Raphael; Saint Michael and the Devil; c. 1503-04; Musée du Louvre. Image and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com; scalarchives.com; © 2006, SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
Carlo Crivelli | Saint George | ca. 1472 | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Christian festival of Michaelmas, also known as the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, is celebrated in many parts of the world on September 29.
Michaelmas celebrates the story of Saint Michael defeating Satan, which is often depicted in the motif of Saint George and the Dragon, Saint George being the Archangel Michael’s earthly counterpart. The earliest depictions of this story go all the way back to the 10th century. The images of Saint George fighting the dragon in the Artstor Digital Library span centuries. (more…)
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We invited Stanton Belford, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Martin Methodist College, to tell us about his three Marine Biology collections in Shared Shelf Commons: Red Sea, Trinidad, and Key Largo.
Bearded fireworm (Hermodice carunculata). From the Martin Methodist College Marine Biology Collection: Trinidad
Before describing the marine biology digital collections, I would like to mention I first became interested in marine science thanks to my high school teacher, who allowed us to experience informal science education with the reefs as our classroom. Here I saw a kaleidoscope of colors bursting through the ocean’s blue: corals, fishes, invertebrates, all hidden underwater, just waiting for my eager eyes to discover them.
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Bhaja Caves, Caves 6 & 7; 2nd c. BCE-1st c. CE; Maharashtra, India. Image and original data provided by David Efurd © David Efurd
Professor David Efurd’s collection of nearly 10,000 photographs of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain art and architecture was recently released in the Artstor Digital Library. We were particularly impressed by the variety and complexity of the rock-cut cave temples he photographed, and he was kind enough to answer our questions.
Artstor: What is the importance of caves as the sites of some of these temples, as opposed to more typical, free-standing temples?
David Efurd: Regarding Buddhist caves, monks appear to have lived in natural caves and rock-shelters since the time of the Buddha. In fact, texts describe the Buddha as spending nights in caves at a variety of locations in northeastern India. Over time, simple shelters were enlarged by cutting away stone, and masonry walls may have been added to the front to make them more architectural.
In western India, these Buddhist sites are a bit later, perhaps dating from the second century BC at the earliest. Unlike the caves the Buddha lived in, they do not appear to be natural caves that were enlarged. Rather, they were carved deeply into outcroppings of stone or cliffs and tend to be architectonic, meaning that they resemble the interior spaces of architecture, despite being hewn into stone. Few free-standing buildings and monasteries from this period survive, so these caves provide crucial insight into a tradition of architecture that has all but disappeared. Rock-cut or cave architecture from this period draws upon both this early tradition of living in natural caves and the later monastic complexes consisting of residential buildings and places for instruction and worship. (more…)
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