Author: patrick

Artifacts of Material History

Chinese Jade: The Stone of Eternity

Chinese Qing Dynasty Jade ca. 1730-95, “Philosopher’s Repose” Jade Mountain (image public domain, courtesy of the British Museum, London) 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 […]


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% […]


Scripta Manent: News from the Medici Grand Dukes

Medici Maiolica Armorial Plate, 16th. c. (image V&A) By Andrea M. Gáldy -  Alessio Assonitis & Brian Sandberg, eds. The Grand Ducal Medici and their Archive (1537-1743). London/Turnhout: Havey Miller Publishers/Brepols, 2016. Over almost 30 years, the Medici Archive Project (MAP) – from its humble beginnings in the Florentine State […]


Viking Legacy: Longships and Seafaring

Nikolai Rerikh, Guests from Overseas, 1901, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow (public domain) By Patrick Hunt – Vikings in the early medieval period have often been odiously depicted as bloodthirsty and berserk raiders, certainly justifiable at times given the infamous Lindisfarne raid event of 793 on England’s northeast coast, with other details […]


Furies to Juries: A Tale of Four Cities

W.-A. Bouguereau, The Remorse of Orestes, 1862 (public domain, courtesy of Chrysler Museum of Art)   By Walter Borden, M.D. -  “Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed out; for the first wrong, it doth offend the law, […]


Thomas Rowlandson: Legacy of a Genius Social Observer in 1800

              Fig. 1   Thomas Rowlandson, “Bath Races”, ca 1810, (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich) By Cher Beall – Art in Britain during the Georgian period (1714-1830) is characterized by sophisticated oil paintings of landscapes and well-lit portraits by world renowned artists including J.M.W. Turner, […]


Matisse Looks to the Masters: A Modern Artist Who Invokes Antiquity

Matisse, The Serf, MOMA San Francisco (images courtesy of MOMA) By Alice Devine Wilson -  At first glance, modern art seems to have little connection to antiquity—as contemporary art, by its definition, departs from the past. However, many modern artists of the twentieth century root their creations in ancient traditions. […]


In the Lap of Luxury: Quality Textiles as Signs of Nobility and Rulership

Nicholas Karcher atelier, Joseph Flees Potiphar’s Wife, 1549, design after Bronzino By Andrea M. Gáldy -  Florence is currently getting ready for an “event of historic magnitude” as it has been called by her mayor Dario Nardella ( A group of high-renaissance tapestries depicting the Old Testament Story of Joseph (“Prince […]