Other News

Controversies

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 […]

Art Historic Collections

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, […]

Classics

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 […]

Art

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 […]

Art

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 […]