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ESP Timelines

Comparative Timelines

The ESP Timeline (one of the site's most popular features) has been completely updated to allow the user to select (using the timeline controls above each column) different topics for the left and right sides of the display.

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1540

image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Portrait of a Young Man with a Book The Portrait of a Young Man with a Book is a c.1530s oil on board painting by Agnolo Bronzino. It likely depicts a literary friend of the artist holding open a collection of poetry. It entered the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1929, where it is still held.

image Painting by Parmigianino: Madonna with the Long Neck an Italian Mannerist oil painting depicting Madonna and Child with angels. The painting was begun in 1534 for the funerary chapel of Francesco Tagliaferri in Parma, but remained incomplete on Parmigianino's death in 1540. Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany purchased it in 1698 and it has been on display at the Uffizi since 1948. The painting depicts the Virgin Mary seated on a high pedestal in luxurious robes, holding a rather large baby Jesus on her lap. Six angels crowd together on the Madonna's right, adore the Christ-child. In the lower right-hand corner of the painting is an enigmatic scene, with a row of marble columns and the emaciated figure of St. Jerome. A depiction of St. Jerome was required by the commissioner because of the saint's connection with the adoration of the Virgin Mary. The painting is popularly called "Madonna of the Long Neck" because "the painter, in his eagerness to make the Holy Virgin look graceful and elegant, has given her a neck like that of a swan."

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1541

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1542

image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Portrait of Bia de' Medici The Portrait of Bia de' Medici is an oil-tempera on wood painting by Agnolo Bronzino, dating to around 1542 and now in the Uffizi in Florence. Some art historians once identified the child as a young Cosimo I de' Medici, but it is now generally accepted to be Giulia.

image Painting by Hans Holbein the Younger: Self Portrait The Self-portrait is a small drawing by the German Renaissance artist and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger, completed around 1542-1543, and housed in the Uffizi, Florence. The gold background was added later by a different artist. According to art historian John Rowlands, "Although this drawing has been enlarged on all sides and heavily reworked, enough of it still shows to allow the assumption that the original work was executed by Holbein.

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1543

image Painting by Titian: Portrait of the Vendramin Family a painting executed around 1543–1547. It presently hangs in the National Gallery in London. The canvas was commissioned by the noble Vendramin family, and portrays, as dictated by Venetian custom, only male members of the dynasty. It includes the brothers Andrea and Gabriele Vendramin, and Andrea's seven sons. Titian's painting has been described as, "one of the greatest group portraits in history". It balances youth and wisdom as well as demonstrating the power of this family and their public commitments to the Republic.

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1544

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1545

image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo One of his most famous works, it is housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy and is considered one of the preeminent examples of Mannerist portraiture. The painting depicts Eleanor of Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, sitting with her hand resting on the shoulder of one of her sons. This gesture, as well as the pomegranate motif on her dress, referred to her role as mother. Eleanor wears a heavily brocaded dress with black arabesques. In this pose, she is depicted as the ideal woman of the Renaissance.

image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time (also called An Allegory of Venus and Cupid and A Triumph of Venus) is an allegorical painting by the Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino. About 1546, Bronzino was commissioned to create a painting that has come to be known as Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time. It displays the ambivalence, eroticism, and obscure imagery that are characteristic of the Mannerist period, and of Bronzino's master Pontormo.

image Painting by Titian: Pope Paul III and His Grandsons was commissioned by the Farnese family and painted during Titian's visit to Rome between autumn 1545 and June 1546. It depicts the thorny relationship between Pope Paul III, born Alessandro Farnese, and two of his grandsons, Ottavio and Alessandro. Ottavio is shown in the act of kneeling, to his left; Alessandro, wearing a cardinal's dress, stands behind him to his right. The painting explores the effects of ageing and the manoeuvring behind succession; Paul was at the time in his late seventies and operating within an uncertain political climate as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, came into ascendancy. Paul was not a religious man; he viewed the papacy as a means to consolidate his family's position. He appointed Alessandro as cardinal against accusations of nepotism, fathered a number of illegitimate children, and spent large sums of church money collecting art and antiquities.

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1546

image Michelangelo Buonarroti is made chief architect of St. Peter's Basilica.

image Painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder : The Fountain of Youth The image is an oil painting on a lime wood board, executed in landscape format with the dimensions 186.1 x 120.6 centimeters. It shows on the bottom center, a winged serpent in flight from Cranach's workshop and the year 1546. It shows a fountain where older women but not men bathe, are rejuvenated and finally indulge in music, dance and good food. Cranach presents in this fairy tale image, in many details the real bathing culture of the Middle Ages, that based on the belief that certain baths might heal and rejuvenate. Sensual pleasures belonged to the bathroom now.

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1547

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1548

image Painting by Caterina van Hemessen: Self Portrait a small painting executed in oil on oak in 1548 by the Flemish Renaissance artist Caterina van Hemessen when she was 20 years old. The painting earned her a considerable reputation during her lifetime and is significant not only for being an early modern female portrait but also for representing an artist in the act of painting. This was very unusual for the time; although self-portraits were common, only a few, like those of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), showed the artist's social position and everyday life. Artists of the time rarely directly referred to, much less showed the tools of their profession. Hemessen's portrait is one of the earliest in the Northern European tradition to show a painter not only with a brush but also a palette and easel. She inscribed it with the words: "I Caterina van Hemessen have painted myself / 1548 / Her aged 20".

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1549

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1550

image Painting by unknown artist from the school of Fontainbleau: Diana the Huntress This may be an allegorical portrait of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of the French King Henry II. It reveals the profound impact of Italian Mannerist painters on French court art.

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1551

image Painting by Pieter Aertsen: A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms A large painting, it depicts a peasant market scene, with an abundance of meats and other foods. In the background, it shows a scene from the biblical theme of the flight into Egypt, where the Virgin Mary is seen stopped on the road, giving alms to the poor. Thus, although the painting seems to be at first sight an ordinary still life concentrating on foodstuffs, it is rich with symbolism; it in fact hides a symbolic religious meaning, and embodies a visual metaphor encouraging spiritual life. Aertsen made a name for himself during the 1550s painting scenes from everyday life in a naturalistic manner.

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1552

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1553

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1554

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1555

image Painting by Titian: Venus with a Mirror The pose of the Venus resembles the classical statues of the Venus de' Medici in Florence or the Capitoline Venus in Rome, which Titian may have seen when he wrote that was "learning from the marvelous ancient stones." The painting is said to celebrate the ideal beauty of the female form, or to be a critique of vanity, or perhaps both. It was copied by several later artists, including Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. Titian made a number of paintings of the same subject, but this is the believed to be the earliest and the only version to be entirely by the hand of Titian, without additions by his assistants. it remained in his house until his death in 1576. X-rays of the painting have revealed that Titian painted it over a double portrait which he had abandoned.

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1556

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1557

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1558

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1559

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Netherlandish Proverbs a 1559 oil-on-oak-panel painting that depicts a scene in which humans and, to a lesser extent, animals and objects, offer literal illustrations of Dutch language proverbs and idioms. Running themes in Bruegel's paintings are the absurdity, wickedness and foolishness of humans, and this is no exception. The painting's original title, The Blue Cloak or The Folly of the World, indicates that Bruegel's intent was not just to illustrate proverbs, but rather to catalog human folly. Many of the people depicted show the characteristic blank features that Bruegel used to portray fools.

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1560

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Children's Games The children, who range in age from toddlers to adolescents, roll hoops, walk on stilts, spin hoops, ride hobby-horses, stage mock tournaments, play leap-frog and blind man's bluff, perform handstands, inflate pigs' bladders and play with dolls and other toys. They have also taken over the large building that dominates the square: it may be a town hall or some other important civic building, in this way emphasizing the moral that the adults who direct civic affairs are as children in the sight of God. This crowded scene is to some extent relieved by the landscape in the top left-hand corner; but even here children are bathing in the river and playing on its banks. The artist's intention for this work is more serious than simply to compile an illustrated encyclopaedia of children's games, though some eighty particular games have been identified. Bruegel shows the children absorbed in their games with the seriousness displayed by adults in their apparently more important pursuits. His moral is that in the mind of God children's games possess as much significance as the activities of their parents.

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1561

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1562

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Fall of the Rebel Angels The depiction of this subject is taken from a passage from the Book of Revelation (12, 2-9) and reveals the artist's profound debt to Hieronymous Bosch, especially in the grotesque figures of the fallen angels, shown as half-human, half-animal monsters. Together with Dulle Griet and The Triumph of Death, which have similar dimensions, it was probably painted for the same collector and destined to become part of a series.

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Triumph of Death The painting shows a panorama of an army of skeletons wreaking havoc across a blackened, desolate landscape. Fires burn in the distance, and the sea is littered with shipwrecks. A few leafless trees stud hills otherwise bare of vegetation; fish lie rotting on the shores of a corpse-choked pond.

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1563

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1564

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1565

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Hunters in the Snow (Dutch: Jagers in de Sneeuw), also known as The Return of the Hunters, is a 1565 oil-on-wood painting by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Northern Renaissance work is one of a series of works, five of which still survive, that depict different times of the year. The Hunters in the Snow, and the series to which it belongs, are in the medieval and early Renaissance tradition of the Labours of the Months: depictions of various rural activities and work understood by a spectator in Breugel's time as representing the different months or times of the year.

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1566

image Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo: The Four Elements a series of paintings that were commissioned by Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor. The portraits display figures in profile formed by different animals or objects. Earth is represented by land animals, Air by birds, Water by marine creatures and Fire by burning wood and cannons. This series attempts to express harmony out of chaos with wild animals forming distinct faces. It also praises Maximilian, suggesting that he is a ruler who controls even the four primal elements.

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Wedding Dance The painting depicts 125 wedding guests. As was customary in the Renaissance period, the brides wore black and men wore codpieces. Voyeurism is depicted throughout the entire art work; dancing was disapproved of by the authorities and the church, and the painting can be seen as both a critique and comic depiction of a stereotypical oversexed, overindulgent, peasant class of the times.

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1567

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1568

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1569

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1570

image Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo: Self Portrait

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1571

image Painting by François Clouet: A Lady in Her Bath The picture is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. It is one of only three paintings signed by Clouet. The bather is unknown. It is possible that she is Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henry II of France. Scholar Roger Trinquet suggested in 1966 that the lady is Mary Queen of Scots. The lady's face resembles other portraits of Mary, especially a drawing by Clouet depicting Mary in mourning. Trinquet believes the painting was intended as a satire for a Huguenot patron. The painting set a fashion for portraits of bathers.

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1572

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1573

image Painting by Paolo Veronese: The Feast in the House of Levi is one of the largest canvases of the 16th century, measuring 555 cm × 1,280 cm (18.21 ft × 41.99 ft). It is now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice. It was painted by Veronese for the rear wall of the refectory of the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo, a Dominican friary, as a Last Supper, to replace an earlier work by Titian destroyed in the fire of 1571. However, the painting led to an investigation by the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Veronese was called to answer for irreverence and indecorum, and the serious offence of heresy was mentioned. He was asked to explain why the painting contained "buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs and other such scurrilities" as well as extravagant costumes and settings, in what is indeed a fantasy version of a Venetian patrician feast. Veronese was told that he must change his painting within a three-month period; instead, he simply changed the title to The Feast in the House of Levi, still an episode from the Gospels, but less doctrinally central, and one in which the Gospels specified "sinners" as present. After this, no more was said.

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1574

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1575

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1576

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1577

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1578

image Painting by El Greco: Lady in a Fur Wrap against a dark background a young woman gazes at the viewer, dressed in a fur robe covering the rest of her dress. A fine transparent veil covers her head, and vaguely a neckace can be seen that she is wearing underneath it. The robe falls into darkness behind its fur lining, that may be ermine or lynx. The painting is unsigned but has traditionally been attributed to El Greco since it was in the collection of French king Louis Philippe I and hung at the Louvre.

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1579

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1580

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1581

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1582

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1583

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1584

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1585

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1586

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1587

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1588

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1589

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1590

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1591

image Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo: Vertumnus The painting is Arcimboldo's most famous work and is a portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II re-imagined as Vertumnus, the Roman god of metamorphoses in nature and life; the fruits and vegetables symbolize the abundance of the Golden Age that has returned under the Emperor's rule. Looking from the distance, Arcimboldo's whimsical portraits might look like portraits, but they are assembled using vegetables, books, plants, kitchen utensils, oils, fruits, sea creatures, animals and tree roots, each individual object chosen to give the impression of anatomical trait of a human face. The portrait of the emperor is created out of plants — flowers and fruits from all seasons: gourds, pears, apples, cherries, grapes, wheat, artichokes, peapods, corns, onions, artichoke, cabbage foils, cherries, chestnuts, figs, mulberries, grapes, plums, pomegranates, various pumpkins and olives. Rudolf's portrait is composed of fruit, vegetables and flowers were to symbolize the perfect balance and harmony with nature that his reign represented. These portraits were an expression of the Renaissance mind's fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre.

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1592

image Painting by Caravaggio: Boy Peeling Fruit This is the earliest known work by Caravaggio, painted soon after his arrival in Rome from his native Milan in mid 1592. The fruit being peeled by the boy is something of a mystery. Sources indicate it may be a pear, which is probably correct but has been questioned; it may be a nectarine or plum, several of which lie on the table, but these are not usually peeled; some have suggested a bergamot, a pear-shaped citrus fruit grown in Italy, but others object that the bergamot is sour and practically inedible. Seen as a simple genre painting, it differs from most in that the boy is not 'rusticated,' that is, he is depicted as clean and well-dressed instead of as a 'cute' ragamuffin. An allegoric meaning behind the painting is plausible, given the complex Renaissance symbology of fruit. Caravaggio scholar John T. Spike has recently suggested that the boy demonstrates resistance to temptation by ignoring the sweeter fruits (fruits of sin) in favour of the bergamot, but no specific reading is widely accepted.

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1593

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1594

image Painting by Caravaggio: Cardsharps The work represents an important milestone for Caravaggio. He painted it when he was attempting an independent career after leaving the workshop of the Cavaliere Giuseppe Cesari d'Arpino, for whom he had been painting "flowers and fruit", finishing the details for the Cavaliere's mass-produced (and massive) output. Caravaggio left Arpino's workshop in January 1594 and began selling works through the dealer Costantino, with the assistance of Prospero Orsi, an established painter of Mannerist grotesques (masks, monsters, etc.). Orsi introduced Caravaggio to his extensive network of contacts in the world of collectors and patrons. Composition The painting shows an expensively-dressed but unworldly boy playing cards with another boy. The second boy, a cardsharp, has extra cards tucked in his belt behind his back, out of sight of the mark but not the viewer, and a sinister older man is peering over the dupe's shoulder and signaling to his young accomplice. The second boy has a dagger handy at his side, and violence is not far away.

image Painting by unknown artist: Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de soeurs The painting now hangs at the Louvre in Paris and is usually thought to be the work of a painter from the Fontainebleau School. The painting portrays Gabrielle d'Estrées, mistress of King Henry IV of France, sitting nude in a bath, holding a ring. Her sister sits nude beside her and pinches her right nipple. The nipple-pinching gesture is often interpreted as a symbolic announcement that Gabrielle is pregnant with Henry's child, César de Bourbon. According to the Louvre's website: "The oddly affectionate way in which the sister is pinching Gabrielle d'Estrées' right breast has often been taken as symbolizing the latter's pregnancy with the illegitimate child of Henry IV. This interpretation would seem to be confirmed by the scene of the young woman sewing — perhaps preparing a layette for the coming child — in the background." The ring that Gabrielle holds is said to be Henry's coronation ring, which he supposedly gave to her as a token of his love shortly before she died.

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1595

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1596

image Painting by El Greco: View of Toledo is one of the two surviving landscapes painted by El Greco. The other, View and Plan of Toledo lies at Museo Del Greco, Toledo, Spain. View of Toledo is among the best known depictions of the sky in Western art, along with Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night and the landscapes of William Turner and Monet, among others. Most notable is the distinct color contrast between the dark and somber skies above and the glowing green hills below. While influenced by the Mannerist style, El Greco's expressive handling of color and form is without parallel in the history of art. In this painting, he takes liberties with the actual layout of Toledo insofar as certain building locations are re-arranged. However, the location of the Castle of San Servando, on the right, is accurately depicted. El Greco's signature appears in the lower-right corner.

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1597

image Painting by Caravaggio: Medusa Caravaggio painted two versions of Medusa, the first in 1596 and the other presumably in 1597. The first version is also known as Murtula, by the name of the poet who wrote about it, Gaspare Murtola (d. 1624): "Flee, for if your eyes are petrified in amazement, she will turn you to stone." It measures 48 by 55 cm and is signed Michel A F (Latin: Michel Angelo Fecit), "Michel Angelo made [this]", Michelangelo being Caravaggio's first name. This work is privately owned. The second version, shown here, is slightly bigger (60×55 cm) and is not signed; it is held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

image Painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto According to an early biographer, one of Caravaggio's aims was to discredit critics who claimed that he had no grasp of perspective. The three figures demonstrate the most dramatic foreshortening imaginable. They contradict claims that Caravaggio always painted from live models. The artist seems to have used his own face for all three gods. The painting was done for Caravaggio's patron Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte and painted on the ceiling of the cardinal's garden casino of his country estate, which later became known as the Villa Ludovisi. The cardinal had a keen interest alchemy. Caravaggio has painted an allegory of the alchemical triad of Paracelsus: Jupiter stands for sulphur and air, Neptune for mercury and water, and Pluto for salt and earth. Each figure is identified by his beast: Jupiter by the eagle, Neptune by the hippocamp, and Pluto by the three-headed dog Cerberus. Jupiter is reaching out to move the celestial sphere in which the Sun revolves around the Earth. Galileo was a friend of Del Monte but had yet to make his mark on cosmology.

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1598

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1599

image Painting by Caravaggio: Basket of Fruit a still life painting which hangs in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library), Milan. It shows a wicker basket perched on the edge of a ledge. The basket contains a selection of summer fruit. Much has been made of the worm-eaten, insect-predated, and generally less than perfect condition of the fruit. In line with the culture of the age, the general theme appears to revolve about the fading beauty, and the natural decaying of all things. Scholars also describe the basket of fruit as a metaphor of the Church. A recent X-ray study revealed that it was painted on an already used canvas painted with grotesques in the style of Caravaggio’s friend Prospero Orsi, who helped the artist in his first breakthrough into the circles of collectors such as his first patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, around 1594/1595, and who remained close to him for many years thereafter.

image Painting by Caravaggio: David and Goliath The David and Goliath in the Prado was painted in the early part of the artist's career, while he was a member of the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. It shows the Biblical David as a young boy (in accordance with the Bible story) fastening the head of the champion of the Philistines, the giant Goliath, by the hair. The light catches on David's leg, arm and flank, on the massive shoulders from which Goliath's head has been severed, and on the head itself, but everything else is dark. Even David's face is almost invisible in the shadows. A wound on Goliath's forehead shows where he has been felled by the stone from David's sling. The overwhelming impression is of some action intensely personal and private — no triumph, no armies, no victory.

image Painting by Caravaggio: Judith Beheading Holofernes The widow Judith first charms the Assyrian general Holofernes, then decapitates him in his tent. The painting was rediscovered in 1950 and is part of the collection of the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome. The deutero-canonical Book of Judith tells how Judith served her people by seducing and pleasuring Holofernes, the Assyrian general. Judith gets Holofernes drunk, then seizes her sword and slays him: "Approaching to his bed, she took hold of the hair of his head." (Judith, 13:7-8). Caravaggio's approach was, typically, to choose the moment of greatest dramatic impact, the moment of the decapitation itself. The figures are set out in a shallow stage, theatrically lit from the side, isolated against the inky, black background. Judith and her maid Abra stand to the right, partially over Holofernes, who is vulnerable on his back. X-rays have revealed that Caravaggio adjusted the placement of Holofernes' head as he proceeded, separating it slightly from the torso and moving it slightly to the right. The faces of the three characters demonstrate his mastery of emotion, Judith in particular showing in her face a mix of determination and repulsion. Artemisia Gentileschi and others were deeply influenced by this work, and even surpassed Caravaggio's physical realism, but it has been argued that none matched his capture of Judith's psychological ambivalence.

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1600

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1601

image Painting by Caravaggio: Crucifixion of Saint Peter was painted for the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Across the chapel is a second Caravaggio work depicting the Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus (1601). On the altar between the two is an Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Annibale Carracci. The painting depicts the martyrdom of St. Peter by crucifixion—Peter asked that his cross be inverted so as not to imitate his God, Jesus Christ, hence he is depicted upside down. The large canvas shows Ancient Romans, their faces shielded, struggling to erect the cross of the elderly but muscular apostle. Peter is heavier than his aged body would suggest, and his lifting requires the efforts of three men, as if the crime they perpetrate already weighs on them.

image Painting by Caravaggio: The Conversion of St. Paul records the moment when Saul of Tarsus, on his way to Damascus to annihilate the Christian community there, is struck blind by a brilliant light and hears the voice of Christ saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?...And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid, but they heard not the voice..." (Acts 22:6-11). Elsewhere Paul claims to have seen Christ during the vision, and it is on this basis that he grounds his claim be recognised as an Apostle: "Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?" (I Corinthians 9:1). Caravaggio biographer Helen Langdon describes style of Conversion as "an odd blend of Raphael and clumsy rustic realism," but notes how the composition, with its jagged shapes and irrational light which licks out details for their dramatic impact, creates "a sense of crisis and dislocation [in which] Christ disrupts the mundane world."

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1602

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1603

image Painting by Caravaggio: Sacrifice of Isaac The Sacrifice of Isaac is the title of two paintings from c. 1598 - 1603 depicting the sacrifice of Isaac. The paintings could be painted by the Italian master Caravaggio (1571–1610) but there is also strong evidence that they may have been the work of Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, a talented early member of the Caravaggio following who is known to have been in Spain about 1617-1619. The second Sacrifice of Isaac is housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. According to the early biographer Giovanni Bellori, Caravaggio painted a version of this subject for Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII, and a series of payments totalling one hundred scudi were made to the artist by Barberini between May 1603 and January 1604. Caravaggio had previously painted a Portrait of Maffeo Barberini, which presumably pleased the cardinal enough for him to commission this second painting. Isaac has been identified as Cecco Boneri, who appeared as Caravaggio's model in several other pictures. Recent X-ray analysis showed that Caravaggio used Cecco also for the angel, and later modified the profile and the hair to hide the resemblance.

image Painting by Peter Paul Rubens: The Duke of Lerma on Horseback. When he visited the Spanish Court for the first time, Rubens (still in his twenties) used this picture to display his talents and to make his mark. It has already many elements of his mature Baroque style, which would have been novel and striking to his viewers. The way in which the horse seems to surge forward towards the spectator - an effect engineered by the low viewpoint and lack of balancing elements in the foreground, and recalling the techniques of Caravaggio - was spectacular, and broke with the traditional profile of equestrian portraits. Other devices used to enhance the spectacle were the eccentric colouring, the tempestuous lighting, and the rather disquieting energy of the horse's hair and the trees' foliage.

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1604

image Painting by Caravaggio: The Entombment of Christ, one of the artist's most admired altarpieces, was created for the second chapel on the right in Santa Maria in Vallicella (the Chiesa Nuova), a church built for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. A copy of the painting is now in the chapel, and the original is in the Vatican Pinacoteca. The painting has been copied by artists as diverse as Rubens, Fragonard, Géricault and Cézanne.

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1605

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1606

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1607

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1608

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1609

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1610

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1611

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1612

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1613

Shakespeare's last play, Henry VIII, is published.

image Painting by Juan Bautista Maíno: The Adoration of the Shepherds

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1614

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1615

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1616

image Painting by Frans Hals: Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard Company of Haarlem is considered one of the main attractions of the Frans Hals Museum. Hals was in his thirties when he painted this piece, and was far from established as a portrait painter. To be safe, he based most of his design on the painting of his predecessor, Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, who painted the same militia company in 1599. Given a nearly impossible task, namely to complete his assignment but to add theatrical elements at the same time, Hals must have spent lots of time judging the politics of the group. He knew these men well as he served in the St. Joris militia himself from 1612-1615. In his painting, he indicates the political position of each man in the group as well as managing to give each a characteristic portrait. In Cornelis van Haarlem's piece the figures seem crammed into a tight space, and each face seems to have a similar expression. In Hals' group, an illusion of space and relaxed conversation is given. Officers were selected by the council of Haarlem to serve for three years, and this group had just finished their tenure and celebrated their end of service with a portrait. The man with the orange sash heads the table and the second in command is on his right. The three ensigns stand and the servant is carrying a plate.

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1617

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1618

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1619

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1620

image Painting by Artemesia Gentileschi: Judith Beheading Holofernes shows the scene of Judith beheading Holofernes, common in art since the early Renaissance. The subject represents an episode (from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament) which recounts the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the Israelite heroine Judith. The painting shows the moment when Judith, helped by her maidservant, beheads the general after he has fallen asleep drunk. The painting is relentlessly physical, from the wide spurts of blood to the energy of the two women as they perform the act. Although the painting depicts a classic scene from the Bible, Gentileschi drew herself as Judith and her mentor Agostino Tassi, who was tried in court for her rape, as Holofernes. Gentileschi's biographer Mary Garrard famously proposed an autobiographical reading of the painting, stating that it functions as "a cathartic expression of the artist's private, and perhaps repressed, rage."

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1621

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1622

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1623

The third English dictionary, English Dictionarie, and the first to be called a dictionary is published by Henry Cockeram, listing difficult words with definitions.

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1624

image Painting by Frans Hals: The Laughing Cavalier has been described as "one of the most brilliant of all Baroque portraits". The title is an invention of the Victorian public and press, dating from its exhibition in the opening display at the Bethnal Green Museum in 1872–75, just after its arrival in England, after which it was regularly reproduced as a print, and became among of the best known old master paintings in Britain. The unknown subject is in fact not laughing, but can be said to have an enigmatic smile, much amplified by his upturned moustache.

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1625

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1626

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1627

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1628

image Painting by Nicolas Poussin: The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus

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1629

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1630

image Painting by José de Ribera: Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew

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1631

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1632

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp shows Dr. Tulp explaining the musculature of the arm to medical professionals. Some of the spectators are various doctors who paid commissions to be included in the painting. The painting is signed in the top-left hand corner Rembrandt. f[ecit] 1632. This may be the first instance of Rembrandt signing a painting with his forename (in its original form) as opposed to the monogramme RHL (Rembrandt Harmenszoon of Leiden), and is thus a sign of his growing artistic confidence.

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1633

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1634

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1635

image Painting by Adriaen Brouwer: Tavern Scene. Brouwer left a small body of work amounting to about 60 works. Just a few of his works are signed, while none is dated. As Brouwer was widely copied, imitated and followed in his time, attributions of work to Brouwer are sometimes uncertain or contested. For instance, the The smoker (Louvre) showing a man exhaling smoke while holding a bottle of liquor was attributed for a long time to Brouwer, but is now given to Brouwer's follower and, possibly, pupil Joos van Craesbeeck. The principal subject matter of Brouwer are genre scenes with peasants, soldiers and other 'lower class' individuals engaging in drinking, smoking, card or dice playing, fights etc. often set in taverns or rural settings. Brouwer also contributed to the development of the genre of tronies, i.e. head or facial studies, which investigate varieties of expression.

image Painting by Diego Velázquez: The Surrender of Breda was inspired by Velázquez's visit to Italy with Ambrogio Spinola, the Genoese general who conquered Breda on June 5, 1625. It is considered one of Velázquez's best works. Jan Morris has called it "one of the most Spanish of all pictures".

image Painting by Frans Hals: Lucas de Clercq, a Dutch cloth merchant known today for his and his wife's pendant marriage portraits painted by Frans Hals.

image Painting by Guido Reni: The Archangel Michael vanquishing Satan

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1636

image Painting by Justus Sustermans: Portrait of Galileo Galilei. Justus Sustermans was a Flemish painter working in the Baroque style. He was born in Antwerp and died in Florence. Sustermans is chiefly notable for his portraits of members of the Medici family as he was their court painter. His work can be found in both the Palatina Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and in many other galleries around the globe. During his lifetime he was fêted as the finest portrait painter in Italy.

image Painting by Peter Paul Rubens: A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning is a landscape painting now in the National Gallery in London. A rare example of a work painted for the artist's own pleasure rather than for a commission, it shows a view of the Het Steen estate near Brussels, which he had acquired in 1635, set in an early-morning autumn landscape. He had initially intended a much smaller painting focussing on the house, using three small oak planks, probably spares from his studio – as the concept developed, seventeen more panels were added. It has influenced artists including John Constable, during his period working for Sir George Beaumont, who then owned the painting and later donated it to the National Gallery in 1823. The painting features the first convincing depiction of a mackerel sky.

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Blinding of Samson is now in the Städel. The painting is the first of its kind in pictorial tradition. No other artist at the time had painted this specific narrative moment. This painting was a gift to the House of Orange, Rembrandt's current patron of a few commissioned paintings.

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1637

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1638

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1639

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1640

image Painting by Georges de La Tour: Magdalene with the Smoking Flame has been allotted the date of 1640, by analogy with the Saint Mary with a Mirror, which has been dated between 1635 and 1645. During the 17th century, great devotion was shown to Mary Magdalene in all Catholic countries. She was the perfect lover of Christ, her beauty made yet more appealing by reason of her repentance, which had a special attraction for a period so passionately interested in problems of mysticism, quietism and asceticism. The theme of the repentance of sinners and trials sent by God is illustrated in such subjects as the Repentance of St. Peter, Mary Magdalene and Job. A number of written works give evidence of the cult of the Magdalene and this cult was the more widespread since Provence owned two great sanctuaries dedicated to her: the grotto of La Sainte-Baume, and the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. It has been suggested that Georges de La Tour took a gypsy as his model: at the time, there were many in Lorraine where he painted this picture.

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1641

image Painting by Frans Hals: Regents of the St. Elizabeth Hospital

image Painting by Simon Vouet: Presentation in the Temple

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1642

image Painting by José de Ribera: The Clubfooted Boy is housed in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (part of the La Caze bequest of 1869), and was painted in Naples. Art historian Ellis Waterhouse wrote of it as "a touchstone by which we can interpret the whole of Ribera's art". Commissioned by a Flemish dealer, the painting features a Neapolitan beggar boy with a deformed foot. Behind him is a vast and luminous landscape, against which the boy stands with a gap-toothed grin, wearing earth-toned clothes and holding his crutch slung over his left shoulder. Written in Latin on the paper in the boy's hand is the sentence "DA MIHI ELEMOSINAM PROPTER AMOREM DEI" ("Give me alms, for the love of God"). This is one of the painter's last works, and one of the most bitter.

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Night Watch is renowned for three characteristics: its colossal size (363 cm × 437 cm (11.91 ft × 14.34 ft)), the effective use of light and shadow (tenebrism) and the perception of motion in what would have traditionally been a static military portrait. The painting was completed in 1642, at the peak of the Dutch Golden Age. It depicts the eponymous company moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq (dressed in black, with a red sash) and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburch (dressed in yellow, with a white sash). With effective use of sunlight and shade, Rembrandt leads the eye to the three most important characters among the crowd: the two gentlemen in the centre (from whom the painting gets its original title), and the woman in the centre-left background carrying a chicken. Behind them, the company's colours are carried by the ensign, Jan Visscher Cornelissen.

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1643

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1644

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1645

Giacomo Torelli of Venice, Italy invents the first rotating stage.

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1646

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1647

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1648

image Painting by Nicolas Poussin: The Holy Family on the Steps

In France, King Louis XIV establishes The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.

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1649

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1650

image Painting by Diego Velázquez: Portrait of Innocent X is considered by many artists and art critics as the finest portrait ever created. It is housed in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. The painting is noted for its realism, in that it is an unflinching portrait of a highly intelligent, shrewd but aging man. He is dressed in linen vestments, and the quality of the work is evident in the rich reds of his upper clothing, head-dress, and the hanging curtains. The pope, born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj, was initially wary of having his portrait taken by Velázquez, but relented after he was given reproductions of examples of Velázquez's portraiture. A contributing factor for this large advancement in the painter's career was that he had already depicted a number of members of Pamphilj's inner court. Yet the pope remained wary and cautious, and the painting was initially displayed to only his immediate family, and was largely lost from public view through the 17th and 18th centuries. The parchment held by the pope contains Velázquez's signature.

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1651

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1652

image Painting by Carel Fabritius: The Goldfinch is an animal painting by Carel Fabritius of a chained goldfinch. The work belongs to the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands. The painting is a trompe-l'œil of a European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) on top of its feeder that is attached to the wall. The feeder consists of two half rings and a blue container. The bird is sitting on the top ring, to which it is chained by its foot. In the 17th century, goldfinches were popular pets because they could be trained to draw water from a bowl with a miniature bucket. The Dutch title of the painting pertains to the bird's nickname puttertje, which refers to this custom and translates literally as 'little weller'.

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1653

image Painting by Rembrandt: Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer was painted as a commission from Don Antonio Ruffo, from Messina in Sicily, who did not request a particular subject. Aristotle, world-weary, looks at the bust of blind, humble Homer, on which he rests one of his hands. This has variously been interpreted as the man of sound, methodical science deferring to Art, or as the wealthy and famous philosopher, wearing the jeweled belt given to him by Alexander the Great, envying the life of the poor blind bard. It has also been suggested that this is Rembrandt's commentary on the power of portraiture.

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1654

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1655

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Polish Rider depicts a young man traveling on horseback through a murky landscape. When the painting was sold by Zdzislaw Tarnowski to Henry Frick in 1910, there was consensus that the work was by the Dutch painter Rembrandt. This attribution has since been contested, though this remains a minority view. There has also been debate over whether the painting was intended as a portrait of a particular person, living or historical, and if so of whom, or if not, what it was intended to represent. Both the quality of the painting and its slight air of mystery are commonly recognized, though parts of the background are very sketchily painted or unfinished.

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Slaughtered Ox is an oil on beech panel painting by Rembrandt. It has been in the collection of the Louvre in Paris since 1857. A similar painting is in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, possibly by Rembrandt himself but probably by one of his pupils, perhaps Fabritius. Other similar, paintings attributed to Rembrandt or his circle, are held by museums in Budapest and Philadelphia. The work follows in a tradition of showing butchery, for example Pieter Aertsen's A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms and Annibale Carracci's Butcher's Shop. Rembrandt made a drawing of a similar scene c.1635. Another, pre-1655, painting of a slaughtered ox (the example in Edinburgh, now attributed to Rembrandt's circle but formerly to Rembrandt) was perhaps inspired by a lost earlier work by Rembrandt himself. In northern Europe, the month of November was traditionally the season slaughtering livestock in northern Europe, before winter made feed difficult to find.

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1656

image Painting by Diego Velásquez: Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting) has a complex and enigmatic composition that raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting. The painting shows a large room in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. Some look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margaret Theresa is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. Velázquez looks outwards, beyond the pictorial space to where a viewer of the painting would stand. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. They appear to be placed outside the picture space in a position similar to that of the viewer, although some scholars have speculated that their image is a reflection from the painting Velázquez is shown working on. Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting" and in 1827 the president of the Royal Academy of Arts Sir Thomas Lawrence described the work in a letter to his successor David Wilkie as "the true philosophy of the art". More recently, it has been described as "Velázquez's supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting".

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1657

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1658

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1659

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1660

For the first time, women began to act in plays in London. Previously men had portrayed both male and female roles.

image Painting by Jacob von Ruisdale: The Jewish Cemetery is an oil on canvas painting. It is an example of Dutch Golden Age painting and is now in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. This painting was documented by John Smith in 1835, who wrote: "This grand and affecting picture exhibits the ruins of a church and convent upon the summit of a hill, occupying the whole extent of the view in the second distance, the declivity of which presents a cemetery, interspersed with large stones. On the foreground are a broken tree lying across a rapid stream, a tomb of black marble, with an inscription on it; a row of three sarcophagi extending along the front; and on the left stands a cluster of large umbrageous trees, the verdant hues of whose foliage is contrasted by the leafless trunk of a beech. Three persons in black are seen near a small tomb on the side of the hill, musing amidst the tombs. The grandeur and solemnity of the scene is strikingly enhanced by rolling stormy clouds, in which may be perceived the evanescent colours of a rainbow.

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1661

image Painting by Charles Le Brun: The Family of Darius Before Alexander represents the scene when the Queen of Persia is kneeling at the feet of Alexander the Great.

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1662

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Syndics of the Drapers Guild

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1663

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1664

image Painting by Frans Hals The Governors of the Almshouse is a regents' group portrait of five regents and their servant painted by Frans Hals in 1664 for the Oude Mannenhuis in Haarlem, the Netherlands. It forms a pendant with the Regentesses of the Old Men's Almshouse. Though it is no longer known which name belongs with which face, the regents portrayed were Jonas de Jong, Mattheus Everzwijn, dr. Cornelis Westerloo, Daniel Deinoot and Johannes Walles. Frans Hals painted them in his "loose style", with rough brush strokes. The painting is traditionally dated 1664, though no archival evidence has yet been found to confirm this. The date is chosen as the middle of the term that the sitters served as regents. Though the paintings as pendants seem to belong together, they did not hang together, and as was the case in the St. Elisabeth hospital across the street, they probably each hung in a separate regents' meeting room; the one for the ladies in the ladies' meeting room and the one for the men in the men's meeting room.

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1665

image Painting by Rembrandt The Jewish Bride

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1666

image Painting by Jacob von Oost: The Painter's Studio

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1667

Milton's Paradise Lost is published.

image Painting by Jan Vermeer: The Art of Painting is one of Vermeer's most famous. In 1868 Thoré-Bürger, known today for his rediscovery of the work of painter Johannes Vermeer, regarded this painting as his most interesting. Svetlana Alpers describes it as unique and ambitious; Walter Liedtke "as a virtuoso display of the artist's power of invention and execution, staged in an imaginary version of his studio ..." According to Albert Blankert "No other painting so flawlessly integrates naturalistic technique, brightly illuminated space, and a complexly integrated composition." Many art historians think that it is an allegory of painting, hence the alternative title of the painting. Its composition and iconography make it the most complex Vermeer work of all.

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1668

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1669

image Painting by Willem Kalf: Still Life with a Chinese Porcelain Jar is a sumptuous still life displaying the sort of costly wares that flowed through the Netherlands during its heyday as a trade center. In Still Life with a Chinese Porcelain Jar, Kalf selected an array of precious objects with which to showcase the wealth and refinement of the Netherlands and his own skills as a painter. Everything is expensive, imported, or both. The citrus fruit, glassware from Venice, and Chinese porcelain jar are evidence of Dutch sailors' enterprise. Local talent is displayed by Dutch silver and a rummer, or wineglass, with a cherub holding a cornucopia at its base. They stand on a marble tabletop with a carelessly crumpled oriental rug. Amid all that luxury is a lesson: a ticking watch on the silver platter reminds the viewer that such earthly riches are fleeting, and worth far less than eternal salvation. The carefully balanced composition, rich colors, and warm tonalities make this painting an object of beauty as well as moral edification.

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1670

image Painting by José Antolínez: The Picture Merchant

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1671

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1672

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1673

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1674

image Painting by Jan Steen: Merrymaking at an Inn combines the Flemish tradition of low-life tavern scenes with the more elegant Dutch merry companies.

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1675

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1676

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1677

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1678

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1679

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1680

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1681

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1682

image Painting by Claude Lorraine: Landscape with Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Sylvia was painted in Rome for Prince Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna (1637–1689), Claude's most important patron in his last years, and is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. It is signed, dated with the year, and inscribed with the subject (at centre bottom), as Claude sometimes did with his less common subjects. It was Claude's last painting, and is perhaps not quite finished; it therefore does not appear in the Liber Veritatis, where he made drawings to record his finished works. His date of birth is uncertain, but he was at least in his late seventies when he painted it, perhaps as old as 82.

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1683

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1684

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1685

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1686

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1687

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1688

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1689

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1690

image John Locke publishes his Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

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1691

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1692

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1693

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1694

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1695

image Painting by Rachel Ruysch: Flowers on a Ledge. Ruysch's skill lay in the minute observation of each flower in a totally realistic way which is then composed into an elaborate arrangement which would be very difficult to achieve in nature, as the flowers would not support each other so well under such an arrangement. In common with most flower pieces from the last third of the 17th century, the colors of the flowers are much more carefully balanced than in the earlier pictures.

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1696

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1697

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1698

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1699

image Painting by Alexandre-François Desportes: Autoportrait en chasseur (Self-portrait as hunter). Desportes was born in Champigneulle, Ardennes. He studied in Paris, in the studio of the Flemish painter Nicasius Bernaerts, a pupil of Frans Snyders. During a brief soujourn in Poland, 1695–96, he painted portraits of John III Sobieski and Polish aristocrats; after the king's death Desportes returned to Paris, convinced that he should specialise in animals and flowers. He was received by the Académie de peinture et de sculpture in 1699, with the Self-Portrait in Hunting Dress now in the Musée du Louvre. In 1712–13 he spent six months in England. He received many commissions for decorative panels for the royal châteaux: Versailles, Marly, Meudon, Compiègne and, his last royal commission, for Louis XV at Choisy, 1742. He also did decorative paintings for the duc de Bourbon at Chantilly. Both Louis XIV and Louis XV commissioned portraits of their favorite hunting dogs.

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1700

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1701

The Collegiate School (which will later become Yale) is founded in Saybrook, Connecticut.

The commode becomes a popular piece of furniture.

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1702

The Daily Courant — the first daily newspaper — is published in London.

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1703

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1704

image Jonathan Swift publishes "A Tale of a Tub."

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1705

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1706

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1707

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1708

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1709

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1710

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1711

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1712

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1713

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1714

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1715

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1716

The Collegiate School trustees vote to move to more hospitable New Haven. Citizens of other communities vied to host the fledgling school, but friends in New Haven outbid them, fulfilling the dream of one of New Haven’s founders, the Reverend John Davenport, to establish a college there.

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1717

image George Frideric Handel's "Water Music" is first performed on the Thames.

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1718

The Collegiate School is renamed Yale College in recognition of Elihu Yale’s donation of books and goods.

image Voltaire is imprisoned in the Bastille; while there, he writes Oedipe.

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1719

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1720

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1721

image Johann Sebastian Bach presents "The Brandenburg Concertos", a collection of six instrumental works, to Christian Ludwig, margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt.

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1722

image Johann Sebastian Bach, "Das wohltemperierte Klavier".

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1723

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1724

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1725

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1726

image Jonathan Swift publishes "A Modest Proposal".

image Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver's Travels.

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1727

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1728

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1729

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1730

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1731

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1732

The Reverend George Berkeley establishes the Berkeley Scholarships for graduate study at Yale, the first such scholarships in America.

Benjamin Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanack" first issued.

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1733

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1734

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1735

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1736

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1737

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1738

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1739

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1740

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1741

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1742

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1743

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1744

First recorded cricket match: Kent versus All England.

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1745

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1746

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1747

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1748

Tobias Smollett publishes The Adventures of Roderick Random.

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1749

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image Carolus Linnaeus's Philosophia Botanica rejects any notion of evolution and continues his work in classifying plants.

1750

image Construction is started on Connecticut Hall at Yale, now the oldest building in New Haven and a National Historic Landmark.

image Painting by Thomas Gainsborough: Mr and Mrs Andrews is one of his most famous works. However, it remained in the family of the sitters until 1960 and was very little known before it appeared in an exhibition in Ipswich in 1927. The work is an unusual combination of two common types of painting of the period: a double portrait, here of a recently married couple, and a landscape view of the English countryside. Gainsborough's work mainly consisted of these two different genres, but their striking combination side-by-side in this extended horizontal format is unique in Gainsborough's oeuvre, and extremely rare in other painters.

image Linnaeus's Species Plantarum completes his development of the use of binary nomenclature in botany. The work still provides the foundation for the modern classification of species.

image Pierre-Louis de Maupertuis's Système de la Nature provides a theoretical speculation on heredity and the origin of species by chance.

1751

The minuet becomes a fashionable dance in Europe.

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1752

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1753

image Thomas Chippendale begins making furniture in his workshop in London, England.

image English painter and engraver William Hogarth publishes the aesthetic treatise, The Analysis of Beauty.

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1754

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1755

image English critic and writer Samuel Johnson publishes A Dictionary of the English Language, a landmark of lexicography that he has compiled by himself over the course of eight years.

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1756

image English statesman and writer Edmund Burke publishes A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. This work of aesthetics, with its emphasis on the sublime, will have a powerful influence on romantic artists and writers.

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1757

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1758

The first English manual on guitar playing is published.

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1759

image Voltaire publishes his great satirical work Candide, inspired in part by the Great Lisbon Earthquake.

image Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter'S Vorläufige nachricht von einigen das geschlecht der pflantzen betreffende versuche and beobachtungen describes his research in heredity in plants.

1760

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Jean-Baptiste Robinet's five-volume De la nature claims that organic species form a linear scale of progress, without gaps.

image Between 1761 and 1766, Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter (Germany) demonstrates that hybrid offspring receive traits from both parents (pollen and ovule transmit genetic information), and are intermediate in most traits. First scientific hybrid produced (tobacco). Demonstrates the identity of reciprocal crosses. Notes hybrid vigor, segregation of offspring (parental and non-parental types) from a hybrid.

1761

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image Charles Bonnet's Considerations sur les corps organisées gives his theory of "preformation" — the idea that each creature is already preformed in miniature in the egg, and that the egg contains all future generations in even smaller scale, ad infinitum.

1762

image English poet, playwright, and novelist Oliver Goldsmith's Letters from a Citizen of the World is published, a collection of satirical essays on Britain from the point of view of a fictitious Chinese visitor.

image French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau writes a philosophical treatise on government and the populace, The Social Contract.

image Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age 6, tours Europe as a musical prodigy.

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1763

On May 16, English critic and writer Samuel Johnson meets the young Scotsman James Boswell, who will become his biographer.

image Painting by Joseph-Marie Vien: The Cupid Seller depicts a business transaction — the offer for sale of several wriggling cupids. The customers seem unimpressed.

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1764

image Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age eight, writes his first symphony.

image German archaeologist and critic Johann Winckelmann publishes his History of Ancient Art Among the Greeks, the first book to include the phrase "history of art" in the title.

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1765

image Painting by John Singleton Copley: The Boy with a Squirrel, a portrait highly praised when exhibited in London. The subject is Copley's half-brother, Henry Pelham, seated at a table and playing with a pet squirrel. This picture, which made the young Boston painter a Fellow of the Society of Artists of Great Britain, by vote of September 3, 1766, had been painted the preceding year

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1766

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1767

Mozart's opera "Apollo et Hyacinthus," premieres in Salzburg.

image Painting by Claude Joseph Vernet: A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast. Perhaps no painter of landscapes or sea-pieces has ever made the human figure so completely a part of the scene depicted or so important a factor in his design. In this respect he was heavily influenced by Giovanni Paolo Panini, whom he probably met and worked with in Rome. Vernet's work draws on natural themes, but in a way that is neither sentimental or emotive. The overall effect of his style is wholly decorative.

image Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Swing (French: L'Escarpolette), also known as The Happy Accidents of the Swing (French: Les Hasards heureux de l'escarpolette, the original title), is an 18th-century oil painting in the Wallace Collection in London. It is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the rococo era, and is Fragonard's best known work. From a contemporary perspective, it would be hard to imagine a more frilly piece of trivia.

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1768

image Painting by Alexander Roslin: The Lady with the Veil is one of the Nationalmuseum’s best loved paintings. The woman in the portrait is partially hidden by a black silk veil. Beneath the veil she is dressed for a special occasion in white lace and pink silk. During the 18th century, theatre was an important part of the life of the upper classes. Dressing up, disguising oneself and playing dramatic roles was a common pastime. The Lady with the Veil shows how one could dress up à la bolonaise – in the style of Bologna.

image Charles Bonnet's Philosophical palingenesis, or ideas on the past and future states of living beings contains his view that the females of every species contain the germs of all future generations.

1769

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1770

image Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard: Young Girl Reading, or The Reader (French: La Liseuse), is an 18th-century oil painting, purchased by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in 1961 using funds donated by Ailsa Mellon Bruce, the daughter of Andrew W. Mellon, following her father's death. The work is more a genre painting of an everyday scene than a portrait, and the name of the sitter is not known. X-ray photography has revealed that the canvas originally featured a different head looking towards the viewer, which Fragonard painted over.

image Painting by Thomas Gainsborough: The Blue Boy. Perhaps Gainsborough's most famous work, it is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall (1752–1805), the son of a wealthy hardware merchant, although this has never been proven. It is a historical costume study as well as a portrait: the youth in his 17th-century apparel is regarded as Gainsborough's homage to Anthony van Dyck, and in particular is very close to Van Dyck's portrait of Charles II as a boy.

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1771

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1772

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1773

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1774

image German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe writes the short novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

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1775

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1776

image Painting by Joseph Wright: Vesuvius in Eruption is the subject of thirty paintings and at least one preliminary sketch by Joseph Wright of Derby, who travelled in Italy in the years 1773-1775. It appears that whilst Wright was in Italy Vesuvius was not erupting.

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1777

image The Bass Brewery was founded in 1777 by William Bass in Burton-upon-Trent, England. The main brand was Bass Pale Ale, once the highest-selling beer in the UK. By 1877, Bass had become the largest brewery in the world, with an annual output of one million barrels. Its pale ale was exported throughout the British Empire, and the company's distinctive red triangle became the UK's first registered trademark. Bass was a pioneer in international brand marketing. Very early on, Bass applied a red triangle to casks of its Pale Ale. Bottles of Bass with the Red Triangle logo have occasionally appeared in art and literature, including Édouard Manet's 1882 painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. In 2001, 66,500,000 litres of Bass were sold in the United States. However Bass seems to have suffered under the custodianship of InBev and later Anheuser-Busch InBev as it is undergoing heavy decline in American consumption, with 24,200,000 litres sold in the country in 2010.

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1778

The German composer Ludwig von Beethoven, age eight, is presented by his father as a music prodigy.

image Painting by John Singleton Copley: Watson and the Shark about a shark attack on a swimmer, Brook Watson, that occurred in Havana, Cuba in 1749. Copley had never visited Havana, and it is likely that he had never seen a shark, much less a shark attack. It is probable that he gleaned details of Havana harbor from prints and book illustrations: he includes the real landmark of Morro Castle in the background of the painting. The shark is less convincing; it includes details not found in sharks, such as forward-facing eyes and lips.

The peculiar inheritance of human color-blindness reported to The Royal Society of London by Michael Lort.

1779

The first school of the arts is established in the New World, in Mexico City.

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1780

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1781

image Mozart's opera "Idomeneo" premieres in Munich.

image Painting by Henry Fuseli: The Nightmare shows a woman in deep sleep with her arms thrown below her, and with a demonic and apelike incubus crouched on her chest. The painting's dream like and haunting erotic evocation of infatuation and obsession was a huge popular success. After its first exhibition, at the 1782 Royal Academy of London, critics and patrons reacted with horrified fascination and the work became widely popular, to the extent that it was parodied in political satire, and an engraved version was widely distributed. In response, Fuseli produced at least three other versions.

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1782

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1783

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1784

image Painting by Jacques-Louis David: Oath of the Horatii (French: Le Serment des Horaces), is now on display in the Louvre in Paris. The painting immediately became a huge success with critics and the public, and remains one of the best known paintings in the Neoclassical style. It depicts a scene from a Roman legend about a dispute between two warring cities, Rome and Alba Longa. Instead of the two cities sending their armies to war, they agree to choose three men from each city; the victor in that fight will be the victorious city. From Rome, three brothers from a Roman family, the Horatii, agree to end the war by fighting three brothers from a family of Alba Longa, the Curiatii. The three brothers, all of whom appear willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of Rome, are shown saluting their father who holds their swords out for them. Aside from the three brothers depicted, David also represents, in the bottom right corner, a woman crying whilst sitting down. She is Camilla, a sister of the Horatii brothers, who is also betrothed to one of the Curiatii fighters, and thus she weeps in the realisation that, in any case, she will lose someone she loves. The painting is considered a paragon of neoclassical art.

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1785

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1786

image Mozart's opera, The Marriage of Figaro, premieres in Vienna.

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1787

image Twining's Tea creates a logo that is still in use today, making it the world's oldest, continuous use logo. The founder of Twinings was Thomas Twining from Painswick, Gloucestershire in England. He opened Britain's first known tea room at No. 216 Strand, London, in 1706; it still operates today.

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1788

image Painting by Francisco de Goya: Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zúñiga, also known as Goya's Red Boy. Vicente Joaquin Osorio de Moscoso y Guzmán Fernández de Córdoba (1756–1816), Count of Altamira, had hired Goya for several family portraits. Altamira held many titles and was also a director of the Banco de San Carlos. In 1786, after painting several portraits of the court, Goya was nominated painter to Charles III. This painting, from 1787–88, is of his youngest son, Manuel, who was born in April 1784 and died at age eight on June 12, 1792.

image Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Versuch, die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären (Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants) claims incorrectly that all plant structures are modified leaves, but clearly espouses evolution.

1789

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1790

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1791

image Painting by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun: Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante Emma, Lady Hamilton, model and actress, is best remembered as the mistress of Lord Nelson and as the muse of George Romney. She was born Amy Lyon in Ness near Neston, Cheshire, England, the daughter of Henry Lyon, a blacksmith who died when she was two months old. She was raised by her mother, the former Mary Kidd, at Hawarden, and received no formal education. She later changed her name to Emma Hart.

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1792

"La Marseillaise" composed by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

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1793

image Louvre opens in Paris.

image Painting by Jacques-Louis David: The Death of Marat (French: La Mort de Marat or Marat Assassiné) is one of the most famous images of the French Revolution. David was the leading French painter, as well as a Montagnard and a member of the revolutionary Committee of General Security. The painting shows the radical journalist lying dead in his bath on 13 July 1793 after his murder by Charlotte Corday. Painted in the months after Marat's murder, it has been described by T. J. Clark as the first modernist painting, for "the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and did not transmute it".

image Erasmus Darwin (Charles' grandfather) publishes Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life.

James Hutton publishes An Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge. Buried in the 2,138-page philosophical tome is a chapter about variety in nature in which Hutton anticipates Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.

image John Dalton's Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colors gives an early account of red-green color blindness, which he refers to as Daltonism, since he is afflicted with the condition.

1794

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image James Hutton's Theory of the Earth published, interpreting certain geological strata as former sea beds. Hutton proposes geological theory of gradualism.

1795

Beethoven (24) debuts as pianist in Vienna.

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1796

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1797

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image Publication of Thomas Malthus' Essay on the Principle of Population, a work that Darwin asserted helped him frame the principle of evolution by natural selection.

1798

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image The first mammoth fossil fully documented by modern science is discovered near the delta of the Lena River in 1799 by Ossip Schumachov, a Siberian hunter. Schumachov allows it to thaw (a process taking several years) until he can retrieve the tusks for sale to the ivory trade in Yakutsk. He then abandons the specimen, allowing it to decay before its recovery. In 1806, Russian botanist Mikhail Adams rescues what remained of the specimen and brought it to the Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. The specimen, which became known as the Adams Mammoth, is stuffed and mounted, and continues to be on display at the Zoological Institute.

Charles White publishes An Account of the Regular Gradation in Man, and in Different Animals and Vegetables, a treatise on the great chain of being, showing people of color at the bottom of the human chain.

1799

image Painting by Jacques-Louis David: The Intervention of the Sabine Women shows a legendary episode following the abduction of the Sabine women by the founding generation of Rome. The genesis of Les Sabines and the work itself represented a significant departure for the day. Historical depictions had been typically commissioned. David however, conceived, produced and promoted his work for profit. He produced marketing material to accompany the first exhibition. Le Tableau des Sabines, Exposé Publiquement au Palais National des Sciences et des Arts "the Tableau of the Sabines, Public Exhibition at the National Palace of Arts and Science" contained his own account of the episode and anticipated the controversy over his use of nudity with an end-note explaining his rationale. Its 1799 exhibition attracted a large number of paying visitors for several years and in 1819 he sold Les Sabines and his Léonidas at Thermopylae to the Royal Museums for 10,000 francs.

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1800

First performance of Ludwig von Beethoven's 1st Symphony in C.

image Painting by Francisco de Goya: The Nude Maja (Spanish: La Maja Desnuda) portrays a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows, and was probably commissioned by Manuel de Godoy, to hang in his private collection in a separate cabinet reserved for nude paintings. Goya created a pendant of the same woman identically posed, but clothed, known today as La maja vestida (The Clothed Maja); also in the Prado, it is usually hung next to La maja desnuda. The subject is identified as a maja based on her costume in La maja vestida. The painting is renowned for the straightforward and unashamed gaze of the model towards the viewer. With this work Goya not only upset the ecclesiastical authorities, but also titillated the public and extended the artistic horizon of the day. It has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1901.

image Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's Système de Animaux sans Vertèbres (System for Animals without Vertebrae) includes a classification system for invertebrates and a preliminary view of his ideas of evolution.

1801

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In Natural Theology, William Paley uses the analogy of a watch requiring a watchmaker to argue that the universe implies an intelligent designer.

1802

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1803

image Painting by Francisco de Goya: The Clothed Maja (Spanish: La maja vestida) is a clothed version of the earlier La maja desnuda (1797–1800) and is exhibited next to it in the same room at the Prado Museum in Madrid. It was twice in the collection of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, also in Madrid, being "sequestered" by the Spanish Inquisition between 1814 and 1836, and has been in the Museo del Prado since 1901.

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1804

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1805

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1806

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1807

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1808

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image 12 Feb 1809

Charles Darwin is born

image Jean Baptiste de Lamarck's theory of evolution presented with the publication of his Philosophie Zoologique, which emphasized the fundamental unity of life and the capacity of species to vary.

1809

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1810

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1811

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1812

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image Swiss-French botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle introduces the word TAXONOMY in his lifelong project of a 21-volume plant encyclopedia. Seven volumes are published during his lifetime, the remainder after his death.

1813

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1814

image Painting by Francisco de Goya: The Third of May 1808 (also known as El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid or Los fusilamientos de la montaña del Príncipe Pío, or Los fusilamientos del tres de mayo) is now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation of 1808 in the Peninsular War. Along with its companion piece of the same size, The Second of May 1808 (or The Charge of the Mamelukes), it was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya's suggestion. The painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May 1808 marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era. According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May 1808 is "the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention".

image Painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: Grande Odalisque, also known as Une Odalisque or La Grande Odalisque depicts an odalisque, or concubine. Ingres' contemporaries considered the work to signify Ingres' break from Neoclassicism, indicating a shift toward exotic Romanticism. Grande Odalisque attracted wide criticism when it was first shown. It has been especially noted for the elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism. The work is displayed in the Louvre, Paris. The painting was commissioned by Napoleon's sister, Queen Caroline Murat of Naples, and finished in 1814. Ingres drew upon works such as Dresden Venus by Giorgione, and Titian's Venus of Urbino as inspiration for his reclining nude figure, though the actual pose of a reclining figure looking back over her shoulder is directly drawn from the 1809 Portrait of Madame Récamier by Jacques-Louis David. Madame Récamier painted by Jacques-Louis David (1800). Ingres portrays a concubine in languid pose as seen from behind with distorted proportions. The small head, elongated limbs, and cool color scheme all reveal influences from Mannerists such as Parmigianino, whose Madonna with the Long Neck was also famous for anatomical distortion. This eclectic mix of styles, combining classical form with Romantic themes, prompted harsh criticism when it was first shown in 1814. Critics viewed Ingres as a rebel against the contemporary style of form and content

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1815

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1816

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image Georges Cuvier's Le règne animal distribué d'après son organisation (The animal kingdom, distributed according to its organization) gives an account of the whole animal kingdom, dividing it into four distinct groups.

1817

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1818

image painting by Caspar David Friedrich: Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (German: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer), also known as Wanderer Above the Mist or Mountaineer in a misty Landscape, currently resides in the Kunsthalle Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is true to the Romantic style and Friedrich's style in particular. Gorra's (2004) analysis was that the message conveyed by the painting is one of Kantian self-reflection, expressed through the wanderer's gazings into the murkiness of the sea of fog.

1819

image Painting by Théodore Géricault: The Raft of the Medusa (French: Le Radeau de la Méduse) was completed when the artist was 27. The work has become an icon of French Romanticism. At 16' 1" × 23' 6", it is an over-life-size painting that depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today's Mauritania on 2 July 1816. On 5 July 1816, at least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and practised cannibalism. Géricault chose to depict this event in order to launch his career with a large-scale uncommissioned work on a subject that had already generated great public interest. The event fascinated him, and before he began work on the final painting, he undertook extensive research and produced many preparatory sketches. He interviewed two of the survivors and constructed a detailed scale model of the raft. He visited hospitals and morgues where he could view, first-hand, the colour and texture of the flesh of the dying and dead. As he had anticipated, the painting proved highly controversial at its first appearance in the 1819 Paris Salon, attracting passionate praise and condemnation in equal measure. However, it established his international reputation, and today is widely seen as seminal in the early history of the Romantic movement in French painting.

image Christian Friedrich Nasse formulated Nasse's law: hemophilia occurs only in males and is passed on by unaffected females.

1820

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1821

image Painting by John Constable: The Hay Wain depicts a rural scene on the River Stour between the English counties of Suffolk and Essex. It hangs in the National Gallery in London and is regarded as "Constable's most famous image" and one of the greatest and most popular English paintings. Painted in oils on canvas, the work depicts as its central feature three horses pulling what in fact appears to be a wood wain or large farm cart across the river. Willy Lott's Cottage, also the subject of an eponymous painting by Constable, is visible on the far left. The scene takes place near Flatford Mill in Suffolk, though since the Stour forms the border of two counties, the left bank is in Suffolk and the landscape on the right bank is in Essex.

Etienne Geoffroy publishes Anatomical Philosophy discussing similarities between skeletal structures — such as bat wings, paws and hands — that support the evolutionary claims of Lamarck. He also argues that arthropods and vertebrates have similar but inverse body plans, an assertion that will ultimately be widely accepted.

image Between 1822-1824, Thomas Andrew Knight, John Goss, and Alexander Seton all independently perform crosses with the pea and observe dominance in the immediate progeny, and segregation of various hereditary characters in the next generation. However, they do not study later generations or determine the numerical ratios in which the characters are transmitted.

1822

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image Thomas Andrew Knight confirms reports of dominance, recessivity, and segregation in peas, but does not detect regularities.

1823

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1824

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1825

image The Diary of Samuel Pepys is published in Britain. Pepys (1633-1703) had been a secretary of the Admiralty, a member of Parliament, and President of the Royal Society, and his Diary presents an important and entertaining picture of London during the Restoration period.

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1826

image The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper, is published.

image Karl Ernst von Baer first demonstrated the mammalian ovum; he regarded the sperm cells as "Entozoa," i.e., parasites, and named them spermatozoa.

1827

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A year after discovering the mammalian egg cell, Karl Ernst von Baer publishes Entwickelungsgeschichte der Thiere tracing the developmental history of animals.

image Publication of Karl Ernst von Baer's The Embryology of Animals which strongly opposed preformationism.

1828

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image Charles Lyell's multi-volume Principles of Geology appear (between 1830 amd 1833), advancing the theory of uniformitarianism, i.e., the view that geological formations are explainable in terms of forces and conditions observable at present.

1830

image Painting by Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People (French: La Liberté guidant le peuple) commemorates the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled King Charles X of France. A woman personifying the concept and the Goddess of Liberty leads the people forward over a barricade and the bodies of the fallen, holding the flag of the French Revolution — the tricolour flag, which remains France's national flag — in one hand and brandishing a bayonetted musket with the other. The figure of Liberty is also viewed as a symbol of France and the French Republic known as Marianne. By the time Delacroix painted Liberty Leading the People, he was already the acknowledged leader of the Romantic school in French painting.

image Charles Darwin joins the crew of the HMS Beagle as the ship's naturalist. The Beagle plans a two-year voyage to map the coast of South America. This turns out to be a five-year trip.

Patrick Matthew publishes On Naval Timber and Arboriculture with an appendix describing what Charles Darwin will later name natural selection. After becoming aware of Matthew's hypothesis, Darwin will acknowledge it in a reprint of On the Origin of Species.

image Robert Brown published his observations reporting the discovery and widespread occurrence of nuclei in cells.

1831

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1832

image In Vienna, kitchen apprentice Franz Sacher, 16, creates what comes to be known as Sachertorte, for a dinner in honor of Austria's Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich.

image The first volume of the five-volume Recherches sur les poissons fossiles (Researches on Fossil Fishes) by Jean-Louis-Rodolphe Agassiz is published.

1833

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1834

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image While serving as scientific officer on the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin visits the Galapagos Islands. He observes that the many varieties of finches on the islands seem to have developed from a common ancestor found on the mainland of South America.

1835

image Painting by Caspar David Friedrich: The Stages of Life (German: Die Lebensstufen) is an allegorical oil painting completed just five years before his death. This picture, like many of his works, forms a meditation both on his own mortality and on the transience of life. The painting is set on a sea shore and shows in the foreground an aged man with his back turned to the viewer, walking towards two adults and two children on a hilltop overlooking a harbour. The figures are echoed by five ships shown in the harbour, each at a different distance from the shore, an allegorical reference to the different stages of human life, to the end of a journey, to the closeness of death. The figures have been identified as Friedrich and his family. The aged man is the artist himself, the small boy is his young son Gustav Adolf, the young girl is his daughter Agnes Adelheid, the older girl is his daughter Emma, and the man in the top hat is his nephew Johann Heinrich.}The Stages of Life (German: Die Lebensstufen) is an allegorical oil painting of 1835 by the German Romantic landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich. Completed just five years before his death, this picture, like many of his works, forms a meditation both on his own mortality and on the transience of life. The painting is set on a sea shore and shows in the foreground an aged man with his back turned to the viewer, walking towards two adults and two children on a hilltop overlooking a harbour. The figures are echoed by five ships shown in the harbour, each at a different distance from the shore, an allegorical reference to the different stages of human life, to the end of a journey, to the closeness of death. The figures have been identified as Friedrich and his family. The aged man is the artist himself, the small boy is his young son Gustav Adolf, the young girl is his daughter Agnes Adelheid, the older girl is his daughter Emma, and the man in the top hat is his nephew Johann Heinrich.

(no entry for this year)

1836

image Painting by : View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm, commonly known as The Oxbow, is a seminal landscape painting by Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School. The painting depicts a Romantic panorama of the Connecticut River Valley just after a thunderstorm. It has been interpreted as a confrontation between wilderness and civilization.

Charles Darwin formulates the theory of natural selection to explain evolution. Fearful of the reaction his theory will cause, he delays publishing.

1837

image Twice-told Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is published and is an immediate best-seller.

image Daguerreotype by Louis Daguerre: Still life with plaster casts is the earliest, reliably dated daguerreotype.

image image M. J. Schleiden and T. Schwann develop the cell theory. Schleiden notes nucleoli within nuclei.

1838

image The Seraphim and Other Poems, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), is published.

image Daguerreotype by Louis Daguerre: The earliest reliably dated photograph of people, taken one spring morning in 1838 from the window of the Diorama, where Daguerre lived and worked. It bears the caption huit heure du matin (8 a.m.). Though it shows the busy Boulevard du Temple, the long exposure time (about ten or twelve minutes) meant that moving traffic cannot be seen; however, the bootblack and his customer at lower left remained still long enough to be distinctly visible. The building signage at the upper left shows that the image is laterally (left-right) reversed, as were most daguerreotypes.

(no entry for this year)

1839

image Voices of the Night, the first book of poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), is published.

image Charles Darwin's Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle appears.

Martin Barry expressed the belief that the spermatozoon enters the egg.

1840

image Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861), introduces the ritual of afternoon tea in Britain, although tea has been available in England since the late 1600s.

image The polka makes its U.S. debut, introduced by the ballerina Fanny Elssler (1810-1884), who had brought the dance to Paris in 1834.

image The saxophone is invented in Belgium, by the 26-year old instrument maker Antoine Joseph Sax (1814-1894).

(no entry for this year)

1841

The Berlin Zoo opens, when Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the King of Prussia, donates his pheasant gardens and exotic animal colection to the citizens of Berlin.

The New York State Fair is held for the first time, in Syracuse, New York. The Fair is the first in the tradition of U.S. state fairs with agricultural and domestic themes.

image Self-Reliance, by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) [essay II in Essays: First Series] is published.

image The first novel in the series called "Leatherstocking Tales", The Deerslayer, by James Fennimore Cooper (1789-1851), is published

In London, the periodical Punch begins publication.

image Charles Darwin's book The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, is published. During the year Darwin composes an abstract of his theory of species evolution.

image Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli (1817-1891) publishes Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Pollens. His paper describes cell division in plants with remarkable accuracy, and discusses seed formation in flowering plants.

1842

image In May, Edgar Allan Poe's (1809-1849) story "The Masque of the Red Death" appears in Graham's Magazine.

(no entry for this year)

1843

In London, The Economist and Sunday News of the World begin publication.

image In Dresden, Richard Wagner's opera Der fliegende Holländer is premiered.

image Charles Darwin first outlines his thoughts on natural selection in an unpublished essay.

image Robert Chambers, a Scottish journalist, publishes (anonymously) his Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, an early book outlining an evolutionary view of the natural world.

image The second part of the Geology of the Beagle, Charles Darwin's Geological Observations on Volcanic Islands Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, is published. Darwin's book claims to supply evidence for the geological theories of Charles Lyell (1797-1875), from areas that Lyell himself had never seen.

image That all the cells in an organism are generated from successive divisions of the egg cell is described by Rudolf Albert von Kölliker (1817-1905). Kölliker shows that the egg is itself a cell.

1844

In England, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is founded by George Williams (1821-1905).

image The Open Door is an early calotype, included in The Pencil of Nature, the first commercially published book to be illustrated with photographs.

image The Pencil of Nature, published in six installments between 1844 and 1846, was the "first photographically illustrated book to be commercially published" or "the first commercially published book illustrated with photographs". It was wholly executed by the new art of Photogenic Drawing, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil and regarded as an important and influential work in the history of photography. Written by William Henry Fox Talbot and published by Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans in London, the book detailed Talbot's development of the calotype process and included 24 calotype prints, each one pasted in by hand, illustrating some of the possible applications of the new technology. Since photography was still very much a novelty and many people remained unfamiliar with the concept, Talbot felt compelled to insert the following notice into his book: The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil. They are the sun-pictures themselves, and not, as some persons have imagined, engravings in imitation.

(no entry for this year)

1845

Scientific American is founded by Alfred Beach (1826-1896). The first issue is published on August 28. The publication, in newspaper format, presents science for the general reader.

image Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" appears in the New York Evening Mirror. Poe's collection The Raven and Other Poems is published.

(no entry for this year)

1846

(no entry for this year)

Jakob Mathias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann announce that cells are the basic units of all living structures.

1847

(no entry for this year)

image On the archetype and homologies of the vertebrate skeleton, by Richard Owen (1804-1892), is published. In the book Owen argues that the skull, and other parts of the body, are formed by the modification of the vertebra of different animals.

Richard Owen describes "homologies" — similarities of design in bird wings, fish fins and human hands.

1848

(no entry for this year)

image Botanist Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (1772-1850) publishes Versuche und Beobachtungen über die Bastarderzeugung im Pflanzenreiche. The book describes thousands of experiments, many involving the production of hybrids, on more than 500 species of plants. Mendel will study this book in detail when he attends the University of Vienna in the early 1850s, and will cite the book in the opening of his paper of 1865.

1849

image Henry David Thoreau's A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers and "Resistance to Civil Government" (often referred to as "Civil Disobedience") are published.

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: The Stone Breakers (French: Les Casseurs de pierres) is a work of social realism, depicting two peasants, a young man and an old man, breaking rocks. The painting was first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1850. It was destroyed during World War II, along with 154 other pictures, when a transport vehicle moving the pictures to the castle of Königstein, near Dresden, was bombed by Allied forces in February 1945.

(no entry for this year)

1850

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: A Burial At Ornans (French: Un enterrement à Ornans, also known as A Funeral At Ornans) represents one of the major turning points of 19th-century French art. The painting records the funeral in September 1848 of his great-uncle in the painter's birthplace, the small town of Ornans. It treats an ordinary provincial funeral with unflattering realism, and on the giant scale traditionally reserved for the heroic or religious scenes of history painting. Its exhibition at the 1850–51 Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and brought Courbet instant fame. It is currently displayed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, France.

(no entry for this year)

1851

image The New York Times begins daily publication. The editor of the Times is Henry J. Raymond.

image The Great Exhibition opens in London, housed at the Hyde Park Pavilion (the "Crystal Palace" designed by Joseph Paxton), on the First of May. It is the first world's fair, and is attended by more than 6 million people. London is the world's largest city, with a population of nearly 2.4 million people.

image Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables and The Snow Image and Other Twice-Told Tales both appear.

image Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, is published.

image Daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple: Daguerreoype of the moon. Whipple was an American inventor and early photographer. He was the first in the United States to manufacture the chemicals used for daguerreotypes; he pioneered astronomical and night photography; he was a prize-winner for his extraordinary early photographs of the moon; and he was the first to produce images of stars other than the sun — the star Vega and the Mizar-Alcor stellar sextuple system, which was thought to be a double star until 2009.

(no entry for this year)

1852

image Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes her anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin.

image Peter Mark Roget publishes his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. Roget, a 73 year-old physician and English scholar, will publish 28 editions of the Thesaurus during his lifetime (he dies at age 90).

image Daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple: Henry Winthrop Sargent and His Family. Whipple kept several distinctive pieces of furniture in his studio that he used to solidify his compositions by disposing them within an image in characteristic ways without having the sitter use them. In fact, it is this unique posing style that identifies Whipple as the artist of the portrait of Henry Winthrop Sargent and his family, taken in Boston in the early 1850s. Here, Whipple’s composition is complex and masterful. The empty armchair at the lower left faces the viewer and draws the eye in. The covered table at the far right connects an occupied chair to the edge of the plate and suggests a vanishing point while giving diagonal movement to what is basically a horizontal composition. The corner of a plain backdrop, barely perceptible at the right, aids the illusion of movement and space. The empty armchair acts as a backrest for young Francis Sargent, who is actually supported by a posing stand, the base of which can be seen between his feet and his mother’s skirts. Caroline Olmsted Sargent appears to be reading a letter to her assembled family. Her oldest son, Winthrop Henry Sargent, sits facing her, and their profiles echo across the space as he leans toward her. Henry Winthrop Sargent, at the apex of the composition, leans dynamically into the gathering, supporting his weight on the back of a carved side chair. The division of the family into two pairs of linked figures creates powerful parallel diagonals; but despite this calculated arrangement, all of the sitters appear to be at ease and engaged with one another.

(no entry for this year)

1853

image Daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple: Cornelius Conway Felton with His Hat and Coat. Felton was Eliot Professor of Greek Literature at Harvard University, reaching for his felt hat and duster. The first son of a poverty-stricken furniture maker, Felton became one of the most renowned classical scholars in the country and, in 1860, Harvard's president. This witty photograph lampoons the rigid formality of the portrait process through narrative gesture (the implied reach across two separate images) and nuance (the delicate crush of the soft hat's crown). As opposed to the inflexible silk top hat worn by dandies and professors alike, the broad-brimmed felt hat was worn by outdoorsmen and was practical, casual, and fundamentally democratic.

(no entry for this year)

1854

image Henry David Thoreau's Walden, or Life in the Woods is published.

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: The Meeting (French: La rencontre) is traditionally interpreted as Courbet greeted by his patron Alfred Bruyas, his servant Calas, and his dog while traveling to Montpellier. The composition is based on the Wandering Jew. The Meeting was exhibited in Paris at the 1855 Exhibition Universelle, where critics ridiculed it as "Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet". Bruyas did not exhibit The Meeting until he donated it to the Musée Fabre in Montpellier in 1868.

image Alfred Russel Wallace publishes "On the Law which has Regulated the Introduction of New Species," anticipating Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.

image Rudolf Virchow states the principle that new cells come into being only by division of previously existing cells: Omnis cellula e cellula.

1855

image In Watertown, Wisconsin, the first kindergarten in the U.S. is opened by Mrs. Carl Schurz (Margarethe Meyer Schurz).

image Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha" appears.

image Poet Walt Whitman publishes a volume of twelve poems, Leaves of Grass, at his own expense, and meets with no commercial success.

image The remains of the first known example of what come to be known as the "Neanderthals" is found in a cave near Düsseldorf, in the Neander Valley. The discovery was made by limestone quarry miners and consists of a skullcap, two femora, the three right arm bones, two of the left arm bones, ilium, and fragments of a scapula and ribs. The fossils were given to Johann Carl Fuhlrott, a local teacher and amateur naturalist. The first description of the remains was made by anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen and the find was announced jointly in 1857.In 1997, the specimen was the first to yield Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA fragments. The description of this discovery represents the beginning of paleoanthropology as a scientific discipline.

Louis Agassiz publishes Essay on Classification advocating a theory of multiple creations and contradicting both evolution and Noah's ark.

image Gregor Mendel, a monk at the Augustinian monastery of St. Thomas in Brünn, Austria (now Brno, Czechoslovakia), begins breeding experiments with the garden pea, Pisum sativum.

1856

image Painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: The Source (French: La Source), was begun in Florence around 1820 and not completed until 1856, in Paris. When Ingres completed The Source, he was seventy-six years old, already famous, and president of the École des Beaux-Arts. The pose of the nude may be compared with that of another by Ingres, the Venus Anadyomene (1848), and is a reimagination of the Aphrodite of Cnidus or Venus Pudica. Two of Ingres' students, painters Paul Balze and Alexandre Desgoffe, helped to create the background and water jar. The first exhibition of The Source was in 1856, the year it was completed. The painting was received enthusiastically. Duchâtel acquired the painting in 1857 for a sum of 25,000 francs. The state assumed title to the painting in 1878 and it passed to the Musée du Louvre. In 1986 it was transferred to the Musée d'Orsay. The painting has been frequently exhibited and widely published. Haldane Macfall in A History of Painting: The French Genius describes The Source as Ingres' "superb nude by which he is chiefly known". Kenneth Clark in his book Feminine Beauty observed how The Source has been described as "the most beautiful figure in French painting."

(no entry for this year)

1857

image Madame Bovery, by Gustave Flaubert, is published

image Photograph by Gustave Le Gray: Lighthouse and Jetty, le Havre, an albumen print.

image Photograph by Gustave Le Gray: The Great Wave. The dramatic effects of sunlight, clouds, and water in Le Gray's seascapes stunned his contemporaries and immediately brought him international recognition. At a time when photographic emulsions were not equally sensitive to all colors of the spectrum, most photographers found it impossible to achieve proper exposure of both landscape and sky in a single picture. Le Gray solved this problem by printing two negatives on a single sheet of paper: one exposed for the sea, the other for the sky, and sometimes made on separate occasions or in different locations. Le Gray's marine pictures caused a sensation not only because their simultaneous depiction of sea and heavens represented a technical tour de force, but also because the resulting poetic effect was without precedent in photography.

image Painting by Jean-François Millet: The Gleaners (Des glaneuses) depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains of wheat after the harvest. The painting is famous for featuring in a sympathetic way what were then the lowest ranks of rural society; this was received poorly by the French upper classes. The painting immediately drew negative criticism from the middle and upper classes, who viewed the topic with suspicion: one art critic, speaking for other Parisians, perceived in it an alarming intimation of "the scaffolds of 1793." Its size (33×44 inches) was also considered offensive, as it was too large for an image depicting mere labor.

Rudolf Virchow finalizes the cell theory originally announced by Schleiden and Schwann 11 years earlier by declaring that cells are the basic units of all living things, and all cells are formed by the division of existing cells.

image Alfred Russel Wallace sends to Darwin a manuscript — "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type" — that shows clearly that Wallace has independently formulated a model of evolution by natural selection.

image image Darwin's and Wallace's ideas are jointly presented to the Linnaean Society of London.

1858

Central Park, in New York City, is opened to the public.

image Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species.

1859

In Manchester, England, the first "playgrounds" for children are opened, complete with swings and horizontal bars for climbing and hanging.

image Jules Léotard performs the first flying trapeze circus act, with the Cirque Napoléon in Paris. Léotard's standard performance costume — a skin-tight one-piece garment that covers the torso but leaves the legs free — later becomes known generically as a "leotard." Léotard also becomes the subject of a popular song: "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze."

image Photograph by Gustave Le Gray: The Pont du Carrousel Seen from the Pont Royal, an albumen print.

image Louis Agassiz attacks Darwin's the origin of species, rejecting the idea of evolution of the species and arguing that each species was created separately.

image Thomas Henry Huxley (sometimes known as Darwin's bulldog) clashes with Bishop "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce about evolution at the annual meeting of The British Association for the Advancement of Science, in what has come to be known as the Huxley-Wilberforce debate.

Bishop Wilberforce is supposed to have asked Huxley sarcastically whether "it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed descent from a monkey." Huxley responded, "If then the question is put to me whether I would rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence and yet employs these faculties and that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion, I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape." Or words to that effect.

1860

image "A Veteran with his Wife", taken by an anonymous photographer, shows a British veteran of the Napoleonic era Peninsular Wars. It is a hand-tinted ambrotype using the set collodion positive process, made circa 1860.

image Daguerreotype by Unknown Photographer: Portrait of a Woman with a Mandolin. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

image image Between 1861 and 1862, Max Johann Sigismund Schultze (Germany) and Heinrich Anton de Bary (Germany) establish the essential unity of protoplasm in all living cells.

1861

image Painting by Edgar Degas: The Bellelli Family, also known as Family Portrait, is housed in the Musée d'Orsay. A masterwork of Degas' youth, the painting is a portrait of his aunt, her husband, and their two young daughters. While finishing his artistic training in Italy, Degas drew and painted his aunt Laura, her husband the baron Gennaro Bellelli, and their daughters Giulia and Giovanna. Although it is not known for certain when or where Degas executed the painting, it is believed that he utilized studies done in Italy to complete the work after his return to Paris. Laura, his father's sister, is depicted in a dress which symbolizes mourning for her father, who had recently died and appears in the framed portrait behind her. Laura Bellelli's countenance is dignified and austere, her gesture connected with those of her daughters. Her husband, by contrast, appears to be separated from his family. His association with business and the outside world is implied by his position at his desk. Giulia holds a livelier pose than that of her sister Giovanna, whose restraint appears to underscore the familial tensions.

(no entry for this year)

1862

image Photograph by Alexander Gardner: President Abraham Lincoln, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, near Antietam, an albumen silver print. Allan Pinkerton stands to Lincoln's right, General John A. McClernand to Lincoln's left.

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: The Source shows a nude in an unflinchingly naturalistic style and is devoid of the trappings of academic allegory to which the painting’s title alludes. Courbet is thought to have intended it as a response to Ingres’s own La Source (1856, Musée d’Orsay, Paris), which was exhibited at the Galerie Martinet, Paris, in 1861. The picture by Ingres depicts an idealized nude holding a jar from which water pours, an allusion to a spring or river source, and symbolizing poetic inspiration.

Alfred Russel Wallace describes the "Wallace line," the dividing line between Indo-Malayan and Austro-Malayan fauna, in Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London.

image image Dominique Alexandre Godron and Charles Victor Naudin (France) independently report experiments in plant hybridization. Naudin confirmed Sageret's work, in general discussed work of the early hybridizers, and reported dominance and segregation in Datura (jimsonweed) hybrids. He did not deal with single characters and reported no statistical observations on the second generation. His theoretical explanation of his facts was a forerunner of Mendel's ideas, but inferred rather than deduced.

1863

image Photograph by John Adams Whipple: Asa Gray, an albumen print. Gray was considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. His Darwiniana was considered an important explanation of how religion and science were not necessarily mutually exclusive. As a professor of botany at Harvard University for several decades, Gray regularly visited, and corresponded with, many of the leading natural scientists of the era, including Charles Darwin, who held great regard for him. Gray made several trips to Europe to collaborate with leading European scientists of the era, as well as trips to the southern and western United States. He also built an extensive network of specimen collectors.

image Painting by Édouard Manet: Olympia shocked the art world with its style (strong brush strokes, considered childish and unskilled) and its subject matter, a nude white woman ("Olympia"), presumably a courtesan, lying on a bed being brought flowers by a black servant. When hung in the Salon of Paris in 1865, it was met with jeers, laughter, criticism, and disdain, and was attacked by the public, the critics, the newspapers. Guards were stationed to protect it, until it was moved to a spot high above a doorway, out of reach.

image Painting by Édouard Manet: Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (English: The Luncheon on the Grass) is a large oil on canvas painting depicting a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather on a picnic with two fully dressed men in a rural setting. Rejected by the Salon jury of 1863, Manet seized the opportunity to exhibit this and two other paintings in the 1863 Salon des Refusés where the painting sparked public notoriety and controversy. The piece is now in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. A smaller, earlier version can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery, London. The painting features a nude woman casually lunching with two fully dressed men. Her body is starkly lit and she stares directly at the viewer. The two men, dressed as young dandies, seem to be engaged in conversation, ignoring the woman. In front of them, the woman's clothes, a basket of fruit, and a round loaf of bread are displayed, as in a still life. In the background, a lightly clad woman bathes in a stream. Too large in comparison with the figures in the foreground, she seems to float above them. The roughly painted background lacks depth — giving the viewer the impression that the scene is not taking place outdoors, but in a studio. This impression is reinforced by the use of broad "studio" light, which casts almost no shadows. The man on the right wears a flat hat with a tassel, of a kind normally worn indoors. Despite the mundane subject, Manet deliberately chose a large canvas size, measuring 81.9 by 104.1 inches, normally reserved for historical, religious, and mythological subjects. The style of the painting breaks with the academic traditions of the time. He did not try to hide the brush strokes; the painting even looks unfinished in some parts of the scene.

image Painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: The Turkish Bath (Le Bain Turc) depicts a group of nude women in the bath of a harem, and is painted in a highly erotic style that evokes both the near east and earlier western styles associated with mythological subject matter. Painted on canvas laid down on wood, it measures 108 x 108 cm. The work is signed and dated 1862, when Ingres was around 82 years old, and was completed in 1863. In that year Ingres altered the painting's original rectangular format, and cut the painting to its present tondo form. Photographs of the painting in its original format survive. It seems based on an April 1717 written description of a Turkish harem by Lady Mary Montagu, where she mentions having viewed some two hundred nude women. The painting develops and elaborates a number of motifs Ingres had explored in earlier paintings, in particular his 1808 The Valpinçon Bather and Grande Odalisque of 1814. Its erotic content did not provoke a scandal, since for much its existence it has remained in private collections. It is now in the Louvre, Paris.

(no entry for this year)

1864

(no entry for this year)

Franz Schweigger-Seidel and A. von la Valette St. George (Germany) independently prove that a spermatozoon is a single cell and contains nucleus and cytoplasm

image Gregor Mendel presents his work on inheritance in peas to the Brünn Natural History Society. The results are published the following year.

1865

image Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) first published. The novel was written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.

image Painting by Ford Madox Brown: Work is generally considered to be his most important achievement. It exists in two versions. The painting attempts to portray, both literally and analytically, the totality of the Victorian social system and the transition from a rural to an urban economy. Brown began the painting in 1852 and completed it in 1865, when he set up a special exhibition to show it along with several of his other works. He wrote a detailed catalogue explaining the significance of the picture. The picture depicts a group of so-called "navvies" digging up the road to build an underground tunnel. It is typically assumed that this was part of the extensions of London's sewerage system, which were being undertaken to deal with the threat of typhus and cholera. The workers are in the centre of the painting. On either side of them are individuals who are either unemployed or represent the leisured classes. Behind the workers are two wealthy figures on horseback, whose progress along the road has been halted by the excavations. The painting also portrays an election campaign, evidenced by posters and people carrying sandwich boards with the name of the candidate "Bobus". A poster also draws attention to the potential presence of a burglar. The setting is an accurate depiction of The Mount on Heath Street in Hampstead, London, where a side road rises up above the main road and runs alongside it. Brown made a detailed study of the location in 1852.

German zoologist Ernst Haeckel publishes General Morphology of Organisms, the first detailed genealogical tree relating all known organisms, incorporating the principles of Darwinian evolution.

image Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (Häckel) hypothesizes that the nucleus of a cell transmits its hereditary information.

image Mendel publishes his work on heredity, Versuche über Pflanzen Hybriden.

1866

image Blue Danube Waltz Presented Johann Strauss the younger first presents his Blue Danube Waltz, which later became one of the most popular and familiar works of European music.

H. S. Bidwell (United States) reports controlled pollination in maize.

1867

(no entry for this year)

image Charles Darwin publishes The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, in which he offers his own theory of heredity, which he called the "Provisional Hypothesis of Pangenesis."

Ernst Haeckel publishes Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, subdividing humanity into 12 separate species. He also asserts that evolution consists of 22 phases, the 21st being the "missing link" between apes and humans.

Thomas Henry Huxley publishes "On the Animals which are Most Nearly Intermediate between Birds and Reptiles," arguing that birds are descendants of dinosaurs. This suggestion will not be taken very seriously for another century.

1868

image Louisa May Alcott publishes Little Women.

image Francis Galton publishes Hereditary Genius. In it he describes a scientific study of human pedigrees from which he concludes that intelligence has a genetic basis.

1869

image Painting by : At the Races in the Countryside. This painting was one of the first works that Degas sold (in 1872) to Paul Durand-Ruel, the dealer who became the early champion of the Impressionists. It is not only a landscape but also a scene from everyday life and - most of all - a family portrait. The driver of the carriage is Degas’s friend Paul Valpinçon, who is shown with his wife, a wet nurse, and in the nurse’s lap, the couple’s son, Henri.

(no entry for this year)

1870

(no entry for this year)

image Publication of Charles Darwin's Descent of Man, in which the role of sexual selection in evolution is described for the first time.

Lord Kelvin suggests that "the germs of life might have been brought to the Earth by some meteorite," an idea that will enjoy support a century later.

image Johann Friedrich Miescher isolates a substance which he calls NUCLEIN from the nuclei of white blood cells. The substance was soluble in alkalis but not in acids and came to be known as nucleic acid.

image Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet showed the importance of statistical analysis for biologists and laid the foundation of biometry.

1871

image Painting by Ilia Efimovich Repin: Barge Haulers on the Volga or Burlaki (Russian: Burlaki na Volge) is an 1870–73 oil-on-canvas painting depicting laboring men dragging a barge on the Volga River. The men seem to almost collapse forward in exhaustion under the burden of hauling a large boat upstream in heavy, hot weather. The work is both a celebration of the men's dignity and fortitude, and a highly emotional condemnation of those who sanctioned such inhumane labor. Although they are presented as stoical and accepting, the men are largely defeated; only one stands out: in the center of both the row and canvas, a brightly colored youth fights against his leather binds and takes on a heroic pose.

image Painting by James McNeill Whistler: Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, best known under its colloquial name Whistler's Mother, depicts Whistler's mother, Anna McNeill Whistler. The painting is 56.81 by 63.94 inches, displayed in a frame of Whistler's own design. It is exhibited in and held by the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, having been bought by the French state in 1891. It is one of the most famous works by an American artist outside the United States. It has been variously described as an American icon and a Victorian Mona Lisa.

image Ferdinand Julius Cohn coined the term BACTERIUM and founded the study of bacteriology.

1872

image Painting by Claude Monet: Impression, Sunrise (French: Impression, soleil levant) was shown at what would later be known as the "Exhibition of the Impressionists" in April 1874. The painting depicts the port of Le Havre, Monet's hometown, and is his most famous painting of the harbor. Monet claimed that he titled the painting Impression, Sunrise due to his hazy painting style in his depiction of the subject: "They asked me for a title for the catalogue, it couldn't really be taken for a view of Le Havre, and I said: 'Put Impression.'" In addition to this explanation for the title of the work, art historian Paul Smith claims that Monet might have named the painting Impression to excuse his painting from accusations of being unfinished or lacking descriptive detail, but Monet received these criticisms regardless of the title

image Anton Schneider observed and described the behavior of nuclear filaments (chromosomes) during cell division in his study of the platyhelminth Mesostoma. His account was the first accurate description of the process of mitosis in animal cells.

1873

image Painting by Claud Monet: Boulevard des Capucines. From the late 1860s, Monet and other like-minded artists, met with rejection from the conservative Académie des Beaux-Arts which held its annual exhibition at the Salon de Paris. During the latter part of 1873, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley organized the Société anonyme des artistes peintres, sculpteurs et graveurs to exhibit their artworks independently. At their first exhibition, held in April 1874, Monet exhibited the work that was to give the group its lasting name, Impression, Sunrise. Among the works Monet included in the first Impressionist exhibition was The Luncheon, 1868, which features Camille Doncieux and Jean Monet. The painting was rejected by the Paris Salon of 1870. Also in this exhibition was a painting titled Boulevard des Capucines, a painting of the boulevard done from the from the studio of Monet's friend, the photographer Felix Nadar.

image Painting by Edgar Degas: A Cotton Office in New Orleans depicts the artist's uncle Michel Musson's cotton brokerage business (which several years later went bankrupt in an economic crash, according to Michael McMahon of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when the firm was swamped by the postwar growth of the much larger Cotton Exchange). In the painting, Musson is seen examining raw cotton for its quality while Degas' brother René reads The Daily Picayune. Another brother, Achille, rests against a window wall at left while others, including Musson's partners, go about their business. A Cotton Office in New Orleans was the first painting by Degas to be purchased by a museum, and the first by an Impressionist. Degas' sale of the piece marked a turning point in his career as he moved from being a struggling, unrecognized artist to a recognized and financially stable artist, according to Marilyn Brown in her book Degas and the Business of Art: A Cotton Office in New Orleans. Degas traveled from Europe to New Orleans in late 1872 with his brother, René, to visit his mother's brother, Michael Musson. After the American Civil War, René had joined his uncle's cotton business in New Orleans. Degas was to return to Europe in January 1873, but when his return trip was delayed, he was asked by his relatives to paint their portraits, and decided to show them as a group, at work in the family office.

(no entry for this year)

1874

image Painting by Edgar Degas: The Ballet Class (French: La Classe de danse) is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France. It was commissioned by Jean-Baptiste Faure. Degas temporarily abandoned work on this painting, and delivered a work of a similar name to Faure. The painting depicts dancers at the end of a lesson under ballet master Jules Perrot. Perrot and Degas were friends, and Perrot allowed Degas access to dance classes.

image Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: La Loge (The Theatre Box) depicts an elegant-looking couple sitting in an elevated theater box. This tribute to Parisian modern life was also the artist's principal contribution to the very first Impressionist exhibition of the same year, and it was met with much acclaim. It is now part of the collection at Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

image Eduard Strasburger accurately described the processes of mitotic cell division in plants.

image Francis Galton demonstrates the usefulness of twin studies for elucidating the relative influence of nature (heredity) and nurture (environment) upon behavioral traits.

image Oscar Hertwig concludes from a study on sea urchins that fertilization in both animals and plants consists of the physical union of the two nuclei contributed by the male and female parents.

1875

image Painting by Claude Monet: Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son, sometimes known as The Stroll (French: La Promenade) depicts his wife Camille Monet and their son Jean Monet in the period from 1871 to 1877 while they were living in Argenteuil, capturing a moment on a stroll on a windy summer's day. The work is a genre painting of an everyday family scene, not a formal portrait. The work was painted outdoors, en plein air, and quickly, probably in a single period of a few hours. It measures 100 × 81 centimetres (39 × 32 in), his largest work in the 1870s, and is signed "Monet 75" in the lower right corner.

image Painting by Thomas Eakins: The Gross Clinic, or, The Clinic of Dr. Gross, is large painting, measuring 8 feet (240 cm) by 6.5 feet (200 cm). Dr. Samuel D. Gross, a seventy-year-old professor dressed in a black frock coat, lectures a group of Jefferson Medical College students. Admired for its uncompromising realism, The Gross Clinic has an important place documenting the history of medicine—both because it honors the emergence of surgery as a healing profession (previously, surgery was associated primarily with amputation), and because it shows us what the surgical theater looked like in the nineteenth century. In 1875, anesthesia was used, but sterile procedures were not.

(no entry for this year)

1876

image Mark Twain publishes Tom Sawyer.

image Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Bal du moulin de la Galette (commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) is housed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and is one of Impressionism's most celebrated masterpieces. The painting depicts a typical Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette in the district of Montmartre in Paris. In the late 19th century, working class Parisians would dress up and spend time there dancing, drinking, and eating galettes into the evening. Like other works of Renoir's early maturity, Bal du moulin de la Galette is a typically Impressionist snapshot of real life. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light.

image Hermann Fol reports watching the spermatozoan of a starfish penetrate the egg. He was able to see the transfer of the intact nucleus of the sperm into the egg, where it became the male pronucleus.

1877

image Early color photo of Agen, France, by Louis Ducos du Hauron, 1877. The cathedral in the scene is the Cathédrale Saint-Caprais d'Agen.

image Painting by Claude Monet: The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train. The Gare Saint-Lazare has been represented in a number of artworks. It attracted artists during the Impressionist period and many of them lived very close to the Gare St-Lazare during the 1870s and 1880s. In 1877, painter Claude Monet rented a studio near the Gare Saint Lazare. That same year he exhibited seven paintings of the railway station in an impressionist painting exhibition. He completed several paintings of this subject. The Gare Saint-Lazare is far different than Monet's previous paintings of harbors, boats and oceans that viewers had seen before. The Gare Saint-Lazare series of paintings lead the viewers through a tour of the train station in different points of the day. “Monet exemplifies the modern life, in all its chaos and instability,” The steam coming from the trains creates a way of dissolving the train and showing the impressionistic style of blending colors and light. Everything dissipates with the steam of the train and turns into a flurry of blended colors. As said by Émile Zola, “Monet is able to turn a normally dirty and gritty place into a peaceful and beautiful scene…You can hear the trains rumbling in, see the smoke billow up under the huge roofs…that is where painting is today…our artists have to find the poetry in train station, the way their fathers found the poetry in forests and rivers.” “Monet’s work on the Gare Saint-Lazare is unparalleled in its evocation of steamm and the smoke-filled station. In spite of the impressionist style, the work reproduces accurately the topography of the area, even allowing one to deduce the precise point where the artist was standing while painting. This is the first time an artist had showed a single theme through a series of variations”

image Painting by Claude Monet: The Gare Saint-Lazare. The Gare Saint-Lazare has been represented in a number of artworks. It attracted artists during the Impressionist period and many of them lived very close to the Gare St-Lazare during the 1870s and 1880s. In 1877, painter Claude Monet rented a studio near the Gare Saint Lazare. That same year he exhibited seven paintings of the railway station in an impressionist painting exhibition. He completed several paintings of this subject. The Gare Saint-Lazare is far different than Monet's previous paintings of harbors, boats and oceans that viewers had seen before. The Gare Saint-Lazare series of paintings lead the viewers through a tour of the train station in different points of the day. “Monet exemplifies the modern life, in all its chaos and instability,” The steam coming from the trains creates a way of dissolving the train and showing the impressionistic style of blending colors and light. Everything dissipates with the steam of the train and turns into a flurry of blended colors. As said by Émile Zola, “Monet is able to turn a normally dirty and gritty place into a peaceful and beautiful scene…You can hear the trains rumbling in, see the smoke billow up under the huge roofs…that is where painting is today…our artists have to find the poetry in train station, the way their fathers found the poetry in forests and rivers.” “Monet’s work on the Gare Saint-Lazare is unparalleled in its evocation of steamm and the smoke-filled station. In spite of the impressionist style, the work reproduces accurately the topography of the area, even allowing one to deduce the precise point where the artist was standing while painting. This is the first time an artist had showed a single theme through a series of variations”

image Painting by Gustave Caillebotte: Paris Street; Rainy Day (French Rue de Paris, temps de pluie) is his best known work. It shows a number of individuals walking through the Place de Dublin, in 1877 known as the Carrefour de Moscou, at an intersection to the east of the Gare Saint-Lazare in north Paris. Although Caillebotte was a friend and patron of many of the impressionist painters, and this work is part of that school, it differs in its realism and reliance on line rather than broad brush strokes. Caillebotte's interest in photography is evident. The figures in the foreground appear "out of focus", those in the mid-distance (the carriage and the pedestrians in the intersection) have sharp edges, while the features in the background become progressively indistinct. The severe cropping of some figures — particularly the man to the far right — further suggests the influence.

image Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne proposed the term ENZYME (meaning "in yeast") and distinguished enzymes from the micro-organisms that produce them.

1878

image Photograph by Eadweard Muybridge: Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, also known as The Horse in Motion, is a series of photographs consisting of a galloping horse, the result of a photographic experiment on June 15, 1878. Sometimes cited as an early silent film, the series and later experiments like it were precursors to the development of motion pictures. The series consists of 24 photographs shot in rapid succession that were shown on a zoopraxiscope. Muybridge was commissioned by Leland Stanford, the industrialist and horseman, who was interested in gait analysis. The purpose of the shoot was to determine whether a galloping horse ever lifts all four feet completely off the ground during the gait; at this speed, the human eye cannot break down the action. Muybridge arranged 24 cameras, 27 inches apart, along a track parallel to the horse's path, with their shutters controlled by trip wires triggered by the horse's legs. The stop-action photographs showed the mare lifted all four legs off the ground at certain points during the gallop. Run together, the photographs produced the effect of the horse in motion, or a film.

image From 1879 through 1882, Walther Flemming describes and names CHROMATIN, MITOSIS, and the SPIREME. He makes the first accurate counts of chromosome numbers and accurately drew the "longitudinal splitting" of chromosomes.

1879

(no entry for this year)

image image image Throughout the decade of 1880-1890, Walther Flemming, Eduard Strasburger, Edouard van Beneden, and others elucidate the essential facts of cell division and stressed the importance of the qualitative and quantitative equality of chromosome distribution to daughter cells.

1880

(no entry for this year)

(no entry for this year)

1881

image Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: The Umbrellas (French: Les Parapluies) is an oil-on-canvas painting, painted in two phases in the 1880s. It is owned by the National Gallery in London as part of the Lane Bequest, but is displayed alternately in London and at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. In May 2013, it returned to Dublin for a six-year period. Renoir began the painting in about 1880-81, using the loose brushwork with dark and bright tones typical of the Impressionist movement. In about 1885-6, after losing his attachment to Impressionism and drawing inspiration from classical art he had seen in Italy and the works of Ingres and Cézanne, he reworked parts of the painting, particularly the principal female figure to the left of the frame, in a more classical linear style using more muted colours, and added the background and the umbrellas themselves. X-ray photography has shown that the clothing of the female figure was originally different: she wore a hat and her dress had horizontal rows of frills, with white lace at its cuffs and collar, suggesting that she was middle class, whereas the simpler clothes in the revised painting mark her out as a member of the working class, a grisette not a bourgeoise. The x-ray analysis and then the changing fashions allow the periods of work to be dated with reasonable accuracy.

Walther Flemming publishes accurate depictions of cell division (mitosis) in Zellsubstanz, Kern und Zelltheilung.

image Eduard Strasburger coins the terms CYTOPLASM and NUCLEOPLASM.

image W. Flemming discovers lampbrush chromosomes and coins the term MITOSIS.

1882

image Painting by Édouard Manet: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (French: Un bar aux Folies Bergère), is considered Manet's last major work. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris. It originally belonged to the composer Emmanuel Chabrier, who was Manet's neighbor, and hung over his piano. The painting exemplifies Manet's commitment to Realism in its detailed representation of a contemporary scene. Many features have puzzled critics but almost all of them have been shown to have a rationale, and the painting has been the subject of numerous popular and scholarly articles. The central figure stands before a mirror, although critics — accusing Manet of ignorance of perspective and alleging various impossibilities in the painting — have debated this point since the earliest reviews were published. In 2000, however, a photograph taken from a suitable point of view of a staged reconstruction was shown to reproduce the scene as painted by Manet.

image Painting by John Singer Sargent: Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Louise Burckhardt). The subject of this portrait was the twenty-year-old daughter of a Swiss merchant and his American wife, members of the artist’s cosmopolitan circle in Paris. Did she enjoy the experience? Look at her expression.

image Sculpture by Auguste Rodin: The sculpture, The Kiss, was originally titled Francesca da Rimini, as it depicts the 13th-century Italian noblewoman immortalised in Dante's Inferno (Circle 2, Canto 5) who falls in love with her husband Giovanni Malatesta's younger brother Paolo. Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the couple are discovered and killed by Francesca's husband. In the sculpture, the book can be seen in Paolo's hand. The lovers' lips do not actually touch in the sculpture, suggesting that they were interrupted and met their demise without their lips ever having touched. When critics first saw the sculpture in 1887, they suggested the less specific title Le Baiser (The Kiss).

image August Weismann points out the distinction in animals between the somatic cell line and the germ cells, stressing that only changes in germ cells are transmitted to further generations.

image Edouard van Beneden announced the principles of genetic continuity of chromosomes and reported the occurrence of chromosome reduction at germ cell formation. The sperm and egg are haploid and fertilization restores the diploid chromosome number.

image Wilhelm Roux offers a possible explanation for the function of mitosis.

image William Keith Brooks, a professor at The Johns Hopkins University, publishes The Law of Heredity: A Study of the Cause of Variation and the Origin of Living Organisms. Although this speculative work did not significantly advance the understanding of heredity, brooks' thinking is important because during his career he provided instruction to and supervised the early research of Thomas H. Morgan, Edmund Beecher Wilson, and William Bateson — ultimately some of the most important contributors to the new science of genetics.

1883

(no entry for this year)

image image image image During 1884-88, identification of the cell nucleus as the basis for inheritance was independently reported by Oscar Hertwig, Eduard Strasburger, Albrecht von Kölliker, and August Weismann.

image Gregor Mendel dies on January 6th, without ever knowing that his work on peas would lead to the transformation of biological research.

image image image Walther Flemming, Eduard Strasburger and Edouard van Beneden demonstrate that chromosome doubling occurs by a process of longitudinal splitting. Strasburger describes and names the PROPHASE, METAPHASE, and ANAPHASEstages of chromosomal division.

1884

(no entry for this year)

image August Weismann formulates the germ-plasm theory which held that the germ plasm was separate from the somatoplasm and was continuous from generation to generation.

image Carl Rabl theorized the individuality of chromosomes in all stages of the cell cycle.

image Walther Flemming observed sister chromatids passing to opposite poles of the cell during mitosis.

1885

image Painting by Vincent van Gogh: The Potato Eaters (Dutch: De Aardappeleters). Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work: "You see, I really have wanted to make it so that people get the idea that these folk, who are eating their potatoes by the light of their little lamp, have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labor and — that they have thus honestly earned their food. I wanted it to give the idea of a wholly different way of life from ours — civilized people. So I certainly don't want everyone just to admire it or approve of it without knowing why."

image Francis Galton devised a new useful statistical tool, the correlation table.

image Hugo de Vries (Holland) discovers aberrant evening primrose plants at Hilversum, Holland. Experiments with these extending over 15 years formed the basis for his mutation theory of evolution.

1886

image Painting by Georges Seurat: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (French: Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte) is one of the artist's most famous works. It is a leading example of pointillism technique, executed on a large canvas. Seurat's composition includes a number of Parisians at a park on the banks of the River Seine. Inspired by optical effects and perception inherent in the color theories of Michel Eugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood and others, Seurat adapted this scientific research to his painting. Seurat contrasted miniature dots or small brushstrokes of colors that when unified optically in the human eye were perceived as a single shade or hue. He believed that this form of painting, called divisionism at the time but now known as pointillism, would make the colors more brilliant and powerful than standard brushstrokes.

image August Weismann elaborated an all-encompassing theory of chromosome behavior during cell division and fertilization and predicted the occurrence of a reduction division (meiosis) in all sexual organisms.

image Edouard van Beneden demonstrated chromosome reduction in gamete maturation, thereby confirming August Weismann's predictions.

image Wilhelm Roux put forth the suggestion that the linearly arranged qualities of the chromosomes were equally transmitted to both daughter cells at meiosis.

1887

(no entry for this year)

German anatomist W. von Waldeyer names chromosomes.

image Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer names the CHROMOSOME.

image Theodor Boveri verifies August Weismann's predictions of chromosome reduction by direct observation in Ascaris.

1888

image Painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema: The Roses of Heliogabalus shows a group of Roman diners at a banquet, being swamped by drifts of pink rose petals falling from a false ceiling above. The Roman emperor Elagabalus reclines on a platform behind them, wearing a golden robe and a tiara, watching the spectacle with other garlanded guests. A woman plays the double pipes beside a marble pillar in the background, wearing the leopard skin of a maenad, with a bronze statue of Dionysus, based on the Ludovisi Dionysus, in front of a view of distant hills. The painting depicts a (probably invented) episode in the life of the Roman emperor Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus, (204–222), taken from the Augustan History. Although the Latin refers to "violets and other flowers", Alma-Tadema depicts Elagabalus smothering his unsuspecting guests with rose petals released from a false ceiling.

image Painting by Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers (original title, in French: Tournesols). Sunflowers are the subject of two series of still life paintings by the Dutch painter . The earlier series, executed in Paris in 1887, depicts the flowers lying on the ground, while the second set, executed a year later in Arles, shows bouquets of sunflowers in a vase. In the artist's mind both sets were linked by the name of his friend Paul Gauguin, who acquired two of the Paris versions. About eight months later van Gogh hoped to welcome and to impress Gauguin again with Sunflowers, now part of the painted Décoration for the Yellow House that he prepared for the guestroom of his home in Arles, where Gauguin was supposed to stay. After Gauguin's departure, van Gogh imagined the two major versions as wings of the Berceuse Triptych, and finally he included them in his Les XX in Bruxelles exhibit

image Francis Galton publishes Natural Inheritance. In it he describes the quantitative measurement of metric traits in populations. He thus founds biometry and the statistical study of variation. Ultimately, he formulates the Law of Ancestral Inheritance, a statistical description of the relative contributions to heredity made by one's ancestors.

1889

image Painting by Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealized village. It is regarded as among Van Gogh's finest works, and is one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture. In the aftermath of the 23 December 1888 breakdown that resulted in the self-mutilation of his left ear, Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum on 8 May 1889. Housed in a former monastery, Saint-Paul-de-Mausole catered to the wealthy and was less than half full when Van Gogh arrived, allowing him to occupy not only a second-story bedroom but also a ground-floor room for use as a painting studio.

image The numerical equality of paternal and maternal chromosomes at fertilization was established by Theodor Boveri and Jean-Louis-Léon Guignard.

1890

(no entry for this year)

(no entry for this year)

1891

(no entry for this year)

image Publication of August Weismann's book Das Keimplasma (The Germ Plasm) emphasized meiosis as an exact mechanism of chromosome distribution.

1892

image Painting by Paul Gauguin: Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao tupapau) is an oil on burlap canvas depicting a naked Tahitian girl lying on her stomach. An old woman is seated behind her. Gauguin said the title may refer to either the girl imagining the ghost, or the ghost imagining her. The subject of the painting is Gauguin's young native wife Teha'amana (called Tehura in his letters), who one night, according to Gauguin, was lying in fear when he arrived home late: " ... motionless, naked, belly down on the bed: she stared up at me, her eyes wide with fear, '... Perhaps she took me, with my anguished face, for one of those legendary demons or specters, the Tupapaus that filled the sleepless nights of her people."

(no entry for this year)

1893

image Painting by Edvard Munch: The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik). The same title — The Scream — is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition, created as both paintings and pastels, by Norwegian Expressionist artist between 1893 and 1910. The German title Munch gave these works is Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). The works show a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous orange sky. Arthur Lubow has described The Scream as "an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa for our time." Edvard Munch created the four versions in various media. The National Gallery in Oslo, Norway, holds one of two painted versions (1893, shown here). The Munch Museum holds the other painted version and a pastel version from 1893. The fourth version (pastel, 1895) was sold for $119,922,600 at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art auction on 2 May 2012 to financier Leon Black, the fourth highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction. The painting was on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 2012 to April 2013.

image Painting by Franz Stuck: The Sin (German: Die Sünde) depicts the nude Eve with a big serpent wrapped around her body. In the upper right corner is a bright field, while the rest of the surroundings are dark. The motif was conceived as a development of Stuck's 1889 painting Sensuality (Die Sinnlichkeit). The Sin was first exhibited in 1893, at the inaugural exhibition of the Munich Secession, where it caused a sensation. It was bought by the Neue Pinakothek in Munich and became a critical and commercial breakthrough for Stuck. It has since become an emblematic painting for the symbolist movement. Stuck made twelve known versions of the painting. Some of these can be viewed at the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the National Gallery in Berlin, the Galleria di arte Moderna in Palermo, the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, and at the Villa Stuck in Munich, where it is enshrined in the artist's Künstleraltar.

image Hans Driesch expounded the view that all nuclei of an organism were equipotential but varied in their activity in accordance with the differentiation of tissues.

image Karl Pearson published the first in a long series of contributions to the mathematical theory of evolution. Methods for analyzing statistical frequency distributions were developed in detail.

image William Bateson's Materials for the Study of Variation emphasized the importance of discontinuous variations, foreshadowing the rediscovery of Mendel's work.

1894

image Painting by Claude Monet: The Rouen Cathedral, Full Sunlight was one of a series, with each painting in the series intended to capture the facade of the Rouen Cathedral at different times of the day and year, reflecting changes in its appearance under different lighting conditions. The Rouen Cathedral paintings, more than thirty in all, were made in 1892 and 1893, then reworked in Monet's studio in 1894. Monet rented spaces across the street from the cathedral, where he set up temporary studios for the purpose. In 1895, he selected what he considered to be the twenty best paintings from the series for display at his Paris dealer's gallery, and of these he sold eight before the exhibition was over. Pissarro and Cézanne visited the exhibition and praised the series highly. When Monet painted the Rouen Cathedral series, he had long since been impressed with the way light imparts to a subject a distinctly different character at different times of the day and the year, and as atmospheric conditions change. For Monet, the effects of light on a subject became as important as the subject itself.

(no entry for this year)

1895

(no entry for this year)

image E. B. Wilson publishes The Cell in Development and Heredity. This influential treatise (ultimately reprinted in several editions) distills the information compiled concerning cytology in the half-century since Schleiden and Schwann put forth the cell theory.

1896

The first Sunday newspaper comics appear.

(no entry for this year)

1897

image Painting by : The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning. In the late 1890s, Pissarro painted a series of works depicting the boulevards, as seen from his windows, at various times of year.

image Painting by Paul Gauguin: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?. Gauguin inscribed the original French title in the upper left corner: D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous. The inscription the artist wrote on his canvas has no question mark, no dash, and all words are capitalized. In the upper right corner he signed and dated the painting: P. Gauguin / 1897. The painting was created in Tahiti, and is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Gauguin had been a student at the Petit Séminaire de La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, just outside Orléans, from the age of eleven to the age of sixteen. His subjects there included a class in Catholic liturgy; the teacher for this class was the Bishop of Orléans, Félix-Antoine-Philibert Dupanloup. Dupanloup had devised his own catechism to be lodged in the minds of the young schoolboys, and to lead them towards proper spiritual reflections on the nature of life. The three fundamental questions in this catechism were: "Where does humanity come from?" "Where is it going to?", "How does humanity proceed?". Although in later life Gauguin was vociferously anticlerical, these questions from Dupanloup's catechism obviously had lodged in his mind, and "where?" became the key question that Gauguin asked in his art.

(no entry for this year)

1898

(no entry for this year)

image image L. Cuénot (France) working with animals, and Strasburger (Germany) working with plants, advance theory that sex is controlled within the germ cell, not by environment.

Richard Altmann renames "nuclein" as NUCLEIC ACID.

The First International Congress of Genetics held in London.

image William Bateson writes a paper on hybridisation and cross-breeding as a method of scientific investigation that anticipates Mendel's rediscovery.

1899

(no entry for this year)

image H. de Vries adopts the term MUTATION to describe sudden, spontaneous, drastic alterations in the hereditary material of Oenothera.

T. H. Montgomery studies spermatogenesis in various species of Hemiptera. He concludes that maternal chromosomes only pair with paternal chromosomes during meiosis.

1901

Sully Prudhomme awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect".

image Eugène Atget: Marchand d'Abat-Jours, an albumen silver print, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum.

image Painting by Gustav Klimt: Judith and the Head of Holofernes (also known as Judith I) depicts the biblical character of Judith holding the severed head of Holofernes. Judith I reveals a curious symbolic and compositional consonance with The Sin by Franz Stuck: the temptation illustrated by the German painter becomes the model for Klimt's femme fatale by suggesting the posture of the disrobed and evanescent body as focal piece of the canvas, as well as the facial set. Judith's force originates from the close-up and the solidity of posture, rendered by the orthogonal projection of lines: to the body's verticality (and that of Holofernes') corresponds to the horizontal parallels in the lower margin: those of the arm, the shoulders joined by the collier, and finally the hair base.

image The concepts of PHENOTYPE, GENOTYPE, and SELECTION were introduced and clearly defined by Wilhelm Ludwig Johannsen.

1903

image Richard Steiff designs the first teddy bears, named after Pres. Teddy Roosevelt.

Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit".

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: The Old Guitarist depicts an old, blind, haggard man with threadbare clothing weakly hunched over his guitar, playing in the streets of Barcelona, Spain. It is currently on display in the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection. At the time of The Old Guitarist's creation, Modernism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Symbolism had merged and created an overall movement called Expressionism which greatly influenced Picasso's style. Furthermore, El Greco, Picasso's poor standard of living, and the suicide of a dear friend influenced Picasso's style at the time which came to be known as his Blue Period. In the early 1960s, nearly forty percent of all college dorm rooms had a poster of this painting on the wall.

(no entry for this year)

1904

Frédéric Mistral awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of the fresh originality and true inspiration of his poetic production, which faithfully reflects the natural scenery and native spirit of his people, and, in addition, his significant work as a Provençal philologist".

José Echegaray y Eizaguirre awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama".

image Photograph by Edward Steichen: The Flatiron Building.

image Painting by Henri Matisse: Luxe, Calme et Volupté is an oil painting by the French artist Henri Matisse. Both foundational in the oeuvre of Matisse and a pivotal work in the history of art, Luxe, Calme et Volupté is considered the starting point of Fauvism. Luxe, Calme et Volupté was painted by artist called Matisse in 1904, after a summer spent working in St. Tropez on the French Riviera alongside the neo-Impressionist painters Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. The painting is Matisse's most important work in which he used the Divisionist technique advocated by Signac.

image Painting by Maxfield Parrish: The Dinky Bird, an illustration from Poems of Childhood exemplifies Parrish's characteristic use of androgynous figures. To a modern eye, Parrish's early work — characterized by himself as "girls on rocks" — may bring to mind the words kitsch or schlock or schmaltz or maudlin, but to many who were enduring the Great Depression or World War II, his images, like Busby Berkeley musicals, inspired a bit of hope — an imagining that things did not always have to be this bad. During those hard times, many a lower middle class American living room had one or more cheap Parrish prints, sometimes just a page from a magazine, adorning the wall.

K. S. Merezhkovsky suggests that chloroplasts originated as a cyanobacterium swallowed by a protozoan, i.e., algal and plant cells result from two independent organisms that became symbionts. The idea will be largely forgotten until it is suggested again in the 1960s.

image Lucien Claude Cuénot performs crosses between mice carrying a gene that gives them yellow fur. Since they always produce yellow furred and agouti offspring in a 2:1 ratio, he concludes they are heterozygous. (In 1910, W. E. Castle and C. C. Little will show that yellow homozygotes die in utero. This dominant allele is thus the first gene shown to behave as a homozygous lethal.)

1905

Henryk Sienkiewicz awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer".

image Painting by Gustav Klimt: Margaret "Gretl" Stonborough-Wittgenstein. Stonborough-Wittgenstein, a member of the prominent and wealthy Viennese Wittgenstein family, was a sister of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the pianist Paul Wittgenstein. She was the subject of a portrait painted for her wedding by the artist Gustav Klimt (Stonborough-Wittgenstein and other members of the Wittgenstein family were among Klimt's most important patrons), which was sold in 1960 by her son Thomas and may now be seen in the Neue Pinakothek gallery in Munich. Aside: The painting appears briefly behind Ava, an AI robot, in the film Ex Machina (a film that is an excellent exploration of artificial intelligence, the nature of consciousness, and passing a Turing Test).

image Painting by Henri Matisse: Woman with a Hat (La femme au chapeau) depicts Matisse's wife, Amelie. It was painted in 1905 and exhibited at the Salon d'Automne during the fall of the same year, along with works by André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck and several other artists known as "Fauves". Woman with a Hat was at the center of the controversy that led to the term Fauvism. It was also a painting that marked a stylistic shift in the work of Matisse from the Divisionist brushstrokes of his earlier work to a more expressive style. Its loose brushwork and "unfinished" quality shocking viewers as much as its vivid, non-naturalistic colors. Although the Fauve works on display were condemned by many — "A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public", declared the critic Camille Mauclair — they also gained some favorable attention. The painting that was singled out for attacks was Matisse's Woman with a Hat.

image image William Bateson and Reginald Crundall Punnett report the discovery of two new genetic principles: LINKAGE and GENE INTERACTION.

1906

image Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle.

Giosuè Carducci awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "not only in consideration of his deep learning and critical research, but above all as a tribute to the creative energy, freshness of style, and lyrical force which characterize his poetic masterpieces".

image painting by Henri Matisse: Le bonheur de vivre (The Joy of Life) is (along with Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon) regarded as one of the pillars of early modernism. The monumental canvas was first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants of 1906, where its cadmium colors and spatial distortions caused a public expression of protest and outrage. "The work is known to have invigorated fellow artists, especially Pablo Picasso, who, in an effort to outdo Matisse in terms of shock value, immediately began work on his watershed Les Demoiselles D'Avignon," writes Martha Lucy, associate curator at the Barnes Foundation.

(no entry for this year)

1907

Kenneth Grahame publishes The Wind in the Willows.

Rudyard Kipling awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author".

image Painting by Gustav Klimt : The Kiss (Lovers) was painted by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt between 1907 and 1908, the highpoint of his "Golden Period", when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style. A perfect square, the canvas depicts a couple embracing, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by both linear constructs of the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The work is composed of oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance. The painting is now in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period. It is a symbol of Vienna Jugendstil—Viennese Art Nouveau—and is considered Klimt's most popular work

image Painting by Gustav Klimt: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (also called The Lady in Gold or The Woman in Gold) was completed between 1903 and 1907. The portrait was commissioned by the sitter's husband, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a Jewish banker and sugar producer. It is the final and most fully representative work of Klimt's golden phase. The portrait was the first of two depictions of Adele by Klimt — the second was completed in 1912; these were two of several works by the artist that the family owned. Adele died in 1925; her will asked that the artworks by Klimt were to be left to the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, although these belonged to Ferdinand, not her.

image Painting by Ivan Grohar: The Sower (Slovene: Sejalec), is an image of a peasant sowing seeds on a ploughed field in an early and foggy morning. A hayrack, typical of the Slovene landscape, stands in the back, and even farther, the rocks of the small hill Kamnitnik near Škofja Loka. It has been a metaphor for the 19th-century myth of Slovenes as a vigorous nation in front of an unclear destiny, a symbol for the Slovene nation that sows in order that it could harvest, and a depiction of human interrelatedness with the nature. It is also a reflection of the context of Slovene transition from a rural to an urban culture. It has become one of the most characteristic and established Slovene creations in visual arts.

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon) portrays five nude female prostitutes from a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó (Avinyó Street) in Barcelona. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none are conventionally feminine. In this adaptation of Primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. This proto-Cubist work is widely considered to be seminal in the early development of both Cubism and Modern art. Les Demoiselles was revolutionary and controversial, and led to widespread anger and disagreement, even amongst the painter's closest associates and friends. Matisse considered the work something of a bad joke, yet indirectly reacted to it in his 1908 Bathers with a Turtle. Braque too initially disliked the painting, yet perhaps more than anyone else, studied the work in great detail. And effectively, his subsequent friendship and collaboration with Picasso led to the Cubist revolution

Henri Matisse coins the term "Cubism" — the first Cubist exhibition opens in Paris.

image Sculpture by Constantin Brâncusi: The Kissis an early example of his proto-cubist style of non-literal representation. This plaster was exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show and published in the Chicago Tribune, 25 March 1913. This early plaster sculpture is one of six casts that Brancusi made of the 1907–08 The Kiss. The original stone carving is in the Muzeul de Arta at Craiova, Romania. Brâncusi created many versions of The Kiss, further simplifying geometric forms and sparse objects in each version, tending each time further toward abstraction. His abstract style emphasizes simple geometrical lines that balance forms inherent in his materials with the symbolic allusions of representational art. Here, the shape of the original block of material is maintained.

image Godfrey Harold Hardy, a Cambridge mathematician, writes a letter to the editor of Science, suggesting that Mendelian mechanisms acting alone have no effect on allele frequencies. The letter begins, I am reluctant to intrude in a discussion concerning matters of which I have no expert knowledge, and I should have expected the very simple point which I wish to make to have been familiar to biologists. However,... This short (less than one page) letter constitutes Hardy's entire lifetime contribution to the field of biology, yet still forms the mathematical basis for population genetics.

1908

Rudolf Christoph Eucken awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his earnest search for truth, his penetrating power of thought, his wide range of vision, and the warmth and strength in presentation with which in his numerous works he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life".

image Painting by Georges Braque: Houses at l'Estaque (French: Maisons à l'Estaque) is considered either an important Proto-Cubist landscape or the first Cubist landscape. The painting prompted art critic Louis Vauxcelles to mock it as being composed of cubes which led to the name of the movement. This painting by Braque was refused at the Salon d'Automne in 1908. Louis Vauxcelles recounted how Matisse told him at the time, "Braque has just sent in [to the 1908 Salon d'Automne] a painting made of little cubes". The critic Charles Morice relayed Matisse's words and spoke of Braque's little cubes. The motif of the viaduct at l'Estaque had inspired Braque to produce three paintings marked by the simplification of form and deconstruction of perspective. Six landscapes painted at L'Estaque signed Georges Braque were presented to the Jury of the Salon d'Automne: Guérin, Marquet, Rouault and Matisse rejected Braque's entire submission. Guérin and Marquet elected to keep two in play. Braque withdrew the two in protest, placing the blame on Matisse.

image T. H. Morgan, later to become the first recipient of the Nobel Prize for work in genetics, writes a paper expressing doubts about the profusion of Mendelian explanations for inherited properties.

image A. E. Garrod publishes Inborn Errors of Metabolism, the earliest discussion of the biochemical genetics of man (or any other species).

image George H. Shull advocates the use of self-fertilized lines in production of commercial seed corn. The hybrid corn program that resulted, created an abundance of foodstuffs worth billions of dollars.

H. Nilsson Ehle puts forward the multiple-factor hypothesis to explain the quantitative inheritance of seed-coat color in wheat.

image W. Johannsen's studies of the inheritance of seed size in self-fertilized lines of beans leads him to realize the necessity of distinguishing between the appearance of an organism and its genetic constitution. He invents the terms PHENOTYOPE and GENOTYPE to serve this purpose, and he also coins the word GENE.

1909

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings".

image Painting by Henri Matisse: Dance (La Danse). The title refers to either of two related paintings made between 1909 and 1910. The first, preliminary version is Matisse's study for the second version. The composition or arrangement of dancing figures is reminiscent of Blake's watercolour "Oberon, Titania and Puck with fairies dancing" from 1786.

1910

Paul Johann Ludwig Heyse awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories".

image Painting by Henri Rousseau: The Dream (French: Le Rêve, occasionally also known as Le Songe or Rêve exotique) is a large oil-on-canvas painting, one of more than 25 Rousseau paintings with a jungle theme. His last completed work, it was first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants from 18 March to 1 May 1910, a few months before his death on 2 September 1910. Rousseau's earlier works had received a negative reception, but poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire remarked on its debut: "The picture radiates beauty, that is indisputable. I believe nobody will laugh this year." The Dream is the largest of the jungle paintings, measuring 6' 8.5" × 9' 9.5". It features an almost surreal portrait of Yadwigha (Jadwiga), Rousseau's Polish mistress from his youth, lying naked on a divan to the left of the painting, gazing over a landscape of lush jungle foliage, including lotus flowers, and animals including birds, monkeys, an elephant, a lion and lioness, and a snake. French art dealer Ambroise Vollard (the same Vollard who purchased 250 paintings from Cézanne for 50 francs each) bought the painting from Rousseau in February 1910

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Girl with a Mandolin is an early example of the artist's analytic cubist style. By the winter of 1909/10 Picasso's pictorial language had already become increasingly hard to decipher. He was steadily divesting his paintings of mere likeness, not that this was synonymous with a progressive elimination of the subject: his paintings were becoming more abstract but not entirely so.

(no entry for this year)

1912

Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art".

image Painting by Giacomo Balla: Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (Italian: Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio), sometimes called Dog on a Leash or Leash in Motion, depicts a dachshund on a leash and the feet of a lady walking it, both in rapid motion as indicated by the blurring and multiplication of their parts. It is considered one of his best-known works, and one of the most important works, in Futurism. Chronophotograpic studies of animals in motion, created by scientist Étienne–Jules Marey beginning in the 1880s, led to the introduction in painting of techniques to show motion, such as blurring, multiplication, and superimposition of body parts — perhaps in an effort to imitate these mechanical images. Such multiplication can be see in Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, painted the same year as Balla's painting. Balla's interest in capturing a single moment in a series of planes was inspired by his fascination with chronophotography. In later, more abstract works created during World War I, Balla used planes of color to suggest movement.

image Painting by Marcel Duchamp: Nude Descending a Staircase causes an uproar at the 1913 Armory show in New York City. In interviews, Duchamp suggested that he had been influenced by seeing stop-motion images and that his aim was to achieve " a static representation of movement, a static composition of indications of various positions taken by a form in movement." In a New York Times review, an art critic described the painting as resembling "an explosion in a shingle factory."

image A. H. Sturtevant, an undergraduate working with Morgan at Columbia, provides the experimental basis for the linkage concept in Drosophila and produces the first GENETIC MAP.

1913

image Thomas Mann publishes Death in Venice.

Rabindranath Tagore awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West".

image Painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Street, Berlin shows Berlin in 1913,` before the outbreak of World War 1. At this time, Kirchner painted several different street scenes that illustrated the chaos of city life and the relationship between men and women. The mass of men in the background do not have any identifying features, but instead appear as a copy of each other. Their clothes flow into one another and their non-distinct facial features cause you to connect with the women because they are the only two with a sense of identity. Kirchner uses some anti-naturalistic color in this piece including the skin of the figures which varies between shades of pink and orange as well as the blue and pink shades in the scenery. The anti-naturalistic tones are common in the German Expressionism and his other work during this time period.

image Painting by Georges Braque: Woman with a Guitar. A relatively large painting it is 130 cm by 73 cm, and utilised both oil paint and charcoal. While the painting is abstracted the basic subject can still be seen towards the top in the feminine mouth and eye, as well as the brown trapezoid shape containing the strings of a guitar.

image Painting by Umberto Boccioni: Dynamism of a Cyclist (Dinamismo di un Ciclista) demonstrates the Futurist preoccupation with speed, modern methods of transport, and the depiction of the dynamic sensation of movement. Futurism was an early twentieth-century movement in Italy that sought to free the country from what the Futurists saw as the dead weight of its classical past. The Futurists were preoccupied with the technology and dynamism of modern life. The movement found its expression primarily in literature and art.

image Sculpture by Umberto Boccioni: Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (Italian: Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio) is seen as an expression of movement and fluidity. The sculpture is depicted on the obverse of the Italian-issue 20 cent euro coin. The Futurist movement was striving to portray speed and forceful dynamism in their art. Boccioni, though trained as a painter, began sculpting in 1912. He exclaimed that "these days I am obsessed by sculpture! I believe I have glimpsed a complete renovation of that mummified art." The following year Boccioni completed the sculpture. His goal for the work was to depict a "synthetic continuity" of motion instead of an "analytical discontinuity" that he saw in artists like František Kupka and Marcel Duchamp.

1914

image Photograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn: Vortograph — a kaleidoscopic effect — created by placing mirrors in triangular arrangements around a lens.

image Painting by Giorgio de Chirico: The Song of Love (also known as Le chant d'amour or Love Song; 1914) is one of the most famous works by de Chirico and an early example of the surrealist style, though it was painted ten years before the movement was "founded" by André Breton in 1924. It depicts an outdoor architectural setting similar to other works by de Chirico at this time. This time however, the main focus is a small wall on which is mounted a Greek sculpted head and a surgeon's glove. Below it is a green ball. On the horizon is the outline of a locomotive, an image that recurs several times during this period of de Chirico's career.

image Painting by Piet Mondrian: The Ocean 5 is basically an abstracted pier that is composed of vertical lines that touch the base of the oval, which stretches into the ocean and short crosses that give the impression of light flickering on the water surface.

image Calvin Bridges identifies strains of mutant fruit flies with extra pairs of wings. Decades later, these strains will help biologists understand Hox genes that control the head-to-toe anatomy of widely varying animals.

image Frederick Twort discovers a virus capable of infecting and destroying bacteria.

image image image image Thomas Hunt Morgan, Alfred Henry Sturtevant, Calvin Blackman Bridges, and Hermann Joseph Muller publish The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity. This monograph provides the first systematic description of the actual mechanisms that control inheritance as evidenced in the Mendelian model. Here, for the first time, the gene is made real.

1915

Romain Rolland awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings".

image Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz: The Steerage has been hailed as one of the greatest photographs of all time because it captures in a single image both a formative document of its time and one of the first works of artistic modernism. Stieglitz first published The Steerage in the October 1911 issue of Camera Work, which he had devoted to his own photography. It appeared the following year on the cover of the magazine section of the Saturday Evening Mail (20 April 1912), a New York weekly magazine. It was first exhibited in a show of Stieglitz's photographs at "291" in 1913. In 1915 Stieglitz devoted the entire No 7-8 issue of 291 to The Steerage. The only text in the issue were comments on the photo by Paul Haviland and Marius de Zayas.

image Work by Francis Picabia: Ici, C'est Ici Stieglitz Foi et Amour (Here, this is Stieglitz. Faith and Love) was published in 1915 as the cover of the avant-garde American journal 291. The work was one of a series of witty "machine portraits" by French artist Francis Picabia, soon to become a leading figure in the developing Dada art movement in New York City. The journal's title, named after Alfred Stieglitz's 291 Gallery on Fifth Avenue, pays tribute to the photographer's role in promoting modern art. But the symbolic portrait suggests that he has lost his momentum: it portrays its subject as a limp and broken camera striving toward, but not reaching, the "Ideal," with an automobile gearshift lodged in neutral and a hand brake engaged.

(no entry for this year)

1916

Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature".

image Photograph by Paul Strand:: Blind, taken as part of a series of street portraits. He used a camera outfitted with a special false lens that allowed him to point the camera in one direction while actually taking a photograph ninety degrees to the side. The result was a collection of remarkably natural and unposed photographs.

image British polymath D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson publishes On Growth and Form arguing that the forms Darwinian natural selection can produce through evolution are constrained by physical and mathematical laws, and that organic structures often emulate inorganic natural structures. His analysis led the way for the scientific explanation of morphogenesis, the process by which patterns and body structures are formed in plants and animals. Thompson's description of the mathematical beauty of nature and the mathematical basis of the forms of animals stimulated thinkers as diverse as Julian Huxley, Conrad Hal Waddington, Alan Turing, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Eduardo Paolozzi, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe.

image C. B. Bridges discovers the first chromosome deficiency in Drosophila.

image Felix Hubert D'Herelle, independently of Frederick Twort, discovers a virus capable of infecting and destroying bacteria, which he calls a BACTERIOPHAGE.

1917

Henrik Pontoppidan awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark".

Karl Adolph Gjellerup awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals".

image Painting by Egon Schiele: Portrait of the Composer Arnold Schönberg (German: Bildnis des Komponisten Arnold Schönberg)

image "Sculpture" by Marcel Duchamp: Fountain. Duchamp submits this work to the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists. The piece is actually a porcelain urinal, signed R. Mutt, 1917. The work (originally conceived as a prank) is regarded by art historians as a major landmark in 20th-century art.

(no entry for this year)

1918

image Painting by Marcel Duchamp: Tu m'. This was Duchamp's last painting and was commissioned by Katherine Dreier to be hung over a bookcase in her library, hence the unusual length and frieze-like shape of the work. Executed in 1918, it is Marcel Duchamp's last painting on canvas and sums up his previous artistic concerns. Ranging across the canvas from left to right are cast shadows that refer to three "ready-mades": a bicycle wheel, a corkscrew, and a hat rack. Several objects are rendered illusionistically, such as a painted hand with a pointed finger in the lower center. Providing counterpoints to these trompe l'oeil elements are real objects: a bottle brush, a bolt, and safety pins. Duchamp summarizes different ways in which a work of art can suggest reality: as shadow, imitation, or actual object. The title lends a sarcastic tone to the work, for the words, perhaps short for the French "tu m'emmerdes" (you annoy me) or "tu m'ennuies" (you bore me), seem to express his attitude toward painting as he was casting it aside.

image Joan Miró first exhibits his works.

image Thomas Hunt Morgan and coworkers publish The Physical Basis of Heredity, a book-length summary of the rapidly growing findings in genetics.

image C. B. Bridges discovers chromosomal duplications in Drosophila.

image T. H. Morgan calls attention to the equality in Drosophila melanogaster between the number of linkage groups and the haploid number of chromosomes.

1919

Carl Friedrich Georg Spitteler awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring".

image Painting by John Singer Sargent: Gassed is a very large (7.5 × 20 feet) oil painting completed in March 1919 by John Singer Sargent. It depicts the aftermath of a mustard gas attack during the First World War, with a line of wounded soldiers walking towards a dressing station. Sargent was commissioned by the British War Memorials Committee to document the war and visited the Western Front in July 1918 spending time with the Guards Division near Arras, and then with the American Expeditionary Forces near Ypres. The painting was finished in March 1919 and voted picture of the year by the Royal Academy of Arts in 1919. It is now held by the Imperial War Museum.

image Work by Marcel Duchamp: L.H.O.O.Q., was one of what Duchamp referred to as a readymade, or more specifically a rectified ready-made. The readymade involves taking mundane, often utilitarian objects not generally considered to be art and transforming them, by adding to them, changing them, or (as in the case of his most famous work Fountain) simply renaming them and placing them in a gallery setting. In L.H.O.O.Q. the objet trouvé ("found object") is a cheap postcard reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa onto which Duchamp drew a moustache and beard in pencil and appended the title. The name of the piece, L.H.O.O.Q., is a pun; the letters pronounced in French sound like "Elle a chaud au cul", "She is hot in the arse"; "avoir chaud au cul" is a vulgar expression implying that a woman has sexual restlessness. In a late interview, Duchamp gives a loose translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as "there is fire down below". As was the case with a number of his readymades, Duchamp made multiple versions of L.H.O.O.Q. of differing sizes and in different media throughout his career, one of which, an unmodified black and white reproduction of the Mona Lisa mounted on card, is called L.H.O.O.Q. Shaved.

(no entry for this year)

1920

Knut Pedersen Hamsun awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil".

image Sculpture by Raoul Hausmann: Mechanischer Kopf (Der Geist Unserer Zeit) — "The Mechanical Head (The Spirit of Our Time)" is the only surviving assemblage that Hausmann produced around 1919-20. Constructed from a hairdresser's wig-making dummy, the piece has various measuring devices attached including a ruler, a pocket watch mechanism, a typewriter, some camera segments and a crocodile wallet. "Der Geist Unserer Zeit — Mechanischer Kopf specifically evokes the philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. For Hegel...everything is mind. Among Hegel's disciples and critics was Karl Marx. Hausmann's sculpture might be seen as an aggressively Marxist reversal of Hegel: this is a head whose "thoughts" are materially determined by objects literally fixed to it. However, there are deeper targets in western culture that give this modern masterpiece its force. Hausmann turns inside out the notion of the head as seat of reason, an assumption that lies behind the European fascination with the portrait. He reveals a head that is penetrated and governed by brute external forces.

(no entry for this year)

1921

Anatole France awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament".

image Assemblage by Kurt Schwitters: Merzpicture 46A. The Skittle Picture — an early example of Schitters' assemblages in which two and three dimensional objects are combined. The word "Merz," which Schwitters used to describe his art practice as well as his individual pieces, is a nonsensical word, like Dada, that Schwitters culled from the word "commerz", the meaning of which he described as follows: "In the war, things were in terrible turmoil. What I had learned at the academy was of no use to me.... Everything had broken down and new things had to be made out of the fragments; and this is Merz". In his Merzpictures, which have been called "psychological collages," he arranged found objects — usually detritus — in simple compositions that transformed trash into beautiful works of art. Whether the materials were string, a ticket stub, or a chess piece, Schwitters considered them to be equal with any traditional art material. Merz, however, is not ideological, dogmatic, hostile, or political as is much of Dada art.

image Painting by Max Ernst: The Elephant Celebes (or short Celebes) is among the most famous of Ernst's early surrealist works and "undoubtedly the first masterpiece of Surrealist painting in the de Chirico tradition." It combines the vivid dreamlike atmosphere of Surrealism with the collage aspects of Dada. The painting attempts to apply Dada's collage effects to simulate different materials. Ernst's realistic portrayal of the constituent elements produces a hallucinatory effect that he associated with collage, and was trying to achieve in this painting. Regarding the art of collage, Ernst said, "It is the systematic exploitation of the coincidental or artificially provoked encounter of two of more unrelated realities on an apparently inappropriate plane and the spark of poetry created by the proximity of these realities."

Lillian V. Morgan discovers attached-X chromosomes in Drosophila.

1922

image image James Joyce publishes Ulysses and T. S. Eliot publishes The Wasteland, two significant works in the new literary movement called modernism.

Jacinto Benavente awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama".

image Painting by Paul Klee: Twittering Machine (Die Zwitscher-Maschine). Like other artworks by Klee, it blends biology and machinery, depicting a loosely sketched group of birds on a wire or branch connected to a hand-crank. Interpretations of the work vary widely: it has been perceived as a nightmarish lure for the viewer or a depiction of the helplessness of the artist, but also as a triumph of nature over mechanical pursuits. It has been seen as a visual representation of the mechanics of sound. Originally displayed in Germany, the image was declared "degenerate art" by Adolf Hitler in 1933 and sold by the Nazi Party to an art dealer in 1939, whence it made its way to New York. One of the better known of more than 9,000 works produced by Klee, it is among the more famous images of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It has inspired several musical compositions and, according to a 1987 magazine profile in New York Magazine, has been a popular piece to hang in children's bedrooms.

A. E. Boycott and C. Diver describe "delayed" Mendelian inheritance controlling the direction of the coiling of the shell in the snail Limnea peregra. A. H. Sturtevant suggests that the direction of coiling of the Limnea shell is determined by the character of the ooplasm, which is in turn controlled by the mother's genotype.

image C. B. Bridges discovers chromosomal translocations in Drosophila.

1923

(no entry for this year)

1924

Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his great national epic, The Peasants".

image Photograph by Man Ray: Le Violon d'Ingres, a surrealistic photograph inspired by La Baigneuse Valpinçon, an 1808 painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. The model is Alice Ernestine Prin (nicknamed Queen of Montparnasse, and often known as Kiki de Montparnasse), a French artist's model, nightclub singer, actress, memoirist, and painter. She flourished in, and helped define, the liberated culture of Paris in the 1920s. As an artist's model and Parisian sophisticate, she appeared often as the subject of paintings and sculpture.

image Painting by Joan Miró: The Harlequin's Carnival (Spanish: Carnaval de Arlequín) is an oil painting rendered by Joan Miró between 1924 and 1925. It is one of the most outstanding surrealist paintings of the artist, and it is preserved in the Albright–Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. Created between 1924 and 1925, Harlequin’s Carnival is one of Miró’s best-known pieces. Harlequin is the name of an Italian comic theater character, generally identified by his checkered costume. The ‘carnival’ in the title of the painting may refer to Mardi Gras, the celebration that occurs before the fasting of Lent begins.

Tennessee schoolteacher John Thomas Scopes is tried for teaching evolution in the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial." Two-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan leads the prosecution. Labor lawyer Clarence Darrow leads the defense and goads Bryan into declaring that humans are not mammals. The conviction will be overturned on a technicality, and the anti-evolution law will remain on the books for decades.

image A. H. Sturtevant analyzes the Bar-eye phenomenon in Drosophila and discovers position effect.

1925

image The film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's dinosaurs-and-cavemen fantasy The Lost World premieres.

George Bernard Shaw awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty".

image Painting by Joan JMiró: The Birth of the World depicts "a sort of genesis" — the amorphous beginnings of life. To make this work, Miró poured, brushed, and flung paint on an unevenly primed canvas so that the paint soaked in some areas and rested on top in others. Atop this relatively uncontrolled application of paint, he added lines and shapes he had previously planned in studies. The bird or kite, shooting star, balloon, and figure with white head may all seem somehow familiar, yet their association is illogical. Describing his method, Miró said, "Rather than setting out to paint something I began painting and as I paint the picture begins to assert itself, or suggest itself under my brush.... The first stage is free, unconscious." — like other Surrealists, Miró derived much inspiration from psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's theories on dreams and the workings of the subconscious mind.

A. H. Sturtevant finds the first inversion in Drosophila.

1926

Grazia Deledda awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general".

image Painting by Otto Dix: "Bildnis der Journalistin Sylvia von Harden" (Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden, 1926). Sylvia von Harden was a German journalist and poet. During her career as a journalist, she wrote for many newspapers in Germany and England. An ambivalent image of the New Woman, it depicts von Harden with bobbed hair and monocle, seated at a cafe table with a cigarette in her hand and a cocktail in front of her. This painting is recreated in an opening scene of the 1972 film Cabaret. In 1959, von Harden wrote an article, "Erinnerungen an Otto Dix" ("Memories of Otto Dix"), in which she described the genesis of the portrait. Dix had met her on the street, and declared: 'I must paint you! I simply must! ... You are representative of an entire epoch!' 'So, you want to paint my lacklustre eyes, my ornate ears, my long nose, my thin lips; you want to paint my long hands, my short legs, my big feet — things which can only scare people off and delight no-one?' 'You have brilliantly characterized yourself, and all that will lead to a portrait representative of an epoch concerned not with the outward beauty of a woman but rather with her psychological condition.' The painting, an important example of the New Objectivity movement, is now in the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

image Bernard O. Dodge initiates genetic studies on Neurospora.

image H. J. Muller reports the artificial induction of mutations in Drosophila by x-rays.

image J. B. S. Haldane suggests that the genes known to control certain coat colors in various rodents and carnivores may be evolutionarily homologous.

1927

Henri Bergson awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented".

image Painting by Paul Klee: Prestidigitator (Conjuring Trick). Klee's highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory (Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungslehre), published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci's A Treatise on Painting for the Renaissance.

image Frederick Griffith discovers type-transformation of pneumococci. This lays the foundation for the work of Avery, MacLeod, and McCarthy (1944).

image L. J. Stadler reports the artificial induction of mutations in maize, and demonstrates that the dose-frequency curve is linear.

1928

Sigrid Undset awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages".

image Wings wins Academy Award for best picture. The silent film about World War I soldiers and their girls back home provided intimacy and spectacle, including aviation sequences that are still impressive. For the first six ceremonies, the Academy did not use the calendar year, which is why the dates are a little confusing.

(no entry for this year)

1929

image Surrealism goes to the movies, with Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog), a 1929 silent surrealist short film by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. It was Buñuel's first film and was initially released in 1929 with a limited showing at Studio des Ursulines in Paris, but became popular and ran for eight months. Un Chien Andalou has no plot in the conventional sense of the word. The chronology of the film is disjointed, jumping from the initial "once upon a time" to "eight years later" without the events or characters changing very much. It uses dream logic in narrative flow that can be described in terms of then-popular Freudian free association, presenting a series of tenuously related scenes. The idea for the film began when Buñuel was working as an assistant director for Jean Epstein in France. Buñuel told Dalí at a restaurant one day about a dream in which a cloud sliced the moon in half "like a razor blade slicing through an eye". Dalí responded that he'd dreamed about a hand crawling with ants. Excitedly, Buñuel declared: "There's the film, let's go and make it.'" They were fascinated by what the psyche could create, and decided to write a script based on the concept of suppressed human emotions. In deliberate contrast to the approach taken by Jean Epstein and his peers, which was to never leave anything in their work to chance, with every aesthetic decision having a rational explanation and fitting clearly into the whole, Buñuel made clear throughout his writings that, between Dalí and himself, the only rule for the writing of the script was: "No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted." Buñuel also stated: "Nothing, in the film, symbolizes anything. The only method of investigation of the symbols would be, perhaps, psychoanalysis."

Thomas Mann awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature".

image Painting by René Magritte: The Treachery of Images (French: La trahison des images, 1928–29, sometimes translated as The Treason of Images) shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", French for "This is not a pipe." Magritte's comment: "The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!" The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage. Compare with Korzybski's "The word is not the thing" and "The map is not the territory" or Freud's "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

image Painting by Wassily Kandinsky: Upward (Empor). Geometric abstraction, oil on cardboard.

image The Broadway Melody wins Academy Award for best picture. It was the first talkie to win an Oscar, with the movie’s publicity bragging “All talking! All dancing! All singing!” That novelty made it a sensation, but the film is pretty creaky in modern times. There were no nominations that year, just an announcement of winners.

image R. A. Fisher publishes Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, a formal analysis of the mathematics of selection.

1930

Sinclair Lewis awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters".

image Photograph by Man Ray: Yeshwant Rao Holkar II and Sanyogita Devi of Indore. The Maharaja of Indore spent much time in Europe and the United States (one of his homes was in Santa Ana, California). He became a patron of many important artists and designers of his day. The Paris-based American avant-garde photographer Man Ray photographed Yeshwant Rao Holkar extensively. This informal and intimate image of the Maharaja and his wife were probably taken when they were on holiday in Cannes, in the south of France.

image Painting by Grant Wood: American Gothic. Wood's inspiration came from what is now known as the American Gothic House, and his decision to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house." Created in 1930, it depicts a farmer standing beside a woman that has been interpreted to be either his wife or his daughter. The figures were modeled by Wood's sister, Nan Wood Graham, and a local dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron evoking 19th-century Americana, and the man is holding a pitchfork. It is one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art, and has been widely parodied in American popular culture.

image Painting by Piet Mondrian: Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow

image All Quiet on the Western Front wins Academy Award for best picture. This WWI film marked a quantum leap from the winner of the previous year: It’s impressive, subtle and moving, an early Hollywood relic that still holds up well in the 21st century.

C. Stern, and independently H. B. Creighton and B. McClintock, provide the cytological proof of crossing over.

1931

Erik Axel Karlfeldt awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his poetry.

image Painting by Salvador Dalí: The Persistence of Memory (Catalan: La persistència de la memòria) is one of his most recognizable works. First shown at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1932, since 1934 the painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, which received it from an anonymous donor. The well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomizes Dalí's theory of "softness" and "hardness", which was central to his thinking at the time. As Dawn Adès wrote, "The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order". This interpretation suggests that Dalí was incorporating an understanding of the world introduced by Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity. Asked by Ilya Prigogine whether this was in fact the case, Dalí replied that the soft watches were not inspired by the theory of relativity, but by the surrealist perception of a Camembert melting in the sun.

image Cimarron wins Academy Award for best picture. This big-scale Hollywood western was based on the novel by Edna Ferber. The land-rush scene is still effective, but the acting is sometimes a reminder that some actors had a hard time making the transition from big theatrical acting to subtler film work.

(no entry for this year)

1932

image Aldous Huxley publishes Brave New World.

John Galsworthy awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga".

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Le Rêve (French, "The Dream") portrays his 22-year-old mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. It is said to have been painted in one afternoon, on 24 January 1932. It belongs to Picasso's period of distorted depictions, with its oversimplified outlines and contrasted colors resembling early Fauvism. In 2001, casino magnate Steve Wynn purchased the work for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be about $60 million. In October 2006, Wynn told a group of his friends that he had agreed the day before to sell the painting for $139 million to Steven A. Cohen. At the time, this price would have made Le Rêve the most expensive piece of art ever. While Wynn was showing the painting to his friends, he put his right elbow through the canvas, puncturing the left forearm of the figure and creating a six-inch tear. After a $90,000 repair, the painting was re-valued at $85 million. Wynn filed a claim to recover the $54 million perceived loss from his Lloyd's of London insurers, an amount which would have covered most of the initial cost of buying the painting. When the insurers balked, Wynn sued them in January 2007. The case was eventually settled out of court in March 2007. Cohen bought the painting from Wynn in 2013 for $155 million. The price is estimated to be the highest ever paid, up to that time, for an artwork by a U.S. collector

image Grand Hotel wins Academy Award for best picture. The multi-story movie was a novelty as MGM gathered multiple big stars for one film. It remains the only best picture winner to take top honors with only one nomination.

Robert Broom publishes The Coming of Man: Was it Accident or Design? arguing that evolution is really driven by spiritual agencies, some with conflicting priorities, and that mankind is the ultimate aim of all evolution.

image T. H. Morgan receives a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his development of the theory of the gene. He is the first geneticist to receive this award.

image Barbara McClintock demonstrates in maize that a single exchange within the inversion loop of a paracentric inversion heterozygote generates an acentric and a dicentric chromatid.

T. S. Painter initiates cytogenetic studies on the salivary gland chromosomes of Drosophila.

1933

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing".

image Cavalcade wins Academy Award for best picture. The film was an adaptation of Noel Coward’s play chronicling the passage of time as seen through one family. The Titanic figures prominently in one of the episodes, which wasn’t the last time that the 1912 disaster was features in an Oscar winner.

(no entry for this year)

1934

Luigi Pirandello awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art".

image Fresco by Diego Rivera: Man at the Crossroads was intended for New York City's Rockefeller Center. The painting was controversial because it included an image of Lenin and a Soviet Russian May Day parade. Despite protests from artists, Nelson Rockefeller ordered its destruction before it was completed. Only black-and-white photographs exist of the original incomplete mural, taken when Rivera was forced to stop work on it. Using the photographs, Rivera repainted the composition in Mexico under the variant title Man, Controller of the Universe. The creation and destruction of the mural is dramatized in the films Cradle Will Rock (1999) and Frida (2002).

image It Happened One Night wins Academy Award for best picture. Frank Capra’s film was a surprise winner because nobody predicted the comedy to defeat all the year’s serious films. It became the first of only three films to take the top prizes of film, director, screenplay, actor and actress.

image C. B. Bridges publishes the salivary gland chromosome maps for Drosophila melanogaster.

G. W. Beadle and B. Ephrussi and A. Kuhn and A. Butenandt work out the biochemical genetics of eye-pigment synthesis in Drosophila and Ephestia, respectively.

image J. B. S. Haldane is the first to calculate the spontaneous mutation frequency of a human gene.

1935

image Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright: Fallingwater or the Kaufmann Residence is a house in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, 43 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The home was built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains. The house was designed as a weekend home for the family of Liliane Kaufmann and her husband, Edgar J. Kaufmann, owner of Kaufmann's department store. Time cited it after its completion as Wright's "most beautiful job"; it is listed among Smithsonian's Life List of 28 places "to visit before you die". It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named the house the "best all-time work of American architecture" and in 2007, it was ranked 29th on the list of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA.

image Mutiny on the Bounty wins Academy Award for best picture. The MGM spectacle is the third (and so far, last) film to take top prize with no other wins, after “Broadway Melody” and “Grand Hotel.” It is also the only film to have three best actor nominations: Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone. The overcrowding helped lead to the Academy’s creation of the supporting actor and actress categories.

A. H. Sturtevant and T. Dobzhansky publish the first account of the use of inversions in constructing a chromosomal phylogenetic tree.

1936

Eugene Gladstone O'Neill awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy".

image Photograph by Dorothea Lange: Migrant Mother is one of a series of photographs that Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month's trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration. The images were made using a Graflex camera. The original negatives are 4x5" film. In 1960, Lange gave this account of the experience: I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it.

image Photograph by Walker Evans: Bud Fields with His Wife Ivy, and His Daughter Ellen, Hale County, Alabama, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum.

image Sculpture by Méret Oppenheim: Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure) [Object (Breakfast in Fur)]. The sculpture consists of a teacup, saucer and spoon that the artist covered with fur from a Chinese gazelle. The fur suggests an expensively decked-out woman; the cup, hollow yet round, can evoke female genitalia; the spoon with its phallic shape further eroticizes the hairy object. It was purchased by Alfred Barr for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and included the museum's first surrealist exhibition Fantastic Art: Dada and Surrealism in 1936. Oppenheim was willing to sell the piece for one thousand francs, but Barr only offered her $50 and she accepted. This was the first piece of art that the museum acquired, and Oppenheim became known as the First Lady of MoMA. The enormous success of this early work would later create problems for Oppenheim as an artist. Soon after its creation she drifted away from the Surrealists. Decades later, in 1972, she artistically commented on its dominance of her career by producing a number of "souvenirs" of Le Déjeuner en fourrure.

image The Great Ziegfeld wins Academy Award for best picture. The film is enlivened by William Powell’s performance and by the one sequence for which it’s best remembered: A lavish musical number, “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody,” that is done in one complex continuous take.

T. Dobzhansky publishes Genetics and the Origin of Species — a milestone in evolutionary genetics.

1937

Roger Martin du Gard awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the artistic power and truth with which he has depicted human conflict as well as some fundamental aspects of contemporary life in his novel-cycle Les Thibault".

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Guernica is a mural-sized work that Picasso completed in June 1937, at his home on Rue des Grands Augustins, in Paris. The painting, which uses a palette of gray, black, and white, is regarded by many art critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history. Standing at 3.49 meters (11 ft 5 in) tall and 7.76 meters (25 ft 6 in) wide, the large mural shows the suffering of people wrenched by violence and chaos. Prominent in the composition are a gored horse, a bull, and flames. The painting was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by Nazi German and Fascist Italian warplanes at the request of the Spanish Nationalists. Upon completion, Guernica was exhibited at the Spanish display at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (Paris International Exposition) in the 1937 World's Fair in Paris and then at other venues around the world. The touring exhibition was used to raise funds for Spanish war relief. The painting became famous and widely acclaimed, and it helped bring worldwide attention to the Spanish Civil War.

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: The Weeping Woman. Picasso was intrigued with the subject, and revisited the theme numerous times that year. This painting was the final and most elaborate of the series. It has been in the collection of the Tate in London since 1987, and is on exhibition at the Tate Modern, London. Dora Maar was Picasso's mistress from 1936 until 1944. In the course of their relationship, Picasso painted her in a number of guises, some realistic, some benign, others tortured or threatening. Picasso explained: For me she's the weeping woman. For years I've painted her in tortured forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure, either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me. It was the deep reality, not the superficial one.

image The Life of Emile Zola wins Academy Award for best picture. The bio of French novelist Zola is mostly centered on his passionate defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, who was falsely accused of treason and sentenced to Devil’s Island. It’s a good old-fashioned Hollywood biopic, with plenty of fictional touches, that is a great showcase for Paul Muni in the title role.

(no entry for this year)

1938

Pearl Buck awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces".

image Painting by René Magritte: Time Transfixed (La Durée poignardée) is part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and is usually on display in the museum's new Modern Wing. The painting was one of many done for surrealist patron and Magritte supporter Edward James. The painting depicts a locomotive jutting out of a fireplace, at full steam, in an empty room. Above the mantelpiece is a tall mirror. Only the clock and one candlestick standing on the mantelpiece are reflected in the mirror. The title of the painting translates to English literally as "Ongoing Time Stabbed by a Dagger" and Magritte was reportedly unhappy with the generally accepted translation of "Time Transfixed".

image You Can't Take It with You wins Academy Award for best picture. This was the second Frank Capra film to take the top prize. The film is a sweet, zany comedy, but many pundits think that a major factor in its win was Capra’s crucial role in keeping the peace between studios and the new guilds; some had predicted a long strike. Others predicted the end of Hollywood.

E. L. Ellis and M. Delbrück perform studies on coliphage growth that mark the beginning of modem phage work. They devise the "one-step growth" experiment, which demonstrates that after the phage adsorbs onto the bacterium, it replicates within the bacterium during the "latent period," and finally the progeny are released in a "burst."

1939

Frans Eemil Sillanpää awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his deep understanding of his country's peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature".

image Gone with the Wind wins Academy Award for best picture. Producer David O. Selznick optioned Margaret Mitchell’s novel before it became a huge best-seller, and his search for an actress to play Scarlett O’Hara was a pinnacle of Hollywood publicity. Anticipation was ridiculously high when the film opened, but fans embraced the movie and star Vivien Leigh, who won an Oscar (one of eight that the film earned). It also happened to be the only color film to take the Best Picture prize in the Academy’s first 23 years.

(no entry for this year)

1940

image Rebecca wins Academy Award for best picture. The darkest aspects of the Daphne du Maurier novel were cleaned up a little, but the film was popular then and still remains a fan favorite. It’s the only Alfred Hitchcock film to take the top Academy Award.

G. W. Beadle and E. L. Tatum publish their classic study on the biochemical genetics of Neurospora and promulgate the ONE-GENE, ONE-ENZYME theory.

K. Mather coins the term polygenes and describes polygenic traits in various organisms.

1941

image How Green Was My Valley wins Academy Award for best picture. The drama was set in a Welsh mining village, with director John Ford winning one of the film’s five Oscars. Even then, many were surprised that the movie beat Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” but a Variety reporter at the time attributed that to the 6,000 movie extras who voted on Oscar’s top prize: “The mob prefers a regular guy to a genius.”

Ernst Mayr publishes Systematics and the Origin of Species, and Julian Huxley publishes Evolution: The Modern Synthesis. Both books are significant contributions to the neo darwinian synthesis combining elements of natural selection, genetics, mutation, population biology and paleontology.

S. E. Luria and T. F. Anderson publish the first electron micrographs of bacterial viruses. T2 has a polyhedral body and a tail.

1942

image Mrs. Miniver wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, about a British family during the early days of World War II, came at just the right time, reassuring Americans that their newish war effort was the right decision.

1943

image Painting by Piet Mondrian: Broadway Boogie Woogie was completed in 1943, shortly after Mondrian moved to New York in 1940. Compared to his earlier work, the canvas is divided into a much larger number of squares. Although he spent most of his career creating abstract work, this painting is inspired by clear real-world examples: the city grid of Manhattan, and the Broadway boogie woogie, a type of music Mondrian loved. The painting was bought by the Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins for the price of $800 at the Valentine Gallery in New York City, after Martins and Mondrian both exhibited there in 1943. Martins later donated the painting to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

image Casablanca wins Academy Award for best picture. The WWII drama represents the studio system at its best, where all the talent (behind and in front of the camera) worked at their peak. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman were not the studio’s first choices for their roles, but they remain one of the screen’s all-time great romantic pairings.

Theoretical physicist Erwin Schrödinger publishes What is Life? arguing that living organisms store and pass along information, perhaps using something like Morse code. This book will inspire James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, who will share the Nobel prize for discovering the structure of DNA.

O. T. Avery, C. M. MacLeod, and M. McCarty describe the pneumococcus transforming principle. The fact that it is rich in DNA suggests that DNA and not protein is the hereditary chemical.

1944

Johannes Vilhelm Jensen awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the rare strength and fertility of his poetic imagination with which is combined an intellectual curiosity of wide scope and a bold, freshly creative style".

image Triptych by Francis Bacon: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion comprises three canvasses that are based on the Eumenides — or Furies — of Aeschylus's Oresteia, and that depict three writhing anthropomorphic creatures set against a flat burnt orange background. It was executed in oil paint and pastel on Sundeala fibre board and completed within two weeks. The triptych summarises themes explored in Bacon's previous work, including his examination of Picasso's biomorphs and his interpretations of the Crucifixion and the Greek Furies. The Three Studies are generally considered Bacon's first mature piece. When the painting was first exhibited in 1945 it caused a sensation and established him as one of the foremost post-war painters. Remarking on the cultural significance of Three Studies, the critic John Russell observed in 1971 that "there was painting in England before the Three Studies, and painting after them, and no one ... can confuse the two".

image Going My Way wins Academy Award for best picture. Writer-director Leo McCarey once again proved his ability to balance tears and laughs, in this tale of a rule-breaking priest (Oscar winner Bing Crosby) taking over a New York parish from a retiring priest. In the latter role, Barry Fitzgerald was oddly nominated as both lead and supporting actor, winning in the latter category.

image S. E. Luria demonstrates that mutations occur in bacterial viruses.

1945

Gabriela Mistral awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world".

image The Lost Weekend wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, directed by Billy Wilder, was widely admired even though it was controversial: Though movies had featured drunks since the silent days, it was considered daring to address the subject head-on.

1946

Hermann Hesse awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style".

image The Best Years of Our Lives wins Academy Award for best picture. The world population was just adjusting to life after World War II and some film executives feared that audiences wanted escapism, not a movie reflecting their lives. But it was a huge hit, and its honesty in dealing with civilian changes and vulnerabilities are still powerful. It was produced by Samuel Goldwyn, directed by William Wyler.

(no entry for this year)

1947

André Paul Guillaume Gide awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight".

image Painting by Jackson Pollock: Reflections of the Big Dipper, consisting of built up layers of paint with dripped enamel as the final touch, concluding the composition. It was around 1947 that Jackson Pollock traded in his brushes for sticks, trowels and knives and began adding foreign matter, such as sand, broken glass, nails, coins, paint-tube tops and bottle caps to his canvases. Reflection of the Big Dipper was exhibited at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1948, along with sixteen other paintings by Jackson Pollock. The show received positive reviews. Pollock's works from this time are a transitional step between a more traditional handling of paint and his revolutionary technique of dripping paint on canvases off a large scale.

image Gentleman's Agreement wins Academy Award for best picture. The Elia Kazan-directed drama, starring Gregory Peck, was another hot-button winner, as it addressed the topic of anti-Semitism.

image H. J. Muller coins the term dosage compensation.

J. Lederberg and N. Zinder, and, independently, B. D. Davis develop the penicillin selection technique for isolating biochemically deficient bacterial mutants.

1948

Thomas Stearns Eliot awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry".

image Painting by Barnett Newman: Onement I features the first full incarnation of what Newman later called a 'zip', a vertical band of color. This motif would play a central role in many of his subsequent paintings. The painting's title is an archaic derivation of the word 'atonement', meaning, "the state of being made into one."

image Hamlet wins Academy Award for best picture. The black and white Shakespeare adaptation, from U.K.’s J. Arthur Rank-Two Cities, was the first non-Hollywood film to take the top award. And Laurence Olivier became the first person to direct himself to a best-actor win.

A. D. Hershey and R. Rotman demonstrate that genetic recombination occurs in bacteriophage.

J. V. Neel provides genetic evidence that the sickle-cell disease is inherited as a simple Mendelian autosomal recessive.

1949

William Faulkner awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel".

image Alberto Giacometti completes Three Men Walking II

image All the King's Men wins Academy Award for best picture. The movie, written and directed by Robert Rossen (nominated in both categories), was based on the novel by Robert Penn Warren. It was a thinly disguised version of Louisiana’s Huey Long, and the film’s observations about politics still hold up surprisingly well.

At a Cold Spring Harbor Symposium, Ernst Mayr argues that all hominid specimens so far found should be categorized in the genus Homo: H. transvaalensis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens.

E. Chargaff lays the foundations for nucleic acid structural studies by his analytical work. He demonstrates for DNA that the numbers of adenine and thymine groups are always equal and so are the numbers of guanine and cytosine groups. These findings later suggest to Watson and Crick that DNA consists of two polynucleotide strands joined by hydrogen bonding between A and T and between G and C.

E. M. Lederberg discovers lambda, the first viral episome of E. coli.

1950

Earl (Bertrand Arthur William) Russell awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought".

image All about Eve wins Academy Award for best picture. Three of the year’s five best picture nominees were dominated by great female performances: “Born Yesterday,” “Sunset Blvd.” and “All About Eve.” But Joseph Mankiewicz’s witty tale about Broadway competition was the one that ended up in the winner’s circle.

Barbara McClintock publishes a paper describing "jumping" genes that can move around within an organism's genome.

1951

Pär Fabian Lagerkvist awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the artistic vigour and true independence of mind with which he endeavours in his poetry to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind".

image Painting by Salvador Dalí: Christ of Saint John of the Cross depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the importance of depicting Christ in the extreme angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.

image An American in Paris wins Academy Award for best picture. This Vincent Minnelli musical starring Gene Kelly, was a surprise winner. Producer Arthur Freed took home the Oscar, starting the Academy’s new policy of giving the award to an individual producer, rather than the studio. After “Gone with the Wind,” this was the second best-pic winner in color.

A. D. Hershey and M. Chase demonstrate that the DNA of phage enters the host, whereas most of the protein remains behind.

F. Sanger and his colleagues work out the complete amino acid sequence for the protein hormone insulin, and show that it contains two polypeptide chains held together by disulfide bridges.

J. Lederberg and E. M. Lederberg invent the replica plating technique.

N. D. Zinder and J. Lederberg describe transduction in Salmonella.

1952

image Ralph Ellison publishes Invisible Man.

François Mauriac awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life".

image Painting by Jackson Pollock: Number 11, 1952, also known as Blue Poles, is one of the most famous works by American artist Jackson Pollock. It was purchased amid controversy by the National Gallery of Australia in 1973 and today remains one of the gallery's major paintings. At the time of the painting's creation, Pollock preferred not to assign names to his works, but rather numbers; hence, the original title of the painting was simply "Number 11"' or "No. 11" for the year 1952. In 1954, the new title Blue Poles was first seen at an exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery and reportedly originated from Pollock himself. According to art historian Dennis Phillips, the specific rather than ambiguous title "limits our field of comprehension and does the painting a singular disservice. Because we look for the poles and miss much of the rest, the name is simply too distracting."

image The Greatest Show on Earth wins Academy Award for best picture. Director Cecil B. DeMille was a showman since the silent days of movies, but this was his first to take the Best Picture Academy Award, with his colorful and gaudy spectacle about life in the circus.

image image J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick propose a model for DNA comprised of two helically intertwined chains tied together by hydrogen bonds between the purines and pyrimidines.

W. Hayes discovers polarized behavior in bacterial recombinations. He isolates the Hfr H strain of E. coli and shows that certain genes are readily transferred from Hfr to F- bacteria, whereas others are not.

1953

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".

image Painting by Francis Bacon: Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X shows a distorted version of the Portrait of Innocent X painted by Spanish artist Diego Velázquez in 1650. The work is one of a series of over 45 variants of the Velázquez painting which Bacon executed throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. The picture was described by Gilles Deleuze as an example of creative re-interpretation of the classical. When asked why he was compelled to revisit the subject so often, Bacon replied that he had nothing against the Popes, that he merely sought "an excuse to use these colours, and you can't give ordinary clothes that purple colour without getting into a sort of false fauve manner".

image From Here to Eternity wins Academy Award for best picture. Daniel Taradash adapted James Jones’ novel into a great screenplay, augmented by Fred Zinnemann’s smart direction. Burt Lancaster topped a strong cast in the tale of military lives in Hawaii just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

(no entry for this year)

1954

Ernest Miller Hemingway awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style".

image Painting by Jasper Johns: Flag is an encaustic painting created when Johns was 24 (1954-55), two years after he was discharged from the US Army. This painting was the first of many works that Johns has said were inspired by a dream of the U.S. flag in 1954. It is arguably the painting for which Johns is best known. The US flag was in the news repeatedly in 1954. The McCarthy hearings came to a close on 17 June 1954, only three days after Flag Day. On Flag Day, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an amendment to the pledge of allegiance to add the words "under God." The New York Times ran article on facts and myths associated with the flag on the day before Flag Day, and then an article on the "discipline" of the flag on Flag Day itself, saying, with reference to a national air-raid drill "we are all soldiers now". Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star Spangled Banner", was born in 1779, 175 years before 1954. The Iwo Jima Marine Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, with its large US flag, was dedicated on 11 November 1954. Johns and his father were both named after Sergeant William Jasper, who saved the fallen flag of the Americans at Fort Moultrie in the American Revolutionary War. The work measures 42.2 inches by 60.6 inches. It is made using encaustic, oil paint, and newsprint collage on three separate canvases, mounted on a plywood board. The painting reflects the three colors of the US flag: red, white and blue; the flag is depicted in the form it took between 1912 and 1959, with 48 white stars on a blue canton representing the then-US states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), and with thirteen red and white stripes. Newsprint is visible under the stripes. Reading the texts, it is clear that the newsprint was not selected at random: Johns steered clear of headlines, or national or political news, and used inconsequential articles or adverts. The painting has a rough-textured surface, and the 48 stars are not identical. It is dated 1954 on its reverse.

image On the Waterfront wins Academy Award for best picture. Marlon Brando won his first Oscar as Terry Malloy, a New York dock worker. Elia Kazan directed from a script by Budd Schulberg, both of whom were targeted by the Hollywood blacklist; some have seen this film as a metaphor for their experiences and an explanation of their actions.

image S. Benzer works out the fine structure of the rII region of phage T4 of E. coli, and coins the terms CISTRON,RECON, and MUTON.

1955

Halldór Kiljan Laxness awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland".

image Chuck Berry records Maybellene.

image Marty wins Academy Award for best picture. The intimate character study made Oscar history because it was an adaptation of a TV drama — and because it was the first film whose awards campaign costs ($400,000) surpassed its production budget ($340,000).

F. Jacob and E. L. Wollman are able experimentally to interrupt the mating process in E. coli and show that a piece of DNA is inserted from the donor bacterium into the recipient.

1956

Juan Ramón Jiménez awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity".

image Collage by Richard Hamilton: Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? measures 10.25 in (260 mm) × 9.75 in (248 mm). The work is now in the collection of the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. It was the first work of pop art to achieve iconic status. Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? was created in 1956 for the catalogue of the exhibition This Is Tomorrow in London, England in which it was reproduced in black and white. In addition, the piece was used in posters for the exhibit. Hamilton and his friends John McHale and John Voelcker had collaborated to create the room that became the best-known part of the exhibition.

image Around the World in 80 Days wins Academy Award for best picture. Producer Michael Todd coined the term “cameo” to describe the multiple stars appearing briefly in small roles. This film, adapted from Jules Verne’s novel, starred David Niven, Cantinflas and Shirley MacLaine, and featured dozens of stars like Frank Sinatra, Buster Keaton and Marlene Dietrich in brief (and sometimes wordless) appearances.

Francis Crick proposes the "central dogma" of genetic information transfer: DNA specifies RNA and RNA specifies cell proteins.

V. M. Ingram reports that normal and sickle-cell hemoglobin differ by a single amino acid substitution.

1957

Albert Camus awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times".

image The Bridge on the River Kwai wins Academy Award for best picture. The big-scale drama, about the insanity of war, was directed by David Lean. The screenplay was credited to Pierre Boule, who wrote the novel. But in 1984, the Academy updated their records to acknowledge that the script was written by Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman, who had been blacklisted at the time.

Frederick Sanger receives a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin.

George W. Beadle, Edward L. Tatum, and Joshua Lederberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for Beadle and Tatum's discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events, and for Lederberg's discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria.

image F. H. C. Crick suggests that during protein formation the amino acid is carried to the template by an adaptor molecule containing nucleotides and that the adaptor is the part that actually fits on the RNA template. Crick thus predicts the discovery of transfer RNA.

F. Jacob and E. L. Wollman demonstrate that the single linkage group of E. coli is circular and suggest that the different linkage groups found in different Hfr strains result from the insertion at different points of a factor in the circular linkage group that determines the rupture of the circle.

M. Meselson and F. W. Stahl use the density gradient equilibrium centrifugation technique to demonstrate the semiconservative distribution of density label during DNA replication in E. coli.

1958

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition".

image Gigi wins Academy Award for best picture. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, fresh off the success of Broadway’s “My Fair Lady,” wrote a score for this musical version of Colette’s tale about a young girl being groomed to become a courtesan in Paris. The film made Oscar history by winning every award it was nominated for: nine for nine.

Severo Ochoa and Arthur Kornberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxiribonucleic acid.

J. Lejeune, M. Gautier, and R. Turpin show that Down syndrome is a chromosomal aberration involving trisomy of a small telocentric chromosome.

R. L. Sinsheimer demonstrates that bacteriophage phiX174 of E. coli contains a single-stranded DNA molecule.

1959

Salvatore Quasimodo awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times".

image On January 12, Berry Gordy, Jr., Founds Motown Records in Detroit.

image Ben-Hur wins Academy Award for best picture. The production was wildly over budget, and some worried that Hollywood’s early-1950s craze for biblical epics had already peaked. But the film, which is still famous for its chariot-race sequence, won 11 Oscars — a record it held for 38 years, until “Titanic” also received 11.

Alister Hardy promotes his Homo aquaticus or "aquatic ape" hypothesis to the British Sub Aqua Club. He will follow up this announcement with several magazine articles.

1960

Saint-John Perse awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time".

image The Apartment wins Academy Award for best picture. After “Lost Weekend,” Billy Wilder again found himself in the winner’s circle, taking home Oscars as producer, director, and co-writer (with I.A.L. Diamond) for this wry look at corporate America.

image image F. Jacob and J. Monod publish "Genetic regulatory mechanisms in the synthesis of proteins," a paper in which the theory of the OPERON is developed.

1961

Ivo Andric awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country".

image West Side Story wins Academy Award for best picture. The musical was co-directed by Jerome Robbins (who had staged the Broadway musical) and Robert Wise, the first time a team directed a best picture winner. The film won 10 Oscars, remaining in the record books as the sole runner-up to the trio of movies that won 11.

Human geneticist James Neel develops the "thrifty genotype" hypothesis that human ancestors endured feast-famine cycles that made the human body very effective in storing fat for lean times.

image image image James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work in elucidating the structure of DNA.

1962

John Steinbeck awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception".

image Lawrence of Arabia wins Academy Award for best picture. At three hours and 48 minutes, it’s the longest-running best picture winner (one minute longer than “Gone With the Wind”). The tale of T.E. Lawrence marked the second best picture win for David Lean in five years.

(no entry for this year)

1963

Giorgos Seferis awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture".

image Tom Jones wins Academy Award for best picture. For decades, Hollywood’s Hays Code dictated what couldn’t be depicted onscreen. This comedy, directed by Tony Richardson and written by John Osborne adapting Henry Fielding, helped break that code by depicting the radical idea that sex could be fun.

(no entry for this year)

1964

Jean-Paul Sartre awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age".

image painting by Roy Lichtenstein: Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... (sometimes Oh, Jeff). Like many of Lichtenstein's works its title comes from the speech balloon in the painting. Although many sources, such as the Encyclopedia of Art, describe Whaam! and Drowning Girl as Lichtenstein's most famous works, artist Vian Shamounki Borchert believes it is this piece, calling it his Mona Lisa. The Daily Mail listed it along with Whaam! and Drowning Girl as one of his most famous at the time of its 2013 Retrospective at the Tate Modern. Borchert notes that this painting captures "the magic" of its "anguished and yes [sic] beautiful blue eyed, blond hair, full lips" female subject while presenting "sad eyes that seem to give in to what seems to be a doomed love affair". Lichtenstein in 1967 Measuring 48 in × 48 inches, Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... is among the most famous of his early romance comic derivative works from the period when he was adapting cartoons and advertisements into his style via Ben-Day dots.

image An art exhibit is held at Stanford University, featuring Brancusi's Bird in Space (loaned by student Richard Holkar) as its major piece. Another work entitled Soul in Flight — a "sculpture" consisting of two bent coat hangers — is surreptitiously added to the exhibit by D. Heskett and R. Robbins (student colleagues of Holkar), without the bother of going through the submission process. The coat-hanger piece remains as part of the exhibit for several days, until it is accidentally bumped and comes apart during an evening cleaning of the displays.

image My Fair Lady wins Academy Award for best picture. It was one of the most-anticipated films in years, since it was based on the Broadway mega-hit. The winner of eight Academy Awards, it’s also notable as the last best pic winner to be filmed entirely on Hollywood soundstages.

1965

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the artistic power and integrity with which, in his epic of the Don, he has given expression to a historic phase in the life of the Russian people".

image The Sound of Music wins Academy Award for best picture. A few years after the urban grittiness of “West Side Story,” Robert Wise directed this wholesome Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. It won five Oscars and was an enormous hit; it also rescued the financially strapped 20th Century Fox, which was recovering from the mega-expensive “Cleopatra.”

Willi Hennig works on a new approach to assessing evolutionary relationships, known as cladistics. Although it will be hotly debated, this technique will eventually become standard practice in paleontology, botany and zoology.

1966

Nelly Sachs awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength".

Shmuel Yosef Agnon awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people".

image A Man for All Seasons wins Academy Award for best picture. Robert Bolt’s thoughtful play, about Sir Thomas More’s battles with King Henry VIII, concerned religion, principles, and morality. Bolt adapted his play, which was directed by Fred Zinnemann (“From Here to Eternity”).

Lynn Sagan (later Lynn Margulis) hypothesizes that chloroplasts originated as cyanobacteria, and that mitochondria originated as bacteria. She suggests that both were engulfed by other cells and began functioning as symbionts.

1967

Miguel Angel Asturias awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America".

image In the Heat of the Night wins Academy Award for best picture. The competition was intense in 1967, including “The Graduate” and “Bonnie & Clyde.” But only three years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, this mystery was a look at race relations, exploding prejudices, and offering smart insights. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger (best actor winner) led a strong cast.

A.G. Cairns-Smith publishes a paper suggesting that the first life on Earth might have been fine-grained clay crystals. He will publish on this topic several more times before his death, but the experimental evidence will remain scant, perhaps in part because sufficient technology doesn't yet exist to test the hypothesis.

Robert W. Holley, Har Gobind Khorana, and Marshall W. Nirenberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.

1968

Yasunari Kawabata awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind".

image Oliver! wins Academy Award for best picture. The 1960s were NOT the heyday of Hollywood musicals, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at Oscar: “Oliver!” became the fourth musical in eight years to take the best-picture win.

1969

Samuel Beckett awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his writing, which — in new forms for the novel and drama — in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation".

image Midnight Cowboy wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, directed by John Schlesinger and starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, became the first X-rated movie to win the Oscar. When it was re-released two years later, it was re-rated as an R, without any cuts. The script was by Waldo Salt, based on the novel by James Leo Herlihy.

(no entry for this year)

1970

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature".

image Patton wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, written by Francis Coppola and Edmund H. North, was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Arriving in the heat of the Vietnam war, some people claimed “Patton” was hawkish, while others said it was anti-war. George C. Scott gave a powerhouse performance and won as best actor, even after announcing he wouldn’t accept it because he didn’t believe actors should be in competition.

Five pairs of adult wall lizards are moved between two islands in Croatia. Over the next few decades, the lizards on the new island will evolve larger heads, stronger bites, and a greater tolerance for an herbivorous diet than the original lizard population.

1971

Pablo Neruda awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams".

image The French Connection wins Academy Award for best picture. This action-drama was one of Oscar’s many fact-based wins, based on the actions of N.Y. drug cop Popeye Doyle (played by winner Gene Hackman). The film (directed by William Friedkin and edited by Gerald B. Greenberg) featured a chase sequence that is still held up as an example of great filmmaking.

1972

Heinrich Böll awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterization has contributed to a renewal of German literature".

image The Godfather wins Academy Award for best picture. Mario Puzo’s novel was a big hit, and the Francis Coppola-directed film was too. It hit a milestone by passing $100 million at the U.S. box office. And Oscar history was made when the best-picture winner’s tally (three Oscars) was outnumbered by another film (“Cabaret,” with eight wins).

Half in jest, Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel suggest that ancient aliens may have seeded the early Earth with DNA, and all life on this planet arose from that.

Peter and Rosemary Grant begin a long-term study of finches on the Galápagos Islands. In succeeding years, as they watch finches adapt to alternating wet and dry conditions, the Grants will uncover evidence that evolution proceeds more rapidly than what Darwin estimated.

Taking a line from Through the Looking Glass, Leigh Van Valen establishes the "Red Queen" hypothesis of coevolution between predator and prey: "it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

1973

Patrick White awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature".

image The Sting wins Academy Award for best picture. The caper movie, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, marked the first time a woman won a best picture Oscar: the film’s producers were Tony Bill, Michael Phillips, and Julia Phillips.

(no entry for this year)

1974

Eyvind Johnson awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for a narrative art, far-seeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom".

Harry Martinson awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos".

image The Godfather Part II wins Academy Award for best picture. The Francis Coppola movie was the first time a sequel won the top prize. It started decades of “Part 2” movies, though the tale of the Corleones had a unique structure: It was both a continuation of the first film and an origins story, flashing back to before the original’s start.

Mary-Claire King and Allan Wilson publish their finding that human and chimpanzee DNA sequences differ by roughly 1 percent, meaning humans have more in common with chimps than chimps do with gorillas. King and Wilson suggest that humans and chimps differ largely in the DNA that switches on and off genes.

David Baltimore, Renato Dulbecco, and Howard Temin share Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell.

1975

Overturning the classifications introduced by R. H. Whittaker seven years earlier, Carl Woese proposes to divide all living things into three categories: Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya.

1976

Saul Bellow awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work".

image Rocky wins Academy Award for best picture. There were plenty of great films that year, including “All the President’s Men” and “Network,” but the Academy voters fell in love with this tale of a likable loser who works hard for his big chance. It started a slew of “Rocky” sequels.

Submersible vehicle Alvin reveals deep sea vents on the ocean floor that give rise to an ecosystem owing nothing to photosynthesis. This finding prompts speculation that life on Earth first arose in deep-sea, not shallow-water, ecosystems.

Fred Sanger and collaborators publish the first complete DNA sequence of an organism, a bacteriophage, or virus infecting bacteria.

1977

image Centre Georges Pompidou, commonly shortened to Centre Pompidou and also known as the Pompidou Centre in English, opens in 1977. It is a complex building in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, and the Marais. It was designed in the style of high-tech architecture by the architectural team of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, along with Gianfranco Franchini. It houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information (Public Information Library), a vast public library; the Musée National d'Art Moderne, which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe; and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research. It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building.

Vicente Aleixandre awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for a creative poetic writing which illuminates man's condition in the cosmos and in present-day society, at the same time representing the great renewal of the traditions of Spanish poetry between the wars".

image Annie Hall wins Academy Award for best picture. The year’s biggest box office hit, “Star Wars,” was nominated as best pic, but lost out to Woody Allen’s comedy-romance, which also earned trophies for screenplay, director, and actress.

1978

Isaac Bashevis Singer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life".

image The Deer Hunter wins Academy Award for best picture. During the Vietnam war, Hollywood avoided movies about the conflict, but Michael Cimino’s epic was one of the first major-studio releases to tackle the subject. It remains a controversial movie, but Cimino’s directing skills are unquestionable.

image Fresh out of law school and short on cash, Robert Heggestad buys an antique cabinet on an installment plan from a Virginia antique shop. The cabinet turns out to contain some 1,700 plant and invertebrate specimens from the personal collection of Alfred Russel Wallace.

1979

Odysseus Elytis awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clear-sightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness".

image Kramer vs. Kramer wins Academy Award for best picture. The intimate drama about the ravages of divorce and child custody earned honors for adapted screenplay, director (both Robert Benton), actor (Dustin Hoffman), and supporting actress (Meryl Streep).

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus describe genetic mutations affecting the body plan of the fruit fly Drosophila, and identify genes controlling the basic body plans of all animals. These genes will eventually be known as Hox genes.

Paul Berg, Walter Gilbert, and Frederick Sanger share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with Berg cited for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA, and Gilbert and Sanger cited for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids. This is Sanger's second Nobel, the first having come in 1958 for his work on the structure of insulin.

1980

Czeslaw Milosz awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts".

image Ordinary People wins Academy Award for best picture. Robert Redford’s directing debut won at the National Board of Review, the N.Y. Film Critics Circle, Golden Globes, the Writers and Directors guilds, and then four Oscars, out of six nominations.

(no entry for this year)

1981

Elias Canetti awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power".

image Chariots of Fire wins Academy Award for best picture. The tale of the 1924 Olympics proved one of the biggest surprises in Oscar history, though a popular choice; most pundits had predicted it would be a showdown between Warren Beatty’s epic “Reds” and the small-scale family drama “On Golden Pond.”

(no entry for this year)

1982

Gabriel García Márquez awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts".

image Gandhi wins Academy Award for best picture. There was a lot of competition that year, including “E.T. the ExtraTerrestrial” and “Tootsie.” But the grand-scale biopic from director Richard Attenborough was the evening’s big winner, with eight trophies.

1983

William Golding awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today".

image Terms of Endearment wins Academy Award for best picture. TV’s James L. Brooks made a splashy film debut, winning three personal awards that night (as writer, director, and producer), while Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson also took home acting prizes.

David Raup and Jack Sepkoski publish the controversial claim that mass extinctions are regularly spaced at 26 million years.

1984

Jaroslav Seifert awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his poetry which endowed with freshness, sensuality and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man".

image Amadeus wins Academy Award for best picture. Milos Forman’s sumptuous version of Peter Shaffer’s stage play scored eight wins out of 11 nominations.

(no entry for this year)

1985

Claude Simon awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "who in his novel combines the poet's and the painter's creativeness with a deepened awareness of time in the depiction of the human condition".

image Out of Africa wins Academy Award for best picture. The epic romance benefited from Meryl Streep’s performance, Sydney Pollack’s direction and Kurt Luedtke’s adaptation of Isak Dinesen’s book. In all, the film won seven Oscars (though Streep was an also-ran).

(no entry for this year)

1986

Wole Soyinka awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence".

image Platoon wins Academy Award for best picture. Oliver Stone’s autobiographical film, a vivid account of his Vietnam experiences, won four Oscars, including Stone as director.

Allan Wilson and Rebecca Cann announce that all humans share a common ancestor who lived in Africa as recently as 150,000 years ago. Because the discovery is based on examination of mitochondrial DNA, the ancestral entity will be given the popular (and somewhat misleading) name of "Mitochondrial Eve." The controversial finding will be supported by another discovery in 2000.

1987

Joseph Brodsky awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity".

image The Last Emperor wins Academy Award for best picture. The Bernardo Bertolucci-directed biopic scored a clean sweep: Nine wins out of nine nominations, the first time that happened since “Gigi.” The winners included Vittorio Storaro for his beautiful cinematography.

Molecular biologist John Cairns describes experiments suggesting that bacteria facing environmental stress can "direct" their mutations to produce favorable adaptations. Directed mutation will remain a controversial idea, but the possibility that organisms mutate at a greater rate (hypermutation) under environmental stress will gain more acceptance.

1988

Naguib Mahfouz awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "who, through works rich in nuance — now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous — has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind".

image Rain Man wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, produced by Mark Johnson and directed by Barry Levinson, was basically a two-character study, with Dustin Hoffman winning as best actor; while Tom Cruise’s performance was widely admired, he was surprisingly not nominated.

1989

Camilo José Cela awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability".

image Driving Miss Daisy wins Academy Award for best picture. The film was a rarity, winning the top prize though its director (Bruce Beresford) wasn’t even nominated. Among the wins were actress Jessica Tandy and scripter Alfred Uhry, adapting his own play.

The Human Genome Project is launched with the goal of sequencing all 3 billion base pairs of human DNA by 2005.

1990

Octavio Paz awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity".

image Dances With Wolves wins Academy Award for best picture. No major studio wanted to make the film, but the Kevin Costner-directed Western proved a huge hit with audiences and earned 12 Oscar nominations, winning seven.

Chicxulub crater is discovered in the Yucatán Peninsula, supporting the asteroid impact theory first suggested in 1980.

1991

Nadine Gordimer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for being one "who through her magnificent epic writing has — in the words of Alfred Nobel — been of very great benefit to humanity".

image Scultpure by Damien Hirst: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living consists of a large (14 foot) tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde in a vitrine. It is considered the iconic work of British art in the 1990s, and has become a symbol of Britart worldwide. The work was funded by Charles Saatchi, who in 1991 had offered to pay for whatever artwork Hirst wanted to create. Saatchi sold the work in 2004 to Steven A. Cohen for an estimated $8 million. When the original shark showed signs of deterioration (it rotted from the inside out and a fin fell off), it was replaced with a new specimen in 2006, thereby raising a Ship of Theseus problem: Does a work of art remain the same work if its components are replaced with new components?

image The Silence of the Lambs wins Academy Award for best picture. It became the third and final film to win Oscar’s top five prizes (film, director, script, actor, and actress). It was a surprise win because suspense thrillers were not considered Academy favorites, and “Silence” had opened in February; but the film maintained its enthusiastic buzz for more than a year.

(no entry for this year)

1992

Derek Walcott awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment".

image Unforgiven wins Academy Award for best picture. Clint Eastwood had directed 15 films in the past 20 years, earning industry respect and affection, but few awards. However, the thoughtful, well-crafted “Unforgiven” proved irresistible to audiences and to Academy voters. Since it was the second western to win in three years, some predicted a major big-screen revival of the genre, but that didn’t happen.

(no entry for this year)

1994

Kenzaburo Oe awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today".

image Forrest Gump wins Academy Award for best picture. The Robert Zemeckis-directed film, starring Tom Hanks, utilized many technical innovations, but Oscar voters responded more to the tale and to the title character than to the decade-spanning effects.

1995

Seamus Heaney awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past".

image Braveheart wins Academy Award for best picture. The biopic, directed by Mel Gibson, was a popular winner in a tight year. It’s also one of the few films to win Oscar’s top prize without a single acting nomination, alongside “Last Emperor,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and a few others.

Using "molecular clock" estimates of mutation rates, Greg Wray and collaborators hypothesize that metazoan phyla diverged from each other 1 billion years ago, or even earlier. In other words, they argue that metazoans existed hundreds of millions of years before the earliest metazoan fossils (about 600 million years old) yet found.

1996

Wislawa Szymborska awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality".

image The English Patient wins Academy Award for best picture. The film almost wasn’t made, when the studio withdrew funding at the last minute. But Harvey Weinstein stepped in, and the film (directed by Anthony Minghella) earned an impressive $232 million worldwide, and scored nine Oscars — meaning it’s one of the top seven winners of all time.

(no entry for this year)

1998

José Saramago awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as one "who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality".

image Shakespeare in Love wins Academy Award for best picture. It was a battle between Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” and “Shakespeare in Love,” and many were stunned when the comedy won. But it shouldn’t have been a surprise: The film is a love letter to theater and acting, and the largest branch of the Academy is actors.

(no entry for this year)

1999

Günter Grass awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "[his] frolicsome black fables [which] portray the forgotten face of history".

image American Beauty wins Academy Award for best picture. The dramedy looked at all the dark longings beneath the sunny facade of U.S. suburbia.

Based on studies of Y chromosomes, Peter Underhill publishes his finding that all modern humans share a common ancestor, bolstering the 1987 announcement from Cann and Wilson. This suggests a "bottleneck" event (population crash) among human ancestors living in Africa roughly 150,000 years ago.

Sally McBearty and Alison Brooks publish "The Revolution that Wasn't" challenging the long-held notion of a "big bang" in human intellectual evolution approximately 40,000 years ago. Instead, they cite evidence for earlier appearances of modern behavior.

2000

Gao Xingjian awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for an œuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama".

image Gladiator wins Academy Award for best picture. When the Ridley Scott-directed epic opened in May, audiences loved it, but few predicted it would be a best picture winner. But as the months wore on, Academy members clearly maintained their admiration for the film, the kind of intelligent spectacle that Hollywood does best.

image Alfred Sturtevant's A History of Genetics is republished jointly by the Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Sturtevant provides an insider's perspective (he created the FIRST GENETIC MAP ) to this first-rate summary of the foundations of classical genetics.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOOK

The International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (Human Genome Project) publishes the initial sequence and analysis of the human genome in Nature Magazine. Celera Genomics simultaneously publishes a draft human genome sequence in Science Magazine.

Leland H. Hartwell, R. Timothy Hunt, and Sir Paul M. Nurse share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle.

2001

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories".

image A Beautiful Mind wins Academy Award for best picture. It doesn’t sound like a surefire project: A biopic about a delusional math genius. But Russell Crowe turned in another great performance, and Oscars went to director Ron Howard, supporting actress Jennifer Connelly, and writer Akiva Goldsman, adapting Sylvia Nasar’s book about John Nash.

2002

Imre Kertész awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history".

image Chicago wins Academy Award for best picture. Hollywood had circled around a movie adaptation of the stage musical since the 1970s, but director Rob Marshall and writer Bill Condon figured out how to make it work. They delivered a razzle-dazzle musical with wry observations about contemporary obsessions with scandal and celebrity.

(no entry for this year)

2003

John M. Coetzee awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider".

image The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King wins Academy Award for best picture. Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien novels, earned billions at the B.O., the intense loyalty of fans, and industry admiration for the new technology introduced in the fantasy epic. It also became the third film to win 11 Oscars, after “Ben-Hur” and “Titanic” — and “LOTR” became the only one to sweep all its categories.

Peter Brown, Mike Morwood and collaborators announce the find of a 1-meter-tall hominid skeleton on the Indonesian island of Flores. Found near the remains of giant lizards and pygmy elephants, the new species is formally named Homo floresiensis and nicknamed the "hobbit." Though some suspect it's a kind of malformed, small-brained midget, this interpretation will be answered by braincase scans, wrist bones too primitive to be Homo sapiens, and the announcement of several more individuals of the same species. Later studies will suggest direct ancestry from Homo erectus, although another study will argue the remains really indicate Down syndrome. The species is initially given an estimated age as young as 11,000 years, but later research will indicate an age of at least 50,000 years.

2004

Elfriede Jelinek awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power".

image Million Dollar Baby wins Academy Award for best picture. This was Clint Eastwood’s second big night at the Academy Awards, following “Unforgiven.” The tale of a woman boxer holds another distinction: In Oscar’s 77th ceremony, this became the first best picture winner set in Southern California.

(no entry for this year)

2005

Harold Pinter awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as one "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces event into oppression's closed rooms".

image Crash wins Academy Award for best picture. In the build-up to the Oscars, the gay western “Brokeback Mountain” had dominated the awards scene. But the Paul Haggis-directed “Crash” came out the big winner.

Jean Moliner, Gerhard Ries, Cyril Zipfel and Barbara Hohn publish their findings on stressed plants that not only mutate at a greater rate, but also pass an increased mutation tendency to their offspring.

Andrew Z. Fine and Craig C. Mello share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of RNA interference — gene silencing by double-stranded RNA.

Roger D. Kornberg was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.

2006

Orhan Pamuk awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as one "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures".

image The Departed wins Academy Award for best picture. After five nominations as director, Martin Scorsese hit the jackpot with No. 6, winning one of the film’s four awards. It’s an Oscar rarity since it’s a remake, based on the 2002 Hong Kong crime thriller “Infernal Affairs.”

2007

Doris Lessing awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for being "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny".

image Sculpture by Damien Hirst: For the Love of God consists of a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The skull's teeth are actual human teeth, and were purchased by Hirst in London. The artwork is a Memento mori, or reminder of the mortality of the viewer. In 2007, art historian Rudi Fuchs, observed: 'The skull is out of this world, celestial almost. It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.' Costing £14 million to produce, the work was placed on its inaugural display at the White Cube gallery in London in an exhibition Beyond belief with an asking price of £50 million. This would have been the highest price ever paid for a single work by a living artist. The base for the work is a human skull bought in a shop in Islington. It is thought to be that of a 35-year-old European who lived between 1720 and 1810. The work's title was supposedly inspired by Hirst's mother, who once asked, "For the love of God, what are you going to do next?” Hirst said that the work was sold on 30 August 2007, for £50 million, to an anonymous consortium. Christina Ruiz, editor of The Art Newspaper, claims that Hirst had failed to find a buyer and had been trying to offload the skull for £38 million. Immediately after these allegations were made, Hirst claimed he had sold it for the full asking price, in cash, leaving no paper trail. The consortium that bought the piece included Hirst himself.

image No Country for Old Men wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel, became the second consecutive bloody actioner to take the big prize. And it was the second winner in Oscar history directed by a duo: Joel and Ethan Coen (after the team from “West Side Story”).

After studying grunting fish, Andrew Bass and colleagues report that the part of the brain controlling volcalization is extremely primitive, and propose that vertebrates evolved the ability to communicate through sound some 400 million years ago.

2008

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for being an "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization".

image Slumdog Millionaire wins Academy Award for best picture. No foreign-language film has won best picture, but “Slumdog Millionaire” comes closest, since one-third of the dialogue is in Hindi. It’s also a rarity, since it centers around a TV show: India’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Gabriele Gentile and colleagues describe a previously overlooked pink iguana, referred to as "rosada," on the Galápagos Islands. The pink lizard species may represent the earliest divergence of land animals on the island chain that Charles Darwin made famous.

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, and Jack W. Szostak share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz, and Ada E. Yonath share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.

2009

Herta Müller awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as one "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed".

image The Hurt Locker wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, beat out some tough competition, including the record-breaking “Avatar” — “Hurt Locker” earned $49 million at the global box office, the lowest-grossing film in Oscar history. But it has gained many fans and admirers over the years, and Bigelow so far is the only woman to win a directing Oscar.

Ryan Kerney announces the discovery of algae (Oophila amblystomatis) living inside spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) embryo cells — the first discovery of a photosynthetic symbiont living inside vertebrate cells.

Candy makers Hershey and Mars finance competing genomic sequences for cacao (the primary ingredient of chocolate).

2010

image The King's Speech wins Academy Award for best picture. The 2010 film was another unlikely subject matter: The king of England needs to eliminate his stutter. But it became a touching film about a man overcoming personal obstacles, family love, and friendship. Colin Firth’s acting, Tom Hooper’s direction, and David Seidler’s script all won Oscars and got huge ovations from the Oscar audience.

Two studies released in the same week indicate that modern Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians descended from an earlier migration out of Africa than did other populations. Further, the studies suggest that participants in the earlier migration interbred with Denisovans.

2011

image The Artist wins Academy Award for best picture. This was yet another unlikely winner: a black-and-white film without dialogue, set in 1920s Hollywood, and made by French filmmakers. It was the first best picture Oscar winner to be set in the movie industry and only the second silent film, after original winner “Wings.”

(no entry for this year)

2012

image Argo wins Academy Award for best picture. The film about the true-life rescue of hostages in Tehran, was directed by Ben Affleck; it became the first movie in 23 years to take top prize without a director nomination. It was also the fourth film in a decade with key scenes shot in Los Angeles. And it has one other major distinction: Variety plays an important role in a plot twist.

Based on new genetic research, David Reich, Svante Pääbo and collaborators announce at a Royal Society of London meeting that Denisovans bred with Neanderthals, ancestors of people now living in East Asia and Oceania, and another group of extinct archaic humans who were genetically dissimilar to both Neanderthals and modern humans. A few weeks later, Matthias Meyer, Svante Pääbo and coauthors describe the oldest hominin DNA sequence to date, from a 400,000-year-old femur from Spain's Sima de los Huesos. The mitochondrial DNA indicate an unexpected link to Denisovans.

Using genetic material from more than 300 individuals, including aboriginal Australians from the Northern Territory, a team of geneticists argues that Australians — long believed isolated from other populations for some 45,000 years — received substantial gene flow from India about 4,230 years ago.

2013

image Photograph by Hilda Clayton: Photographer records her own death. On 2 July 2013, Spec. Hilda Clayton, a combat photographer in the U.S. Army, was documenting a live-fire exercise in Afghanistan when a mortar tube accidentally exploded in front of her. This picture records the explosion that killed her, the soldier in the image, and three others,

image 12 Years a Slave wins Academy Award for best picture. The film about U.S. slavery was directed by Steve McQueen and written by John Ridley, based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film earned an impressive $188 million worldwide, with 70% of that from outside the U.S. It earned three Oscars out of nine nominations and Brad Pitt was among the producers.

(no entry for this year)

2014

image Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) wins Academy Award for best picture. The film, about a faded star attempting a stage comeback, was technically dazzling, appearing to have been shot in one continuous take. Not everyone loved the Alejandro Inarritu-directed comedy-drama and some were mystified by the ending. But the people who liked it REALLY liked it.

Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, Arhat Abzhanov and colleagues announce that they have reverse engineered dinosaur snouts in chicken embryos by altering beak-building gene expressions.

Stephen Hackley publishes a review article arguing that human brains retain vestigial neural circuitry, the same circuitry that currently allows other mammals (and once allowed our ancient ancestors) to orient their ears toward novel stimuli.

2015

image Spotlight wins Academy Award for best picture. The fact-based story, about a Boston newspaper team, won two Oscars, for film and screenplay (by Josh Singer and director Tom McCarthy). It marked the second consecutive win for a film starring Michael Keaton.

(no entry for this year)

2016

image Moonlight wins Academy Award for best picture. The “Moonlight” win was a record-breaker in Academy history: It was the first film with an all-black cast, with many black artists behind the camera, and was the first gay-themed film to take the top prize. It was also at the center of Oscar’s biggest snafu: Due to a mix-up in envelopes, Faye Dunaway announced “La La Land” as the winner, and it took a few minutes before the real “Moonlight” victory was announced.

(no entry for this year)

2017

image Painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat: Untitled, sells for a record-breaking $110.5 million at auction — the highest sum ever paid at auction for a U.S.-produced artwork. The work was created in 1982 when the artist was 21 years old. Until shortly before Thursday's auction, it hadn't been shown in public since a private collector bought it for $19,000 in 1984.

image Sculptures by Damien Hirst: Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable — his first major show of new work since the financial collapse of 2009. The collection is being shown at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, the two Venetian venues of the Pinault Collection. The conceit behind the show is that the works were originally a stash of ancient treasures, lost in a shipwreck nearly 2000 years ago, and recently recovered. The long-lost treasures include giant sculptures of sea monsters encrusted with coral and semiprecious stones; golden monkeys, unicorns and tortoises; as well as a goddess whose face looks oddly like Kate Moss, a marble pharaoh that resembles Pharrell Williams and a bronze statue of Mickey Mouse (pictured), covered with centuries of marine growth.

(no entry for this year)

2018

(no entry for this year)

(no entry for this year)

2019

(no entry for this year)

ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

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Timeline

The new, dynamic Timeline from the Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project gives users more control over the timeline display.

We seek your suggestions for timeline content, both for individual events and for entire subjects.

To submit a correction or a recommendation or to propose new Timeline content (or to volunteer as a Timeline Editor), click HERE.

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project needs help: with acquiring content, with writing, with editing, with graphic production, and with financial support.

CLICK HERE to see what ESP needs most.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 06 MAR 2017 )