A Recipe for Gingerbread, courtesy of a 17th-century manuscript

Clara Peeters, A glass of red wine, a sprig of rosemary, and sweetmeats on a pewter platter (also known as Allegory of Marriage), c. 1607. Current whereabouts unknown. In early November, I participated in EMROC’s Transcribathon, and I ended up transcribing a seventeenth-century recipe for gingerbread. The recipe opened up a fascinating window into the…

In the generally-accepted opinion of experts

This month marks the five-year anniversary of Christie’s historic Salvator Mundi sale. A piece on authenticity warranties by Anny Shaw made me think more deeply about what the concept of “scholarly consensus” means in a scholarly or academic setting, and why the “generally-accepted opinion of experts” might take on a different resonance in a legal…

A Visit to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

By Jamie Kwan As a scholar of the Early Modern, I have made my yearly pilgrimage to the annual Renaissance Society of America (RSA) conference.  As many of you may know, it is an academic, interdisciplinary, three to four day event filled with panels, roundtables, and networking; it is a  prime time to cross paths…

Ars Book Club, Summer 2022: Italian Journeys

Book Club is back! This time, we are following a slightly different format. Inspired by the Cookbook Groups hosted by Kitchen Arts & Letters, where each session revolves around an interesting theme (e.g., Flavors of New York, Off the Beaten Path, Food and Connection: Family and History), our Summer 2022 Book Club revolves around the…

Printmaking: An Excavation

Printmaking is both one of the simplest and most complicated artistic techniques. Many of our first art projects likely were prints, from rubber stamps to stone rubbings, while techniques like lithography use a complex series of chemicals to pull an image from a limestone base. And yet print’s simplest techniques, upon reflection, turn out to…

Old Masters Today #5

Idiosyncratic market highlights, irreverent collecting ideas, and important Old Masters news.  It’s a new world since January 2021 when I debuted this column. We’re at least a handful of frat house names into COVID-19 variants and apparently the metaverse and NFTs are here to stay with museums such as the Uffizi to the Belvedere to the British Museum banking on this…

Then and Now : Bad Valentine

If you find yourself feeling down today, remember: almost everyone in Ovid’s Metamorpheses is having worse luck in love. Just look at Titian’s poesie paintings, which were inspired by Ovid’s bad romances. You have to agree — these are all very bad dates. I’ve never been able to decide which one of these Ovidian situations…

The Leonardo Business

The Leonardo Business. I stole this phrase from Martin Kemp, who deploys it in Living with Leonardo to describe the industry—the manic, late-capitalist dreamworld—that has attached itself to the concept of Leonardo da Vinci. In 2017, a painting attributed to Leonardo had the dubious honor of becoming “the world’s most expensive painting,” sold at auction…

Ars Longa Journal N. 1 (Winter 2021)

The inaugural issue of Ars Longa Journal is now live! Read it here. This project has been a labor of love for us, and we thank all the contributors, both to the Journal and to the Blog, who trusted us enough to shepherd their work into publication. To 2022!!!