Tag: 17th century

As September is fast approaching and the prospect of returning to school or university looms, the groans of students of all ages can be heard far and wide. This inspired to look through the Bridgeman archives at education through the ages. Here are some of our favourite finds. 800BC-146BC: Ancient Greece  Interestingly, music was the only subject taught to both girls and boys in ancient…

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Looking back at the ‘Memento Mori’ painting tradition, Vanitas is a macabre genre of symbolic still-life that prospered in the Netherlands in the early 17th century reminding the viewer of their mortality.  The word ‘vanitas’ is Latin for vanity, or ’emptiness’, and signifies the meaningless of earthly life. The purpose of Vanitas’ paintings was to caution the viewer to be careful about placing too much importance in…

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When you are being immortalised in paint, to be looked upon by family and friends for generations to come, naturally you want to look your best. This 16th-century portrait by Bernardino Licinio is no exception. This lady is dressed to impress with a rich, velvety gown, fine jewellery and a complicated-looking hairstyle: On closer inspection however, her sleeves are in tatters, with small cuts running across…

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With the anniversaries of two great baroque composers coming up this year, what better time to revisit this era’s splendour? The Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), whose 450th birthday is celebrated this year, marks the beginning of the period, while the death of German musician Georg Philipp Telemann in 1767, exactly 250 ago, signals its end. The music of this era set the tone for…

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