for paper submissions is September 1, 2012.

Texas Medieval Conference

The Texas Medieval Association Conference will be held October 12-13, 2012 at the University of Houston.

Service, combat, and chivalry in Arab, Alabama

David Moore of the Arab Tribune newspaper joins Thorfinn Eriksonnr, Ingris Utlennigsdottir, and Mailloch of Wulfhaven as they meet for for fighting, A&S, and building a new group in northern Alabama.

Royal Collection Art

The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace will exhibit more than 100 works by Northern European artists including Durer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger.

Shire of Iron Ox Academy of Performing Arts 2012

On July 28, 2012, the Shire of Iron Ox hosted the Academy of Performing Arts for the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann in Jackson, Mississippi.  The one day event was well attended.

Early Shakespeare theater found

Archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology report that they have discovered the remains of a playhouse where Willianm Shakespeare staged some of his earliest plays. The Curtain Theatre north of the river Thames in Shoreditch pre-dated the Globe.