tempestsarekind: (brighter than sunflowers)
If Manet, Cézanne, and the rest taught their contemporaries to look anew at the world around them, the Pre-Raphaelites did something analogous for the past—teaching people to see beauty in works that had hitherto appeared merely old and strange. The assumption that the present is always superior to what has come before, Prettejohn shrewdly notes, is also a form of blindness.


The link goes to a review of Elizabeth Prettejohn's new book, Modern Painters, Old Masters: The Art of Imitation from the Pre-Raphaelites to the First World War. (As an example, one of the prime instances of imitation in the review is the use various painters made of the mirror motif, inspired by Van Eyck.) The book sounds like it's worth a read, and I've found Prettejohn's work on the Pre-Raphaelites useful in the past (a long-ago college research paper on Victorian uses of Arthurian legend).
tempestsarekind: (peddlers of bombast)
Reading the actual news is making me feel like I can't breathe, so here, have an article on the appeal to raise money to save the house where Milton finished writing Paradise Lost instead:

tempestsarekind: (dido plus books 2)
This looks like a book to check out once the publication date arrives (March 9, 2017):

How to Read a Dress: A Guide to Changing Fashion from the 16th to the 20th Century
by Lydia Edwards
tempestsarekind: (austen bonnets)
I don't think I've ever seen this painting before yesterday,* somehow - a portrait of Gainsborough's daughters chasing a butterfly - but I'm posting the link here so I don't forget it:


(I keep thinking of Eleven saying "a proper artist, like Gainsborough." Hee.)

*It was on the cover of a book about Jane Austen that I saw at the bookstore, I think. Of course, I can't remember the book now; I was too focused on making sure I remembered the painting when I got home!
tempestsarekind: (brighter than sunflowers)
A tour of the internet a couple of days ago brought me a portrait I'd never seen before:
under the cut )

I've been thinking about it ever since, as I find the image quite arresting (among other things, I love the set of her chin), but since I saw it on a website with nearly no attribution (*shakes fist at Tumblr*), all I know about it is that it is by a "Netherlandish artist" circa 1540. And reverse image search only pulls up a tiny handful of Tumblr and Pinterest links with no further information; they probably saw the image on the same Tumblr site I did (history-of-fashion). I assume that the artist is unknown, as is the subject, but even if I could just figure out where the portrait is currently located, that might give me leads for finding out whether any art historians have written about the painting, whether it's included in any museum catalogues or books on Dutch painting, that sort of thing.

Hmph. I might spend some time flipping through art books next week, if I can make it to the fine arts library.

Also, I am not sure what sort of fruit she's holding. An apricot?
tempestsarekind: (brighter than sunflowers)
link via Twitter:

Art conservationists struggle with microscopic eruptions in masterpieces

Lurking in paint layers, metal soaps are forming and damaging paintings


Metal soap formation is not just a curious trait of Rembrandt’s “Anatomy Lesson” but a degradation phenomenon common to thousands of oil paintings over many eras—starting in the 13th century and increasing in prevalence in modern-day artwork. After Noble, Boon, and colleagues launched an international survey of conservators, they discovered paintings by artists as varied as Francisco de Goya, Marc Chagall, Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, and Georgia O’Keeffe that feature the curious paint chemistry. “We were all seeing metal soaps,” Noble says.

Metal soaps don’t just produce pockmarks; they can also lead to the formation of disfiguring crusts and reflective films on the surface of paintings. Formation of the soaps can even cause delamination, a process in which layers of paint deform, lift up, and flake off. “These are serious issues when you are talking about paintings whose value is measured in millions per square meter,” Boon says.</blockquote
tempestsarekind: (where comedy meets romance)
Well, someone clearly needs to write this novel. Or make a film:

'Royal' 17th century dress found under sand off the coast of Texel

(link via Twitter)
tempestsarekind: (london flower of cities all)
link via Twitter:

Tower of London staff 'used magic to repel the forces of the Devil'


From the article:

Archaeologists, carrying out survey work in the residence of the Queen’s representative in the Tower, have found dozens of ‘ritual protection’ marks literally burnt into the timber uprights holding up the roof.

Historic Royal Palaces, which run the Tower of London, says that the discoveries are “hugely significant”. It is believed that the marks – 54 in total – were put on the timbers, mostly between the mid-16th and earlier 18th centuries, as a way of trying to magically protect the building from fire and lightning and to repel the forces of the Devil and the spells of witches.
tempestsarekind: (ladies in waiting [elizabeth])
Probably everyone who would be interested in this has seen it already, but I am behind on this week's Tudor news:

Music from Anne Boleyn's songbook performed for first time in 500 years

I confess to being a shallow sort, and spending most of the short video thinking about how beautiful the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (where the choir performed) looks.
tempestsarekind: (manuscript [little women])
Via Twitter, I have discovered the existence of this MIT-based project called "Letterlocking," on the history of letter-writing and letter security:


There are several videos that might be of interest to early modern peeps, including two based on letters of Donne's:

Letterlocking: John Donne's tuck and seal letter to Sir Nicholas Carew

The John Donne Lock

There's also a video called "Unlocking the Secrets of John Donne's Letters," but I haven't looked at that one yet:

I don't think I could have written letters in the Renaissance. I don't think I have enough spatial perception to fold them properly!

oh good

Mar. 21st, 2015 03:39 pm
tempestsarekind: (margaret hale does laundry)
Now I'm reading old blog posts on the Plimoth Plantation website, this is totally a thing I need to be doing. Anyway, here's a post on doing 17th-century laundry:


And someone in the comments linked to this German painting:
tempestsarekind: (quite a good arm actually)
I really haven't done a lot of reading about Thomas More, so I didn't know about the annotations More apparently made on the drawing for the Holbein portrait discussed here:

Wolf Hall is wrong: Thomas More was a funny, feminist Renaissance man

(The title of this article is a bit silly.)

Edited to add relevant text from the article:

For this Tudor statesman did not just want Holbein to paint him, but to include all his nearest and dearest in what was clearly intended as a companionate image of family life, like nothing hitherto seen in Britain. Women and men all gather together sociably in a little community. On the compositional drawing that survives, More has annotated Holbein’s design. Next to Holbein’s depiction of his wife kneeling, More asks for a change – she should be sitting in a chair, not kneeling like a servant!

Tragically, Holbein’s painting is lost. The drawings and copy that survive, however, tell a story of a truly loving family and a politician with almost feminist ideas, by the standards of the time. A copy by a 16th-century artist in the National Portrait Gallery proves that More got his way with the kneeling. All the women depicted are seated, reflecting More’s written instruction to do away with that particular bit of gender hierarchy.
tempestsarekind: (ladies in waiting [elizabeth])
Gleaned from links in the previous post, here is a video on the V&A website showing a writing box decorated with the arms of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.


They pull out all the little drawers and everything!
tempestsarekind: (the man himself)
Shakespeare First Folio found in French library


"One of the most interesting things about the book is that the Henry IV play has clearly been performed because there are notes and directions on the pages that we believe date from around the time the book was produced,” Cordonnier said."



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