Friday, October 22, 2010

November Issue of the Art History Carnival to be Hosted at Alberti's Window

Calling all art history bloggers! I'm pleased to announce that the November issue of the Art History Carnival will be hosted by Monica Bowen at her beautiful blog, Alberti's Window.

For more information, visit her post announcing the November edition.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Karen Elson's Pre-Raphaelite Inspired Music Video "The Truth is in the Dirt on the Ground"

Fashion model Karen Elson is making her foray into the music business with her new album The Ghost Who Walks. She recently released the album's first music video, for the track "The Truth is in the Dirt on the Ground." The video is chock-full of Pre-Raphaelite references. There are numerous allusions to Pre-Raphaelite paintings here - I was particularly reminded of Waterhouse's Ophelia (because of the Queen Anne's Lace) and his Lady of Shalott (of course, parts of it are also quite reminiscent of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights"). With her vibrant scarlett locks, Elson has long been described as a Pre-Raphaelite beauty - I'm glad to see that she's embracing the label in her new music video! 

Apparently, the song was inspired by an obituary for Eartha Kitt. I did a little digging around, and it looks like Elson was referring to a quote from the New York Times obituary for Kitt: "I'm a dirt person...I trust the dirt. I don't trust diamonds and gold." 

The song is quite catchy, and the sound, which her husband, Jack White of the White Stripes, describes as "folk country gothic" is very appealing. I've been humming it ever since I saw the video this morning. 

A special thanks to Grace from The Beautiful Necessity for posting the video on her blog!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Camelot - New TV Series Starring Eva Green and Joseph Fiennes

I've been an undying fan of Arthurian legend for as long as I can remember. I wish I could say that my first encounter with the Knights of the Round Table was Malory's Morte D'Arthur, or even Howard Pyle (though both came very soon after!). No, it was actually Bing Crosby's 1949 version of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I was about 7, and was completely captivated by the film. Looking back, I realize the the story was pretty silly, and a commercial failure of epic proportions. But as a kid, none of that mattered. I was hooked from the moment Bing woke up in Camelot - I loved the clothes, romance, adventure and the corny, stilted, olde-ish English (and, truth be told, I still like the movie!).


Even today, it seems I can't get enough of Arthurian legend on film. Good, bad or indifferent, I'm always willing to check out the latest Hollywood offering. So, imagine my delight at the announcement that Eva Green (Casino Royale) and Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) will be starring as Morgana and Merlin in a new television series entitled Camelot. The series is set to premier in early 2011 and will be broadcast internationally by GK-TV, through the CBC in Canada and by Starz in the US.

The 10 part mini-series will be based on Malory's Morte D'Arthur, and is being shot at Ardmore Studios, where The Tudors was also filmed.

Will you be watching?

Image: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, The Beguiling of Merlin, 1872-1877

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Loreena McKennitt's New Album:"The Wind that Shakes the Barley"

Whenever I want to relax, or if I'm feeling a touch homesick (she may be from Manitoba, but her music will always remind me of the Pacific Northwest), I reach for Loreena McKennitt's music. Her voice has such a natural beauty and I find it incredibly soothing and familiar - probably because I've listened to all of her CD's a thousand times! There are so many childhood memories I have that are inextricably tied to her music.

There's something about Autumn that especially reminds me of McKennitt's music. I can vividly recall listening to The Mask and the Mirror with my mom and sister as we drove to local haunts like Lattin's Country Cider Mill in Olympia, Washington (Lattin's is an amazing farm and cider mill in Olympia, and if you are ever in the area, you have to go! They make the best apple cider in the world, something I'm sure my husband never tires of hearing - but seriously, they make amazing cider, and it's one of the places I cannot wait to take my daughter). I still remember how McKennitt's music made dark and rainy drives through the back-roads of Western Washington seem romantic and exciting. A trip to the Yelm movie theater was almost like an Arthurian quest! These days, I also find that her albums work perfectly as my "not quite Christmas" music. I'm a Christmas music fanatic, but the Nutcracker in September/October is pushing it - even for me - and I find albums like McKennitt's To Drive the Cold Winter Away result in a few less raised eyebrows.

Loreena McKennitt is releasing a new album of traditional Celtic folksongs this fall entitled The Wind that Shakes the Barley. The CD will be released in Europe on November 12 and will be available in Canada and the United States on CD, iTunes and vinyl on November 16. You can listen to a preview of the CD on her website, Quinlan Road.

Loreena McKennitt has not released an all-new (non-compilation) album since An Ancient Muse, back in 2006 (which was a great album, by the way). And while I've enjoyed the compilation albums, it's great to hear her arrange some new songs.  Her latest album will be a collection of traditional Celtic songs. Commenting on her choice of traditional music for the new album, McKennitt has said that "every once and again there is a pull to return to one's own roots or beginnings, with the perspective of time and experience, to feel the familiar things you once loved and love still." I haven't heard the full album, but from the preview available on her website, the music sounds lovely. In my opinion, McKennitt's real genius is arranging beautiful music in a way that shows off her unique voice at it's very best (no small feat when you consider that her vocal career spans over 25 years), and this album is no exception. I can't wait to share this one with my daughter!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Issue of the Art History Carnival

Welcome to the October 1, 2010 edition of art history carnival! I received a wide variety of submissions this month - everything from classic art history articles to a review of DNA art. And while I confess that I'm still a little confused about the DNA art, I have a feeling my husband would probably find it interesting.


Brenda Chapman has written an introductory piece on the 10 Essential Architectural Movements of the 20th Century. Name as many architectural movements as you can before you go to the website, and see how many are listed!

Alexandra Korey presents Michelangelo's Laurentian Library, Mannerist Tendencies posted at


Helen Webberley has done a fascinating portrait of the life of artist Reuven Rubin  posted at ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly

Gábor Endrődi shares a post written by Zsombor Jékely on the subject of the medieval fresco decoration of The medieval parish church of Pest (part II.) - A remarkable discovery posted at Medieval Hungary.

Hermes has done a fascinating review of John Everett Millais' The Romans Leaving Britain on Pre-Raphaelite Art

H Niyazi has shared a great piece by art historian Monica Bowen entitled boy bitten by a lizard: posner vs. gilbert posted at Alberti's Window, saying, "Monica Bowen explores the allegory of Caravaggio's Boy Bitten by A Lizard, discussing prevalent and controversial theories that surround the Baroque Master."

H Niyazi also submitted an interesting piece called A Grey Heron posted at Tempesta News, saying, "Dr Frank DeStefano uncovers a stunning piece of evidence supporting the spiritual reading of Giorgione's mysterious 'Tempesta'." (Thank you for all the great articles, Hasan!).

Emily Brand presents The Many Guises of Marie Antoinette posted at The Artist's Progress....

Helen Webberley presents Che Guevara and the suffering Christ posted at ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly, saying, "Che Guevara probably would have been thought of as a Christ-like figure in devoutly Catholic Bolivia anyhow. But there was an important post-mortem photo that was remarkably similar to Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp 1632 and Andrea Mantegna's Lamentation over the Dead Christ 1490. This reinforced the image of Guevara's corpse as being Christ-like in its suffering."

Susan Benford presents an overview of some of Michelangelo's best-known paintings. posted at Famous Paintings Reviewed - An Art History Blog

Kendall Roberts presents The Evolution of Pop Art in the Twenty First Century - Neo DNAism posted at Neo DNAism.

Finally, if you are in the mood for a bit of a mystery, Dr Ben Harvey presents a bit of an art history thriller with his post on the poem Art's Quota (part one) located at Emanata.


Alexandra Korey provides a fascinating insight to restorations at the Chiostro dello Scalzo in Florence, including descriptions and images of some rarely seen frescoes in his Chiostro dello Scalzo – hidden frescoes in Florence! | TuscanyArts posted at Tuscany Arts

That concludes this edition. I would like to apologize if anyone missed the deadline due to a dating problem on the Blog Carnival website. I'm not sure exactly what was going on, but I created an upcoming edition numerous times and it didn't seem to show up on the site. I'm glad that so many people submitted their articles anyway! Submit your blog article to the next edition of
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