The Art and Architecture of New Kingdom Egypt, c.1570-1069 BCE

Pillars of the Great Hypostyle Hall from the Precinct of Amun-Re / Photo by Kurohito, Wikimedia Commons The New Kingdom is known as the golden age of ancient Egyptian history. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.29.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Architecture Overview The golden age of the New Kingdom created huge prosperity for Egypt and allowed for[…]

The Art and Architecture of Middle Kingdom Egypt, c.2055-1650 BCE

The Temple of Isis at Philae, with pylonsand an enclosed court on the left and the inner building at right / Photo by Marc Ryckaert, Wikimedia Commons The Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1650 BCE) was marked by the reunification of Egypt following a period of weak pharaonic power and civil war called the First Intermediate. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh /[…]

The Ebbo Gospels, Fit for a King (Charlemagne)

Saint Matthew, folio 15 recto of the Coronation Gospels (Gospel Book of Charlemagne), from Aachen, Germany, c. 800-810, ink and tempera on vellum (Schatzkammer, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) By Dr. Jennifer Awes-Freeman / 09.15.2016 Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History and Religious Studies University of St. Thomas According to legend, the Vienna Coronation Gospels (c. 795) were discovered in Charlemagne’s tomb within the Palatine[…]

Gentile da Fabriano’s ‘Adoration of the Magi’ Altarpiece – More Than a Glance

Gentile da Fabriano, Adoration of the Magi, 1423, tempera on panel, 283 x 300 cm (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence) By Dr. Joanna Milk Mac Farland / 08.09.2015 Art Historian Gentile da Fabriano, Adoration of the Magi, 1423, tempera on panel, 283 x 300 cm (Uffizi Gallery, Florence) When looking at Gentile da Fabriano’s Adoration of the Magi, imagine[…]

Towns and Houses in Middle and New Kingdom Egypt

A small number of sites, especially from the Middle and New Kingdoms, provide us with extraordinary amounts of evidence for the settlement archaeology of ancient Egypt. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Middle Kingdom Introduction A small number of sites, especially from the Middle and New Kingdoms, provide us with extraordinary[…]

Emperor Hadrian: On Borders, Culture, and Representation

By the British Museum / 02.28.2017 Bronze head from a statue of the Emperor Hadrian, 2nd century C.E., bronze, 43 cm high, Roman Britain © Trustees of the British Museum Fixing the Empire’s borders When Hadrian inherited the Roman Empire, his predecessor, Trajan’s military campaigns had over-stretched it. Rebellions against Roman rule raged in several provinces and[…]

The Etruscan Aule Metele (Arringatore): Magistrates and Sociopolitical Status

Aule Metele (Arringatore), from Cortona, Italy, early 1st century B.C.E., bronze, 67 inches high (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence), (image (shadow eliminated): corneliagraco, CC BY 2.0) By Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker / 12.09.2015 Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Binghamton University The image, status, and stature of the magistrate in the course of performing the duties of his[…]

The Church of Saint-Pierre in Moissac: Art and Architecture along Medieval Pilgrimage Routes

South-side portal (detail), Church of Ste. Pierre, 1115-1130, Moissac, France (photo: Simon, Creative Commons) By Dr. Shannon Pritchard / 08.08.2015 Assistant Professor of Art History Assistant Chair, Art and Design Department University of Southern Indiana The church of Ste. Pierre (St. Peter) in Moissac, France, dating from 1115-30, has one of the most impressive and elaborate[…]

Fontenay Abbey and the Medieval Cistercian Order

Cloister, Fontenay Abbey, 12th century By Christine M. Bolli / 08.08.2015 PhD Candidate in Art History University of California, Santa Barbara The rules Illumination with St. Benedict delivering his Rule to St. Maurus, Monastery of St. Gilles, Nimes, 1129 The Romanesque abbey of Fontenay (Abbaye de Fontenay) is located in Burgundy, France and stands today as a[…]

The Location of Cities in Ancient Egypt

The location of towns and cities in ancient Egypt was dictated by two principal factors. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction The location of towns and cities in ancient Egypt was dictated by two principal factors; the behaviour of the Nile and the wishes of the king. Royal influence on[…]

Depictions of Ships on Ancient Greek Vases

Potters began to enrich vases in the Geometric Period with depictions of people, animals, ships, and more. Center for Hellenic Studies The Dipylon Vase Following the heroic age of the Myceneans is the silence of the Greek Dark Ages. In the proto-Geometric period (c1150–c950 BCE), the pre-Greek tribes make war, then consolidate and start forming[…]

Beware Cupid’s Arrow! French Print Reveals Dangers of Romantic Mix-Ups

The Exchange of Arrows Between Death and Cupid, ca. 1665–1701, Pierre Landry (publisher). Engraving. The Getty Research Institute, 2012.PR.102 By Courtney Wilder / 02.14.2013 “Hide your heart from sight, Lock your dreams at night, It could happen to you.” While the presumably dreadful “it” referred to in the opening verse of “It Could Happen to[…]

The Art and Knowledge in Medieval Herbals

The illustrations in medieval herbals are beautiful and mysterious. But if you know how to read them, they also convey a wealth of knowledge about the plants they portray. By Julia Nurse / 10.04.2017 Collections Researcher Wellcome Library The illustrated herbal has an almost unbroken line of descent from the ancient Greeks to the Middle[…]

Temples and Cities in Ancient Egypt

The temple of Hathor and Nefertari, also known as the Small Temple, dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Ramesses II’s chief consort, Nefertari, at Abu Simbel / Photo by Ad Meskens, Wikimedia Commons A close relationship with particular deities was an important aspect of regional identity in pharaonic Egypt. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology[…]

Bull-Leaping Paintings at Ancient Knossos: What Do They Tell Us?

Bull-leaping fresco from the east wing of the palace of Knossos (reconstructed), c. 1400 B.C.E., fresco, 78 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, photo: Jebulon, CC0) The most interesting question about the bull leaping paintings from Knossos is what they might mean. By Dr. Senta German / 08.15.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum[…]

Bull’s Head Rhyta and Their Ritual Significance in Ancient Minoa

Bull’s head rhyton from the palace at Knossos, c. 1550-1500 B.C.E., black steatite, jasper, and mother-of-pearl, 26 cm high (Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, photo: Zde, CC BY-SA 4.0) Images of bulls are among the most important in Minoan art. By Dr. Senta German / 08.16.2018 Faculty of Classics Andrew W Mellon Foundation Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford[…]

Building the City in Ancient Egypt

Ruins of ancient Thebes A team of four men could produce 3,000 mudbricks per day. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction Egypt, more particularly the Nile Valley between Aswan and Cairo, is blessed with a cornucopia of constructional resources. An ancient Egyptian who made the (sometimes very short) stroll from the[…]

Metsys’s Musician: A Newly Recognized Early Work and Its Implications

This new attribution creates a benchmark for the late-medieval artist’s oeuvre, against which other works can now be compared.    By Rafael Barrientos Martinez and Dr. Larry Silver Martinez: PhD Student in Art History, University of California, Los Angeles Silver: Farquhar Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania The major late fifteenth-century portrait of Jacob Obrecht, from[…]

An Introduction to the Roman Drunken Satyr

Conservator William Shelley and preparator Rita Gomez of the Getty Museum oversee the sculpture’s safe arrival in the Getty Villa conservation studios. Drunken Satyr, 1st century BC–1st century AD, Roman. Bronze, 137 cm high. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, inv. 5628. Reproduced by agreement with the Ministry of Cultural Assets and Activities and Tourism. National[…]

Mapping the Body with ‘Ayurvedic Man’ in 18th-Century Nepal

Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons An exquisite treasury of illustrations and objects, the Ayurvedic Man picture book presents a visual history of some of the earliest medical systems and healing practices in the world. It traces Ayurveda and Indian medicine as they travelled from East to West, gaining, losing and regaining popularity over the centuries. This extract features a[…]

The Redemption of Saint Anthony in Gustave Flaubert

“Anthony: What Is the Point of All This? The Devil: There Is No Point!”, by Odilon Redon from his “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” series – Wikimedia Commons Gustave Flaubert, best known for his masterpiece Madame Bovary, spent nearly thirty years working on a surreal and largely ‘unreadable’ retelling of the temptation of Saint Anthony. Colin Dickey[…]

Plaster Cover-Up and the “Last Judgment” at Autun Cathedral

Tympanum depicting the “Last Judgment” from the Saint-Lazare Cathedral, Autun, France. c. 1120-1130 or c. 1130-1145. Base of tympanum is approximately 21′ in length By Dr. Monica Bowen / 06.28.2017 Professor of Art History Seattle University I was discussing the “Last Judgment” tympanum at the Cathedral of Autun with my students. I pointed out some details of the[…]

Palaces in Ancient Egypt: Cities for Kings and Gods

Illustration of the ancient palace of Malkata The grandeur that early European explorers had come to expect in royal building programs seems to have been reserved for sacred space and funerary complexes. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Introduction For early European explorers in Egypt, it was inconceivable that the massive monumental[…]

British Soldier Artists in Colonial India

Whether drawing for official purposes or for pleasure, soldier-artists contributed a rich source to the visual imagery of colonial India in the 18th and 19th centuries. By Dr. Margaret Makepeace and Patrician Kattenhorn (not pictured) Makepeace: Fellow, Royal Historical Society Kattenhorn: Artist Britain’s earliest foothold in India came with trading stations, or factories, set up[…]

Royal Recipes in Mid-19th Century India

Some exciting recipes from the first cookbooks printed in Indian languages. The cuisines detailed within these books graced royal courts for nearly two millennia. By Dr. Abhijit Gupta Associate Professor of English Jadavpur University    Which was the first-ever cookbook in India? Candidates for this honour must be many and pretty much impossible to determine, but[…]

Noble Villas in New Kingdom Egypt

There were distinct differences between city and village (country) life, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Although, with exceptions at Amarna, there are few surviving traces of noble villas from the New Kingdom, we have some idea of how they must have looked[…]

Preserving Ancient Mosaics in the Mediterranean

A restorer removes mortar on a mosaic in Tipasa, Algeria. Image courtesy the Conservation and Restoration Workshop of the Arles Antiquities Museum Flexibility in a funding initiative for mosaics conservators leads to a range of positive outcomes. By Dr. Joan Weinstein / 11.27.2018 Acting Director Getty Foundation Introduction Grant-making is rarely a linear process. It often involves twists and turns along the[…]

Pieter Bruegel’s ‘Tower of Babel’ and the Creation of a Harmonious Community in Antwerp

Analyzing how the theme of the painting, a story of miscommunication and disorder, resonated with the challenges faced by the metropolis. By Dr. Barbara A. Kaminska Assistant Professor of Art History Sam Houston State University Abstract This article discusses Pieter Bruegel’s Tower of Babel (now in Vienna), originally displayed in the suburban villa of Antwerp entrepreneur Niclaes[…]