Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

Putting a literary foot forward

Knitters looking for a cool project - or readers looking for warm feet - will want to take a look at a sock pattern by Gryphon Perkins featuring "a reproduction of the introductory text in the oldest surviving manuscript of Beowulf." (photo)

Russian icons at Boston museum

Lady Zabava reports that the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts will present a "stunning, major exhibition of 37 paintings and artifacts from Moscow’s Andrey Rublev Museum—most never shown before in the U.S—" from now until July 25, 2011.

14th century tales of Jean Froissart online

Steve Muhlberger (Duke Finvarr de Taahe of the Kingdom of Ealdormere) of the Department of History at Nipissing University has posted several tales, in English, written by Jean Froissart in the 14th century. The stories, which include romance, poetry and history, were aimed at an aristocratic audience.

Stirling Heads returned to castle ceiling

Copies of the famous Stirling Castle heads have been returned to their rightful place on the ceiling of the King's Inner Hall. A slideshow of the newly carved and painted heads is available on the BBC website. (photos)

Town of Bobbio may help redefine Mona Lisa

Research by Carla Glori seems to point to the norhtern Italian town of Bobbio as the backdrop for Leonard da Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa. Glori also believes that Bianca Giovanna Sforza is the real subject of the painting.

Modern illumination

In recent years, it has become the vogue to learn calligraphy for special occasions. Now the medieval artform of illumination may also see a modern revival. (photos)

Objets d'Art documented at the Art Institute of Chicago

In October 2010, Rohesia Anven of Thessalonica, from the Kingdom of Atlantia, visited the Art Institute of Chicago and documented many of the museum's period objects in an amazing collection of photographs. Her album is available on Picasaweb.

Pieta model found in moldy box?

Most people would not have given a second look to the junk in a moldy box in an antique shop, certainly not a small terracotta statue covered in paint and scotch tape. But an Italian art collector did look a second time and may have discovered the model for Michelangelo's Pieta. (photos)

French manuscripts at Getty Center through January 2011

Now through February 6, 2011, the Getty Center will offer visitors a trip to France's medieval past by hosting Imagining the Past in France, 1250–1500, a manuscript exhibition describing "how these lavish books contributed to the development of French art and the French nation."

Stonework sheetwall process

Anyone interested in creating a stonework look for sheetwall should visit a gallery of photos by Isabelle Le Charpentier.

Bronzino portraits at the heart of first solo exhibition

For the first time, 16th century Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino will be the subject of a monograph exhibition of his paintings. The exhibit will take place at Palazzo Strozzi and will include 80 pieces from more than 40 collections.

What's in David's hand?

A new study of Michelangelo's David concludes that the hero holds a "secret weapon in his right hand." A paper on the subject was presented at "Florens 2010: The International Week of Cultural and Environmental Heritage," a three-day tribute to the masterpiece.

Byward Angel scanned by medical imaging technique

A team of researchers is using Optical Coherence Tomography, a medical imaging technique, to study the Byward Angel, a well-preserved wall mural in the medieval section of the Tower of London. Expert believe the painting dates to the late 14th century. (video)

"Last Judgment" models found in Turkish bathhouses?

The writhing, muscular figures in Michelangelo's Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel may have been inspired by men encountered by the artist in Rome's gay brothels and bathhouses according to Elena Lazzarini, whose new book Nudity, art and decorum: aesthetic changes in the art of the 16th century explores the theory. (photo)

Chaucer entertains at Utah dinner theater

The knight, the pardoner, the miller and the wife of Bath all made appearances recently when ren faire enthusiast Phil Tomassian presented the Canterbury Tales as dinner theater at his Murray Theater, Utah Dinner Show. Austen Diamond of the Salt Lake City Weekly has the review.

Vikings go on "Online Tour"

The British Museum offers a series of Online Tours featuring photos and text describing artifacts from different eras. One of the most interesting is the Viking Age with closeup photos of such interesting objects as an antler comb in a case.

Middle Ages featured at the Cleveland Museum of Art

In addition to its famous medieval Armour Court and manuscript collections, the Cleveland Museum of Art will host Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe now through January 17, 2011.

New Known World Handbook Table of Contents

A list of articles and their authors included in the 2010 edition of the Known World Handbook has been released. The new edition is available from the SCA Stock Clerk.

Stained glass for kids

On the That Artist Woman blog, Gail shares plans on how to design a stained glass rose window project for children using white glue and acrylic paint.

Medieval scholar focuses on modern romances

Most professors of medieval English literature read Chaucer or Boethius, but one scholar is setting her sights on a far more mundane subject: the world of modern "bodice-rippers".

Ognissanti Crucifix determined a genuine Giotto

For centuries, a 14th century, painted cross, housed at the Ognissanti church in Florence, was considered to have been produced in a workshop, but prolonged restoration efforts have proven that the five-metre-high cross is a genuine Giotto. (photo)

Nonesuch painting to be auctioned

No trace of Henry VIII's Nonesuch Palace remains except a rare 16th century watercolor by Joris Hoefnagel, and now that is to be auctioned by Christies. The watercolor is expected to bring as much as 1.2 million UK pounds (US$1.9 million).

Documenting the Luxury Arts: A photo archive by Genevra Kornbluth

Genevra Kornbluth's "Documenting the Luxury Arts" site has photos of artifacts and architecture from Roman to 20th century. Photos of the pre-17th century items include many not easily found elsewhere, including crystal and crystal intaglio pieces, ivory carvings, and game pieces (20-sided dice, anyone?).

Feminist Guinevere on Hulu

Guinevere, the 1994 retelling of the Arthurian legend with a feminist twist, is now available to download and view on Hulu.

Rock star treatment for a Renaissance mural

An elaborately painted 16th century chapel damaged during the Second World War is being restored not with paint but with light.

Review of the new Known World Handbook

Mistress Emma de Fetherstan, of the Kingdom of Ansteorra, offers a review of the new edition of the Known World Handbook, available through the SCA Stock Clerk.

Mona Lisa's childhood home discovered

Did the enigmatic smile of da Vinci's Mona Lisa hide sad memories of an impoverished childhood? A video clip from Discovery News looks at the childhood home of the famous model.

Norfolk frescoes chronicle medieval past

The discovery of medieval frescoes during repairs to a crumbling English country church has given experts a glimpse in the village's medieval past. The wall paintings at St Mary's at Houghton-on-the-Hill date to around the 12th century.

"Vision" celebrates life of Hildegard von Bingen

Vision, a new film by German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta, tells the story of 12th-century Benedictine nun Hildegard von Bingen and her "her frequent skirmishes with the male-dominated Catholic hierarchy." V. A. Musetto of the New York Post has a review.

Longtime SCA member pens romance novel set in SCA

Romance author Jamaica Layne (the pen name of journalist and playwright Jill Elaine Hughes, who is known in the SCA as "Lady Marissa de Courette") has written a contemporary romance novel set in the Society for Creative Anachronism.