baroque

Rembrandt and The Anatomy of Dr. Tulb

Rembrandt and The Anatomy of Dr. Tulb

On January 16, 1632, Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn attends a public lecture of physician Nicolaes Tulp, where the body of the executed mugger Adriaan Adriaanszoon was disected. In the consequence of this experience Rembrandt painted his famous picture ‘ Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp‘. Rembrandt van Rijn Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in…
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Animating the Absurd – Molière, Grandmaster of Comedy

Animating the Absurd – Molière, Grandmaster of Comedy

(Probably) on January 14th, 1622, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, French playwright and actor who is known by his stage name Molière was born. He is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. “Le monde, chère Agnès, est une étrange chose.” (The world, dear Agnes, is a strange affair.) – Molière, L’École des Femmes (1662), Act II, sc. v The Illustrious Theatre Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was baptized in Paris on…
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Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Sir Isaac Newton

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Sir Isaac Newton

On January 4, 1643 [N.S.] (25 December 1642 [O.S.]), Sir Isaac Newton, famous physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, was born. With his Principia Newton laid the foundation of modern classical mechanics. Besides he constructed the very first reflecting telescope and independent of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz developed differential and integral calculus [10]. “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to…
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Otto von Guericke and the Horror of Vacuum

Otto von Guericke and the Horror of Vacuum

On November 30, 1602, German scientist, inventor, and politician Otto von Guericke was born. One of his major scientific achievements was the establishment of the physics of vacuums, which he gave proof of in a famous public experiment. He also was an envoy at the Peace of Westphalia after the Thirty Year’s War.[4] “For God cannot be contained in any location, nor in any vacuum, nor in any space, for He Himself is, of…
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Georg Ernst Stahl and the Phlogiston Theory

Georg Ernst Stahl and the Phlogiston Theory

On October 22, 1659, German chemist, physician and philosopher Georg Ernst Stahl was born. Stahl developed the phlogiston theory of combustion and of such related biological processes as respiration, fermentation, and decay. Combustible objects, he said, were rich in phlogiston, and during combustion is lost. The remaining ash, now having no phlogiston, could no longer burn. Until the late 18th century his works on phlogiston were accepted as an explanation for chemical…
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Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Art of Etching

Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Art of Etching

On October 4, 1720, Italian Classical archaeologist, architect, and artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi was born. Piranesi is famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric “prisons” (Le Carceri d’Invenzione). Giovanni Battista Piranesi – Family Background Piranesi was born in Venice. He was the son of a stonemason who also worked as a construction manager. The first written document about Giovanni Battista Piranesi is his entry in the baptismal register of…
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Daniel Quare and the Repeating Watch Movement

Daniel Quare and the Repeating Watch Movement

On March 21, 1724, English clockmaker and instrument maker Daniel Quare passed away. He is best known for his invention of a repeating watch movement in 1680 and a portable barometer in 1695. Daniel Quare – A Brother of the Clockmaker’s Company Daniel Quare was probably born in 1648, but the sources differ. He was admitted a brother of the Clockmakers’ Company in April 1671. When Quare started his career, the pendulum…
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Peter the Great and the Grand Embassy

Peter the Great and the Grand Embassy

On March 10, 1697, Russian Tsar Peter the Great began his diplomatic mission to Western Europe, referred to as the ‘Grand Embassy‘. The goal of this mission was to strengthen and broaden Russia‘s influence in Western Europe and to find allies against the Ottoman Empire. What makes the mission so special is that Peter the Great led the mission himself, but incognito under a wrong name. “Alas! I have civilized my own…
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Abraham a Sancta Clara – “Very Eccentric but Popular”

Abraham a Sancta Clara – “Very Eccentric but Popular”

On December 1, 1709, Abraham a Sancta Clara, Austrian divine, court preacher and author passed away. Born as Johann Ulrich Megerle, he has been described “a very eccentric but popular Augustinian monk” and had earned great reputation for pulpit eloquence, the force and homeliness of his language, the grotesqueness of his humor, and the impartial severity with which he lashed the follies of all classes of society and of the court in particular.…
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William Stukeley and the Mystery of Stonehenge

William Stukeley and the Mystery of Stonehenge

On November 7, 1687, English antiquarian and Anglican clergyman William Stukeley was born. He pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, work for which he has been remembered as probably the most important of the early forerunners of the discipline of archaeology. Stukeley was also one of the first biographers of Isaac Newton, of whom he was a friend. William Stukeley – Early Years William Stukeley was born in Holbeach in…
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