• Celtic Studies Books,  Resource

    Free Art History Ebooks from The Getty and The MMA

    Both The Getty and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are releasing digital books (.pdfs) of their own publications about their collections as a “virtual library.” These books are complete .pdf versions of the print bersions, and are free to download. Here’s The Getty’s list of free downloadable books. Here’s The Metropolitan Museum of Ar’s list of free downloadable art history publications. See also catalogs from other museums that are participating in the Getty-sponsored Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative. Buy me a Coffee! If you find this post or this site interesting, and would like to see more, buy me a coffee. While I may actually buy coffee, I’ll probably buy books…

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  • Etymons

    Gorse, Furze, and Whin

    A few years ago, an acquaintance emailed me in extreme frustration because he’d looked up furze, a word he encountered while reading a mystery set in Scotland, in a dictionary. The definition for furze was “whin; gorse.” When he looked up whin and gorse their entries referred him to furze. I’ve had similar and equally annoying experiences with dictionaries, and immediately understood his frustration. I promised him I’d post about all three words. Gorse, as the AHD notes, is Any of several spiny shrubs of the genus Ulex, especially U. europaeus, native to Europe and having fragrant yellow flowers and black pods. Also called furze, whin. Ulex europaeus from Ayrshire, Scotland…

  • Calendar,  Medieval manuscripts

    September Très Riches Heures de Duc de Berry

    This grape-picking scene from the Très Riches Heures is one that was completed after the death of the book of hours’ original owner, Jean Duc de Berry. The Duke died in 1416, as did the three Limbourg brothers. In 1485, the Duc de Savoie, who acquired the unfinished manuscript, had the artist Jean Colombe finish half of September. Jean Colombe relied on a placeholder sketch previously made by the original artist. The top portion of the scene, featuring the Château de Saumur, was completed earlier. In the warmer wine-producing parts of Europe, September, even now, brings the grape harvest. Peasants took to the fields in September to pick the grapes,…