Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Last Victim of the Spanish Inquisition

The Last Victim of the Spanish Inquisition

Torture Chamber during the Spanish Inquisition(1805 – 1859) On July 26, 1826, Cayetano Ripoll, a schoolmaster in Valencia, Spain, teaching deist principles should become the last victim executed by the Spanish inquisition. Ripoll has the dubious honor of being the last of the many people known to have been executed under sentence from a Church authority for having committed the act of heresy. For almost 350 years the Spanish inquisition…
Giorgio Vasari, the first Art Historian

Giorgio Vasari, the first Art Historian

On July 30, 1511, Italian Renaissance painter, architect, writer and historian Giorgio Vasari was born. He is best known today for his Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing. From all the great Renaissance artist, Giorgio Vasari might be one of the lesser known. The reason for this might be that although an artist of considerable repute, there were so many…
Alexis de Tocqueville and the Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville and the Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville(1805 – 1859) On July 29, 1805, French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville was born. He is best known for his Democracy in America, where he analyzed the rising living standards and social conditions of individuals and their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Today, it is considered an early work of sociology and political science. Tocqueville started his political career around 1830.…
Marcel Duchamp and his Readymades

Marcel Duchamp and his Readymades

Marcel Duchamp playing chess in 1952. Kay Bell Reynal photo in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art. On July 28, 1887, French-American painter, sculptor and writer Marcel Duchamp was born. He is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as one of the artists responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Moreover, Duchamp is considered by many to be one of the most important artists of…
Jeanne Baret – An Intrepid Woman of Discovery

Jeanne Baret – An Intrepid Woman of Discovery

Jeanne Baret (1740 – 1807) On July 27, 1740, French natural scientist Jeanne Baret was born. She was probably the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, but with certainty she was the first woman who achieved this disguised as a man. Jeanne Baret grew up in a very poor region of France with rather uneducated people. It is assumed that her father has been illiterate in contrast to Jeanne. However,…
Breaking New Grounds in Cinematography – Stanley Kubrick

Breaking New Grounds in Cinematography – Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999), photo:Wikipedia On July 26, 1928, American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor Stanley Kubrick was born. He is regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His films, typically adaptations of novels or short stories, are noted for their unique cinematography, attention to details to achieve realism and an inspired use of music scores. Clockwork Orange, 2001, Full Metal Jacket, Lolita, The Shining, ‘I’m…
Louis Blèriot’s famous Flight across the English Channel

Louis Blèriot’s famous Flight across the English Channel

Bleriot starting the engine on the day he crossed the channel On July 25, 1909, French aviation pioneer Louis Blériot successfully crossed the English Channel from Calais to Dover Castle in a heavier than air aircraft. Louis Blériot studied several years at the precious École Centrale Paris before entering the military service and spending further time in the 24th Artillery Regiment stationed in the Pyrenees. The talented young man then…
Adventure Time with Alexandre Dumas

Adventure Time with Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas, père (1802-1870) On July 24, 1802, French writer Alexandre Dumas, also known as Alexandre Dumas, père, was born. He is best known for his historical novels of high adventure. Translated into nearly 100 languages, these have made him one of the most widely read French authors in history. Definitely, Alexandre Dumas’ stories have become a popular icon. Think of his ‘Three Musketeers‘, I really don’t know how many…
Eugene Vidocq – The Father of Criminology

Eugene Vidocq – The Father of Criminology

Eugène François Vidocq(1775 – 1857) During the night of 23 to 24 July 1775, French criminal and criminalist Eugene Vidocq was born. Vidocq is considered the world’s first private detective and father of modern criminology. His life story inspired several writers, including Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac. Surprisingly, the later criminalist had a pretty turbulent childhood and youth. He stole his parent’s silverware at the age of 13 and…
The Quiet Moments of Edward Hopper

The Quiet Moments of Edward Hopper

On July 22, 1882, prominent American realist painter and printmaker Edward Hopper was born. Popularly known for his oil paintings reflecting his personal vision of modern American life, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Hopper has become a modern icon and greatly inspired popular culture. Hopper’s early years were shaped by his love for foreign cultures and for drawing. He made political cartoons starting at…
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