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Hannibal’s Elephants

Image Courtesy of Jean-Pascal Jospin, Laura Dalaine Hannibal et les Alpes: une traversee in mythe, 2011 Jacopo Ripanda, Hannibal, ca. 1510, Sala dei Conservatori, Museo Capitolino, Rome                              (image in...

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A Case of Rebirth and Modernity: the Cinquecento in Florence

Detail of Bronzino, Deposition (Besançon, 1543) By Andrea M. Gáldy – While many people still consider the Renaissance to have been a movement created largely in Florence and Rome, in recent decades this understanding has been changing....

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Lausanne Cathedral’s Marvelous Bestiary: When a Dog is Not a Dog

Lausanne Cathedral Stained Glass Zodiac: Capricorn (Photo P. Hunt, 2016) By Alice Devine Wilson –  “Of fowls after their kind and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping things of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall...

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Russia’s Most Beautiful Gem: St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

St.  Basil’s Church, Red Square, Moscow    (photo P. Hunt, 2017) By P. F. Sommerfeldt –  Moscow’s Red Square is one of the most recognizable places in the world, and dominating its southern end is the landmark St. Basil’s...

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Leanda de Lisle’s The White King Opens Up A Marvelous Window

By Patrick Hunt – Readers used to courtly fanfare in larger than life Tudor and Jacobean characters – Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and even James I –  largely assume a life with only a few cornets pealing...

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Hannibal’s Elephants

Image Courtesy of Jean-Pascal Jospin, Laura Dalaine Hannibal et les Alpes: une traversee in mythe, 2011 Jacopo Ripanda, Hannibal, ca. 1510, Sala dei Conservatori, Museo Capitolino, Rome                              (image in public domain) By Patrick Hunt – Anyone with some imagination about Hannibal […]

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A Case of Rebirth and Modernity: the Cinquecento in Florence

Detail of Bronzino, Deposition (Besançon, 1543) By Andrea M. Gáldy – While many people still consider the Renaissance to have been a movement created largely in Florence and Rome, in recent decades this understanding has been changing. The Renaissance has become more international and its chronology has become wider, one might even say less clear-cut, […]

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Lausanne Cathedral’s Marvelous Bestiary: When a Dog is Not a Dog

Lausanne Cathedral Stained Glass Zodiac: Capricorn (Photo P. Hunt, 2016) By Alice Devine Wilson –  “Of fowls after their kind and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping things of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come….” (Genesis, 6:19-20) Had Noah’s Ark perched atop the hill of Lausanne’s Cathedral in […]

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Russia’s Most Beautiful Gem: St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

St.  Basil’s Church, Red Square, Moscow    (photo P. Hunt, 2017) By P. F. Sommerfeldt –  Moscow’s Red Square is one of the most recognizable places in the world, and dominating its southern end is the landmark St. Basil’s Cathedral, the 16th century monastic structure that millions can easily identify from even a photo. But […]

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Leanda de Lisle’s The White King Opens Up A Marvelous Window

By Patrick Hunt – Readers used to courtly fanfare in larger than life Tudor and Jacobean characters – Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and even James I –  largely assume a life with only a few cornets pealing around Charles I, however peevish and absolutist his history appears to be usually writ. […]

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Tang Dynasty Terracotta Lady Tomb Figurines: Endearing Subtle Whimsy

Tang Dynasty Terracotta Female Tomb Figurines, 8th c. (image in public domain) By P. F. Sommerfeldt –  Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) ceramics are otherwise deservedly famous for the sancai triple glaze, but often overlooked are the terracotta tomb attendant figurines of mingqi (“spirit deities”) who represent court ladies-in-waiting hovering nearby in the tombs to take care […]

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When the Past Mattered: The University Collection of Plaster Casts at Munich University

Athena Parthenon model with cast of Athena Parthenios statue, Ludwig Maxmilians University Museum, Munich (image courtesy LMU, 2017) By Andrea Galdy –  German universities are finally starting to engage with a particular kind of treasure many of them still possess: collections of many diverse categories that may have made a substantial contribution to the history […]

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The Most Expensive Wine Bottle in the World

  By Nikki Goddard – For most people, splurging on a bottle of wine would mean spending fifty, maybe one hundred dollars. However, when it comes to the finest and rarest wines in the world, collectors are willing to pay exponentially higher prices for the opportunity to taste vinous bliss. There are a number of […]

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Chinese Jade: The Stone of Eternity

Chinese Qing Dynasty Jade ca 1730-95, “Philosopher’s Repose” Jade Mountain (image public domain) By Patrick Hunt –  Jade is well known globally as a stone with innate translucent beauty, lustrous and vibrant in many shades of mostly green, although lavender and orange hues also variously show. What we name jade mostly comes in either jadeite […]

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Neanderthals, Scandinavian Trolls and Troglodytes

By Patrick Hunt –  Neanderthal humans (Homo neanderthalensis) are documented in European contexts for around 430,000 years according to new studies,(1) and the accepted genomic contribution of Neanderthal DNA in modern Homo sapiens from Eurasia, including Scandinavian, Siberian, Asian population and the rest of Europe, with a range of around 2-4%  evidences mating between the two […]

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