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Archive for the ‘Medieval Art & Architecture in Europe’ Category

Mochica | Vessel with sea lion and feline(?) |  A.D. 500-750 | Image © Princeton University Art Museum

Mochica | Vessel with sea lion and feline(?) | A.D. 500-750 | Image © Princeton University Art Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum and ARTstor are now sharing approximately 600 images from the museum’s encyclopedic collections in the Digital Library. This is the first release of an approximately 10,000 projected images.

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Jan Van Eyck | The Ghent Altarpiece; open | completed 1432 | Lukas - Art in Flanders

Jan Van Eyck | The Ghent Altarpiece; open | completed 1432 | Lukas – Art in Flanders

ARTstor has collaborated with Lukas – Art in Flanders to share 4,440 images of art from more than 30 important Flemish museums and cultural institutions, including: The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Groeningemuseum, The Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Foundation Terninck Antwerp, the City Archive of Bruges, and the Bruges Public Library.

The Lukas collection in the Digital Library features works from a variety of periods ranging from the 8th century to the 20th century and media including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and illustrations. Major artists include Hans Memling, Jan Provoost, Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, Frans Hals, and James Ensor. The collection also includes new photography of The Ghent Altarpiece of 1432 by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, painted for the St. Bavo Cathedral of Ghent. Additionally, all of the metadata records in the Digital Library will be made available in English, French, and Dutch. (more…)

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York Minster Cathedral; interior; chapter house ceiling | Completed 1286 CE | York, England | Image and original data provided by Dr. Sara N. James

York Minster Cathedral; interior; chapter house ceiling | Completed 1286 CE | York, England | Image and original data provided by Dr. Sara N. James

ARTstor and Sarah N. James have collaborated to release more than 1,500 additional images of Italian and English art and architecture to the Digital Library. This brings the collection total to 2,137 images.

James’ collection focuses primarily on England, including cathedrals and parish churches from the Norman Romanesque period; ecclesiastical buildings in the early English, decorated, and perpendicular styles; medieval secular architecture including castles, marketplaces, and town halls; perpendicular gothic collegiate buildings; and Tudor, Elizabethan, baroque, and neoclassical country houses and churches. Photographed in situ during James’ travels throughout Europe, the images provide contextual views of sculpture and architecture from various angles.

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Jewish | Chanukkah lamp (menorah), with birds |end 18th cent. | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Jewish | Chanukkah lamp (menorah), with birds |end 18th cent. | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Happy Hanukkah! The eight-day festival that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness begins on the eve of the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev. ARTstor offers many resources to mark the holiday.

Among the traditions surrounding the festival, possibly the most striking is the nightly lighting of the menorah. And indeed, a search for menorah leads to more than 100 magnificent images, such as photographs of the holy necropolis Beth She’arim in Israel from Sites and Photos, which includes a carved menorah from the Byzantine era, and dozens of images from Art, Archaeology and Architecture (Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives), ranging from a coin depicting a menorah from 1st century BCE to dazzling menorahs from the 20th century.

Two coins; left: coin of Antigonus last Hasmonean king of Israel, with menorah; right: coin of John Hyrcanus II, with inscription in wreath | 1st cent. BCE | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Two coins; left: coin of Antigonus last Hasmonean king of Israel, with menorah; right: coin of John Hyrcanus II, with inscription in wreath | 1st cent. BCE | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

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English | Apocalypse; Folio #: fol. 021r | c. 1250-1260 | Image and original data provided by the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Tradition holds that on Halloween the walls between the worlds of the living and the dead weaken and spirits walk the earth. More recently, the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer combined this concept with the medieval motif of the hellmouth. In the show, the hellmouth is a weak place between dimensions that attracts demons and other supernatural creatures. If it were ever to open it would signal the end of the world. Suitably inspired, we ventured to explore the theme in the ARTstor Digital Library. A simple keyword search for hellmouth led us to an array of spooky artworks dating from the 11th century to the 17th century. (more…)

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Édouard Manet | The fifer, 1866 | Musée d’Orsay | Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y. , http://www.artres.com

Through a collaboration with the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (RMN) and Art Resource, a further 4,000 images of works in the permanent collections of French national and regional museums are now available in the ARTstor Digital Library. This release includes nearly 1,400 images of works at the Louvre, more than 400 images at the Musée d’Orsay, and more than 250 images of works at Versailles. Artists represented include Delacroix, Fragonard, Gauguin, Géricault, Alberto Giacometti, Goya, Hokusai, Ingres, Charles Le Brun, Léger, Manet, Andrea Mantegna, Michelangelo, Modigliani, Monet, Gustave Moreau, Berthe Morisot, Parmigianino, Camille Pisarro, Poussin, and hundreds more. This release brings the current number of available images to 7,695 of a projected total of 12,000. (more…)

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ARTstor is collaborating with Allan Langdale to share 500 additional images of the historical architecture and landscape of Cyprus and more than 3,000 images of world art and architecture.

The images capture sites in Cyprus, Albania, Italy, Croatia, Romania, Georgia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Montenegro, and will join the 3,350 images of architecture and archaeological sites of northern Cyprus currently available in the Digital Library.

Allan Langdale is an art historian, photographer, and filmmaker whose current research interests are in Cyprus, where he has done work on the medieval and Venetian monuments of Famagusta. He also has interests in the theory and methodology of art history and film theory.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Allan Langdale page.

Related collections:

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Judy Chicago | The Dinner Party, 1974-1979 | © Judy Chicago Photo © Donald Woodman | © 2008 Judy Chicago / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Katherine Murrell
Instructor of Art History
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

In my class on women artists from the medieval period onward, one of the first activities students were asked to do was to work in small groups and write a list of ten female painters or sculptors active before 1950, but without looking for information online. Many minutes elapsed, and the group with the longest list only had eight names. It was a sobering realization that despite the hundreds of female practitioners of art, relatively few are commonly known. This oversight is apparent on many websites hosting libraries of images, but ARTstor is a notable and praiseworthy exception.

The tools available on ARTstor make researching and organizing presentations a streamlined delight, but the breadth and depth of its visual resources make it an outstanding library. The nearly 400 images from artist Judy Chicago are an exceptional example of this. Chicago’s landmark work, The Dinner Party, is widely represented in art history survey textbooks, and was a touchstone for our class. The studio photographs and other documentary images associated with the piece, and detailed images of various place settings, help vividly illustrate the scope of this collaborative and historic work.

Context of a smaller, older work was explored through the 12th-century image of Hildegard von Bingen, experiencing a vision like a fiery flame. This is another picture often shown in survey textbooks, but the ARTstor collection includes the facsimile page from her Liber Scivias, showing the illustration as accompanying its text, in addition to many other richly illustrated folios.

Artists of significant accomplishment such as Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi, and many others, are represented with plentiful images. The extensive material offers valuable opportunities for examining recurring subjects of interest, such as the Jewish heroine Judith. Artists’ self-portraits are another significant  topic for discussion. Angelica Kauffman, a founding member of London’s Royal Academy of Art, created an eloquent self-portrait where she chooses between her loves of art and music, an image that still makes a powerful statement today about professional commitment.

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Resources concerning the life and career of Rosa Bonheur include numerous paintings, studies, sketches, and photographs. Of particular note in the ARTstor collection is a permit for which she regularly applied to French authorities to wear men’s clothing in public, in order to gain easier access to male-dominated settings not readily open to women.

The quantity of images for many artists is impressive, but also the details and installation views of works.  The story quilts of Faith Ringgold come alive with close-ups of image and text, and the monumental scale of Louise Bourgeois’ spiders are all the more impressive for the exhibition images.

While putting together my course, ARTstor has been an invaluable partner, providing numerous images and source documents, and helping my students gain an expansive sense of the contributions of women artists in the present and past centuries. The field of art history, and the experience in the classroom, is undeniable richer for this resource.

Read the other ARTstor Travel Awards 2012 winners here.

To view the complete image groups that accompany this and other Travel Awards-winning essays, visit the ARTstor Digital Library’s Featured Groups and click on Travel Awards.

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A. Cemal Ekin | Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey | © A. Cemal Ekin, keptlight.com

Nearly 50 images of the Hagia Sophia by A. Cemal Ekin are now available in the Digital Library. Located in Istanbul, Turkey, the Hagia Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) is a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. The current building was built by Emperor Justinian I between 532 – 537 CE. In 1453, the structure was converted into the Ayasofya mosque, and secularized as a museum by the Turkish government in 1934. The Hagia Sophia is famous for its massive central dome and richly decorated interior spaces. Ekin photographed the dome of the Hagia Sophia from scaffolding erected during its recent restoration. From this unique vantage point 55 meters (180 feet) from the ground, Ekin captured images of the center of the dome, its ceiling, the windows, and the mosaic and calligraphy decorations, as well as views into the narthex and interior spaces below. Ekin also photographed panoramic views of the cityscape of Istanbul from the roof of the Hagia Sophia.

A. Cemal Ekin is an accomplished photographer and Professor of Marketing at the School of Business at Providence College in Providence, RI.

For more detailed information about this collection, visit A. Cemal Ekin: Hagia Sophia collection page.

Related collections:

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Hishida Shunso | Black Cat, 1910 | Eisei Bunko Foundation, Tokyo, Japan | Huntington Archive of Asian Art

Everyone knows that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, right? According to Wikipedia, there is no record of this superstition existing before the late 19th century, and different cultures ascribe the unfortunate day to Tuesday the 13th or Friday the 17th. Meanwhile, many superstitions popular in the Middle Ages did not make it to our era. Visit the Illustrated Bartsch collection of Old Master European prints in the Digital Library and search within it for superstition to find some surprising beliefs, such as “Digging for Coal Upon Seeing a Swallow Guarantees Freedom from Fever and Headaches for a Year,” and “Man Encountering a Goose, a Good Omen for the Day.”
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