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The Writing on the Wall: The Perilous Future of Historical Sites and Monuments

This article was originally published in January 2020 on the Retrospect Journal website and can be read here. In March 2014, officials in the Huairou District of Beijing announced their intention to certify part of the Great Wall of China a ‘graffiti zone’, formally allowing individuals to freely etch their names into the millennia old… Continue reading The Writing on the Wall: The Perilous Future of Historical Sites and Monuments

The Arnolfini Portrait and the Limits of Interpretation

This article was originally published in November 2019 on the Retrospect Journal website and can be read here. Hung in the fifteenth-century Netherlandish painting room of the National Gallery, Jan van Eyck’s 1434 Arnolfini Portrait has been a source of intrigue, mystery and vastly differing readings since its purchase by the gallery in 1842. Measuring just under… Continue reading The Arnolfini Portrait and the Limits of Interpretation

The Woman with Lapis Lazuli in Her Teeth: Exploring the Female Scribes of Medieval Europe

This article was originally published in November 2019 on the Retrospect Journal website and can be read here. A 2014 analysis of the remains of a woman, exhumed from the burial site adjacent to a former medieval monastery in Dalheim, Germany, found brilliant blue particles embedded in her dental calculus. Raman spectroscopic analysis revealed these… Continue reading The Woman with Lapis Lazuli in Her Teeth: Exploring the Female Scribes of Medieval Europe

The Lost Cimabue: Reflections on a Medieval Master

This article was originally published in October 2019 on the Retrospect Journal website and can be read here. ‘Woman discovers Renaissance masterpiece in kitchen,’ declares The Guardian on 24 September 2019 upon the surfacing of a rare painting by thirteenth-century Florentine artist, Cimabue, in the home of an elderly woman in northern France. Christ Mocked,… Continue reading The Lost Cimabue: Reflections on a Medieval Master