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  1. Photography - Identity And Representation I've only ever photographed myself on a couple of occasions. Nonetheless it's a good process to go through for a photographer. Making self portraits allows us to explore our identity and how we can use photography to present ourselves to the world. This particular photo was made just outside the lift in a boutique hotel in Beijing, China. It's just a bit of fun in the early stages of familiarizing myself with my then new Leica M9 camera. Just look at what I did to my nose to ensur...
  2. What are tropical rainforests? Part I: TROPICAL RAINFORESTS OF THE WORLD Tropical rainforests are a world like none other; and their importance to the global ecosystem and human existence is paramount. Unparalleled in terms of their biological diversity, tropical rainforests are a natural reservoir of genetic diversity which offers a rich source of medicinal plants, high-yield foods, and a myriad of other useful forest products. They are an important habitat for migratory animals and sustain as much as 50 percent of the sp...
  3. "A Slight Freshness on the Neck": Prints Depicting the Execution of Louis XVI (ca. 1793) It was an execution that defined an era. On January 21, 1793, four days after he had been convicted of high treason and crimes against the state by 693 of the 721 deputies of the National Convention, King Louis XVI was guillotined. The gruesome event took place on the Place de la Révolution (formerly the Place Louis XV, soon to be the Place de la Concorde) and came to represent, both in France and abroad, the changing nature of the French Revolution. Of course, the way artists at the time d...
  4. Adriaen Coenen's Fish Book (1580) Selected double-page spreads from Adriaen Coenen's Visboek (Fish Book), an epic 800+ page tome on all things fish and fish-related. Coenen began work on this unique book in 1577, at the age of 63, and in three years gathered an unprecedented amount of information on the sea and its coasts, coastal waters, fishing grounds and marine animals. The information was largely gathered in the course of Coenen's daily work in the Dutch sea-side village of Scheveningen as a fisherman and fish au...
  5. Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron (ca. 1353) The art of keeping ourselves entertained while quarantined dates back many centuries. In 1349, following a bubonic plague epidemic that killed more than half the population of his native Florence, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) wrote The Decameron — a bingeworthy collection of tales told by seven women and three men who've fled the city and confined themselves in an empty villa in the countryside. With time on their hands, they decide that, every evening, each of them will tell a story to...
  6. Sharks contaminated with plastic are ‘cause for concern’ There are trillions of microplastics in the ocean — they bob on the surface, float through the water column, and accumulate in clusters on the seafloor. With plastic being so ubiquitous, it’s inevitable that marine organisms, such as sharks, will ingest them. A new study in Scientific Reports investigated microplastic ingestion in four species of demersal sharks found in the North Atlantic Ocean, which were captured as bycatch by a local fishery in Penzance, U.K. A team of six researchers, f...
  7. John Gould's Mammals of Australia (1845–63) In 1838, the English ornithologist John Gould set sail for Australia with his wife, the artist Elizabeth Gould. The previous year John had examined the bird specimens Charles Darwin brought back from the second voyage of the Beagle, bringing his deep knowledge and patient attention to bear on the unfamiliar bodies of mockingbirds and finches from South America and the Galápagos. His discovery that what Darwin had believed to be blackbirds and “gross-bills” were in fact finches would turn out ...
  8. The Prophecy of the Popes (15th Century) Selection of details from a 15th-century manuscript titled Vaticinia de Pontificibus depicting gloriously surreal portraits of various Popes in the midst of the prophecies relating to them. According to Wikipedia: The mystical series of prophecies, known from their incipit as the Genus nequam prophecies ("the origin of evil"), are derived from the Byzantine Leo Oracles, a series of twelfth-century Byzantine prophecies that foretell a saviour-emperor destined to restore unity to the ...
  9. 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō as Potted Landscapes (1848) Connecting Edo (now known as Tokyo) to Kyoto, the Tōkaidō road was the most important of the "Five Routes" in Edo-period Japan. This coastal road and its fifty-three stations has been the subject of both art and literature, perhaps most famously depicted by the Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige in his The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, a series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created in the 1830s. This book from the mid-19th century, Tokaido Gojusan-eki Hachiyama Edyu, presents a seri...
  10. Photographs of Sea Stars (1917) These strangely alluring images are from a report by Ludwig Heinrich Philipp Döderlein (1855–1936), a German zoologist who specialized in sea stars, sea urchins, and crinoids. Although Döderlein is best known for his study of marine life in Japan, where he was one of the very first European naturalists to work, from 1879 to 1881, these starfish are actually from the waters around Indonesia, collected during the Siboga Expedition, 1899–1900. Taken upon a surface of black, the images seem to re...
  11. UNESCO Upgrades the status of MesoAmerican reef in Belize Lighthouse Reef: Photograph Copyright Schmidt Fine Art Gallery UNESCO has announced that the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which it added to the World Heritage List in 1996, has been removed from its list of ‘sites in danger.’ The system’s seven sites are a significant habitat for threatened species, including sea turtles, manatees, and marine crocodiles. The area is also a popular tourist destination and global hotspot for diving. The site was added to UNESCO’s list of sites in danger...
  12. Sea Turtles: Endangered Species Act Helping them to come back from the Brink. New research published in the journal PLoS ONE this month finds that the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) is effectively aiding in the recovery of beleaguered populations of marine mammals and sea turtles. Marine mammals and sea turtles comprise 62 of the 163 marine species that are currently afforded ESA protections. Researchers collected annual abundance estimates for populations of all 62 of those marine mammal and sea turtle species in order to analyze population trends and the magnitude o...
  13. Mexico to get its largest ever protected area The new reserve will be spread across several municipalities, including Isla Mujeres, Benito Juárez, Puerto Morelos, Solidaridad, Cozumel, Tulum, Bacalar and Othón P. Blanco. Mexico’s Natural Protected Areas Commission, or CONANP, will be responsible for the administration and monitoring of the reserve, while the Navy will be in-charge of enforcing protection. The marine portion of the reserve will cover an area of about 5.725 million hectares while the land portion of the reserve will co...
  14. Saving the Iguana’s: Bahamas by Jeremy Hance Before the arrival of humans—with their dogs, cats, and wild pigs—the northern Bahamian rock iguana ruled its home range, being pound-for-pound among the biggest land animals on the islands. In these ecosystems, the iguana’s were the mega-grazers, the bison and elk of the Caribbean one might say. But hunting by humans, invasive species, and habitat loss knocked the king from its throne: pushing it into smaller habitats and decimating its population. Today the three subspecies ...
  15. The Vatican Gardens with the St Peter's Basilica in the Backdrop – A Beautiful Must-Have The Vatican Gardens with the St Peter's Basilica in the Backdrop – A Beautiful Must-Have Do you love fine art? How about having a piece of Vatican gardens – with the St Peter's Basilica in the background? Yes, you can get this beautiful piece available in the Schmidt gallery and you will love it. Whether you are a catholic or not, this piece of art will amaze, charm and impress you. Why is this a must-have piece from the Schmidt collection? Signup to Receive our Blog in a weekly e...
  16. Winter Dove by Murchison In these chaotic times, many of us are looking for some place where we can find just a little bit of peace and tranquility. As the world searches for ways to regain a little bit of the silence and harmony that seems to have been lost, artists around the country are providing a way of escape. Signup to Receive our Blog in a weekly emailClint Murchison and Schmidt Fine Art Gallery offer a glimpse into a calmer, more peaceful moment that has been forever captured and preserved in print with thei...

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