Medieval Europeans were pretty serious about astrology. The belief that that stars and planets influenced daily life was fundamental to the medieval calendar and cycle of seasons. For this reason, zodiac signs appear all over medieval art and architecture, often in unexpected places. Check out some examples in my article for DailyArt Magazine.
I got a lot of confused questions yesterday while unboxing my deluxe The Book of Kells by Bernard Meehan. I thought that everybody was familiar with the Book of Kells, but I see that's not true, so let me explain what the Book of Kells is and why it's so special.
Last week, I attended the New York Antiquarian Book Fair and enjoyed taking a close look at the medieval illuminated manuscripts offered for sale there. This opportunity reminded me how manuscripts' greatest qualities are best enjoyed in person.
I've learned so many cool words I've learned studying art history. They're lots of fun to say. Here are six words along with definitions and artwork examples of each one.
Did you know that not all paint colors are made the same way? This means that, at least at one time, some colors were much more difficult to get than others. What was the rarest color?
My thoughts on Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts, a really excellent and informative book about twelve, world-class medieval manuscripts.
It wouldn't be Halloween if I didn't write at least once about creepy creatures in art. (Did you really think I wasn't going to do it this year?) Well, HeadStuff just posted my article "Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art", in which I take a look at how imaginings of witches, vampires, demons, and… Continue reading Halloween Creatures in Five Centuries of Art (HeadStuff)
The Office of the Dead (f.99) from the Belles Heures of Jean de Berry. French, c. 1405-9. The Cloisters Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (CC0 1.0) Today is the last installment of 31 Days of Medieval Manuscripts. I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing and reading about all these beautiful books over the past… Continue reading The Office of the Dead – Day Thirty-One of Medieval Manuscripts
I'm just going to carry on with this Halloween theme. Apocalypse manuscripts contain St. John the Divine's writings in the Book of Revelation, including supposed details about the end of the world. Remember that the saved and the damned are supposed to have very different experiences in the end, so Apocalypse manuscripts frequently have some pretty extreme… Continue reading Apocalypse Manuscripts – Day Thirty of Medieval Manuscripts
In preparation for Halloween, I decided that today's post should have something to do with something magical(ish) and eventually settled on alchemy. Alchemy is probably more of pseudo science than it is magic, but it was in Harry Potter, so I'll let this slide. Alchemical treatises and illustrations were common in manuscripts of the Western and… Continue reading Alchemical Manuscripts – Day Twenty-Nine of Medieval Manuscripts