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Historical Pin-Up

Cleopatra as a kind of pin-up by the American artist Victor Tchetchet (1891-1974). Tchetchet was a famous pin-up calendar and cover artist working for magazines like American Weekly, Liberty, Master Detective, Photoplay.

Hearing and Seeing James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Anew

“riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay,” begins James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, opening a torrent of words that has drowned many readers in confusion over Joyce’s modernist approach. A fresh new edition ofShow More Summary

Are Liberals Killing Art?

In his recent New Republic article titled “Liberals Are Killing Art: How the Left became obsessed with ideology over beauty,” art critic Jed Perl makes a convoluted argument that liberalism now “find[s] the emotions unleashed by theShow More Summary

Famous Paintings: Garden of Earthly Delights

Garden of Earthly Delights is a series of superlatives: the best-known work of Hieronymous Bosch (ca. 1450-1516), one of the most famous paintings in Western art history, and one of the most influential, inspirational works for Surrealist...Show More Summary

The Prado's treasures come to Melbourne

The Spanish collection of Italian Art now in Melbourne comes from the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Until the end of August 2014, c100 paint­ings from their collection are on loan for our winter block­buster, tracing the stylistic development of Italian art across three centuries. Show More Summary

Dramatic Action

The death of Simon de Montort by the French artist Alphonse de Neuville (1835-1885). This book illustration was done for Guizot's History of France. Simon de Montort was the cruel leader in the Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (1209–1229) an was killed during the siege of Toulouse on 25 June 1218 smashed by a stone from a mangonel, operated by the women of Toulouse.

Harry Seidler, second generation Bauhaus architect in Australia

Harry Seidler (1923–2006) was born to a Jewish Viennese family in 1923. Clearly he was still in primary school when the Nazis closed down the amazing Bauhaus Academy in Berlin in 1933, yet he went on to become the first architect to build according to Bauhaus modernist rules in Australia. Show More Summary

Michelangelo’s Only Easel Painting

Tondo Doni, 1504-1505, (diameter: 120 cm)  Uffizi, Florence  (Wikipedia public domain photo) Tondo, short for rotondo, is a round painting or sculptural relief. Doni is the name of the man who ordered it. It is the only easel painting by … Continue reading ?

Marriage a la 1970

Inspired by the blog Melbourne - Our Home on the Bay, I decided to have another look at the clothes we wore at a friend's wedding in 1970 and then at our own wedding a few months later. But I need a historical context. From gold silk...Show More Summary

Zen and the Art of Silent Movie Watching

Must mindfulness always mean meditation—eyes closed, mind clear, simply breathing, simply being? Dan Harris’ recent best seller 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help...Show More Summary

A Striking Ceremony

An Egyptian Feast by the British painter Edwin Longsden Long ( 1829-1891). A colorful, exotic scenery, using the latest archaeological and historical insights.

Famous Paintings: Smoke of Ambergris

Smoke of Ambergris is a rarity in John Singer Sargent paintings - it is his take on Orientalist art. The Orient, encompassing present-day Greece, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, had captivated Western artists for centuries....Show More Summary

Toscanini and the Lusitania - there but for the grace of God go I

Arturo Toscanini (1867–1957) was born in Parma where he studied the cello and later was selected to play in the orchestra of an Italian opera company. In 1886, the teenager conducted his first opera, sur­prising everyone with how well he managed the orchestra. Show More Summary

Guarapes

The Second Battle of Guararapes by the Brazilian painter Victor Meirelles (1832-1903). The Second Battle of Guararapes was the second and decisive battle in the war between the Dutch West India Company and Portuguese forces in 1649, ending the Dutch occupation of the Portuguese colony of Brazil.

How a British prince became a German duke.. and fought against Britain!

I believed it was impossible to learn accurate hist­ory from a tv programme. Wrong!!! The Channel 4 documentary “Hitler's Favourite Royal” traced the tragic tale of how a member of the British Royal Family was forced against his will...Show More Summary

20 Louvre Paintings Not to Miss

With 9.2 million visitors in 2013, the Louvre was the most frequently visited art museum in the world. Although the Louvre collection consists of some 38,000 objects from prehistory through the 19th century, visitors primarily come to see the renowned collection of Louvre paintings in this 100 acre (40 hectare) art museum. Paolo Uccello. Show More Summary

How Mickalene Thomas Breaks Up the Modernist Boys Club

When Pablo Picasso and other early modernists appropriated elements of so-called “primitive” African art for Cubist and proto-Cubist works such as 1907’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon they perpetrated a kind of artistic colonialism similar to the economic colonialism that brought back African treasures to French museums and galleries in the first place. Show More Summary

images of Scottish-Australian history

What has Scotland got to do with the development of Australia? Quite a lot, according to the Art Gallery of Ballarat which has mounted a special exhibition to the relationship between Australia and Scotland, right up to Federation (1/1/1901). Show More Summary

Patriotic Victory

Andreas Hofer after his victory of Bergisel (1900) by the Austrian artist Franz von Defregger (1835-1921). Defregger depicts here members the Tirolean militias in their uprising against the Napoleonic oppression. It's the people in arms, very popular at the eve of World War I.

"a conspiracy of Christian goodness" in WW2 France

France had a mixed history when it came to its own Jewish community. Consider the splitting of France into the anti-Semitic German-occupied north and the anti-Semitic Vichy government in the unoccupied South (1940-42). Despite the heroic...Show More Summary

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