Some stories we’ve been reading this week:
- Goya’s unflinching portraits are widely admired. But have you ever wondered why his wealthy sitters put up with the artist’s brutal honesty?
- Michelangelo and Raphael; Constable and Turner; Leibniz and Newton. Does every creative genius need a bitter rival? (You might also be interested in our account of the competition between Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi.)
- Gearing up for Halloween, here’s a short history of cursed paintings and a longer investigation of haunted antiques. (And if that’s not enough for you, then check out our slideshow of scary dolls.)
- If this doesn’t define chutzpah, nothing does: a graffiti artist goes to court not to fight the charges against him, but to dispute the sum of his fine, maintaining that he’s being overcharged.
- Perhaps the artist should have considered posters instead of graffiti. Witness British poet Christopher Logue, who, reasoning that big words on posters are more widely read than small words on bound pages, invented the poster poem–and created some best-sellers.
- When a retired teacher from Madison, Wisconsin purchased her home in 1989, she had no idea she was getting a piece of 20th-century architectural history. It would take 25 years for her to realize she had bought a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.