The AdHoc Image and Text Database on the History of Christianity is an online compendium maintained by members of the Yale Divinity School. The collection of images is by far the larger, offering several hundred items covering the history of Christianity from the early church through to the modern period. The text collection offers a couple of dozen works, mostly relating to the Reformation. Users can browse by geographical area, historical era, object type, and topic, and there is also a sophisticated search tool. A minority of images are only available to users from Yale, and unfortunately there does not seem to be a way of excluding these from search results. The database was built primarily as a teaching tool for instructors, and the images available may be of interest to anyone wishing to provide visuals to complement their lectures and teaching.
The Armenian Church website provides an overview of the history of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in 301 AD, and the site gives a brief history of Christianity in the region, plus background information about the country and details of the church's hierarchy. While the site gives a useful introduction to the subject, it is probably not detailed enough to be of use for more advanced research. It does, however, offer an interesting gallery of several dozen black-and-white images of aspects of church architecture and decoration, and of key personnel and events in the Armenian church, though unfortunately detailed descriptions of these are not provided. The site features text adverts, which some users may find distracting.
Art and Christianity Enquiry (ACE) is an organisation specialising in visual art and religion (registered charity number 1035221). This website offers information about the research projects and educational activities they engage in (e.g. lectures; study days; workshops) and the conferences they organise. ACE publishes a quarterly journal called 'Art and Christianity'. This website provides the contents of its latest issue and information about how the back issues could be obtained. A recent article is available for downloading. ACE also offers a listing service for individuals' research projects and the site provides information about the three biennial awards it gives to recognise architectural and artistic projects in religious buildings. The site contains a number of photographs and images; as well as links to relevant websites. This should be an interesting resource for those researching on religious art and religious architecture.
The website 'Art of Newar Buddhism' is part of the website of the Huntington photographic archive of Buddhist and related art at Ohio State University. The site starts off with a number of texts about Buddhism and its links to Nepal and then proceeds into images of art works, including some showing the manufacture of sacred arts during their production. The images, available as both thumbnails and large copies, show ancient artefacts, architectural features, modern works and the festivals and rites in which they feature today. These are all presented in sections which cover ongoing artistic traditions, festivals and pujas, early sculpture, Asokan Caityas/Stupas, Bahas and Bahis, Avalokiteswara/Macchendranath/Lokesvara shrines and Yogini shrines. The site is easy to navigate, (although the first time you enter a gallery it is a little confusing, as most of the page is blank waiting for a thumbnail picture to be selected so that the larger image can be displayed in the empty space) and gives excellent access to an important collection.
The website 'ATLA Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative (CDRI)' is a substantial online repository of digital images which may be of use in the study and teaching of religion. Contributed by member libraries of the ATLA (American Theological Library Association), the collection includes images of woodcuts, papyri and manuscripts, photographs, coins, and various forms of Christian artwork and iconography. The database can be browsed or searched by keyword; for those with more specific requirements, there is the option of restricting the search to one or more of the collections which make up the repository. Collections include: Architecture, art, iconography; Ancient Near East; Manuscripts, Texts, Sermons; Missions, World religions; and Other. A very valuable resource for those seeking illustrations for lectures or presentations.
Baptisteria Sacra is a project assembling an online index of baptismal fonts from the early Christian period to the 17th century. At time of review, the database contained almost twelve thousand entries, with another three thousand additions planned. Access to the full records is restricted to subscribers, though free access is provided to the basic index and to a small number of examples. The full records contain a great deal of information, including: photographic images; location information; information about the workshop producing the font and the materials in its construction; its dimensions; its description by various categorised features; and there are also sometimes extensive notes. References and bibliographies are provided for each font. The search engine allows advanced searching by a number of the above criteria. The authors of the site encourage new submissions. This is a significant project and an excellent resource. Scholars interested in the history and decoration of fonts or church architecture may wish to consider subscription.
The Beatus of La Seu d'Urgell is a 10th-century illuminated manuscript held at the Urgell Diocesan Museum in Catalunia, Spain. It contains Beatus of Liebana's Comments on the Apocalypse. Sadly, this resource gives no details about the origin or the history of the manuscript, nor does it transcribe the comments themselves. What it does provide the user with is twenty-five of the manuscript's illustrations, which are stunningly beautiful and very well preserved, given their early date. Unfortunately the images are not accompanied by a description of their content.
The Bible and the Visual Imagination is a research centre based in the University of Wales, Lampeter's Theology and Religious Studies Department. Its interest is the visual representation of biblical imagery ranging from the fine arts to popular devotional imagery. The website provides details of the centre's current research projects, which include: Imaging the Bible in Wales; the Bible and Art: Towards an Interdisciplinary Methodology; the Bible and the Moving Image; and Biblical Subjects in Jewish and Islamic Art. One of the most valuable resources on the site is the 'Biblical Artwork from Wales, 1825–1975' database.
The website 'black peacock' offers users a large number of Indian devotional images and scenes from religious and mythological tales. The site is organised into sections dealing with different texts in Hindu mythology, from which depictions are presented in galleries of thumbnails which can be expanded to reveal a larger image along with some explanatory text and sometimes relevant extracts from the original text. Other sections deal provide access to images of deities, avatars and demigods. The pictures are of a high quality and taken from originals which vary greatly in age, which makes for an interesting mix. It's an attractive website, although getting the drop down menus to stay in place while you move your cursor down them is a challenge.
The splendid Celtic Art and Cultures website was originally designed as a teaching aid for an art history course taught at the University of North Carolina. This attractively illustrated resource provides a rich visual introduction to many aspects of the Celtic world from 800 BC to 1000 AD, and will complement conventional printed study materials. The database of images can be searched by period, country, object type, and material, while a hypertext vocabulary provides illustrated explanations of key terms. In addition, there are maps and timelines, plus interpretative essays on Celtic design, Hallstatt burials, Celtic high crosses and Irish monasteries. Bibliographic references and links to other Celtic websites are also included. Much of the archaeological and historical background information on the Celts themselves is provided in the form of a virtual exhibition, created by UNC students who took the original course. The site will be of particular benefit to undergraduates, but also to teachers at a variety of levels.
This is the homepage of the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School. The center is directed by Professor Donald K. Swearer and seeks to promote interdisciplinary, international and interreligious study of the world's religions in the contemporary era. The site makes available numerous resources that would be of value to students of religion. Apart from information about the centre's work and of recent events, resources are provided for each of the following topics: Religion and Art; Religion and the Environment; Religion and Health; Religion and Identity; Religion and Place; and Religion and Politics. These, which are mainly derived from CSWR's work and events, include online papers; video and audio presentations of lectures and conferences; and photo galleries. A search engine and information about how to join their mailing list are also available.
The Chartres: Cathedral of Notre-Dame image collection website provides access to a collection of over 3,000 high-resolution images (photographs, diagrams, and maps) of, or connected to, Chartres Cathedral - one of the best-preserved French gothic cathedrals in France, dating (predominantly) from the thirteenth century. Of particular note are its sculpture and stained glass. Each item is accompanied by descriptive information, including subject keywords that allow the collection to be searched easily and effectively. For more structured browsing, a link is provided to the relevant page of the MEDART website, where interactive diagrams providing access to themed subsets of the images are available. Users can zoom in on pictures to examine details of the Cathedral's architecture (which is in the high gothic style), including the stained glass windows, sculpture, and wall paintings. Images of two illuminated medieval manuscripts are also available. This attractive and well-presented resource is a joint project between the University of Pittsburgh's Digital Research Library and Professor of History of Art and Architecture Alison Stones. The digital images in the collection are often of a very high resolution and permission is granted for their educational use, provided due acknowledgment is given.
The website of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Robert Bergman Memorial Gallery of Early Christian and Byzantine Art is a sumptuous presentation of an extraordinary collection of religious paintings, sculptures, and icons. An online tour of the exhibition features the rare Jonah Marbles - large early Christian figures that tell the story of Jonah and the Whale. There is also gold jewellery, an imperial gift from the time of Constantine the Great (AD 306-337), Byzantine mosaics of Adam and Eve, and the exquisite Icon of the Virgin tapestry. The tour offers beautiful images of the art in the gallery, along with introductions to the objects. The site also carries video footage of recent conferences that have been held at the museum. This resource will be of interest to those working in art history, church history, or ancient history.
'Concerning the Spiritual in Photography' is a website that accompanied a 2004 gallery exhibition at the Photographic Resource Center of Boston University. The exhibition consisted of the work of contemporary photographers alongside "historical spirit photographs and ephemera from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin." The website contains an introduction by the curator, an essay "Concerning the Spiritual in Photography", and two background texts on "Spiritualism and Spirit Photography" and "The Medium and the Magician". Each of the eight artists contributes a short statement and one image. The website has a set of external Web links.
This is an exhaustive and well-researched study of the "Dance of Death" murals found across medieval Northern Europe. It focuses on the mural from Lübeck (destroyed during the Second World War) but also includes murals in Tallinn, Berlin, London and Paris. The site has plenty of pictures and a careful walk-through of the Lübeck mural which correlates the text - dialogues between the various dancers and Death - with each scene. This sets the framework for the author's discussion of other murals. Where ever possible, he offers the original text (as well as a translation) to go along with each mural, and in several cases offers scanned images from printed books. There are also several essays contextualizing the Dance of Death in terms of the Black Death, attitudes to the church and the Reformation, and a good discussion of how the Dance of the Dead shifts as the Reformation spreads. There is no reference to wider cults of the dead or the pre-Christian background to such beliefs. One section is dedicated to Holbein's work, which marks the end of the development of the Dance of the Dead. The author is scrupulous about including the original texts, in a number of medieval European languages, but his English translations are good. The entire site is available in Danish as well.
This website is devoted to the work of Domenico Ghirlandaio in decorating the Sassetti Chapel. Francesco Sassetti, a wealthy banker, had acquired the rights of patronage to a small side chapel, the second to the right of the choir in the Florentine church of Santa Trinità. Ghirlandaio was commissioned to paint the chapel, which he decorated with frescoes with scenes from the life of St Francis of Assisi between 1482 and 1485. The website contains digital photographs of the paintings in the chapel, with information about each painting. There is also a postcard service, which allows you to send by email a postcard of a selected painting, with your own message. A summary of the works of Ghirlandaio provides links to reproductions and descriptions of other paintings. A navigation line also gives access, by a simple index, an index of artists, or a search facility, to many other photographs from the Web Gallery of Art.
If you're interested in nineteenth-century wood cuts of Biblical scenes, then the Doré Bible Gallery is your site. Gustave Doré (1832-1883) was an French artist who worked in Paris and London and produced, among other works, a great number of Bible illustrations. This resource contains reproductions of several dozen of his works, subdivided according to theme and/or Biblical book; sections include: the Old Testament prophets; the four Gospels; the Passion; Acts; and Revelation. The images are of good quality and are accompanied by a bibliography of hard copy and electronic resources.
The EIKON Image Database for Biblical Studies is an initiative at the Yale Divinity School. The site provides digital images for use in teaching and research in the field of biblical studies. The site consists of a database which can be browsed, or searched by keyword. Images available include digitised photographs of religious art and artefacts, and of important sites in Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Syria. Many of these are cross-referenced against biblical texts. Details are provided about the subject of each photograph, although for a significant portion of the images, access to this information (and to the full size version of the image) is restricted to users from Yale, and unfortunately there seems to be no way of restricting search results to just those that are publicly accessible. The site also provides a selection of links to scholarly resources on the Internet in the fields of theology and archaeology.
This is the homepage of Faith and Form, a non-profit organization dedicated to the cause of improving the quality of art and architecture for places of worship for all faiths. It was established in 1967 to represent the views of those concerned with design for worship, and serves as a forum for exchanging information among those who create and use religious art and architecture. It also publishes a journal known as the 'Faith and Form Magazine: The Interfaith Journal on Religious Art and Architecture'. This website contains the table of contents of the latest issue of the magazine, including access to its feature article. The site also allows free access to one article from each volume published since 2006. A number of these contain links to audio and visual recordings. The magazine is also a co-sponsor of an annual Religious Art and Architecture Design Award. Photographs of the winning entries from previous years can be viewed from here. An interesting website for anyone involved in the study of religious art and architecture.
This is the home page of the project developed by the Ackland Art Museum to promote inter-faith communication among the different religious communities in North Carolina. The project uses the museum's collection of religious art as a starting point for exploring Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism - five religions with the strongest following in the area. These are complemented by: a photography workshop where local youths are given the opportunity to capture on film their traditions and heritage; a story-telling workshop in which adults representing the five religions could present stories from their faith traditions; and the development of a series of teaching posters. Some of the outcomes are displayed on this web page. The site also offers a set of guidelines designed for those intending to use religious art to teach about a culture, religion or society; and online lesson plans. Links are provided to the home page of the Ackland Art Museum and other useful websites.
The Himalayan Art Resources website is a comprehensive reference for Tibetan art of all periods and styles. The virtual gallery online is made up of contributions from some 34 concrete institutions ranging from the Musée Guimet to the Tsering Art School in Kathmandu, and includes over 17000 items. There are also some Newar pieces. To guide you through the vast collection, there are interpretive essays by specialists in Tibetan art history and philosophy, as well as the opportunity to 'slice' the collection by period, style and region. The tools available for inspecting each piece are flexible and powerful. If you have a Java-enabled browser, you can zoom right in close (much closer than you could in a real gallery!) and crawl across the surface of these very detailed paintings, looking at the detailed portraits of lineage masters and minor deities that often crowd the edges of Tibetan artworks. The site is thus a serious research resource for Asian historians as well as a genuinely pleasant place to go for an aesthetic break.
The Hindu gallery is a website giving a simple list of links to images of a number of Hindu deities - there is a selection of pictures of each deity featured. The list is quite long, with several images each of Ganesh, Shiva, Parvati, Subramany, Vishnu, Krishna, Lakshmi, Rama and Sita, Saraswati, Hanuman, images of the Navagraha and pictures of Hindu saints and famous composers of Carnatic music. The pictures take various forms: some are photographs of statues, others full colour illustrations, others line drawings. The site could be better in terms of design, and it would be very useful to have the images linked to some text giving their history and some of their roles in the great Indian epics, but it is a useful reference work nonetheless.
Alison Stones's Images of Medieval Art and Architecture website, based at the University of Pittsburgh, is an image bank featuring pictures of castles, monasteries, cathedrals, churches and maps from England, Wales, and France. Many of these were scanned from a collection of slides donated by Ruth Dean. The number of images available for each building varies widely, and in some cases the photographs are supplemented with older drawings and floor-plans, and occasionally suggestions for further reading. Although the site lacks a search function, it is easy to navigate. It comprises three main sections: images of Britain and images of France (both arranged alphabetically by location), plus a helpful glossary. This last feature will be particularly useful to students who are new to this area, and includes illustrations of many of the described features.
The website 'Images of temples and deities' is a four-page site giving a straight list of thumbnail images of Hindu deities - some being photographs of icons in situ in temples, others representations and reproductions of artworks depicting scenes from the Hindu epics. On the fourth page there are also some images, mostly black and white, of some of the more famous temples in India. The pictures are presented in a larger version when you click on a thumbnail and can also be viewed in a slideshow. This site is a personal addition to the Internet and the design may not appeal to everyone. It's content will be of interest, however, especially to those setting out on their studies of India or Hinduism.
This website is the online version of a wide ranging, lavishly illustrated and extensively referenced online art history course by Dr. Chris Witcombe of Sweet Briar College, Virginia. The course focuses on the social, political and religious interpretations of artistic representation of women in six broad areas or periods: Egypt; the Aegean basin; Palestine; Greece; the early prehistoric period; and barbarian Europe. Each section is organised around a series of case studies or essays which are accompanied by discussion topics and questions, extensive bibliographic lists, and collections of relevant Web links. Particular pieces of art from each culture or period are examined: the site describes each art piece, looks at how they have been interpreted, and examines the role of women in ancient cultures. Essays and online lectures by other academics and students are also featured. Textual sources from the relevant Greek, Hebrew and Egyptian contexts are extensively used throughout. A hypertext medium with frames is employed which sometimes can be clumsy to use, though it allows you to have several parts of the course on screen at once. Some of the in-text links are inaccessible to off-campus browsers. This resource will be valuable both to college students taking courses in ancient art, archaeology, ancient history, and gender studies, and also for those interested in cross-cultural and multi-period approaches to art and gender and in comparative religion.
This AHRC-funded project investigates the way the socio-political and theological order of Welsh life between 1825-1975 is reflected in Wales' fast disappearing biblical visual culture, to emphasise its under-recognised cultural importance and encourage its preservation. Based at the University of Wales, Lampeter, the project enjoys strong links with other major Welsh research and cultural institutions. The website describes the project's aims, which include dissemination, an image database and interpretative DVD-ROM. The project also publishes some work in progress on the website - including analyses and comparison of a wide range of vernacular religious art.
The online Index of Christian Art, available by subscription, is an invaluable resource for Christian iconography, including manuscripts, glassware, sculpture, and painting. The original, non-computerised Index of Christian Art describes over 200,000 works of art of all types and includes extensive subject indexing (over 27,000 specially created subject terms). The process of creating an electronic version of the Index began in 1991, and at present this is still the largest electronic database of Christian art available. Each record includes information on data, location, style, and so on. The subject matter of the images has been classified using the ICONCLASS system for describing artistic content. The Index is enhanced by extensive bibliographic material. The project's website includes details of the history and range of the Index; information about subscribing to the online database; details of publications associated with the Index; information on conferences; and how to visit the archive itself. Founded as a card index by Professor Charles Rufus Morey (1877-1955) at Princeton University's Department of Art and Archaeology in 1917, it originally recorded works to 70 CE, subsequently being extended to 1400 CE, and recently to 1600 CE. Users will also find gateways to other online resources of interest from Princeton, such as: essays on medieval art; the Tuck Langland collection on Gothic architecture; anda database of Byzantine art.
Designed and maintained by the non-profit organisation, Islamic Arts and Architecture Organization (IAAO), this website offers an introductory exploration into the developments of Islamic architecture, Arabic calligraphy, coins and the woven arts; each complimented by a host of details and images. Most entries typically describe the origins of the major forms and styles, the methods of construction or execution, as well as providing some limited detail about their religious or cultural significance and function where appropriate. For those wishing to delve deeper into these topics, the creators have developed a helpful bibliographic section containing approximately a dozen different citation lists focused on the four primary subject divisions of the site itself. This website may be most useful to students and the general public.
The Jasna Góra website provides an illustrated guide to the most revered Roman Catholic shrine in Poland. The Shrine of the Most Holy Virgin Mary of Jasna Góra near Cracow is home to a much venerated icon, also known as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, and the site also offers information about the painting and its history. The Pauline Monastery which houses the icon was built in the late 14th century. According to tradition, the icon was painted by St Luke the Evangelist on a table top belonging to the Holy Family; art critics, however, date the work to between the 6th and 9th centuries. The site provides an overview of the history of the painting and of the Pauline monastery that shelters it. The text of the site is available in a variety of languages: Czech; Slovak; English; Spanish; German; Hungarian; and Italian although the original Polish is the most extensive of all.
"La Mort dans l'Art" is an attractively illustrated website providing a survey of representations of death from the Middle Ages to the present day as featured in a number of media such as murals, illuminated manuscripts, engravings and paintings on canvas. Many of the basic attitudes to death and the afterlife in the Middle Ages are reflected by the French legend of the three living and the three dead (whose punchline is the title of the site) which first appears in manuscripts in the 13th century and which was widely represented in art until the 16th century. The wealth and status of this world are contrasted with the rotting corpses of the dead, prompting the message of humility and moral awareness in the face of inevitable mortality. This gloomy message had an extraordinary impact on the mediaeval mind and on the artists who provided devotional and decorative images for use by churchman and laity alike and provide an fascinating insight into popular perceptions of eschatalogical themes. Other featured iconographic themes include the 'dance of Death' (which includes depictions from Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the former Yugoslavia and a useful chronological survey), 'Death and the maiden' and the 'triumph of Death' as well as some miscellaneous representations. A short bibliography is also included. This resource, which is available in English and French, will interest in particular students and researchers of mediaeval history and religion, art and archaeology.
One of the most beautiful medieval manuscripts ever created, Les Trí Ã‚Â¨s Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, is currently available in electronic form through the WebMuseum Network. Each of the twelve pages of this celebrated Book of Hours that depict the seasonal and agricultural cycle of medieval life has been digitized and may be viewed in exquisite detail. This site would make an excellent teaching tool, either on the book itself or as a demonstration of apex of medieval illumination techniques. Students unfamiliar with the manuscript itself may explore the accompanying brief documentation, which provides a short introduction to the pages and their creators. Users will also find a glossary of specialist terms used inside the resource.
This is a website dedicated entirely to the presentation of digital images of almost two hundred pages of the illuminated manuscript "Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry", held at the Musée Condé, Chantilly, and regarded by many as the finest example of manuscript illumination. It is a classic example of a medieval book of hours: a collection of the text for each liturgical hour of the day which often included other, supplementary, texts. It was painted some time between 1412 and 1416 by the Limbourg brothers. The manuscript images are arranged by folio number. Images of the pages can be seen in large or small scale and selected details can be enlarged. Each page is analysed in depth. The project has been realised by Christus Rex, Inc., a private, non-profit organisation dedicated to the dissemination of information on works of art preserved in churches, cathedrals and monasteries all over the world. It is a well structured and easy to navigate site, and the image quality is fair.
The Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church website provides an online catalogue of churches in England that are decorated with medieval wall paintings, dating from the twelfth to the fifteenth century. The catalogue can be browsed by geographical location using a county map of England, or by subject via a page of thumbnail images. Photographs of all the paintings are provided. The images are accompanied by useful descriptions and notes on their importance and context. The paintings have been separated into categories which include, among others: pre-1200 paintings; Genesis scenes and the Tree of Jesse; the early life of Christ; the Virgin; the Saints; the Doom and the weighing of souls; the Passion cycle; and devotional scenes. In addition to the main catalogue there is also: a general introduction to medieval wall paintings; a bibliography; and a selection of pertinent links. This website would be invaluable to anyone studying medieval art and religious iconography, although it should be noted that this is an ongoing project and coverage is not complete.
The award-winning website "The Monastic Matrix" presents online collaborative interdisciplinary research being carried out by scholars working on the subject of Christian women between 400 CE and 1600 CE. It is of interest to those working on the period from the perspective of history, religion, women's history, archaeology and history of art, among other subjects. The project is ongoing and also provides an excellent example for those interested in humanities computing. The aim is to "document the participation of Christian women in the religion and society of medieval Europe." The project makes the data widely available and drawing on a range of textual and non-textual sources, bases the project on "Monasticon" - a database of profiles of communities of religious women. The Monasticon may be searched by period, geography or name to reveal details about a community’s history, foundation, population and residents. The site is divided into the following sections: vitae (over 600 potted biographies); Cartularium (primary source documents); Bibliographia (a searchable database of titles); Vocabularium (glossary of Latin and specialist terms); Commentaria (an archive of articles); and Figurae (a visual library). The project allows the reader to examine issues such as the organisation of the religious communities, their relationships with the Church, the nobility, and each other. As the study of female religious orders and communities becomes more popular this source will be useful to an increasingly broader audience. For those working on communities in Western Europe, this is an excellent resource which can be used for teaching and research.
Musei Vaticani is an online resource promoting the Vatican Museums. The site has no official connection with the Vatican Museums and is the work of Christus Rex, Inc. and Michael Olteanu. It has been online since 1994 and consists of over 500 digital images of artefacts contained within the collection of museums within the Vatican. The images, displayed initially as thumbnails, are listed by museum and generally indicate only title, artist and image size. The site also contains some basic information about the Museums and a site-wide search engine.
Peregrinations is an academic ejournal for the study of Christian pilgrimage art. With a focus on medieval and pre-modern Europe, articles discuss a great range of subjects from numerous perspectives. As well as refereed essays, each issue includes recent news and reviews from the field. The site includes back-issues, available as PDF files.
Pitts Theology Library The Digital Image Archive presents more than 28,000 images of biblical illustrations, portraits of religious leaders, printers devices, engravings of church buildings, and other theological topics. portraits. Many of the images are available in PDF, and all are of very high quality. Additionally, there are two full-text volumes available: 'Deutsch Messe' and 'Passional Christi und Antichristi'. Images are available for teaching, research, and other non-commercial purposes (a fee is payable for commercial use).
This is the homepage of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) based in Istanbul, Turkey. This international institution researches and publishes in the following areas: the history of Muslim nations; the history of arts and sciences in Islam; and Islamic culture and civilisation. This website contains information about the organisation itself; the research projects they undertake; news of upcoming events; details about the calligraphy, architectural and photography competitions they organise; a list and the abstracts of the work they publish; and details of their award program. Visitors are linked to the website of their library and the homepages of relevant organisations. They may also download the latest copy of the centre's newsletter. A search engine is provided. The centre is directed by Dr Halit Eren.
Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History is a major research institute located at the University of San Francisco. The Ricci Institute website has full details of current activities and five major research projects, and also has details of conferences, scholarships, and other scholarly news. The website contains nine issues of Pacific Rim Reports online, offering 15 full-text PDF papers on aspects of Chinese history and culture. There is a searchable online catalogue for the Ricci Institute Library. The website provides a Web link to the Ricci 21st Century Roundtable on the History of Christianity in China website. There are also nine online exhibitions, such as: Through the Moon Gate: Portraits of China, 1950s-1990s; Icons of the Celestial Kingdom; and Mechanics of Heaven: Jesuit Astronomers at the Qing Court, among others.
'Sacred places' is a website examining the nature of the sacred. It aims to explore both why certain sites come to be regarded as sacred, and how that sacredness is embodied through art and architecture. After a brief general introduction, there is a discussion of a variety of types of natural phenomena that have frequently been imbued with sacredness: these include caves, mountains, trees, and water. Secondly, a wide range of specific sacred sites from all over the world are considered. To name just a few, Stongehenge, the Holy Sepulchre in Israel, the Athenian Acropolis, and Lourdes are covered. Illustrative images are provided, and many of the sections contain suggestions for further reading and links to related websites. A general bibliography is also given. Easy navigation is facilitated by two sidebars which provide internal links to the major sections. This attractive, informative site is the work of Christopher Witcombe of Sweet Briar College in Virginia.
Created by Mike Harding, this website provides background information on the Green Man, an ancient wooden or stone carving of a human head found in medieval churches throughout Britain and in other areas of the world. The site includes a selection of colour photographs of the Green Man in various forms.
The website of the temple of the sacred tooth relic in Kandy provides users with access to the full programme of religious events and festivals held at the temple. It also, however, has a large collection of photographs detailing these events in past years as well as a number of pages detailing the history of the temple and its founding, the significance it holds for Sri Lankan buddhists and the stories of the various deities associated with it. Most interestingly, the website also presents a selection of articles investigating the role of religion in society and in particular the future of religious ceremony and tradition.
The website 'stories of Krishna' allows users to explore a selection of the paintings featured in the exhibition 'Painted visions from India and Pakistan, past and present' in the 'past exhibitions' section of the website of the Seattle art museum. The exhibition comprises copies of nine paintings alongside which are presented an audio commentary of the story of Krishna and a transcript of the text of this story. Users can navigate to points in the exhibition by clicking on thumbnails of the images at the top of each page. On each page there are icons over the images which link to a pop-up description of the roles of the characters depicted. The music on the home page, as well as some of the audio features on subsequent pages, are a bit superfluous to the story, but this is an excellent representation of a museum exhibition which has quite rightly been recognised with awards. Well worth a visit.
India is a country rich in temples ranging over 2000 years and exhibiting a great variety of regional variations. Kanniks Kannikeswaran has compiled information on and images of hundreds of temples from the Indian sub-continent. Access to this archive is either by deity or geographically. The temples have detailed descriptions of the architecture, decoration, iconography and history and also information on legends and festivals associated with them. Further background information is available on the various deities, beliefs and legends and regional variations in architectural styles. A glossary explains various terms pertaining to Indian Temples that may be encountered in the website. This is a very extensive website with substantial cross linking, positively encouraging exploration. Most pages have a navigation bar on the left but it is possible to leave the site and get lost.
'Visions of Enlightenment: Understanding the Art of Buddhism' is an award-winning website which draws on the Buddhist art collection of the Pacific Asia Museum (California) to help convey the spirit of Buddhism to visitors. Accessible in Flash and HTML, resources include: a series of text and photo-sound essays (on themes like The Buddha; Compassionate Beings: Bodhisattvas, Deities, Guardians, Holy Men; Buddhist Places; Signs, Symbols, Ritual Objects; 21st Century Buddha Path and Hollywood Buddha: Pop Culture Appropriation); teaching materials (e.g. discussion questions, activities, suggestions for curriculum development, and a list of online and print resources); a glossary of terms; timelines and maps; and a forum which informs users of Buddhist art events taking place around the world.
This website describes an AHRC-funded research project which is re-uniting the eight surviving part books of the Wode Psalter, one of the finest Reformation Psalters in existence. The Psalter, a set of richly decorated and annotated musical manuscripts offers a unique insight into post-Reformation Scottish life and worship, and this project will undertake interdisciplinary research around the manuscripts, curate an exhibition and produce a complete recording of the music and create a digital copy of the complete series of part books.
This interesting website is maintained by Mohamed Zakariya, an Islamic calligrapher, artist and maker of custom instruments from the history of science. It describes what is meant by 'Islamic art' and features papers under the following titles: 'Music for the eyes: an introduction to Islamic and Ottoman calligraphy'; 'Becoming a calligrapher: memoirs of an American student of calligraphy'; 'Great Islamic calligraphers'; 'The Hilye (beautiful and significant description) of the Prophet Muhammad'; 'Selected Hadiths' (sayings of the prophet); 'Mahmud Yazir and the beauty of the pen'; and 'A note about content'. The site, which provides a good insight into the art, history and practice of Islamic calligraphy, also makes available the biography of the webmaster and information about his works; a glossary of terms; and links to relevant online resources.