art history

The mythical origins of shadow puppets

Made in China, made in India, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, or even Turkey, the tradition of shadow puppets has survived for a long time, the second century BC, some say. But as is also custom, scholars have many disagreements on its origins. Folklorist Stuart Blackburn suggests that this tradition, like Buddhism, travelled to the rest of… Read more »

Art of Pandemics Past

From Edvard Munch’s haunting self-portrait made after he survived the deadly Spanish Flu (unlike many of his contemporaries) to a Benetton ad that brought AIDS imagery to the mainstream, art that has emerged from epidemics in the past are all around us. Read what they tell us about what it is to be human.

Art and Social Distancing

As a large portion of the world’s population takes up social distancing and self imposed quarantines to slow the spread of covid-19, here are fifteen artworks that may prove particularly relatable. From Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s ‘Veronica Veronese’ (1872) to A$AP Rocky’s ‘Lab Rat ‘(2018), they explore themes of social isolation and loneliness, and capture the bleakness… Read more »

Portraying Pregnancy

Starting with 15th century images of the Visitation, an ongoing show at the Foundling Museum in London looks at over 500 years of artistic renderings of pregnant women. Covering mostly British art, the show includes a range of portraits, caricatures and even anatomical models.

Reimagining Colour in Antiquities

Antiquities from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome are pristine white in most of the world’s imagination – even if they were vibrantly colourful back in their time. “Gods in Color,” a traveling exhibition that stages precise full-colour reproductions of ancient sculptures and juxtaposes these with their original, now-monochrome versions, aims to give the public a… Read more »