Tag Archives: 15th Century

1321: Kleptomania

In Some Observations Made in Travelling Through France, Italy, &c. in the Years 1720, 1721 and 1722, Edward Wright relates being told in Florence about one of Dante’s bad habits: This great man, we are told, had a most unhappy … Continue reading

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1400: Rain God

This Mixtec figure from the Middle Post Classic Period (1200-1400) represents a person impersonating a deity—a practice whereby the god would have been brought into the world of human experience. The undersized symbolic weapon and shield, as well as the … Continue reading

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1481: Astrolabe

The only surviving spherical astrolabe was purchased at auction in 1962 by the Oxford Museum of the History of Science. It is signed by its maker, Mūsa (the Arabic equivalent of Moses), who is otherwise unknown—but the particular style of  … Continue reading

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1489: Versions

      Leonardo da Vinci: Lady with an Ermine [Cecilia Galleran] (1489–1490) Awol Erizku: Lady with a Pitbull (2009) Hans Holbein: Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling [probably Anne Lovell] (c. 1526-28) Frida Khalo: Self-Portrait with … Continue reading

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1494: The Poisoning of Pico della Mirandola

     The brilliant and audacious Humanist philosopher Pico della Mirandola died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 31. His life had been exceptional. A child prodigy who had left home at fourteen to study church law, Pico turned to … Continue reading

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1470: The Ox

Martin Schongauer: Ox (possibly with book) ~ symbol of St. Luke (1470-1490) In Christian iconography, the winged ox is the symbol of the evangelist Luke—traditionally seen as the animal of sacrifice and therefore linked to the sacrifice of Jesus himself.

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15th Century: The Ideal City

The Ideal City is the title given to three different paintings. The are generally referred to as The Ideal City of Urbino, The Ideal City of Baltimore, and The Ideal City of Berlin, according to where they are located—although all … Continue reading

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