Recent Stories

 

Hatchards Bookstore, Piccadilly, London since 1797

Hatchards 1801 facade at 189-90 Piccadilly, London By P. F. Sommerfeldt – Not many booksellers can claim to have been around since 1797. Fewer have hosted so many famous authors for signings and how many have three royal patents?  Hatchards was founded in Piccadilly in 1797 and has moved only once, a few doors away […]

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Renaissance Globalization

Domenico Ghirlandaio, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints, 1483, Uffizi Gallery, Florence (image pubic domain) By Andrea M. Gáldy –  It’s the Globalisation … Kathleen Christian and Leah Clark, eds. European Art and the Wider World 1350-1550. Published by Manchester University Press, Manchester 2017 (Art and its Global Histories Series), ISBN-13: 9781526122902 If the series […]

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Early Byzantine Great Palace Mosaics, Istanbul

Eagle and Snake, Imperial Palace Mosaic Museum, Istanbul, circa 6th c. (image in common domain) By Patrick Hunt – Courtesy of the Nikia and Hippodrome revolts of 532 that destroyed part of the Imperial Palace of Constantine in Constantinople, subsequent rebuilding by Justinian (reigning 527-65) and possibly added to by Heraclius (reigning 610-41) created a […]

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A Collection to Make (And Break?) A King

                       A. Van Dyck, Charles I (triple portrait) Royal Collection ca. 1635 By Andrea M. Gáldy –  Charles I, the second Stuart king of England, is for most of us the unlucky monarch who lost his head and his throne on scaffolding in front of The […]

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Chimpanzees and Bees or Genetics and Morality of Individuals and Societies – A Review of The Progressive Gene

How Conservative Britain saw the New America in 1776: “Rebellious Slut” By P. F. Sommerfeldt – Morality is often such a morass of competing and even conflicting values that few scientists wade into its murky waters. Thus despite reluctance to define morality and teach values and whatever might be defined as relativist morality in secular […]

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Paleolithic Instincts and Insights?

Bison painting, Chauvet Cave, Ardeche France, ca 32,000 BP (Image public domain) By Patrick Hunt –  How much human behavior can be quantitatively attributed to instinct is largely arguable and untested, especially since we are usually inclined to believe we are rationally able to rise above any such deeper-than-cognitive triggers as consciously thinking animals.  Cortex […]

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Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Hermitage – Winter Palace, St. Petersburg  (photo P. Hunt 2017) By P. F. Sommerfeldt – It has been variously said that even if you stood in front of each Hermitage Museum object a few seconds less than a minute you’d need a total of eleven continuous years, day and night, 24/7, to see everything – […]

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Hannibal’s Elephants

Image Courtesy of Jean-Pascal Jospin, Laura Dalaine Hannibal et les Alpes: une traversee in mythe, 2011 By Patrick Hunt – Anyone with some imagination about Hannibal often thinks first of his intrepid army march over the Alps with elephants. I’m often asked more about the elephants than the multicultural army he led, but the fact […]

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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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