Category: art and illustrationPage 2 of 10

Albrecht Altdorfer, Forest Scene with Saint George Fighting the Dragon, 1510

Albrecht Altdorfer, a contemporary of Copernicus who worked in Regensburg (today a German city of 138,0000 near the Austria and Czechia borders), was a leader of the Danube school of painting….

Fearless against the blowback

Greg Fallis, on the website gregfallis.com, does a service in reminding us of the history of the statues of the Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl. I live on the West…

To The Lighthouse: Nubble Light House, Cape Neddick Light Station, York, Maine (and a few other lighthouses)

Recently I visited Sohier Park in Cape Neddick, York, Maine (near Ogunquit). About 100 yards offshore on a small rocky island perches one of the prettiest lighthouses I have…

Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty

In 210 BCE Shi Huangdi, the “First Emperor” of China, died at the age of forty-nine, likely from poisoning by the very elixirs that were supposed to make…

Mailbag: 10 Design Trends

I received an e-mail from Katie Smith of Creative Market calling my attention to their infographic on design trends of the past year. “f you feel this article…

Ginger Beer Label

Since I’m taking a batch of my homemade ginger beer to an event in a few days I slapped up this little label for it. It goes on…

Bonds and Fractures: Asian Art Museum Exhibition Sheds Light on the Rama Epic

This winter, projects and holidays conspired to prevent me from catching the Asian’s current exhibition, The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe until late in its run. Now…

My Watercolor Palette

My pigment selections.

Exhibition Review: China at the Center, at the Asian Art Museum

In London in December 1598 a group of actors and other theatrical professionals, part of a company called the Chamberlain’s Men, armed themselves with “swords, daggers, bills, axes,…

The Asian at Fifty: First Impressions

In 1966 the Asian Art Museum opened as a branch of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. As a condition of the second of two major…

New York Public Library provides hi-res images for free use

It’s encouraging to see libraries and museums beginning to make public domain images freely available, increasingly providing high-resolution scans or photos for downloading. Historically, they have guarded images of objects in their collections as a private source of income. Count the New York Public Library among the honorable elite who have made their pd images available to be shared.

50 books designed

I realized recently that I’ve designed at least 50 books (those are the ones I can remember). No wonder I feel as tired as Madelaine Kahn in Blazing…

River of Ink: the cover

This is what I’m thinking of for the cover of my new book, a selection of my essays. We’ll see if my publisher likes it. I’m happy again…

Fun with panoramas

Stitching together photos can be great fun in the proper context. I think the Piazza del Duomo in Milan counts as one of these. This photo was taken…

Canon Powershot A630 vs. Olympus PEN E-PL2

Pixels or sensor size? Consumers have been trained to judge cameras by their pixel counts, But there are other factors that may be more important to image quality,…

Olympus E-Pl2

This photo of a jade plant in front of the fireplace was taken with my new camera, an Olympus E-PL2. This is a mirrorless camera in the micro…

Paris under water

This photo is one of a series of dark, atmospheric photos by Arnaud Labgraph showing the Seine at high water. Photography is one of the diverse interests of this mainly…

How well do you see color?

I proof color professionally in my job as a museum publications specialist, and I feel like I’m pretty good at it. So I was pleased to get the…

Font Shop plug-in

The Font Shop plug-in allows trying before buying. According to the FS webpage, “The FontShop Plugin Beta allows designers and other type enthusiasts to try out FontShop fonts…

Cats as typefaces

Gotta say, this is purrty well done. More like this over at Bombi(llo).

Color psychology

I was thinking the other day about how my color preferences have changed over time, and that got me looking at a few pop psychology websites about color…

Turkey Day

North American Turkey, ca. 1612, by Mansur. Victoria and Albert Museum, IM 135-1921. In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a painting of an American turkeycock by the great Mughal…

Human flowers

More like this at Web Designer Depot.

Help wanted: Italian painting specialist

quirinal fresco

Help! For the book I’m working on I’m trying to identify the painters of these frescos in the Quirinale (the Italian equivalent of the White House). They depict foreign ambassadors to the Vatican, and I’d also like to identify the ambassadors — but first things first.

quirinale frescos

I’ve consulted several books in both English and Italian but remain uncertain about the attributions. My best guess at this point is that the top two are mainly by Carlo Saraceni, the third one by Agostino Tassi, and the last one perhaps by Giovanni Lanfranco.

quirinale frescos

Among the ambassadors are Robert Sherley, Aliqoli Beg (not entirely sure who that is), Emanuele Ne Vunda, Hasekura Tsunenaga, and Luis Sotelo (the last a Franciscan missionary and not an ambassador per se). Can the Turkish and Persian ambassadors be distinguished by their styles of turbans?

Even if you don’t know the answers to these questions, if anyone can point me in the direction of an obliging Italian painting specialist I could be in touch with about this it would be a great help. Thanks!