The Etruscan Chimera of Arezzo: Greek Attic Influence in Ancient Italy

Chimera from Arezzo, c. 400 B.C.E., bronze, 129 cm in length, (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence) By Dr. Jeffrey A. Becker / 12.09.2015 Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Binghamton University The Chimera of Arezzo is one of the best known pieces of Etruscan sculpture to survive from antiquity. Discovered near the Porta San Lorentino of Arezzo, Italy (ancient[…]

Donatello’s ‘St. Mark’: A Medieval Sculptor Prioritizing Viewer Perception

Donatello, St. Mark, 1411-13, marble, 93″ (236 cm) (Orsanmichele, Florence). Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris By Dr. David Boffa / 04.17.2017 Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History Beloit College A humorous anecdote Donatello, Saint Mark, 1411-13, marble, 93″ (236 cm) Orsanmichele, Florence (photo) The sixteenth-century artist and art historian Giorgio Vasari gives us a[…]

Ottonian Art Style in the Gospel Book of Otto III

Double page opening: Provinces Bringing Tribute (f.23v.) and Ruler Portrait of Otto III (f.24) Gospels of Otto III, c. 1000, each page 33.4 x 24.2 cm, ink, gold, paint, parchment (Munich, Bayerische Stattsbibliothek, Clm.4453) By Dr. Andreas Petzold / 08.08.2015 Professor of History of Art MPW London The double page opening of the ruler portrait of Otto III (f.24,[…]

Medieval Judgment Art and Architecture at the Church of Saint Trophime

Saint Trophime, Arles, 12th – 15th century (photo: Elliot Brown, CC BY 2.0) By Christine M. Bolli / 08.08.2015 PhD Candidate in Art History University of California, Santa Barbara The Provençal city of Arles in the south of France, is home to the medieval church, Saint Trophime. First impressions When I first saw the church, somewhat inconspicuously wedged[…]

The Church and Reliquary of Sainte-Foy, a Symbol of Medieval Pilgrimage and Ritual

Church of Sainte‐Foy, Conques, France, c. 1050–1130 (photo: jean françois bonachera, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) By Dr. Elisa Foster / 08.08.2015 Lecturer John V. Roach Honors College Texas Christian University On the road Imagine you pack up your belongings in a sack, tie on your cloak, and start off on a months-long journey through treacherous mountains, unpredictable[…]

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[…]