Renaissance Superheroes in Paris

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Super Flamands à la School Gallery

Spiderman

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger is a photographer who relies on fine details to create an image. One of his recent exhibits in Paris, entitled “Super Flamands,” blends our expectations of Renaissance costuming with our knowledge of characters in popular culture: its all in the details.

The names of the portraits have been chosen to reflect how a superhero’s portrait might have been named during the Renaissance. See if you can guess to which superhero these names belong:

« Portrait of a masked man with a spider embroidered on his chest. »

« Pale young woman surrounded by animals. »

« Portrait of an officer in a black helmet. »

« Portait of a man wearing a gold armor. »

« Portrait of a very hairy man. »

« Portrait of a man wearing a S on his chest »

 If you guessed Spiderman, Snow White, Darth Vader, C3P0, Chewbacca, and Superman, you were correct!

Check out Sacha Goldberger’s Facebook page to see the full collection. Here are some of the pictures from the collection:

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

Sacha Goldberger, Super Flamands

 

Works Cited

Goldberger, Sacha. “Super Flamands.” School Gallery. Paris. 7 March 2015. Web. 25 March 2015.

Medieval Feast: This Saturday!

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Saturday, March 28th!

Saturday, March 28th!

This Saturday, Comitatus (the CMRS student group at the University of Saskatchewan) will be hosting a Medieval Feast! The proceeds will be going towards the contingent of students who will be attending the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan!

Here’s the link to the Medieval Feast:

https://www.facebook.com/events/424434334390869/

And here’s the link to the conference:

http://wmich.edu/medieval/congress/

Congress takes place from May 14 to 17th. Check out our Facebook group, “CMRS at the U of S” for more information about Comitatus events.

-Elyn Achtymichuk

 

A Pig Epitaph (courtesy of Mary Beard)

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Dr Mary Beard, who specializes in Classics at Cambridge, writes a delightful blog full of eclectic facts and interesting details, ranging from her study of Classics to even purchasing new vehicles. She is perceptive and interesting, and what’s more, she knows what gets people – all kinds of people – thinking about studying the Classics. She is especially adept at taking details of everyday life from the past and making them applicable for a contemporary audience.

Take this article, for example: in a course on “Roman Popular Culture” (which is just awesome in and of itself), one of her students presented her with this picture:

"A pig, friend to everybody / a young four-footed one / here I lay"

“A pig, friend to everybody /
a young four-footed one /
here I lay”

This picture is puzzling for Beard; as she says, “Ok, so my question is, what kind of thing is this. If it is a spoof, like Testamentum Porcelli and of that genre, then it is a very expensive one, all reasonably inscribed with a not-bottom-of-the-range bit of relief sculpture. But does it make any sense to be ‘real’?”

She further goes on to say that an epitaph that glorifies the animal would make more sense for a beloved horse. A pig, on the other hand, suggests a parody. (Maybe this is what people of the future will say about lolcats? “They largely seem to be making fun of the animal, but if that’s the case, why are cheezburger-eating cats so prominent?” Or so the conversation goes in my imagination).

-Elyn Achtymichuk

Here’s the blog post from Beard, in its entirety:

http://timesonline.typepad.com/dons_life/2015/03/the-pigs-epitaph.html

Haven’t you always wanted your own medieval castle?!

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Tuscan castle

According to Sotheby’s International Realty, a Medieval castle has just gone on the market; for a mere $29 million USD, this castle in Tuscany can be yours, too.

The listing says that the property was built in the 12th century, and held through much of the 15th Century by the Piccolomini family (whose other claim to fame is producing two popes: Pius II and Pius III).

The scholarly importance of the property is less certain; while it was heavily redecorated in the 18th century, it supposedly maintains much of its original architecture. The most interesting part about the property is that its original owners are almost completely unknown… sounds like a fun mystery to me!

tuscan castle 2Check out the official listing here: http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-2945-z84nps/glamorous-medieval-castle-near-siena-siena-si-53011

 

 

ISIS Shows us the Value of the Humanities

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Picture courtesy of The Economist.com

Picture courtesy of The Economist.com

On February 26th, the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – most media sites now refer to them by an acronym: “ISIS” – released a video of one of their most recent attacks on the people of the Middle East: the reckless destruction of several priceless artifacts in the Mosul museum in Iraq. ISIS has committed worse crimes in their pursuit for power and political dominance: their merciless killing and displacement of thousands of people is obviously heinous (The Economist 7 March 2015). But one of the ways that you destroy a people is not just limited to its populace, but extends to its culture, its history, and it art.

As divided as we might think ourselves from this dilemma – given that we are in North America – this attack on historical artifacts should concern all of us. There is value in these pieces to so many different types of scholars: not just archaeologists and anthropologists, but historians, theologists, and others in a variety of fields, including political science and religious studies. Even artists, writers, journalists, and creative thinkers should see the value in these items: What do these priceless pieces tell us about the history of these people, their beliefs, thoughts and customs? How do these pieces fit within the larger collection of works that are historically important? What does their wanton destruction mean to the Iraqi people right now? Philosophically, how does the destruction of these statues and replicas fit within the overall scheme of the Islamic State? Is there enough left in records, drawings, and photographs for artisans to recreate what was lost?

These are just a few of the many questions that make the careless destruction in Mosul a question of concern for many people. At the same time, and in all parts of the world, humanities scholars are asked to provide positive proofs of the relevancy of their existence … and yet, here is that proof in front of us, ironically delivered by extremists: the way to break the spirit of a people is through the destruction of their identity, right down to their art, their history, and every iota of culture. Disguising their destruction as an act of righteousness in the name of religion (to “destroy idols,” of course), they have discovered that one way to consciously uproot a group of people is to attack the monuments to their culture. Art, history, culture, and literature all inherently have value because of what happens to a civilization when those aspects of life are destroyed, forgotten, or dismissed.

The only true question of our relevance as humanities scholars is this: What can we do to stand in the way of such wanton destruction?

Works Cited:

“Destroying History’s Treasures.” The Economist Newspaper. 7 March 2015. Web. 9 March 2015.

 

 

Further Reading:

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21645749-jihadists-are-attacking-more-regions-people-destroying-historys