Posts tagged ‘art’

Olympic Medals Awarded for Art from 1912 to 1948

By Chad Upton | Editor

The modern Olympics are all about athletics, but from 1912 to 1948 they also included competitions in art and science.


The main categories were as follows:

  • Architecture
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Painting
  • Sculpturing
  • Statistics

Some of the events included “town planning”, “Epic works” (long poems), “Drawings and water colors”, “Medals”. Yes, medals were given out for creating the best medals. (more…)

March 28, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Fake Art Can Be Detected Because of Nuclear Bombs Detonated in 1945

By Chad Upton | Editor

Art forgers have become experts at creating the types of paints and canvases used during popular and valuable art periods, to the point that art experts may not be able to distinguish a fake from the real thing.

But, Dr Elena Basner, a long time art curator, worked with scientists to create a much better way to detect forged oil paintings.

Prior to the first nuclear bomb detonation in July of 1945, isotopes such as strontium-90 and cesium-137 simply did not exist in nature. They were created by the massive neutron bombardments that occur during a thermonuclear explosion.

Since those isotopes didn’t exist in nature prior to 1945, paintings created prior to 1945 could not contain them originally.

550 nuclear bombs were detonated from 1945 to 1963, when most nations agreed not to test nuclear weapons any longer. The isotopes created during this period bind with the types of crops that are used to produce oil based paints. Therefore, oil paintings created after 1945 will contain trace amounts of these new isotopes.

If someone is trying to pass a work that is dated prior to 1945, but it contains these isotopes, it is almost certainly a fake.

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Sources:, Wikipedia (Nuclear Weapon)

November 20, 2012 at 2:00 am 24 comments

Michelangelo Hid Images in Sistine Chapel Paintings

The most amazing work of art I’ve ever seen is David by Michelangelo. At 17 feet tall, bulging veins and muscles render an immaculate representation of human anatomy and the flaccid pose captures the mood before his fight with Goliath.

There is no doubt, Michelangelo’s understanding of anatomy is incredible, but not surprising. His art education included dissecting cadavers while studying at the church of Santo Spirito. This is not a well known fact since he tried to hide his anatomist roots, destroying nearly all of his anatomic notes and drawings.

Maybe cadavers are harder to come by these days, but that’s not part of the art curriculum at most modern schools. That privilege is usually reserved for medical students, which is why it’s no surprise that three medical journals have published findings of hidden anatomic references in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings.

It took four years (1508-1512) for Michelangelo to paint the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The last four panels he painted include the suggested anatomic representations.

In the forth panel, Dr Frank Meshberger suggests the similarity between the red cloth surrounding god and the image of a human brain (Journal of the American Medical Association, October 1990).

The brain-like shape is highlighted

In the third panel, Dr Garabed Eknoyan likens the wrap surrounding god to a human kidney, as reported in Kidney International in 2000. According to Eknoyan, Michelangelo was interested in the kidney function since he suffered from kidney stones during his adult life and mentioned it in letters and poems.

Do you see a Kidney shape?

Finally, in the first panel (image below), Ian Suk and Rafael Tamargo, report in the journal Neurosurgery (May 2010) that the neck details do not accurately represent a goiter, as previously believed. They argue that goiters typically occur lower in the neck and Michelangelo would not have made such an inaccurate representation given his demonstrated accuracy of anatomic details in all of his other paintings. Secondly, they believed as a deeply religious man, he would not depict god with this deformity. Most convincingly, they say the painting accurately details a ventral view (from below) of a brainstem, cerebellum, temporal lobes and optic chiasm. (more…)

May 28, 2010 at 5:00 am 6 comments

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