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    Beneath the surface of a medieval manuscript, conservators have discovered lost texts and diagrams by Archimedes, showing how far ahead of his time the ancient scientist was. Continue reading

    Talking Pictures: Grace and Beauty

    Architectural historian Judith Dupré is the author of Skyscrapers (1996), Bridges (1997) and the New York Times bestseller Churches (2001). Her latest book, Full of Grace: Encountering Mary in Faith, Life & Art (Random House, $40), represents a new departure in her work. Divided into 59 brief chapters, each representing a bead of the traditional Marian rosary, this amply illustrated volume explores the Virgin Mary’s place in the Bible, in history, in theology and in the wider culture. Speaking with Art & Antiques, Dupré discusses her multifaceted approach to this pivotal Christian figure. Continue reading

    The Sacred and the Sensual

    Few Old Masters are as popular as the Early Netherlandish painters. Visit any major European or American art museum, and the corridors and rooms featuring the gentle works of Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and Gerard David are filled with hushed, reverent admirers, faces as close to the protective glass as the guards will allow, drawn into a placid, cozy late-Gothic world. But moving along to the early 16th century, the paintings of Jan Gossart tend to give fans of the Flemings something of a jolt. Continue reading

    Essay: What Goya Saw

    “The author is convinced that it is as proper for painting to criticize human error and vice as for poetry and prose to do so,” proclaimed Francisco de Goya y Lucientes in the Diario de Madrid on Feb. 6, 1799, announcing the publication of Los Caprichos(or “Caprices”), his suite of 80 prints made by etching and aquatint, which were intended to reveal “the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance or self-interest have made usual.” Continue reading