Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophy on Finding Meaning in Old Age

Image via Wikimedia Commons

In the legend of the Buddha, prince Siddhartha encounters the poor souls outside his palace walls and sees, for the first time, the human condition: debilitating illness, aging, death. He is shocked. As Simone de Beauvoir paraphrases in The Coming of Age, her groundbreaking study of the depredations of growing old, Siddhartha wonders, “What is the use of pleasures and delights, since I myself am the future dwelling-place of old age?” 

Rather than deny his knowledge of suffering, the Buddha followed its logic to the end. “In this,” de Beauvoir writes ironically, “he differed from the rest of mankind… being born to save humanity.” We are mostly out to save ourselves – or our stubborn ideas of who we should be. The more wealth and power we have, the easier it may be to fight the transformations of age…. Until we cannot, since “growing, ripening, aging, dying – the passing of time is predestined.”




When she began to write about her own aging, de Beauvoir was besieged, she says, by “great numbers of people, particularly old people [who] told me, kindly or angrily but always at great length and again and again, that old age simply did not exist!” The hundreds and thousands of dollars spent to fight nature’s effect on our appearance only serves to “prolong,” she writes, our “dying youth.”

Obsessions with cosmetics and cosmetic surgery come from an ageism imposed from without by what scholar Kathleen Woodward calls “the youthful structure of the look” — a harsh gaze that turns the old into “The Other.” The aged are subject to a “stigmatizing social judgment, made worse by our internalization of it.” Ram Dass summarized the condition in 2019 by saying we live in “a very cruel culture” — an “aging society… with a youth mythology.”

The contradictions can be stark. Many of Ram Dass’ generation have become valuable fodder in marketing and politics for their reliability as voters or consumers, a major shift since 1972. But, for all the focus on baby boomers as a hated or a useful demographic, they are largely invisible outside of a certain wealthy class. Old age in the West is no less fraught with economic and social precarity than when de Beauvoir wrote. 

De Beauvoir movingly describes conditions that were briefly evident in the media during the worst of the pandemic – the isolation, fear, and marginalization that older people face, especially those without means. “The presence of money cannot always alleviate” the pains of aging, wrote Elizabeth Hardwick in her 1972 review of de Beauvoir’s book in translation. “Its absence is a certain catastrophe.”

The problem, de Beauvoir pointed out, is that old age is almost synonymous with poverty. The elderly are deemed unproductive, unprofitable, a burden on the state and family. She quotes a Cambridge anthropologist, Dr. Leach, who stated at a conference, “in effect, ‘In a changing world, where machines have a very short run of life, men must not be used too long. Everyone over fifty-five should be scrapped.’” 

The sentiment, expressed in 1968, sounds not unlike a phrase bandied around by business analysts thanks to Erik Brynjolkfsson’s call for human beings to “race with the machines.” It is, eventually, a race everyone loses. And the push for profitability over human flourishing comes back to haunt us all. 

We carry this ostracism so far that we even reach the point of turning it against ourselves: for in the old person that we must become, we refuse to recognize ourselves.” 

De Beauvoir’s response to the widespread cultural denial of aging was to write the first full-length philosophical study of aging in existence, “to break the conspiracy of silence,” she proclaimed. First published as La vieillesse in 1970, the book dared tread where no scholar or thinker had, as Woodward writes in a 2016 re-appraisal: 

The Coming of Age is the inaugural and inimitable study of the scandalous treatment of aging and the elderly in today’s capitalist societies…. There was no established method or model for the study of aging. Beauvoir had to invent a way to pursue this enormous subject. What did she do? …. She surveyed and synthesized what she had found in multiple domains, including biology, anthropology, philosophy, and the historical and cultural record, drawing it all together to argue with no holds barred that the elderly are not only marginalized in contemporary capitalist societies, they are dehumanized.

The book is just as relevant in its major points, argues professor of philosophy Tove Pettersen, despite some sweeping generalizations that may not hold up now or didn’t then. But the exclusions suffered by aging women in capitalist societies are still especially cruel, as the philosopher argued. Women are still stigmatized for their desires after menopause and ceaselessly judged on their appearance at all times.

De Beauvoir’s study has been compared to the exhaustive work of Michel Foucault, who excavated such human conditions as madness, sexuality, and punishment. And like his studies, it can feel claustrophobic. Is there any way out of being Othered, pushed aside, and ignored by the next generation as we age? “Beauvoir claims that the oppressed are not always just passive victims,” says Pettersen, “and that not all oppression is total.” 

We may be conditioned to see aging people as no longer useful or desirable, and to see ourselves that way as we age. But to wholly accept the logic of this judgment is to allow old age to become a “parody” of youth, writes de Beauvoir, as we chase after the past in misguided efforts to reclaim lost social status. We must resist the backward look that a youth-obsessed culture encourages by allowing ourselves to become something else, with a focus turned outward toward a future we won’t see.

As an old Zen master once pointed out, the leaves don’t go back on the tree. The leaves in fall and the tree in winter, however, are things of beauty and promise:

There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life, and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence a meaning — devotion to individuals, to groups or to causes, social, political, intellectual or creative work… In old age we should wish still to have passions strong enough to prevent us turning in on ourselves. One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, compassion.

Borrow de Beauvoir’s The Coming of Age from the Internet Archive and read it online for free. Or purchase a copy of your own.

via The Marginalian

Related Content:

Ram Dass (RIP) Offers Wisdom on Confronting Aging and Dying

Bertrand Russell’s Advice For How (Not) to Grow Old: “Make Your Interests Gradually Wider and More Impersonal”

Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds: Timeless Advice in a Short Film

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

 

The Atomic Café: The Cult Classic Documentary Made Entirely Out of Nuclear Weapons Propaganda from the Cold War (1982)

Some assume that the term “nuclear family” refers to the American household as conceived of in the 1950s: a working father, stay-at-home mother, and 2.3 kids under one suburban roof. This is a misconception — “nuclear” simply implies an exclusion of extended family members — but nevertheless an evocative one. For in American popular culture, the zenith of that family arrangement coincided with the zenith of nuclear weaponry. Nukes, one heard, that had won the war, at least against Japan, and nukes that would thenceforth secure the free world against the Red Menace.

Instilling this perception required the production and distribution of no small amount of propaganda, especially in the Cold War. It is out of just such propaganda, drawn from newsreels, television broadcasts, and other forms of media, that Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty, and Jayne Loader made their acclaimed documentary The Atomic Café.




It came out in 1982, when the public’s assumptions of American military benevolence — and its patience with the country’s seemingly permanent arms race against the Soviet Union — were running low. These decades-old clips of strenuously pious politicians, drawling bomber pilots, rambling Babbitts, and civil defense-ready nuclear (in both senses) families could hardly have met with more intense cynicism.

“I was an exact contemporary of those kids in this old documentary footage,” writes Roger Ebert in his review The Atomic Café. “Life magazine ran blueprints for fallout shelters, and Estes Kefauver barnstormed the nation with warnings about strontium 90 in the milk supply.” In one scene “girls in home ec classes display their canned goods designed for nuclear survival, and it is clear from their faces that they have no clue of how they would survive nuclear war, and little hope of doing so.” The film as a whole evokes a time when the United States “spent a good deal of its resources on addressing the possibility of nuclear war, however uselessly.” We no longer hear much about that possibility, perhaps because it has genuinely diminished, or perhaps because — as viewers of The Atomic Café will suspect even today — the propagandists are busy convincing us of something else entirely.

The Atomic Café has been put on YouTube by the New York film distribution company Kino Lorber.

Related content:

How a Clean, Tidy Home Can Help You Survive the Atomic Bomb: A Cold War Film from 1954

U.S. Detonates Nuclear Weapons in Space; People Watch Spectacle Sipping Drinks on Rooftops (1962)

Protect and Survive: 1970s British Instructional Films on How to Live Through a Nuclear Attack

Watch Chilling Footage of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki Bombings in Restored Color

See Every Nuclear Explosion in History: 2153 Blasts from 1945-2015

J. Robert Oppenheimer Explains How He Recited a Line from Bhagavad Gita — “Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds — Upon Witnessing the First Nuclear Explosion

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

Christopher Hitchens’ Final Interview: Hear the Newly-Released Uncut Conversation with Richard Dawkins

Never was there such an exhilarating time and place to be interested in atheism than the internet of ten or fifteen years ago. “People compiled endless lists of arguments and counterarguments for or against atheism,” remembers blogger Scott Alexander. One atheist newsgroup “created a Dewey-Decimal-system-esque index of almost a thousand creationist arguments” and “painstakingly debunked all of them.” In turn, their creationist arch-enemies “went through and debunked all of their debunkings.” Readers could enjoy a host of atheism-themed web comics and “the now-infamous r/atheism subreddit, which at the time was one of Reddit’s highest-ranked, beating topics like ‘news,’ ‘humor,’ and — somehow — ‘sex.’ At the time, this seemed perfectly normal.”

This was the culture in which Richard Dawkins published The God Delusion, in 2006, and Christopher Hitchens published his God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything in 2007. “I’m not just doing what publishers like and coming up with a provocative subtitle,” Alexander quotes Hitchens as saying.  “I mean to say it infects us in our most basic integrity. It says we can’t be moral without ‘Big Brother,’ without a totalitarian permission, means we can’t be good to one another without this, we must be afraid, we must also be forced to love someone whom we fear — the essence of sadomasochism, the essence of abjection, the essence of the master-slave relationship and that knows that death is coming and can’t wait to bring it on.”




Dawkins and Hitchens became known as two of the “Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse,” a group of public intellectuals that also included Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. The label stuck after all of them sat down for a two-hour conversation on video in the fall 2007, during which each man laid out his critique of the religious worldview. Four years later, Dawkins and Hitchens sat down for another recorded conversation, this time one-on-one and with a much different tone. Having suffered from cancer for more than a year, Hitchens seemed not to be long for this world, and indeed, he would be dead in just two months. But his condition hardly stopped him from speaking with his usual incisiveness on topics of great interest, and especially his and Dawkins’ shared bête noire of fundamentalist religion.

Dawkins, a biologist, sees in the power granted to religion a threat to hard-won scientific knowledge about the nature of reality; Hitchens, a writer and thinker in the tradition of George Orwell, saw it as one of the many forms of totalitarianism that has ever threatened the intellectual and bodily freedom of humankind. In this, Hitchens’ final interview (which was printed in Hitchens’ Last Interview book and whose uncut audio recording came available only this year), Dawkins expresses some concern that he’s become a “bore” with his usual anti-religious defense of science. Nonsense, Hitchens says: an honest scientist risks being called a bore just as an honest journalist risks being called strident, but nevertheless, “you’ve got to bang on.”

Related content:

Does God Exist? Christopher Hitchens Debates Christian Philosopher William Lane Craig (2009)

Is There an Afterlife? Christopher Hitchens Speculates in an Animated Video

Christopher Hitchens: No Deathbed Conversion for Me, Thanks, But it was Good of You to Ask

Master Curator Paul Holdengräber Interviews Hitchens, Herzog, Gourevitch & Other Leading Thinkers

The Last Interview Book Series Features the Final Words of Cultural Icons: Borges to Bowie, Philip K. Dick to Frida Kahlo

Richard Dawkins on Why We Should Believe in Science: “It Works … Bitches”

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

Dolly Parton Reads Free Bedtime Stories to Kids: Watch Readings from Goodnight with Dolly

However old you may be, you’re never too old to have a children’s book read aloud to you by a pajama clad Dolly Parton.

So snuggle up!

Every episode of Goodnight with Dolly finds the country music icon in bed, glamorously made up as ever, reading glasses perched on her nose.

She introduces herself not as Dolly Parton, but the Book Lady, an honorific bestowed by the child beneficiaries of the Imagination Library, the non-profit she founded in 1995 to foster children’s love of books and reading.




The selections are all titles that Imagination Library participants have received free in the mail, with the Book Lady’s compliments.

Once things get rolling, the camera shifts to the illustrations, with Dolly’s zesty narration as voice over.

She lowers her voice to play Grandpa in the late Floyd Cooper’s Max and the Tag-Along Moon and the freight train in the 90th anniversary edition of Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could.

If her dramatic recitations occasionally include a bungled preposition, we can’t imagine authors taking umbrage.

In addition to the millions of children who benefit from Imagination Library membership, authors and illustrators whose titles selected for inclusion reap incredible rewards in the form of increased visibility, sales, status, and of course, the good feeling that comes from being part of such a worthy project.

And we sincerely hope even the prickliest grammar sticklers won’t blow a gasket over the odd “ain’t” and regionalisms born of Dolly’s East Tennessee mountain roots. In addition to coming from an authentic place, they’re delivered with a lot of heart and zero affect.

Though a word of caution to parents planning to let Dolly take over tonight: the series may be billed as bedtime stories, but Parton’s mischievous sense of humor is liable to have a non-soporific effect.

“Are you still awake?” she crows directly into the camera after There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, author-illustrator Loren Long’s crowd pleasing comic spin on the cumulative camp song staple. “I want to throw you in a lake if you don’t get in bed!”

The Book Lady is also fond of sharing a high energy snippet of whatever song the evening’s tale has put her in mind of.

Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop on Market Street, with award winning illustrations by Christian Robinson, inspires a few lines from Poor Folks Town, from 1972.

Come on down

Have a look around

Rich folks livin’ in a poor folks town

We got no money but we’re rich in love

That’s one thing that we’ve got a-plenty of

So come on down have a look around

At rich folks livin’ in a poor folks town

(“If that won’t put you to sleep, I don’t know what will,” she teases, after.)

After Dolly bids her listeners goodnight, the book’s author or illustrator is usually given a chance to have a word with the parents or caregivers, to stress how reading aloud deepens familial bonds and share childhood memories of being read to.

De la Peña, whose book features a grandmother pointing out the sort of non-monetary riches Dolly’s mother also valued, takes the opportunity to thank the self-effacing star’s efforts to “reach working class communities” – presumably through representation, as well as books intended to cultivate a lifelong love of reading.

Enjoy a playlist of Goodnight with Dolly episodes here.

Learn more about the Imagination Library here.

Related Content 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Has Given Away 186 Million Free Books to Kids, Boosting Literacy Worldwide

Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” Slowed Down to 33RPM Sounds Great and Takes on New, Unexpected Meanings

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

 

How Cinema Inspired Edward Hopper’s Great Paintings, and How Edward Hopper Inspired Great Filmmakers

Edward Hopper is as American as blue jeans, Coca-Cola, and urban alienation, and American in essentially the same way: his work is rooted deeply enough in American culture to be identifiable with it, yet shallowly enough to allow adaptability into many other cultures as well. “All the paintings of Edward Hopper could be taken from one long movie about America, each one the beginning of a new scene.” These words come from the German filmmaker Wim Wenders, who paid direct tribute to Hopper a quarter-century ago in The End of Violence, and more recently re-created a host of his works in the 3D installation Two or Three Things I Know About Edward Hopper.

Wenders may be the paradigmatic Hopper fan of our time, in part because he makes movies, and in part because he isn’t American. That the influence of Hopper, the most cinematic of all American painters, manifests in films from all over the world is made clear in the Great Art Explained video essay above. (It supplements a previous episode on Hopper’s Nighthawks.)




Its creator James Payne turns up Hopper-inspired imagery in the work of such American auteurs as Jules Dassin, Woody Allen, John Huston, Terrence Malick, and David Lynch — but also, and even more richly, in the work of such foreign auteurs as Alfred Hitchcock, Dario Argento, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Roy Andersson.

“Hopper’s vision of American life has had a huge impact on how the rest of the world pictures the United States,” says Payne. “It is a world that, today, we still call ‘Hopperesque.’ He is what we think of as a quintessential American artist, yet he was also a major influence on so many non-American filmmakers who saw an intensity in Hopper, a sense of emptiness, and a lack of communication that we can all understand.” Such artists, in film or other media, “see that the psychology behind a Hopper painting can be translated into any culture, and any language” — including the language of K-pop, itself well on the way to becoming world-dominating cultural form.

Related content:

How Edward Hopper “Storyboarded” His Iconic Painting Nighthawks

How Edward Hopper’s Paintings Inspired the Creepy Suspense of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window

Seven Videos Explain How Edward Hopper’s Paintings Expressed American Loneliness and Alienation

What Makes Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks a Great Painting?: A Video Essay

Edward Hopper’s Creative Process: The Drawing & Careful Preparation Behind Nighthawks & Other Iconic Paintings

10 Paintings by Edward Hopper, the Most Cinematic American Painter of All, Turned into Animated GIFs

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

Watch a Jaw-Dropping Visualization of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” Solo

John Coltrane talked about his playing in educational terms, seeing himself as a student and, through his playing, as a teacher of new musical forms and possibilities. His most enduring lesson may come from what some critics call his first truly iconic and most influential album, 1960’s Giant Steps. On the recording’s title composition, Coltrane meant to challenge himself, and ended up challenging generations of musicians.

“The underlying harmonic movement of Coltrane’s 16-bar composition — often called the ‘Coltrane Changes’ — has long been a settled module in jazz education pedagogy,” writes Stuart Nicholson in an essay for Jazzwise. Citing Coltrane scholar and biographer Lewis Porter, Nicholson calls the composition “effectively an étude — or a thorough study — of third-related chord movement”: 26 chords and 10 key changes between 3 keys, B, G, and Eb.




This was new territory; with the title track to Giant Steps, Coltrane left the blues, which he’d stretched to the limit on Blue Train (his only record as a bandleader for Blue Note). He was recovering from his greatest life lesson — getting fired from Miles Davis’ band and getting clean — and following through on a realization he’d had in the early fifties after joining Dizzy Gillespie’s band: “What I didn’t know with Diz,” he said, “was that what I had to do was really express myself. You can only play so much of another man.”

Coltrane’s “other man” was Charlie Parker, but as he moved away from Parker as hero and began to study under Monk and Miles, he developed his own improvisational style, dubbed “sheets of sound,” and his own approach to playing chord progressions: the “Coltrane changes.” On “Giant Steps,” Coltrane pushed the diatonic scale almost to breaking (a creative intuition given that “diatonic” derives from a Greek word meaning “to stretch” or “extend”). Coltrane stretched, but he didn’t pull his changes out of thin air.

Many of the ideas were already there in the canon — in Jerome Kern’s 1917 “Till the Clouds Roll By” and Duke Ellington’s “Blue Rose,” notes Carl Woideck for the Library of Congress. “Not recognized at the time, the second half of ‘Giant Steps’ was taken directly from a passage in theorist Nicolas Slonimsky’s ‘Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns’ which visits the same three keys that the first half of Coltrane’s piece does.”

It took a mind and will like Coltrane’s to draw these threads together into the harmonic complexity of “Giant Steps.” The composition’s “relentless chord changes of key create a harmonic obstacle course that is difficult to navigate, more so at this rapid tempo,” Woideck writes. This is especially so for soloists, as pianist Tommy Flanagan found out when he almost lost the thread in his solo section.

In the visualization above by Harlan Brothers, we see Coltrane sail through his solo, bouncing off his band while they work through the changes. “Instead of just visualizing the sax solo,” writes Brothers, “I thought it would be super fun to be able to see how the entire quartet interacted,” including Flanagan, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Art Taylor. See Coltrane’s changes hit like colored drops of rain in a downpour in the animation and learn more about how it was made at Brother’s YouTube page.

Coltrane’s complexity is daunting for the most accomplished musicians. How much more so for non-musicians? It can seem like “you need a doctorate of music to go anywhere near his recordings,” Nicholson writes. But “nothing could be further from the truth.” With its dancing lines and circles, Brother’s visualization gives us another way to appreciate the “sheer joy of music making and the power and energy of his playing” that inspires students, serious fans, and newcomers alike through “universal values that still speak to us now.”

Related Content:

How John Coltrane Introduced the World to His Radical Sound in the Groundbreaking Recording of “My Favorite Things”

John Coltrane Talks About the Sacred Meaning of Music in the Human Experience: Listen to One of His Final Interviews (1966)

John Coltrane Draws a Mysterious Diagram Illustrating the Mathematical & Mystical Qualities of Music

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Jordan Peele as Auteur of the Film Nope — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #131

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Jordan Peele’s launch from a solid comedy base with Comedy Central’s Key & Peele show to the unexpected horror film Get Out was so impressive that he’s generated a huge amount of good will that allows him to play the full-on auteur with huge budgets. Did that pay off with his third film, the monster movie Nope?

Your Pretty Much Pop host Mark Linsenmayer is joined by Lawrence Ware (philosophy prof. and entertainment writer), Sarahlyn Bruck (novelist and writing prof.), and Nicole Pometti (media artist and podcaster) to second guess Peele’s various creative decisions.

A few articles we reviewed include:

Follow us @law_writes, @sarahlynbruck, @remakespodcast, @MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pretty Much Pop. Support the show and hear bonus talking for this and nearly every other episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choosing a paid subscription through Apple Podcasts. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.

Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is the first podcast curated by Open Culture. Browse all Pretty Much Pop posts.

Vienna’s Albertina Museum Puts 150,000 Digitized Artworks Into the Public Domain: Klimt, Munch, Dürer, and More

Though it may not figure prominently into the average whirlwind Eurail trip across the continent, Vienna’s role in the development of European culture as we know it can hardly be overstated. Granted, the names of none of its cultural institutions come mind as readily as those of the Prado, the Uffizi Gallery, or the Louvre. But as museums go, Vienna more than holds its own, both inside and outside the neighborhood aptly named the Museumsquartier — and not just in the physical world, but online as well. Recently, the Albertina Museum in Vienna put into the public domain 150,000 of its digitized works, all of which you can browse on its web site.

“Considered to have one of the best collections of drawings and prints in the world,” says Medievalists.net, the Albertina boasts “a large collection of works by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), a German artist who was famous for his woodcut prints and a variety of other works.” Here on Open Culture we’ve previously featured the genius of Dürer as revealed by his famed self-portraits. We’ve also featured visual exegeses of the art of Vienna’s own Gustav Klimt as well as Edvard Munch, two more recent European artists of great (and indeed still-growing) repute, works from both of whom you’ll find available to download in the Albertina’s online archive.

Those interested in the development of Dürer, Klimt, Munch, and other European masters will especially appreciate the Albertina’s online offerings. As an institution renowned for its large print room and collections of drawings, the museum has made available a great many sketches and studies, some of which clearly informed the iconic works we all recognize today. But there are also complete works as well, on which you can focus by clicking the “Highlights” checkbox above your search results. To understand Europe, you’d do well to begin in Vienna; to understand Europe’s art — including its photography, its posters, and its architecture, each of which gets its own section of the archive — you’d do well to begin at the Albertina online.

via Medievalists.net

Related content:

The Genius of Albrecht Dürer Revealed in Four Self-Portraits

136 Paintings by Gustav Klimt Now Online (Including 63 Paintings in an Immersive Augmented Reality Gallery)

Explore 7,600 Works of Art by Edvard Munch: They’re Now Digitized and Free Online

30,000 Works of Art by Edvard Munch & Other Artists Put Online by Norway’s National Museum of Art

Take Immersive Virtual Tours of the World’s Great Museums: The Louvre, Hermitage, Van Gogh Museum & Much More

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

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