‘Greek Style’ Painting in Renaissance Venice

Many painters in Venetian Crete worked in what was called the “Greek style” and thus retained traits that we can identify with earlier Byzantine icons. By Dr. Andrew CasperAssociate Professor of Art HistoryMiami University, Ohio Seven Hundred Icons, Two Styles The Republic of Venice was a maritime republic that incorporated the city of Venice and[…]

A History of Copying as Innovation and Resistance in Art since the Ancient World

All artists are influenced by the styles and media of others, even those who stridently claim otherwise. By Dr. Asa Simon MIttmanProfessor of Art and Art HistoryCalifornia State University, Chico Introduction Early Greek art influences later Greek art. Early Chinese painting influences later Chinese painting. We will look at some straightforward examples of these sorts of[…]

Art and Religion: The Investiture Controversy in the Holy Roman Empire

The investiture dispute grew gradually in the 11th century between the Catholic Church and the German Salian Dynasty. By Michael GriffithHistorian Introduction The Investiture Controversy, also referred to as the Investiture Contest or Investiture Dispute, was a conflict lasting from 1076 to 1122 between the papacy of the Catholic Church and the Salian Dynasty of German monarchs[…]

Iron Age Celtic Bronze Shields

The Celts commonly decorated shields whether they were intended for battle, display, or as votive offerings. Introduction The ancient Celts produced magnificent bronze shields in Iron Age Britain which were most likely for ceremonial purposes and display. Several fine examples have miraculously survived as evidence of the imagination, skill, and artistry of Celtic craftworkers. The[…]

Eadweard Muybridge: Photos in Motion Are Born in 1878

After experimenting with different camera systems, Muybridge made a series of photographs at Stanford’s Palo Alto horse track. By Dr. Kris Belden-AdamsAssociate Professor of Art HistoryThe University of Mississippi Introduction Until the 1870s, the prevailing convention in the visual arts for representing horses in mid-stride was the “flying gallop.” This graceful pose—in which the horse[…]

Nadar: The Birth of Aerial Photography in 1858

For Nadar his name was attached not only to his art, but also to a persona that he worked hard to cultivate. Elevating Photography When Honoré Daumier immortalized Nadar—famed photographer, writer, and caricaturist—photographing wildly while aloft in his hot air balloon in 1862, photography was just 23 years old. The invention of the daguerreotype had been announced in Paris[…]

Louis Daguerre and the Birth of Commercial Photography in 1837

Daguerre—a Parisian theatrical scene-painter/designer and showman—saw his new medium as part-art, part-science. By Dr. Kris Belden-AdamsAssociate Professor of Art HistoryThe University of Mississippi Introduction Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre’s oldest surviving photograph (which predates the announcement of the invention of the medium in 1839 by two years), The Artist’s Studio / Still Life with Plaster Casts, was made using his modestly[…]

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: The Tastemakers of 19th-Century England

The story of George Price Boyce and his idealistic collector friends. By Casey Lee and Carolyn Peter We recently uncovered a connection that took us on a journey back to Victorian England into the studios and sitting rooms of a close-knit group of young, idealistic artists. This group evolved from a secret society of seven[…]

Sipping the Feels: Using Color Psychology to Create a Zen Home

Color psychology is easy, intuitive, and fun. By Gabrielle GardinerWriter and Yogi Introduction When was the last time you re-evaluated how your home contributes to your mindfulness and calmness? Our emotional responses to colour aren’t just imagined. Using a calming colour palette is one of the most effective ways to develop a tranquil home base[…]

Unearthing the Secrets of Color

How artist Sandy Rodriguez uses a 16th-century manuscript as contemporary inspiration. Artist Sandy Rodriguez finds her colors in the natural world. She’s delved into the art and science of making her own natural pigments from minerals, plants, and insects collected during research trips across the western U.S., often following Indigenous recipes. A former Getty Museum[…]

Jab over Java: Color Symbolization in Medieval Coats of Arms

Heraldry was an art born out of necessity and developed out of symbolic thought. Presentation by The Apocalyptic Knight Heraldic designs came into general use among European nobility in the 12th century. Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Exactly who had a right to use arms, by law or[…]

Researchers Follow a 15th-Century Recipe to Recreate Medieval Blue Ink

The purplish-blue pigment, derived from a Portuguese fruit, fell out of use by the 19th century. By Theresa MachemerFreelance Writer In southern Portugal, an unassuming, silvery plant with small, green- and white-flecked fruit grows on the edges of fields and along the sides of roads. But when researchers stirred the fruit—called Chrozophora tinctoria—into a mixture of[…]

Brewminating: Coloring Coffee – The Ultimate Guide to Latte Art

Diving into into latte art theory and the components of latte art. Presentation by Lance Hedrick Latte art is a method of preparing coffee created by pouring microfoam into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the latte. It can also be created or embellished by simply “drawing” in the top layer of foam. Latte[…]

Colorful Room M of the Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor in Ancient Boscoreale

When the villa was excavated, sixty-eight sections of wall paintings were removed before the remains of the villa were reburied. By Jessica MingoiaPhD Candidate in Art HistoryRutgers University Introduction The colors of the walls are nearly as bright today as they were when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., burying the Villa of Publius Fannius[…]

Propagating Propaganda: Franklin Barrett’s Red, White, and Blue Liberty Bond Carp

The story of this “Liberty Bond Fish” and the wider use of animals in propaganda during Word War I. By Dr. Laurel WaycottAssistant Professor of Anthropology, History, and Social MedicineUniversity of California, San Francisco This article, Propagating Propaganda: Franklin Barrett’s Red, White, and Blue Liberty Bond Carp, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under[…]

‘Raft of Medusa’: A Radical Painting in 1818-1819 Paris

Conservative critics and writers were appalled and accused Géricault of creating a disgusting, repulsive mistake. By Dr. Claire Black McCoyWilliam B. and Sue Marie Turner Distinguished Faculty Chair in Art HistoryColumbus State University A Radical Work of Art In 1819, a young man bolted through the streets of Paris. Years later, he said he must[…]

The Council of Trent and the Call to Reform Art in 1565

The Council was a synod of the Catholic Church that started to meet in 1545 after repeated attacks by Protestants began in 1517. Introduction Millions of visitors flock each year to admire Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel—not unlike artists had, since the paintings were first unveiled in the 16th century. The muscled bodies of[…]

Ancient Greek Mythology in Medieval and Early Modern Western Art and Literature

Greek myth influenced medieval and Renaissance poets such as Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Petrarch, Boccaccio and Dante. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate With the rediscovery of classical antiquity in the Renaissance, the poetry of Ovid became a major influence on the imagination of poets and artists, and remained a fundamental influence on the diffusion and perception of Greek mythology through subsequent centuries.[2] From[…]

Sacrilege!: The Desecration of Statues of Hermes in Ancient Athens

On the morning of June 7, 415 BCE, the denizens of Athens awoke to vandalism causing mass fear and outrage. By Philip Mathew Introduction On 7 June 415 BCE, various statues of the god Hermes were desecrated in Athens. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) had been raging for decades as one of the biggest civil wars in Ancient Greece, and the[…]

A Medieval Goldsmith in His Shop

Petrus Christus’ artistic concerns are typical of painters of his time in the 15th century. By Christine Zappella PapanastassiouPhD Candidate, Renaissance and Baroque ArtThe University of Chicago Out Shopping Like many Northern Renaissance paintings, Petrus Christus’ Goldsmith in his Shop reveals its complexities to the viewer over time. At first, one sees a group of three people[…]

Wine-Bearers in Landscape – A Medieval Safavid Textile

This luxurious and exquisite silk fabric was woven in Iran during the 16th century reign of the Safavid ruler Shah Tahmasp I. By Nader SayadiPhD Candidate in Art History (Islamic Art and Architecture)The University of Texas at Austin Introduction Young men carry cups and long-necked bottles of wine in a lush garden. Fish splash in[…]

Sculpture of the Ancient Celts

The sculpture of the Celts evolved over time, receiving influences from many other cultures. Introduction The sculpture of the ancient Celts between 700 BCE and 400 CE is nothing if not varied as artists across Europe developed their own ideas and borrowed what interested them from neighbouring cultures. Early Celtic stone and wood sculptures focus[…]

Torcs: Jewelry of the Ancient Celts

Torcs (sometimes spelt torques, from the Latin) were meant to be worn around the neck and wrist. Introduction In ancient Celtic cultures, torcs were a common form of jewellery and were made from bronze, copper, silver, and gold. Torcs were not just exquisite works of Celtic art but also identified the wearer’s status and perhaps[…]

The Golden Ratio and Ancient African Roots of Swiss Design

Long thought to have originated in Ancient Greece, the golden ratio that forms the basis of the Swiss design style may have first emerged in Africa. By Dr. Audrey G. BennettProgram Director and ProfessorStamps School of Art & DesignUniversity of Michigan Introduction Prevailing tenets of design have seemed to hew closely to Western traditions, with[…]

Past and Present: Ted Soqui’s Icons of Protest

The photojournalist reflects on covering L.A.’s protest history and making artists’ books. By Isotta PoggiAcquisitions and Exhibitions of PhotographsGetty Institute Introduction During a recent virtual interview from his studio in Los Angeles, photojournalist Ted Soqui shared some of the essential gadgets for his profession like a gas mask, a drone, and of, course, his camera.[…]

Themes and Decorations of Ancient Celtic Pottery

The Celts themselves had no concept that they were part of a wider European Iron Age culture. Introduction The pottery of the ancient Celts, although produced over great distances in space and time, shares several common features no matter where it was made, illustrating that there was contact between people living as far apart as[…]

Ancient Celtic Art, Sculpture, and Pottery

Celtic art must be judged largely by examining only the art objects themselves and the contexts in which they have been rediscovered. Introduction Art, along with language, is perhaps the best way to see the connections between the ancient peoples we label as Celts who lived in Iron Age Europe. There were great variations across time and space but[…]

Benvenuto Cellini’s Salt Cellar Renaissance Sculpture

This was an intellectual conversation starter—filled with meanings waiting to be decoded by an elite, art-literate audience. Introduction When a thief broke into the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna in 2003, one object in particular caught his attention. The gallery lights glinted off an intricately worked gold and enamel surface—this was the famous salt cellar by[…]