Friday, June 26, 2009

Not a Leg to Stand On? (Computer model of "The David")

An article featured in Discover Magazine recently showcased how The David by Michelangelo is exhibiting signs of stress in his lower legs based on computer models. The areas in red suggest areas of high stress. "It suggests that the four centuries David spent leaning forward in an earlier mounting contributed to the cracks evident in both legs." At some point in the future scientists think The David probably will fail.

I would hate to be under that thing when the legs give. That thing is massive!

photo credit: M. Freytag, V. Tsukov/Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison;
Geometric Data courtesy of Digital Michelangelo project.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ancient Beekeeping, "The Beekeepers" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Lately I have discovered my new past time (besides art) and it is: beekeeping! Surprising, yes, I know. For some reason I have taken an immense interest in bees. They are fascinating little critters.

So I was flipping through a book on Pieter Bruegel the Elder and found an interesting drawing by him of ancient beekeeping during the mid 1500s. The drawing shows some guys in big thick robes carrying baskets. I have no idea what sort of masks they are wearing. It looks very bizarre! I imagine it's some sort of net. Some guy is also shimmying up the tree (ready to catch a swarm?) I'm not familiar with the process or equipment from antiquity, but I'm sure it's basically the same. All you really need is a container, and the bees do the rest!

Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Beekeepers
pen and brown ink on paper
8 x 12 1/8 in
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Goya's Colossus Demoted!

The painting attributed to Goya for so many years, The Colossus, has been demoted recently by the Prado Museum. It is now considered not a Goya painting! After studying the painting for years, experts think his apprentice Asensio JuliĆ” painted the painting sometime between 1808 and 1812. For one obvious reason: his initials are painted on the painting! "AJ" is written in the lower left-hand corner. I don't know how something like that slips by curators and musesums but it did. The painting is also a little sloppier than Goya's style and it lacks a defined source of light. Both of which, go against Goya's style. I guess they'll be re-writing the art history books.

see for yourself:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Did da Vinci paint Mona Lisa nude?

Did da Vinci paint Mona Lisa nude? A painting has recently surfaced after being hid away for years that reveals a very Mona Lisa-esque painting of a nude woman. After being passed down through history by Napoleon's kinfolk the painting was discovered in the wall of a private library. The painting has similar characteristics of Mona Lisa - similar hand position, background, technique, and she's even sandwhiched between two columns...

The painting was attributed to da Vinci as recently as 1845 but many experts say that the painting is probably not by da Vinci. But it could be master copy of an original nude Mona Lisa. "There are at least six nude versions which are very close to da Vinci's hand. All are attributed to the da Vinci school. The most likely scenario is that his followers got inspired by a now-lost original," says expert Alessandro Vezzosi.

Here's the link to the original story: