In Honor of the First Falling Leaf…

…my favorite Grimshaw: Golden Light. I guess you could call Grimshaw a Post-Pre-Raphaelite, since he was influenced by them but came later. His landscapes always seem to be hiding something, as though an epiphany is waiting if you just stare long enough. They are, for lack of a better word, haunted. He’s one of those rare [Read More…]

Chickens! Google! Art!: “O meu primeiro Ovo”

I’m sorry to have left my loyal chicken fancier readers without Chicken Content for so long, so here’s a charming painting that surfaced in my Chrome browser thanks to Google Art Project, which I’ll get to in a moment. First, the painting: “O meu primeiro Ovo” (“My first egg”) by Portuguese artist José Maria Sousa de Moura [Read More…]

Is It Beautiful, or “Mean, odious, repulsive, and revolting”?

This is “Christ in the House of His Parents,” painted by John Everett Millais in 1849 and one of the landmarks of the -Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood movement. It’s a masterpiece of symbolic naturalism. Everything in it has meaning. At the  center of the action is the child Jesus. He’s cut his hand on a nail, and [Read More…]

A Lost Papal Bust by Bernini Found

This bust of Pope Paul V by Bernini surfaced two years ago in a private collection after being lost for 100 years. Commissioned by the Pope’s nephew Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1621, it was the first papal work of the 23-year-old artist. It remained in the Borghese family until 1893, when it was misidentified and auctioned off [Read More…]

Jesus Destroys Satan

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Jesus Christ: Pro Wrestler?

Here’s the official logo for the upcoming Year of Mercy: My first thought was: Why does Jesus have two heads? Is it theological statement on his two natures? Is the other head supposed to be Rosy Grier? Then I realized that the mustard colored thing draped across his shoulders isn’t a stole or something, but [Read More…]

The Earliest Known Depiction of Witches On Brooms, and What It Tells Us About Evil

This marginal illustration comes from Le champion des dames (A Defense of Women) by Martin Le France, 1451. Martin was secretary to both Antipope Felix V and Pope Nicholas V. His work is a 24,000-verse (!) poem extolling the virtues of women, but also condemning heresy and corruption. The witches are identified Vaudois, or Waldensians, who were accused of practicing witchcraft and [Read More…]