Connecting with Berthe Morisot

Guest post by Paula Butterfield  It was the middle of another fall quarter, and I was again teaching my course on Women in the Arts. I’d already introduced my students to the floral still lifes of 16th c. Dutch artist Rachel Ruysch, and Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun’s portraits of the 18th c. French court. Each student had... Continue Reading →

La Luministe by Paula Butterfield

If she were alive today, painter Berthe Morisot would be celebrated and admired, but in the 19th century Paris, she was up against formidable obstacles. Women were not allowed to pursue paying occupations, the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts did not accept female students, the society treated "lady painters" as odd (if they were rich)... Continue Reading →

The Cloister by James Carroll

On a rainy day in November 1950, Father Michael Kavanagh seeks refuge in New York's famed Cloisters Museum of medieval art at the northern tip of Manhattan. There he meets a mysterious woman who turns out to be a Jewish historian and Holocaust survivor. One of the few possessions she managed to salvage from the ravages of... Continue Reading →

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

This is a review I have wanted to post for months, but this book is MASSIVE at over 900 pages. Ken Follett strikes again! Of course, Ken Follett needs no introduction. After the runaway success of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End comes the third part in the Kingsbridge series. A Column of... Continue Reading →

The Curious Flaw of Amiens Cathedral

A few weeks ago, I was researching medieval church architecture for Book Two of my Hildegard of Bingen series (which will come out in February 2019). Part of the story concerns Hildegard's project of building a church for her new foundation, which she wants to imitate the "French style," i.e. the nascent Gothic style (though,... Continue Reading →

Woman’s Work(s): The Poetry of Louise Labé

Guest blog by Julianne Douglas In 1555, printer Jean de Tournes of Lyon published a small volume of poetry titled EVVRES (WORKS). This innocuous label belied the book’s audacity, for the collection—a proto-feminist dedicatory epistle, a lengthy dialogue between Love and Folly, three elegies, and twenty-four sonnets—was the first of its kind in France: a... Continue Reading →

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