Rustic figurines of a resigned-looking Virgin clutching her child may have no obvious literary or artistic merit to us today. But understanding what they meant to the spiritual lives of their owners can offer a glimpse of the human hopes and fears that people have, for centuries, invested in inanimate objects.
Imagination is where ideas start: in the mind’s eye. The ability to think creatively – to dream the impossible – is behind the technological developments that have transformed the world. Science, suggests the second of four Cambridge Shorts, is an art.
An exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery features paintings of some of Russia’s legendary creative figures. Russia and the Arts, which draws attention to a generation of overlooked artists, is curated by Dr Rosalind P Blakesley. This month also sees the launch of Blakesley’s new book, The Russian Canvas, a work set to expand our understanding of a century of painting through periods of remarkable social and political change.
A team of experts has pieced together the architectural context of two treasures of Renaissance art in the National Gallery collection. The research behind the 3D-visualisation combines traditional and digital methods – and benefits from invaluable input from the local community.
An exhibition of early colour printing in Germany shines a light on the ways in which technology jump-started a revolution in image making. The British Museum show is curated by Dr Elizabeth Savage, whose research makes a radical contribution to an understanding of colour in woodcuts.
The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge's connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, G is for Greyhound – as heraldic symbols of the Tudors' right to rule, and as part of important research into treatments for osteosarcoma in dogs and humans.
Research into England’s oldest medieval altarpiece – which for centuries provided the backdrop to Westminster Abbey coronations – has revealed that it cost no more than the rather unprincely equivalent of eight cows.
Art historian Dr Meredith Hale reveals that a 17th-century screen, commissioned by the Viceroy of Mexico for a palace designed to impress visitors with the immutability of Spanish rule, is a striking example of a transcultural work of art. In an article for the Burlington Magazine, she traces the many influences that went into its narrative imagery and luxurious embellishment.