The Year of Dante: Learning to Love Italy’s Greatest Poet

It was dislike at first sight.  Everything about Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) put me off. As artists traditionally portrayed him, the medieval poet seemed a ferocious grump with a big beak, jutted chin, petulant sneer, and hooded eyes. Although writers like William...

Mona Lisa’s Latest Adventure: A Covid Birthday

Leonardo’s muse, Mona (Madame) Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, was born 541 years ago on June 15, 1479.  Few art works have experienced more adventures—and misadventures—in and out of the frame. The Florentine matron has shed her stately robes and appeared in...