Pre-Hellenic Greek Dress

Minoan Snake Goddess figurines c 1600 BCE. / Heraklion Archaeological Museum By Ethel B. Abrahams In seeking to conjure up a vivid picture of the life of an ancient people, it is the task of the archæologist to neglect no point that can in any way throw light on the manners and customs which that[…]

The Geometric Mosaics at Khirbat Mar Elyas (Northern Jordan): A Comparative Study

  By Dr. Mohammad Nassar and Dr. Abdulmajeed Sabbagh Nassar: The University of Jordan Sabbagh: Umm Al-Qura University Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 56 (2016), 528-555 The Great Church at Khirbat Mar Elyas is one of the most important sites with geometric mosaic pavements in northern Jordan, with one the of best-preserved baptistries in the[…]

What is Concrete Poetry?

Augusto de Campos’s Lygia Fingers, a poem from 1953 for his wife-to-be, Lygia Azeredo, highlights the international tendencies of concrete poetry; it appeared in a portfolio of concrete poems by European and Brazilian artists issued by the German printer and publisher Hansjörg Mayer in 1964. From 13 visuelle Texte (Stuttgart: Edition H. Mayer, 1964). The[…]

The Defacement of the Parthenon Metopes: Dating and Interpretation

By Dr. Benjamin Anderson Assistant Professor of Art History Cornell University Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 57 (2017), 248-260 The dating and interpretation of archaeologically attested acts of vandalism is a hazardous business. Consider the Arch of Constantine. The archaeologist remarks that the emperor’s head has been systematically removed from each of the Constantinian reliefs,[…]

Judith Leyster, ‘The Proposition’

Judith Leyster, Man Offering Money to a Woman (The Proposition), 1631, oil on panel, 11-3/8 × 9-1/2 inches (Mauritshuis, The Hague) By Dr. Saskia Beranek / 03.17.2017 Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History Duquesne University and University of Pittsburgh A soberly dressed woman sits in a darkened room, working diligently on her sewing. The only light[…]

Decoding the Textual Experience in the Bronze Age Levant (c.2000-1150 BCE)

By Dr. Rachael Thyrza Sparks / 12.18.2013 Professor of Archaeology University College London Introduction A review of the types of writing found in the Southern Levant during the Middle and Late Bronze Ages underlines one fact: textual evidence is much rarer in this region than contemporary Egypt, Syria-Lebanon or Mesopotamia. There is a dearth of[…]

Communication of Divine Will in the Sargonid Period

  Fragmentary stele bearing the inscription “Ur-Nanshe, son of Gunidu, to Ningirsu” / Louvre Museum, Paris By Lisa Wilhelmi / 08.28.2015 Professor of Drama and History McLennan Community College Introduction* The ancient Mesopotamian world-view determined that human life on earth was inextricably intertwined with the divine, and the omnipresence of this divine element was never[…]

The Guitar in the Renaissance

16th-Century Spanish guitar / Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix By Dr. Júlio Ribeiro Alves / 12.2015 Professor of Music Theory and Guitar Marshall University Introduction The evolution of the guitar achieved a new phase during the sixteenth century, as documentary evidence can confirm. The instrument passed through transformations during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and some[…]

Making Medieval Manuscripts

The author of a manuscript at his writing desk. From the Roman de la Rose, 14th century / National Library of Wales Dr. Erik Kwakkel and Dr. Beth Harris look at two manuscripts: 1) Boethius, De institutione arithmetica, c. 1100,  The Hague), Royal Library, MS 78 E 59 and 2) Paris Bible, mid 13th century,[…]

The Rediscovery of Guercino

Sir Denis Mahon at his desk, 2010. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland, Sir Denis Mahon Archive & Library Collection Sir Denis Mahon’s crusade to restore the reputation of an Italian seicento master. By Davide Gasparotto / 03.01.2016 Senior Curator of Paintings J. Paul Getty Museum Sir Denis Mahon (1910–2011) is undoubtedly one of[…]

Writing as Material Technology: Orientation within Landscapes of the Classic Maya World

By Dr. Sarah E. Jackson / 12.18.2013 Associate Professor of Anthropology University of Cincinnati Introduction Writing as Material Technology We endeavor to shift our perspectives on texts from the transparent view that allows us to look past pages, monuments, and objects straight to the content or meaning of recorded signs, and instead to think about[…]

The Twisting Paths of Recall: Khipu (Andean Cord Notation) as Artifact

Figure 1: Khipu demonstrates repeating colour sequence. 64-19-1-1-6-2 of the Musée de l’Homme (now in Musée du Quai Branly). By Dr. Frank Salomon / 12.18.2013 Professor Emeritus, Anthropology University of Wisconsin-Madison Introduction The most complex system of writing (using the word in a broad sense) that Andean peoples possessed before the Spanish invasion of 1532[…]

The ‘Akbarnama’: Painting under Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great

“Emperor Akbar on an elephant hunt,” Basawan and Chetar, illustrations from the Akbarnama, c. 1586-89, Mughal Empire, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, each page 33 x 30 cm (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) By Katrina Klaasmeyer / 03.02.2017 Lecturer in Art History California State University, Northbridge In these small, brilliantly-colored paintings from the Akbarnama[…]

Spreading the Royal Word: The (Im)Materiality of Communication in Early Mesopotamia

By Dr. Christina Tsouparopoulou / 08.28.2015 Professor of Archaeology University of Heidelberg Introduction This article discusses the communicative processes employed by rulers in Mesopotamia, especially in the third millennium BCE, to reach both their literate and illiterate audiences and transfer their ‘knowledge’. It is during the third millennium that citystates and empires emerged in the[…]

An Introduction to Prehistoric Textiles

Clay with textile impressions from Dolni Vestonice, 29,000 to 22,000 years ago. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Karina Grömer / 03.01.2016 Staff Scientist, Textile Archaeology Natural History Museum, Vienna The history of textile crafts and clothing can only be understood correctly in the framework of prehistoric research. A brief overview of the technical and cultural[…]

The Middle East through a Victorian Woman’s Pen

Monumental Arch, Nicholas Hanhart after Emily Anne Beaufort Smythe, Viscountess Strangford. Color lithograph. 3.9 x 6.4 in. (10 x 16.5 cm). From Emily Anne Beaufort Smythe, Viscountess Strangford, Egyptian Sepulchres and Syrian Shrines (London, 1862), facing page 359. The Getty Research Institute, 3026-718 A Victorian travelogue encouraged women to undertake an adventurous tour of the[…]

The Many Faces of Hadrian

By Carole Raddato / 04.29.2014 Historian Art has always been an important part of human existence. Over time, individuals have taken great pleasure from beautiful things and sought to acquire lavish personal collections. The first known cases of individuals seeking to accumulate art collections were in Hellenistic Greece more than 2,000 years ago. The Attalids[…]

Planting for Power in Ancient Rome

Reconstruction of the inner peristyle of the House of the Vettii in Pompeii. The original garden would have been decorated with brightly colored frescoes. Photo: Sailko, Wikimedia Commons Plants and trees were employed as symbols of power and learning in both public and private. By Dr. Annalisa Marzano / 03.14.2017 Professor of Ancient History University of[…]

Allan Sekula’s Papers Reveal His Art, Writing, and Thought Process

Dear Bill Gates, 1999, Allan Sekula. Photograph. The Getty Research Institute, 2016.M.22. © Allan Sekula Studio LLC. A partial gift from Sally Stein, in memory of her husband Allan Sekula Allan Sekula’s papers, newly acquired by the Getty Research Institute, document the visionary artist and critic’s meticulous process and socially engaged practice. By Sarah Zabrodski[…]

The History of Art in Judaism

Judaism: An Introduction   By Dr. Jessica Hammerman (left) and Dr. Shaina Hammerman (right) / 08.08.2015 Jessica Hammerman: Professor of History, Central Oregon Community College Shaina Hammerman: Professor of Jewish History and Culture, Lehrhaus Judaica Judaism is a monotheistic religion that emerged with the Israelites in the Eastern Mediterranean (Southern Levant) within the context of the[…]

The Bayeux Tapestry

Viewing the Bayeux tapestry at the Bayeux Museum; Bayeux tapestry, c. 1070, embroidered wool on linen, 20 inches high (Bayeux Museum) By Dr. Kristine Tanton / 08.08.2015 Professor of Art History University of California, Los Angeles Measuring twenty inches high and almost 230 feet in length, the Bayeux Tapestry commemorates a struggle for the throne[…]

The Metamorphoses of Danaë: From Venal to Virtuous to Voluptuous Woman

Danaë, 1621–23, Orazio Gentileschi. Oil on canvas, 63 5/8 x 89 1/4 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016.6 The mythological princess Danaë was one of the most divisive, ever-changing mythological figures in Western art By Davide Gasparotto / 03.01.2016 Senior Curator of Paintings J. Paul Getty Museum One of the most accomplished Italian artists[…]