Raphael's School of Athens

The Renaissance Book Club

  I’m on the Acela to Washington, D.C., my favorite way to reach the capital from New York City. The dining car is so crowded there is only one seat left—the one across from me. A man approaches to ask if he can take it and I answer, “Of course!” As he settles himself, he […]

medieval personality exudes from Castel Monastero

The Personality of Place

  So, this is how it feels to experience a medieval Tuscan village that has existed on a hillside in some form for almost 1000 years! My view from the courtyard of Castel Monastero encompasses a string of buildings that meander along the edge of a quaint piazza. The bricked courtyard is paved in a […]

I saw the Arc de Triomphe with new eyes

Seeing with New Eyes

  Day two of my Parisian literary adventure follows a foray I wrote about last week. It turned out to be a long excursion because I decided to walk all the way from my hotel, Le Meridien Etoile in the 17th arrondissement near the Périphérique, along the spine of Avenue de la Grande Armée, past the Arc de Triomphe, onto […]

Michelangelo's homage to God and Adam

God’s Articulate Finger

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel In this last entry of the year, I wanted to share a piece of my own creative writing to say ciao to 2015. I’ve chosen “Art:History” from Anywhere But Here, my first book of poetry published this year by Sharktooth Press. I was inspired to write the poem after studying […]

Three children painted in the Elizabethan style.

Narratives That Illuminate Design

  Narratives That Illuminate Design If you believe that design-centric coffee table books contain nothing more than visual surveys of portfolios, I am out to change your mind today by presenting my choices for narratives that illuminate design. What has prompted this quest? Two intelligently written books in Rizzoli’s holiday catalog—both of which were published […]

Leonardo da Vinci's "La Belle Ferroniere," circa 1496, was included in the exhibition.

The Anecdotal Leonardo da Vinci

  I’m often amazed at how serendipity flows through life. This past April, I traveled to Europe to attend the Salone del Mobile in Milan and The Decorative Fair in London, never imagining my tale of these two cities would intertwine within one blog post given the furnishings in Milan were as modern as modern […]

Beautiful hand-painted majolica plate

Poetry and Ceramics in Savona

  The 16th-century poetry that sprung from Savona made a strong impression on Thomas William Parsons when he found verses inscribed on a statue of the Madonna near the town’s lighthouse during a tour of Italy in the 19th century. He was so moved, the American poet penned the sonnet “Savona: Vespers on the Shore of the Mediterranean” […]

Rolf Sachs Camera in Motion on Saxon Henry's blog

A Definition of Fleeting

“O nature, merciful and cruel mother, when do you have such power and such contrary wills, to make and unmake things so charming?” —Petrarch     Petrarch, one of the best-known Italian poets of the Renaissance, built a legacy around the ephemeral emotion of grief. He once lamented that everything pleasing in the world was […]