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skullofadam-feature Art Spotlight: Sotio’s ‘Christus Triumphans’

What do we have here? Oh, merely a close-up from Alberto Sotio’s 1187 crucifix “Christus Triumphans” in which the skull of primordial Adam drinks sacrificial blood from the pierced feet of Jesus on the hill of Golgotha. With imagery such

brainiacposter-feature Monster of the Week: The Brainiac

We’ve discussed sexy Mexican vampires already, but today’s entry takes us into rather unappealing waters. Meet the true, vampiric from of Baron Vitelius, AKA “The Brainiac,” a 17th century Mexican aristocrat who escaped the Holy Inquisition by hitching a ride

midas-feature Midas, Goldfinger and the Futility of Wealth

Bond villain Auric Goldfinger loved gold, and had quite a bit to love. The man could afford to leave gold-painted women lying around hotel rooms, but none of it was enough. He always needed a little bit more, and failing

madgasser-featured Monster of the Week: Mad Gasser of Mattoon

It’s August, 1944 and a prowler terrorizes the streets of Mattoon, Ill. It’s in the newspaper. It’s on the quivering lips of 27 victims from 13 area homes. A man in black creeps through the night, prying open windows –

dearte2-featured Artiaomical: De Arte Phisicali et de Cirurgia

Let us dive once more into the ghoulish and beautiful world of anatomical illustration, this time as featured in the 15th century text “De Arte Phisicali et de Cirurgia” by renowned English surgeon John Arderne (1307–1392). Serving as a surgical

danceofdeath-feature Information Aversion: Ignorance is Bliss is Death

Should a deathly-thin figure offer you the scoop, would you like to know when you’ll die? What if the bearer of bad news was less a medieval embodiment of death and more a wrist gadget that analyses your body’s endothelial cells,

youngjohncarpenter-featured The Photo: The Young John Carpenter

Meet the boyishly handsome 26-year-old John Carpenter. The year is 1974 and he’s working on a little slice of deep-space stoner sci-fi called “Dark Star,” co-written by Dan O’Bannon. Dan would of course go on to script “Alien” and “Total

satellitesoftheages-featured Retrofuturist Flashback: The Satellite Age

Here we see an 1978 artist’s impression of humanity’s satellite legacy. The work depicts a wide variety of existing and future satellites, including surveying satellites, communication satellites, orbiting platforms, various types of space stations, solar power satellites and astronomical observatories.

eyeofgod-feature Art Spotlight: Jan van Eyck’s Eye of God

What do you see when you look at this painting? What, indeed, seems to be looking back at you? This 1434 portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife stands as an incredible example of Renaissance art — and

syphmask-feature Anti-Syphilis Posters and the Monstrous Feminine

It’s a common trope throughout humanity’s patriarchal history: The otherness of woman is not only alien and unknowable but ultimately the stuff of monstrosity. We see it in myth cycles, folklore, witchcraft persecution and various interpretations of human reproduction. Rather

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