Pico_della_Mirandola February 24

Pico della Mirandola on Magic, Astrology and Religion

On the 24th of February 1463, the Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was born at Mirandola, near Modena in Italy. In 1486, at the young age of 23, he famously offered to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic, in spite of opposition from theologians and Pope Innocent VIII  (the public […]

Kazimir_Malevich,_1915,_Black_Suprematic_Square,_oil_on_linen_canvas,_79.5_x_79.5_cm,_Tretyakov_Gallery,_Moscow February 23

Malevich, Suprematism and the ‘Black Square’

On the 23rd of February 1878, the Russian painter Kazimir Malevich was born in the Kiev Governorate of the Russian Empire (now Ukraine), to parents of Polish descent. In terms of his influence on the development of modern art, he can be placed alongside such ground-breaking artists as Picasso, Matisse and Duchamp. Between 1895 and […]

warholtv February 22

Andy Warhol’s Love Affair with Television

On the 22nd of February 1987,  Pop artist Andy Warhol suddenly died in his sleep at the age of 59 in NYC – the cause was an undiagnosed arrhythmia following a routine gallbladder operation. In addition to his iconic multimedia work which generally gets all the exposure, Warhol was a highly prolific filmmaker. Between 1963 […]

1938wonderwoman February 20

Wonder Woman: Feminist Role Model or Male Fantasy?

On the 20th of February 1893, American psychologist Elizabeth Holloway was born on the Isle of Man, subsequently immigrating and growing up in Boston, Massachusetts. Elizabeth and her husband William Moulton Marston – scientist, psychologist and writer, formed a peculiarly creative pair. He ended up making an important scientific discovery when his wife told him […]

Blue_(film)1 February 19

“Blue is Darkness Made Visible”: Derek Jarman’s Descent into Death

Today is the 20th anniversary of the death of English film director, stage designer, artist, gardener, author, and active advocate for gay rights, Derek Jarman. Considered one of Europe’s greatest independent film-makers, he died on the 19th of February 1994, after a six-year battle with AIDS.  In his films Jubilee (1977) – arguably the first […]

Mark_Twain_Les_Aventures_de_Huck_Finn_illustration_p099 February 18

Racial Dilemma in Twain’s Huck Finn

On the 18th of February 1885, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in the United States. Twain’s picaresque novel set in the 1840s, is about a young boy called Huck who runs away from home and floats down the Mississippi River. On his way he meets a runaway slave  Jim and […]

HedayatParis1306 February 17

Sadeq Hedayat: Forbidden Voice of Iranian Literature

On the 17th of February 1903, the Iranian modern writer Sadeq Hedayat was born in Tehran, Iran. A child of Iranian aristocratic parents, Hedayat went to a French catholic school, and in 1925, was selected together with a few other students to travel to Europe to continue his studies. There, he pursued various unsuccessful enterprises […]