MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Forgery: Modus operandi (British History)
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 25, 26, 27
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
View user's profile
Reply with quote

One of the latest variants in this story-telling genre was "The Castle of crossed destinies" Calvino. It's five stars from Wiley.

Here is a helpful review on Amazon

I read this book long ago, and found that the pictures added a lot. I absolutely would not have bought the kindle edition had I known it did not contain the pictures.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

One of our themes has been that forgers are very good at avoiding anachronisms but only so long as they know what are anachronisms. Some things are so familiar that forgers can forget there was a time before they existed, our leading case being the church spire in the Bayeux Tapestry. Today I offer you this

Why Watermelons Look Different in Old Paintings


This seventeenth century painting by Giovanni Stanchi is widely used as a teaching aid in various fields from plant breeding to art history but for us forgery-detectives the question is "Is it seventeenth century?" I will leave the actual provenance-hunting to others with a better nose for these things than me. I'll be dealing with the vexed history of the watermelon...
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

The ancestor of the modern watermelon is probably the desert melon found in the southern African Kalahari desert. Desert melons look a lot like the watermelon we know on the outside, but they look and taste a lot different on the inside. Desert melons are bland, hard to chew, and sometimes even bitter. The inside is yellowish-white and full of seeds; the opposite of what we know as watermelon today.

Okay, despite the 'probably' and despite such an importantly commercial fruit really ought to be having more certainty than that, let's take this on trust.

The first people to grow watermelons were ancient Egyptians around 4,000 years ago. Despite the bad taste, they grew watermelons for their high water content. Watermelons were a great source of fresh water during the summertime and they could be stored in a cool location for several months.

A remarkably inefficient way to store water but, again, let's take this on trust.

Watermelons were also found in the tombs of Pharaohs whom Egyptians believed would need hydration on their journey to the afterlife.

Ditto with nobs on.

Arabian traders brought watermelons to Europe and other regions of the Mediterranean in the 10th century

Why? Are we short of water-containers too? In any case, weren't we importing half our grain from Egypt for a thousand years before this so how come we weren't stashing a few watermelons on board alongside?

and it reached the far east to China around the same time as well.

Fair do's, that must have been the Arabs.

China quickly adopted watermelons and now became the largest producer of the fruit today, making up 67% of the total global production.

Ain't that always the way?
In Europe and the Mediterranean, watermelons were less popular until the 17th century.

We were still using the old-fashioned ways of water-storage, I guess.

Even when watermelons gained popularity in Europe in the 17th century

You mean at the same time that Europeans started trading with China?

the fruit looked a lot different than it does today.

I'm not sure I agree. I was looking at a 17th century painting of them just ten minutes ago and they seemed awfully familiar. Apart from this

Significant efforts to improve the taste and the size of watermelons started in the early 20th century.

But do go on. Can you try to avoid circular reasoning

The red flesh was a lot smaller and the rind took up a lot more of the space. The fruit also contained a lot more seeds and was harder to eat. It is speculated that European watermelons looked almost identical to the ones depicted in the painting above.

Any other pix in the frame we might be casting a jaundiced eye over?

Curiously, readers also noted some paintings from the same time period of normal-looking watermelons, including Brueghel's "Still Life of Fruit and Flowers." However, the diversity of watermelons available doesn't disprove that uncultivated watermelons, like the ones in Stanchi's painting, were significantly different from the ones we consume today. Brueghel's watermelon may have been all red — but Stanchi's ripe watermelon was considered worthy of being painted as well. Over time, breeding helped us define the ideal watermelon.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Today's Runological Hocus Pocus

Runes and Commemoration in Anglo-Saxon England by Lilla Kopár and Martin Findell 2017
Fragments: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Ancient and Medieval Pasts
File: Anglo-Saxon Studies, Runology, Monuments and Commemoration
Runic inscriptions are of interest not only as evidence of language and literacy in early medieval England, but also of the cultural functions of the objects on which they appear.

That's telling them

In this paper, we present three case studies to examine the ways in which runic writing was used to commemorate the dead in Anglo-Saxon England

but not about very much then. Just RIP blah-de-blah.

on a cremation urn from Loveden Hill, Lincolnshire; the wooden coffin of Saint Cuthbert; and a carved memorial stone from Great Urswick, Cumbria.

So, these thousand plus year old inscriptions have survived on clay, wood and stone. That's what I'd call multimedia staying power.

Our study highlights the diversity of rune-inscribed objects in their material and function, from containers for human remains to monuments on public display.

What you have highlighted is that apparently the Anglo-Saxons went to all the trouble of making a unique literary language and a unique writing form and then used this magnificently hard-won achievement to say 'RIP blah-de-blah'.

In each case we discuss the linguistic problems of the text and the relationship of the inscription to the object and its find context, before turning to a broader examination of the role of inscribed objects in the act of commemoration and the question of the choice of runic over the Roman script.

Yes, I look forward to that. Why didn't they use Latin? Isn't a memorial meant to be available to everyone rather than just people who scratch runes for the dead?
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Artifacts of Early Christian Pilgrimage at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Ann M. Nicgorski, Willamette University

For those of you who didn't space out on a goat farm commune in Willamina just down the road, the Hallie Ford Museum is just up the road from Willamette University.

Beginning in the late third to fourth centuries CE, Christians began making pilgrimages to sites related to the life of Jesus of Nazareth in the “Holy Land” (located in modern Israel/Palestine), or to other places associated with later saints and miracles. Those who made these pilgrimages often acquired some insignia of their journey, as well as bringing home some relic or token (eulogies) from the sacred sites that they visited, which provided a tangible, material connection to the divine, a sort of sacred contagion.

Is that a fact, Ann? Is there someone who can confirm this? If not contemporaneously, at any rate a few centuries later.

The significance of such artifacts of Christian pilgrimage, which usually incorporate images of holy figures, is further elucidated in this sermon by St. John of Damascas (676-749 CE)

Fascinating. And did he, you know, leave a list of the sort of things the pilgrim trade would specialise in a few centuries after that?

"It is evident to all that flesh is matter, and that it is created. I reverence and honour matter, and worship that which has brought about my salvation. I honour it, not as God, but as a channel of divine strength and grace. Was not the thrice blessed wood of the Cross matter? and the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary? Was not the holy sepulchre matter, the life-giving stone the source of our resurrection? Was not the book of the Gospels matter, and the holy table which gives us the bread of life? Are not gold and silver matter, of which crosses, and holy pictures, and chalices are made? And above all, is not the Lord’s Body and Blood composed of matter?"

Any special reason for mentioning this, Ann?

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art (HFMA) in Salem, Oregon (USA), is fortunate to have several artifacts of early Christian pilgrimage in its collection.

Have you managed to carbon-date them, Ann, or would you prefer to wait another few centuries?
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Remarkable manuscripts, books and maps from the IXth to ...
Remarkable manuscripts, books and maps from the IXth to the XVIIIth century including many first descriptions of hitherto unknown items recently discovered offered for sale by H.P. Kraus.
https://df.story-study.rest/514

Hurry, while stocks last.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Rembrandt's famous 'The Night Watch' was trimmed around the edges in 1715 in order to pass through the doors of Amsterdam's city hall but fortunately the National Gallery in London has a copy of the original painting. It's attributed to Gerrit Lundens (1622 – 1686), known for his copies of the Dutch masters, and has recently been scrutinised by experts from the Rijksmuseum.

Nothing unusual except the copy of the original doesn't appear to have come up to scratch

Lundens’ copy, painted within 13 years of the uncut original, was a passable one, but scientists working with the computers discovered he must have been sitting on the left side of the painting, creating distortions in perspective. He used slightly different mixes of paint and his work has aged rather differently to The Night Watch over time.

It's not clear why a reasonably competent copyist would 'distort' the perspective and 'aged rather differently' surely calls for a bit more elaboration. Still, the quality, or lack of it, doesn't matter because thanks to AI computers can now reproduce works better than humans

A relatively new technology known as convolutional neural networks, a type of AI algorithm that helps computers understand images, was able to correct all these failings when recreating the lost parts pixel by pixel. Crucially, the computers were able to learn how to reproduce the very strokes of Rembrandt’s brush, to ensure they are as close as possible to how the painting appeared three centuries ago.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/jun/23/ai-helps-return-rembrandts-the-night-watch-to-original-size
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

If the AI programme can 'reproduce the very strokes' of the original artist it will definitely be able to tell whether the person who painted the original Night Watch painted all the other Rembrandts too. If this is so I don't see how the art world is going to survive. I predict that the AI programme will not be able to do this. For some reason.
Send private message
Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Interesting, as I would have thought that the artist of the so called "Night Watch" (not its orginal name) would surely have painted or commissioned some smaller versions of the larger picture and then scaled up with sketching from these smaller pictures to create the larger work......

I doubt the smaller version is a later copy.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Mick Harper wrote:
If the AI programme can 'reproduce the very strokes' of the original artist it will definitely be able to tell whether the person who painted the original Night Watch painted all the other Rembrandts too.

Quite so, but the programmers would need to analyse a painting that was indisputably Rembrandt's own work, not that of assistants or 'school of', not to mention restorers. That may not be as straightforward as one thinks.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

There is an official list of every known Rembrandt. Minimum qualification: he has to have done the face or whatever. But that is not what I was alluding to. If brushwork can now be identified with the fidelity of fingerprints it means the 50% (ha!) of paintings in public galleries that experts concede are probable fakes (though not the same 50%) will have to be removed.

It will be interesting to see how accountants reflect this in their annual accounts. The Rijksmuseum having a coupla hundred million euros wiped off their bottom line will mean ... um ... a lower insurance bill.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

This unpromising paper was sent to me today by Academia.edu's wonderfully understanding algorithm

Damage to masonry retaining walls caused by capillarity Luciano Nunziante

If only our wonderfully misunderstanding medievalists and classicists paid attention they might lob a few centuries off their roseate estimations.
Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 25, 26, 27

Jump to:  
Page 27 of 27

MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group