1592: Coining Columbus

Detail from an engraving by Theodore de Bry, from 1592, which formed part of his “America-series”, showing Christopher Columbus landing on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in 1492 – Rijks Museum For many, the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas is inextricably linked to a particular image: a small group of confident men on a[…]

The History of Blackness in Art and Philosophical Thought

Robert Fludd’s black square representing the nothingness that was prior to the universe, from his Utriusque Cosmi(1617) — Wellcome Library Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour, or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd’s attempt to picture nothingness, Eugene Thacker reflects* on some of the ways[…]

Black Death Bodies: A Bioarchaeological and Historical Perspective

Flickr, Creative Commons    By Dr. Sharon Nell Dewitte (left) and Dr. Maryanne Kowaleski (right) Dewitte: Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of South Carolina Kowaleski: Joseph Fitzpatrick SJ Distinguished Professor of History and Medieval Studies, Fordham University Abstract The fourteenth-century Black Death was one of the most important and devastating epidemics in human history. It caused[…]

Beyond Hieroglyphs: The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt

1 – Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Art 1.1 – Overview Ancient Egyptian art includes the painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts produced by the civilization in the lower Nile Valley from 5000 BCE to 300 CE. Ancient Egyptian art reached considerable sophistication in painting and sculpture, and was both highly stylized and symbolic. Much of[…]

A Hero’s Journey and the Dance of Dragons

Initial P: Alexander the Great Carried Aloft by Griffins, about 1300, unknown artist, in the Historia Scholastica. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XIII 1, fol. 222v; Alexander the Great in the Air (detail), about 1400–10, unknown artist, in the World Chronicle. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 33, fol. 221 In the Middle Ages, stories of Greek[…]