Something to Smile About: Judith Leyster Turns 405
Birthdays / Dutch / Painting

Something to Smile About: Judith Leyster Turns 405

It’s not hard to imagine having a good old knees up with Judith Leyster, even 405 years after her birth. After all, the people in her paintings still look like they’re having a good time – laughing, singing, playing cards and, above all, smiling. But smiling, in Leyster’s paintings, doesn’t always signify good clean fun. Take, … Continue reading

When it Comes to Blogs – Silence vs Stendhal Syndrome
Dutch / German / Other / Painting

When it Comes to Blogs – Silence vs Stendhal Syndrome

If, in January of 2014, you were an avid follower of Before the Art, you may have found yourself experiencing some disappointment when suddenly, with no explanation, posts stopped appearing. Day and weeks turned into months. None of the promised articles from the Art and Food series appeared. Nor did any additions to the reading … Continue reading

Art and Science 6: Halley’s Comet through Time and Space
Illustration / Italian / Look Back: Art History / Other / Painting

Art and Science 6: Halley’s Comet through Time and Space

Giotto di Bondone (b. 1266/7), a Florentine painter, died in 1337. 648 years later, he went to Heaven. During his career, Giotto painted a number of chapel frescos and religious paintings. His ascension, however, was only sort of related to his Christian art. It all comes down to this painting. It’s part of a large … Continue reading

A Short, Pleasant History of Royal Baby Portraits
British / British / Look Back: Art History / Painting / Photography

A Short, Pleasant History of Royal Baby Portraits

Now I’ll miss the weekly slideshows and double-page layouts of the Duchess of Cambridge in maternity wear as much as the next person. But don’t worry, now that the long-awaited Royal Baby is here we’ll still have plenty to look at – after all, the royal baby portraits are coming. Even in the earlier parts … Continue reading

We Love Leonardo: Da Vinci’s Demons and How We Got There
Drawing / Italian / Italian / Look Around: Reviews / Look Back: Art History / Movie Reviews / Painting

We Love Leonardo: Da Vinci’s Demons and How We Got There

Da Vinci’s Demons, which just finished its first season on Starz, already shows its age. “History is a lie,” a mystic man from the East coughs from the murky haze of a hot-boxed temple in Episode 1. But whatever fictions our descendants come up with about us, I doubt they’ll fail to place Demons as … Continue reading