Fine Arts

Painting, sculpture, and similar forms of artistic expression.

"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.

Sir Terry Pratchett granted Arms in England

The Armorial Bearings granted to Sir Terence David John Pratchett of Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, Knight, OBE by Letters Patent of Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms dated 28 April 2010 are illustrated in the September 2010 Newsletter of the College of Arms.

Mona Lisa now buried in garbage dump

Thirty years ago, the city of Florence, Italy converted the Sant'Orsola convent, the final resting place of Lisa Gherardini, the model of da Vinci's Mona Lisa, into barracks for the city's Guardia di Finanza. The graves and tombs from the site were dumped into 'Case le Passarini', the rubbish tip near Florence.

SCA author alleges theft of article by print magazine

In 2005, Monica Gaudio wrote an article entitled A Tale of Two Tarts for Ice Dragon and allowed it to be published on the Godecookery.com website. Recently the entire article was published without permission in Cooks Source Magazine, producing an explosion of commentary on the Internet.

Metropolitan Museum to host treasures of Khubilai Khan

New York's Metropolitan Museum will offer visitors a glimpse of the delights of 13th century China when it plays host to The Legend of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty, an exhibit of "lavish costumes, stunning paintings and priceless jewels."

Medieval religious art comes to Cleveland

The exhibition "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics, and Devotion in Medieval Europe" is on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art through Jan. 17, 2011.

"Happy Few" challenge

Richard the Poor of Ely of the East Kingdom challenges members of the SCA to memorize the Saint Crispin's Day speech from Henry V and submit a video or audio of your performance by 5pm on October 25, 2010.

Cædmon's Hymn in Old English online

On his blog, Unlocked Wordhoard, Richard Nokes, professor of medieval literature at Troy University, has posted video of a performance of Cædmon's Hymn, an early piece of West Saxon poetry, recorded by Bede in the 7th century.

Having fun storming the castle

The sad life of a lone castle guard is depicted in a short animated film from Bird Box Studio.

Estrella War Gatebook art

The organizers of the 2011 Estrella War are seeking artwork for the event's gatebook.

Are blue jeans period?

Are blue jeans period? A new study dates the modern clothing basic to at least 17th century Italy as shown in the paintings of Italian artist dubbed the "Master of the Blue Jeans." (photo)

Welsh folklore for the iPhone

iPhone users and British folklore enthusiasts may want to download the iPhone app for the Mabinogion, a cycle of Welsh legends collected in the 14th century Red Book of Hergest.

Pelican and Phoenix portraits hope to solve mystery of royal painter

For the first time in 25 years, art experts will be able to study two portraits of Queen Elizabeth I with hopes of discovering the works' mysterious artist. The paintings will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London from September 13 to 19, 2010.

Masterpieces online: Like looking at a painting "with a giant magnifying glass."

Until January 29, 2011, art lovers and historians have the opportunity to study six masterpieces from the Uffizi gallery in Florence in minute detail on the Haltadefinizione company website. The site allows visitors to zoom in on high-resolution images.

"The White Stag" premieres in the Outlands

The White Stag, an original song by Lord Cilléne mac Conghalaigh, was debuted recently at Caerthe's Three Stags event in the Kingdom of the Outlands. A video of the song has been posted on YouTube.

Persian masterpiece on display at the Sackler Gallery

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. offers the exhibit Shahnama: 1000 Years of the Persian Book of Kings October 23, 2010 - April 17, 2011. The rare paintings of kings, heroes and mythological creatures are from the Shahnama, Iran's national epic.

Met to present Burgundian/Dutch Renaissance exhibit

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will present Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance October 6, 2010 - January 17, 2011, the "first major exhibition in forty-five years devoted to the Burgundian Netherlandish artist Jan Gossart (ca. 1478-1532)."

Music scholar uses period instruments to score Robin Hood film

The August 8, 2010 broadcast of University of the Air featured music scholar Tina Chancey, who has created a live music accompaniment to Errol Flynn's classic Robin Hood. Chancey uses authentic medieval instruments for the work.

Middle Ages: "the default historical playground"

The great interest in medieval themes by the public has led academics to create a new educational organization: The Society for the Public Understanding of the Middle Ages, which was formed during the International Congress on Medieval Studies to address how the general public views the historical period.

"Gospel" guitar

Craftsman Larry Robinson, who designs and crafts custom inlayed musical instruments, has created a true work of art in a guitar, decorated with inlays based on the Lindisfarne gospels. The Lindisfarne Project is chronciled on Robinson's blog. (photos)

World of Khubilai Khan at the Met

September 28, 2010 - January 2, 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will play host to The World of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty, an exhibit of fine and decorative art from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Mona Lisa's smile explained by technique

Over the centuries, thousands of people have pondered the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile. Now French researchers believe they can explain the enigmatic expression: it was da Vinci's technique.

Leonardo3 offers detailed studies of da Vinci's paintings

Afficionatos of the work of Leonardo da Vinci will enjoy visiting the website Leonardo3, which offers detailed studies of the artist's paintings. The site is in Italian. (photos)

Bard to perform Beowulf in Berkeley

October 26-30, 2010 in Berkeley, CA, medievalist and early music specialist Benjamin Bagby will perform the epic saga of Beowulf. His performance will be accompanied by Anglo-Saxon harp.

Tudor history course offered online by University of Exeter

The University of Exeter (England) will offer a non-credit, distance learning course entitled The Tudors: History, Culture and Religion for fall 2010. Deadline to register is September 15, 2010.

"New" edition of Chaucer's poems discovered

A professor in New Zealand has discovered a previously unknown edition of Chaucer's poems. The book was published in 1807 and distinguishes between poems correctly and incorrectly attributed to Chaucer. This is the earliest known edition to make such a distinction.

Photographer captures "glint of light off hand-made armor"

Venice, California photographer E.F. Kitchen has had her photos displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now she captures the "glint of light off hand-made armor" in her book Suburban Knights: A Return to the Middle Ages. Scott Timberg of the Los Angeles Times has a review.

The best - and the worst - medieval historical films

On his website Medieval History in the Movies, Professor Paul Halsall provides a comprehensive list of movies with medieval themes. The site includes "best" and "worst" lists of historical films.

Buddhist wall paintings pre-date western technique

Researchers studying 5th-9th century Buddhist cave paintings in the Afghan region of Bamiyan have learned that the paintings used an oil technique, centuries before the same technique was used in Europe.