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Night Train to Lisbon

Night Train to Lisbon is a 2013 drama film directed by Bille August and starring Jeremy Irons as Raimund Gregorius. Based on the German novel Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier, the film is about a Swiss high school teacher late in his career who accidentally saved the life of a young suicidal Portuguese woman in Bern. Show More Summary

Peeping Old Men

Susanna and the Elders by the German painter Lovis Corinth (1858–1925).

US soldier Eddie Leonski's murder spree - in wartime Australia (1942)

Edward Joseph Leonski (1917–1942) was the 6th child in a Polish-American family in New Jersey. Leonski grew up with a manic depressive mot­her and an alcoholic father, two brothers with prison records and a third in a psychiatric hospital permanently. Show More Summary

How Chaplin’s Tramp Tramps on a Century Later

Baggy pants. A cane. A bowler hat. A mustache. These are the unlikely visual ingredients of one of the most important fictional characters of the last century around the world. A century ago, way back in 1914, Charles Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” made his first appearance on motion picture screens. Show More Summary

Can Glamour Save Your Soul?

It’s not easy to take glamour seriously. From the supermarket magazine rack glossy promising “5 Easy, Non-Stalkerish Ways to Show a Guy You’re Into Him” to the never-ending, slow motion train wreck of today’s rich and fabulous, “glamour” isn’t as glamorous as it used to be. Show More Summary

The Value of Learning Art History

Anyone involved with art history or art has, I suspect, fretted that emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) often comes at the expense of the arts. Further, the instantaneous availability of information has left...Show More Summary

Velazquez Paintings: Pope Innocent X

One of the most highly regarded Velazquez paintings, Pope Innocent X is the signature work in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, a private art collection of 650 works by famous painters including Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael and Velazquez. This comparatively little known museum is a jewel. Diego Velazquez. Show More Summary


A Reconnaissance (1902) by the American painter Frederic Remington (1861-1909). The title suggests a military task but it seems that the two men are watching the stars. So it seems that the real adventure here is more nature.

Have We Finally Found the "Lost" Shakespeare?

When William Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors and authors published his collected plays in 1623, 7 years after the Bard shuffled off this mortal coil, that book, now known as the First Folio, established what was and was not to be officially “Shakespeare.” Yet, as with any other great artist, Shakespeare left us wanting more. Show More Summary

Heroic Defense

The Hospitalier Maréchal Guillaume de Clermont defending the walls at the Siege of Acre, 1291, by The French painter Dominique Papety (1815–49). The painting forms part of the over 120 paintings in The Salle des Croisades in the Palace of Versailles. Show More Summary

Jewish Agricultural Colonies in the Ukraine - my family

One of the unanswered questions in my family’s history was why so many Jews left Lithuania and moved to the Ukraine in 1880-1925. The Ukraine certainly had richer agriculture and a more tolerable climate, but I would have thought that no-one leaves their homeland easily. Show More Summary

Rockwell on Main Street

Where Was Norman? Wasn’t there a revolution going on in the art world in his time?  What about abstract art,  Cubism, Surrealism? Those started in Europe and hadn’t yet reached “middle” America. America participated in the wars fought in Europe … Continue reading ?

Luxury train travel in Japan

Many thanks for the following article (14/12/13), courtesy of The Age and its writer Jamie Lafferty. I have added my own comments below Jamie Lafferty’s report. We start in the newly constructed Kinsei Lounge at Hakata Station whereShow More Summary

Who made the first moving film in the 1890s?

Who created the first film? I must thank Brian Manley who acknowledged many innovators. In Moving Pictures: The History of Early Cinema he wrote that Louis Aimé Le Prince (1841-1890), a French photo­grapher and inventor who had studied under Daguerre, had turned to the idea of motion pictures. Show More Summary

My all-time greatest hero in Australia - Egon Kisch

Egon Kisch (1885–1948) was a Jewish Czech whose first language was German. Like all the young men of his generation, he had served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during WWI. If he wasn’t a modernist and a radical before the war, his experiences...Show More Summary

Cruel Tradition

Druids offering human sacrifices by the French artist Alphonse de Neuville (1835-1885). This book illustration was done for Guizot's History of France. Neuville studied under Eugène Delacroix and was one of the most famous illustrators of his time.

The Angry Penguins: art in war-time Melbourne 1938-45

The Contemporary Art Society was the central organisation for 9 artists in Melbourne. Set up in 1938 in defence of artistic freedom and to encourage modern art, the Society enabled the artists to exhibit their work. It also provided a forum for the ideas of these young men in their stance against despotic authority. Show More Summary

Sodom and Gomorrah

Pulp cover by the famous American illustrator Robert A. Maguire. The biblical sins are converted into a great spectacle.

The Civil War Roots of Santa Claus

Let others debate whether Santa Claus is white or not. There’s no debate that the definitive American Santa is political cartoonist Thomas Nast’s Merry Old Santa Claus (detail shown above) from the New Year’s Day 1881 edition of Harper's Weekly. Show More Summary

Lost Liberty

Martha the Mayoress by the Russian painter Alexey Kivshenko (1851-1895). Martha the Mayoress, was the widow of Novgorod's mayor. According to legend and historical tradition, she led the republic's struggle against Muscovy between her husband's death and the city's eventual annexation by Ivan III of Russia in 1478. Show More Summary

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