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Gustav Wunderwald’s Paintings of Weimar Berlin May 31, 2017 Painting & Art The Berlin of the 1920s is often associated with a certain excess and decadence, but it was a quite different side of the city — the “sobriety and desolation” of its industrial and working-class districts — which came to obsess the painter Gustav Wunderwald. Mark Hobbs explores. Tribal Life in Old Lyme: Canada’s Colorblind Chronicler and his Connecticut Exile Sep 2, 2015 Books & Painting & Art Abigail Walthausen explores the life and work of Arthur Heming, the Canadian painter who — having been diagnosed with colourblindness as a child — worked for most of his life in a distinctive palette of black, yellow, and white. Black on Black Apr 9, 2015 Books & Painting & Science & Philosophy Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour, or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd’s attempt to picture nothingness, Eugene Thacker reflects* on some of the ways in which blackness has been used and thought about through the history of art and philosophical thought. Sex and Science in Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora Mar 11, 2015 Books & Poems & Painting & Science & Art Bridal beds, blushing captives, and swollen trunks – Carl Linnaeus’ taxonomy of plants heralded a whole new era in 18th-century Europe of plants being spoken of in sexualised terms. Martin Kemp explores* how this association between the floral and erotic reached its visual zenith in Robert Thornton’s exquisitely illustrated Temple of Flora. Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia Mar 19, 2014 Books & Painting & Philosophy & Art Grounded in the theory that ideas, emotions, and even events, can manifest as visible auras, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater’s Thought-Forms (1901) is an odd and intriguing work. Benjamin Breen explores these “synesthetic” abstractions and asks to what extent they, and the Victorian mysticism of which they were born, influenced the Modernist movement that flourished in the following decades. Olaus Magnus’ Sea Serpent Feb 5, 2014 Painting & Science & Art The terrifying Great Norway Serpent, or Sea Orm, is the most famous of the many influential sea monsters depicted and described by 16th-century ecclesiastic, cartographer, and historian Olaus Magnus. Joseph Nigg, author of Sea Monsters, explores the iconic and literary legacy of the controversial serpent from its beginnings in the medieval imagination to modern cryptozoology. The Serious and the Smirk: The Smile in Portraiture Sep 18, 2013 Photography & Painting & Art Why do we so seldom see people smiling in painted portraits? Nicholas Jeeves explores the history of the smile through the ages of portraiture, from Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Alexander Gardner’s photographs of Abraham Lincoln. Joseph Banks: Portraits of a Placid Elephant Apr 4, 2013 Painting & Science & Art & History Patricia Fara traces the changing iconography of Joseph Banks, the English botanist who travelled on Captain Cook’s first great voyage and went on to become President of the Royal Society and important patron for a whole host of significant developments in the natural sciences. John Martin and the Theatre of Subversion Jul 12, 2012 Painting & Art & History Max Adams, author of The Prometheans, looks at the art of John Martin and how in his epic landscapes of apocalyptic scale one can see reflected his revolutionary leanings. Seeing Joyce Jun 12, 2012 Books & Painting & Literature This year’s ‘Bloomsday’ – 108 years after Leopold Bloom took his legendary walk around Dublin on the 16th June 1904 – is the first since the works of James Joyce entered the public domain. Frank Delaney asks whether we should perhaps now stop trying to read Joyce and instead make visits to him as to a gallery. Painting the New World Apr 24, 2012 Painting & Art & History In 1585 the Englishman John White, governor of one of the very first North American colonies, made a series of exquisite watercolour sketches of the native Algonkin people alongside whom the settlers would try to live. Benjamin Breen explores the significance of the sketches and their link to the mystery of what became known as the “Lost Colony”. Richard Dadd’s Master-Stroke Mar 14, 2012 Painting & Art Nicholas Tromans, author of Richard Dadd: The Artist and the Asylum, takes a look at Dadd’s most famous painting The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke.