Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

The power of Botticelli's Venus

In a recent ArtBlog posted by The Guardian, Jonathan Jones ponders Botticelli's enduring masterpiece, The Birth of Venus, painted in 1484, and tries to discover if it is the ancient religion that makes it so compelling.

Exhibit reveals genius of Albrecht Dürer

A recent article in Christie's New Art Newspaper reviews a major exhibition of work by Germany's greatst artist Albrecht Dürer, The Early Dürer at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, 24 May-2 September, 2012.

Medieval English Alabaster Sculptures from the Victoria & Albert Museum

Art Services International has brought an exhibition of Medieval English Alabaster Sculptures from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to the United States.

Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad

The World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon, England has a unique offering this year, a new take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet called Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad where the couple are not divided by family squabbles but by religious sects.

Byzantine exhibit showcased on History Today website

The May 2012 issue of History Today features a slideshow from a major exhibition at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art: Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition. The exhibit runs through July 8, 2012.

Met exhibit marks Constantinople's first "Arab Spring"

The recent Arab Spring, in North Africa and the Middle East, was not the first, according to a Deborah Amos report on NPR. The first was the conflict of culture between the Byzantine Empire and the new Islamic religion in the seventh century to the ninth centuries.

Cataloging Elizabethan drunks

Drunkenness in Elizabethan England was not a rare occurance, to the extent, in fact, that satirist Thomas Nashe cataloged eight specific types. The website Lists of Note published Nashe's piece Eight Kindes of Drunkennes.

Controversial restoration of da Vinci's last painting completed

Over the past 18 months, the art world has held its collective breath to see the results of the Louvre's restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's last work The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, but the wait is now over. (photo)

12th century Persian poem receives modern artistic treatment

The Conference of the Birds, an epic Persian poem written by Farid ud-Din Attar in the 1100s, is being published as an artistic version of a graphic novel. The poem was adapted by Czech illustrator Peter Sis.

Secret message leads to Da Vinci investigation

Cerca trova - "seek and you shall find" is the message hidden in a Florence mural by Giorgio Vasari, long thought to have replaced Leonardo da Vinci's greatest work, leading scientists to use high tech methods to investigate behind the painting. (photos and video)

Ghent Altarpiece digitized

For the past year, a team of art historians has been working on a conservation project for Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s “Mystic Lamb,” better known as the Ghent Altarpiece. Along with the conservation, the altarpiece has been photographed at extremely high resolution to be released online.

Cupid reigns at the Bodleian

The magic of Valentine's Day was felt recently at the Bodleian Library In Oxford, England with an exhibition celebrating "the stories of medieval romance and how they have influenced culture, literature and art over the last thousand years."

Henry VI Psalter Now Online

A fully digitized version of The Psalter of Henry VI has been added to the British Library's ongoing project of digitizing some of their manuscript treasures.

'Tis what it's all about

Dancers and poets alike will enjoy reading the efforts of Jeff Brechkin, who took on the challenge by the "Washington Post Style Invitational contest that asked readers to submit 'instructions' for something (anything), but written in the style of a famous person."

Shakespeare's Sisters at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Women had little impact on writing in the renaissance, or so common wisdom believes, but a new exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library proves otherwise. The exhibition showcases the work of  more than 50 women from Britain, France and Italy from 1500-1700.

Medici Venus once wore lipstick

Chemical analysis of the Medici Venus, a 1st century Roman sculpture housed since 1677 at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, has determined that the sensuous lady once had painted lips, gilded hair and jeweled earrings.

Rare Panels from Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace

Two canvas panels, presumably commissioned for Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace, are displayed in renovated condition.

[AET] Queen's Rapier Championship / Debatable Lands Birthday

The Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands invites one and all to celebrate the epic battle to find the next Queen's Rapier Champion and...our Baronial Birthday!

Irish Times reporter offers "A History of Ireland in 100 Objects "

Irish Times reporter Fintan O’Toole provides a history of his country one artifact at a time. In his A history of Ireland in 100 objects, O’Toole reports on one object, from the National Museum of Ireland, each Saturday and its significance in the history and culture of the country.

Shakespeare's grammar key to his prominence

Dr. Jonathan Hope believes that the key to William Shakespeare's success was not the words that he used, but the way in which he used them. In a chapter in his new book on the English language, Hope finds that the Bard's grammar and word ordering are what set him apart from other writers.

British library offers eBooks for iPhones

iPhone and iPad users may spend a chill, winter day curled up with a Shakespeare first folio, a Medieval Beastiary, or Sultan Baybars’ Qur’an. The eBook editions are available for download on eTeasures.com.

Death leaves Prague... for two months

The skeletal figure of Death, along with his companions Vanity, Greed and Pleasure, has been removed from the famous medieval astronomical clock in the city of Prague for a period of two months. The animated figures will be painted to protect them from humidity. (photos)

Erotic Tudor love poem discovered in West Virginia library

English gentlewomen of Tudor times, especially, married Catholic women to Protestant scholars, were not supposed to pen love poems to men, but this did not deter Lady Elizabeth Dacre, whose work was recently discovered in a 16th century copy of Chaucer.

Grant awarded to preserve 15th century "deadly sins" paintings

The devil is in St Cadoc's church in Llancarfan, Wales, and officials from the Heritage Lottery Fund have decided to award the church UK£500,000 to keep him there. (photos)

Mona Lisa Has a Twin

The Prado Museum in Madrid recently announced that it has what is thought to be the earliest copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”.

"The Mourners" at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is currently hosting the exhibition The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, one of the masterpieces of late medieval sculpture in Europe. The exhibit will run January 21, 2012 through April 15, 2012.

Medieval mystery writer researches by doing

Writer Jeri Westerson of Menifee, California loves the Middle Ages, particularly the world of Crispin Guest, her "ex-knight turned detective on the mean streets of fourteenth century London." Scott Butki, of the Seattle P-I has an interview.

Rappin' to Chaucer with Baba Brinkman

Canadian Baba Brinkman is a performer - and a scholar of medieval literature. He combined both in a recent one-man show, The Canterbury Tales Remixed, which set the Chaucer’s 14th-century work to original hip-hop songs. Catherine Rampell of the New York Times, has a review.

“Ornament of the World” depicted in video on Moorish Spain

A medieval German traveler once described Granada, in Moorish Spain, as the “Ornament of the World.” A video posted on the Moroccan Design website showcases the beauty and enlightment of the region.

The glorious Sistine Chapel

Long to travel to Italy to study its Renaissance Art, but can't afford the travel expenses? Take a trip to the Vatican and see the wonders of the Sistine Chapel - virtually.