Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Michelangelo's David heralds beginning of modern science

Most people viewing Michelangelo’s magnificent sculpture of David admire its artistic beauty and proportion, but to Dr. Kelly Cline, the statue symbolizes something else: the birth of modern science. The article appears in the Independent Record (Helena, Montana).

Armored women who mean business

The debate about the depiction of women's armor, whether in print, on film, or in reality, continues on the Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor website, which includes photos and artwork showing women with body parts actually protected. [PG-13: Language]

Phalluses scrubbed from medieval fresco

After a three-year restoration project, the 13th century Tree of Fertility fresco in the small Italian town of Massa Marittima was ready to view, but art experts had some problems with the restoration work when they noticed that testicles and phalluses hanging from the tree had been removed.

Historical Book Club on Yahoo Groups

Lord Cú Allaidh Dona of Ealdormere reports his lady, Margurite, has created an Historical Book Club on Yahoo which urges members to "read a period book and review and discuss on the list."

British antiquaries on display at McMullen Museum of Art

The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College will host "Making History: Antiquaries in Britain," September 4 through December 11, 2011, tracing "milestones in the discovery, recording, preservation, interpretation, and communication of Britain's history."

"Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge" at Sackler Museum

Visitors to the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will have the opportunity to view 16th century woodcuts, engravings, and etchings relating to the study of science when the museum presents Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe.

Papers sought for medieval conference; topic: erotica in the Middle Ages

The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State Univerity has issued a call for papers for its 18th Annual ACMRS Conference. The topic is: Erotica and the Erotic in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Deadline for papers will be October 16, 2011.  

Papers sought for "The Crusades and Visual Culture"

Elizabeth Lapina of Durham University in Great Britain reports that she is seeking papers and proposals for the upcoming publication, The Crusades and Visual Culture. The submission deadline is December 1, 2011.

18th Annual ACMRS Conference

The annual undergraduate conference of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will convene February 16-19, 2012 in Tempe Arizona. The topic of this year's conference is: Erotica and the Erotic in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Lewis chessmen key players in British Museum manga

The British Museum acts as a backdrop for a new manga publication by Hoshino Yukinobu. Professor Munakata's British Museum Adventure stars "a portly ethnographer-cum-archaeologist who solves crimes and explains civilisations."

Throne of Blood meets Monty Python

Imagine if Monty Python's French castle were actually Japanese... Amusing mash-up of Kurosawa's Throne of Blood and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

LARPers take on Hell in upcoming film

What happens when a gang of medieval LARPers summon a demon from hell? A comedy/horror film entitled Knights of Badassdom, that's what. View the trailer online. (PG-13)

Oxford crucifixion painting may be a true masterpiece

When a painting of the Crucifixion was purchased for Campion Hall at the University of Oxford in the 1930s, the buyers never dreamed they had a true Renaissance masterpiece painted by Michelangelo himself. (photo)

Portrait of Elizabeth of York revealed

Duncan Leslie of Hever Castle explains about the importance of Elizabeth of York, the mother of Henry VIII, in a short BBC video. A 16th century portrait of the queen has been recently revealed.

Sackler Gallery receives collection of Tibetan Buddhist Art

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. has announced that it has received a collection of Tibetan Buddhist art from collector Alice S. Kandell. Objects in the collection date from the 12th through 20th centuries CE.

Free research downloads from Amazon.com

Thegn Grimmund Blackwing reports that Amazon.com is offering free downloads of several books of interest to medieval scholars. The downloads are available for the Kindle or for other e-reader apps.

Medieval meets modern in artist's paintings

Lillias reports that Chum McLeod, an artist from Barrie, Ontario, has created a blog featuring illuminated capitals blending modern watercolor techniques with familiar medieval designs.

Drug testing Shakespeare

Anthropologist Francis Thackeray believes William Shakespeare was a pothead -- really -- and hopes to exhume the bard for drug tests. Thackeray's petition for exhumation has been made to the Church of England, based on his research done over the past ten years.

Newly-discovered da Vinci could break world auction record

When Salvator Mundi or Saviour of the World, goes to auction, it could sell for a world record UK£125 million. The recently-restored painting, once attributed to Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, a protégé of Leonardo, has been certified an authentic da Vinci by a panel of experts. (photo)

Fresco of St. Paul found in Naples catacombs

A 6th century fresco of St. Paul has been discovered in the Catacombs of San Gennaro in Naples during restoration work according to L'Osservatore, the official Vatican newspaper. (photo)

Scottish folklore collection available online

For the first time, the complete folklore collection of Alexander Carmichael has been published and is available to view online. Carmichael "spent 50 years collecting legends, songs, curses and oral history from Gaelic-speakers."

Talking Shakespeare

Actor and author Ben Crystal explores the accents of Shakespearean English in a series of videos based on his book Shakespeare on Toast. Crystal offers examples of Received Pronunciation and Shakespearean Pronunciation. (video)

Banging heads in Asterix comics

European academics are concerned about the amount of violent brain traumas in the popular Asterix comics series, most dealt out by Asterix and Obelix themselves.

What will the sinking of Venice mean to the world?

"Venice has become a museum city, no longer a residential one," said a Unesco director recently about the city threatened by rising sea levels. Jack Watkins of The Independent discusses the fate of the city.

Was Jane Shaxspere the inspiration for Ophelia?

In Hamlet, the melancholy Ophelia drowns while picking flowers. Now a new study of accidental deaths in Tudor England may find a real-life link to Shakespeare's tragic heroine.

Reading Dante

Is medieval poetry worth reading? A.N. Wilson thinks so, and shares thoughts in an article for the New Statesman: "Dante, a poet for all seasons."

Long live King Arthur

In an article for BBC Magazine, Jon Kelly discusses the endurance of King Arthur as a cultural phenomenon and his latest incarnation on British television.

Diary of Siege of Constantinople online

In 1453, Italian surgeon Nicolo Barbaro recorded his account of the siege and fall of Constantinople. The diary is now available to read online.

The unconventional life of Renaissance woman Copia Sulam

Copia Sulam was a true Renaissance woman: poet, linguist, conversationalist and hostess of reknown in Venice at the beginning of the 17th century. Renee Levine Melammed of the Jerusalem Post examines her extraordinary life.

Shakespeare and Olympics share billing in 2012 London

In 2012, England will celebrate hosting the Olympic Games, but the year will also include a huge celebration of the works of William Shakespeare. Vanessa Thorpe of the Guardian offers a rundown of cultural events involving Shakespeare.