Michelangelo’s “David” on the Verge

Michelangelo, David, 1501-1504, Carrara marble, 17’, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence, Photo by Rico Heil via Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License.

This week, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Michelangelo’s 17-foot tall, marble sculpture of the Old Testament figure David has weak ankles and is on the verge of collapsing. The National Research Council found cracks in the marble on the … Continue reading

Just a Second: Iwan

Vault and colored ceiling of the Iwan of an Imamzadeh at the tomb of Omar Khayyam, 1962, Photo by By dynamosquito via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Iwan (noun) An iwan is a vaulted room open on one side, usually onto a courtyard in an Islamic mosque.  The iwan in Omar Khayyam’s tomb in Neishabour, Iran is decorated with characteristic Islamic geometric and vegetal motifs.

The Brits and the Benin Bronzes

Benin Bronze of an Oba with Two Assistants, 16th century, brass, 19” x 15”, Benin Kingdom (Nigeria), British Museum, London, Photo by Michel Wai via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 License.

This is one of hundreds of brass sculptures (mistakenly identified as bronze sculptures) created by the Edo people for the palace of the Court of Benin, which was a sprawling cluster of buildings in present-day Nigeria. Today this sculpture and … Continue reading

In Their Own Words: Maurice Denis

Maurice Denis, Easter Mystery, 1891, oil on canvas, 41

“Remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote or whatnot, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.” Maurice Denis, founder of Les Nabis Happy Easter from The Art Minute  

Marsden Hartley’s Secret Love

Marsden Hartley, Portrait of a German Officer, 1914, oil on canvas, 68.25” x 41.375”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Marsden Harley [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Olivia Huffstetter, a student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, wrote this post. When we think about war, the first thought that comes to mind usually isn’t about a love affair or a relationship. However, this is just what American … Continue reading

Just a Second: Autochrome

William Gullick, Mary, Zoe, Marjory, and Chloe Gullick, c.1909, autochrome, State Library of New South Wales, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Autochrome (noun) An autochrome is a color photograph created with a glass filter that is covered with a colored mosaic of dyed potato starch.  Louis Lumière invented the process in 1903.

Happy Birthday William Morris

William Morris, Drawing for block-printed fabric Tulip and Willow, 1873, Public Domain vis Wikimedia Commons.

William Morris, the British artist and writer, was born in east London on March 24th, 1834 to William Morris and Emma Morris Shelton. Morris is best known for his highly influential textile designs and association with the Pre-Rapahelite Brotherhood, but … Continue reading

Robert Smithson’s Muddy, Salty Spiral Jetty

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970, mud, salt crystals, rock, 15' 1

Zelly Martin, a student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, wrote this post. It’s tough to get a good look at Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty as it is constantly disappearing into the Great Salt Lake of Utah. If you arrive … Continue reading

Just a Second: Prefiguration

Michelangelo, Jonah from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, 1508-12, fresco painting, The Vatican, Rome, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Prefiguration (Noun) The representation of an Old Testament figure as a type or foreshadowing of a New Testament figure. Michelangelo painted an image of Jonah just above the high altar on the Sistine Chapel ceiling because he prefigures Jesus in … Continue reading

Hieronymus Bosch’s Butt Music

Detail, Interior, Hieronymus Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1480-1515, oil on panel, center 7’ 2½” x 6’ 4½”, wings, each 7’ 2½” x 3’ 2”, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Late one night, a young woman named Amelia, a college student at Oklahoma Christian University, noticed that Hieronymus Bosch painted music on the rear end of a figure in the scene of Hell in his Garden of Earthly Delights, and so … Continue reading

Punitavati, the Shiva Saint: A Love That Lasts Centuries

Punitavati, Shiva Saint, c. 1050, bronze, 19 5/8” x 8 7/8”, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Photo by Jacquelyn Mata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Jacquelyn Mata, a student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, wrote this post. This beautiful yet haunting bronze sculpture portrays Punitavati, a Shiva Saint and a member of the Shaiva Nayanars, or “slaves of lord.”  Hindus believe priests summoned deities … Continue reading