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The “Mona Lisa” of Medieval Art

While the subject of Da Vinci’s famous Renaissance painting is likely identifiable as Lisa del Giocondo, a.k.a. Lisa Gherardini, her enigmatic expression has captivated generations. Medieval art has its own enigma: the woman featured in the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. This tapestry set contains some of the most well-known images from medieval art, yet […]

Fish on Friday III: From Fish Weir to Table

It’s no mystery that medieval people ate fish. The fish industry was a vital element of the medieval European economy, and fueled lots of movement around the continent. However how did they get onto the trestle tables and trenchers?

Fish on Friday II: Monastic Meals

In the Middle Ages, fasting and Lenten traditions were highly evident in the monastic houses. The different Rules and Orders (take your pick from Benedictine, Carthusian, Cluniac, Cistercian, Premonstratensians, Trinitarians, Beguines, and more!) had strict rules governing their lifestyles, including their diet, nutrition, and meals. Where, When, What, and How Much? Monastic communities ate their […]

Fish on Friday I: Economic Blessing or Dietary Sacrifice?

A lack of red meat on the medieval table meant the diners were having a humble meal, and fish was a convenient substitute protein.

Nothing Lovelier than Spring (Gardening) in Paris

Wondering what to plant in your garden this year? Take some advice from an elderly gentleman living in a big city!

Remembering Antiquity: The Ancient World Through Medieval Eyes

Exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center January 25-May 28, 2017 This remarkable collaborative exhibit takes a head-on approach to the notion that there were divisions between a Roman Age, a Middle Age, and then the dawning of the glorious Renaissance. Medieval people had no notion of a noticeable chronological progression; […]

Dancing into Battle

At the end of every Olympic Games, several countries take home medals in the sport of Dressage. This graceful event evaluates the movement, athleticism, and obedience of the horse and its harmony with the rider. The Dressage test is a list of specific movements executed before a judge. The horse-and-rider team receive a score (out […]

Crenellations: Crowning Castles

Crenellations are one of the most recognizable elements of a medieval castle. These upright projections resemble teeth, bared at invaders to prevent their attempted entries and at allies to show the owner’s strength. Each upright section is called a merlon or crenel, and they protected defenders from attacks. Defenses could be further increased by the […]

The Tower-House Castle: Not Exactly Fit for a King

House, Tower, Castle. It’s like a weird hand of Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples but these special types of castles are common in Scotland and Ireland. The 13th century concentric castles of Edward I, a.k.a. Longshanks, a.k.a. Hammer of the Scots, are some of the most well-known surviving medieval structures. His castles are […]

Medievalists at the Movies: Assassin’s Creed

In between the exciting chases, hand-to-hand combat, and surprisingly well-acted dialogue, the overall film drags with too many flat moments of the lead actors staring into the camera or watching something happening from afar.

The Monarchy’s Symbols of Power

Medieval monarchs are remembered as powerful rulers, with a tyrannical control of land, nobles, and riches. They were strong figures, in control of their realm and their lives. However, medieval rulers also existed in a daily display of that power and authority. Even if a king was born into his position, he still needed to […]

Talkin’ the Medieval Bob Dylans

On October 4, 2016, the Swedish Academy announced that singer/songwriter Bob Dylan would receive the Nobel Prize in literature.

Top 15 Etsy Picks for a Medievalist

  Let’s face it, it’s just plain difficult to find the perfect gift sometimes! You want it to be unique, a great match for the recipient, a sign of your affection and esteem, and maybe even have a little medieval flair. We’ve scoured the world of Etsy for the weird, wonderful, and medieval products available […]

The Getty Enchants with Alchemy Exhibits

Long shrouded in secrecy, alchemy was once considered the highest of arts. Straddling art, science, and natural philosophy, alchemy has proven key to both the materiality and creative expression embedded in artistic output, from ancient sculpture and the decorative arts to medieval illumination, and masterpieces in paint, print, and a panoply of media from the European Renaissance to the present day.

Viking at Heart: Interview with Emma “Bruni” Boast, MA

Medievalists.net gets to know Archaeologist and Heritage Consultant Emma Boast, a.k.a. Bruni, in an exclusive one-on-one interview!   Current Occupation? I am a Freelance Viking Age Archaeology and Heritage Consultant, Managing Director at Nidavellnir (Viking Age Historical Clothing and Nalbinding) and Site Assistant at York Archaeological Trust. My passion is everything to do with the […]

Why ‘Hamilton’ Matters to Medievalists

As I watched the 70th Annual Tony Awards a few months ago, front-running Hamilton, a musical production nominated in a record-setting 16 categories, really struck me as powerful.

Digital Humanities at K’zoo: A Recap

DH projects seem to be springing out of the proverbial ground like so many mushrooms over the last few years.

Medieval Wonders of MAN in Madrid

Danielle Trynoski explores the medieval exhibits at the Museo Arqueológico Nacional.

What’s New for History Lovers at the Getty

Danielle Trynoski takes a look at two new exhibitions at the Getty Centre – Eat, Drink, and Be Merry and The Edible Monument – with curators Christine Sciacca and Marcia Reed

Touching the Past: The Hand and the Medieval Book

Touching the Past: The Hand and the Medieval Book invites visitors to get in touch. Well, not literally since we’re discussing medieval manuscripts, but the exhibition wants viewers to consider the tactile side of books and manuscripts

A Medievalist at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum

Danielle Trynoski reviews the permanent exhibition at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The Vikings in Chicago

Danielle Trynoski visits the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, to see the new Vikings exhibition, which is on display until October 4, 2015

Renaissance Splendors in L.A.

Danielle Trynoski takes in the new Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts exhibit at the Getty Center in Lost Angeles

The Louvre: Highlights for Medievalists

Despite offering exemplary samples of almost every type of art, the Louvre showcases some great examples of medieval art. The Richelieu Wing is where it’s at!

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