Studying "Study of an Archer"

This unifinished study, from India around 1750, helps modern art historians understand how paintings were created at that time. Artists began by covering the paper with a thin layer of white paint, which created an even surface suitable for detailed work. They then made a preliminary drawing using ink and a fine brush; this is clearly visible where the quiver was meant to be executed. Pigments were then added, in this case, opaque watercolors. And at various stages, the painting was turned face down on a smooth surface, and rubbed with a hard tool to achieve a glossy finish.

The imperial summer palace, or Yuanming Yuan, evolved over time into the main residence of the Qing emperors. Eight miles north of the Forbidden City, it was constructed throughout the 1700s and early 1800s, as emperors successively added gardens, water features, follies, and eventually European-style palaces.

Yuanming Yuan was burned from October 18th to October 21s of 1860, during the Opium Wars, by the Anglo-British Expeditionary Force. These photographs were taken on October 18th before the palace was burned.


"You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings."

Catherine the Great of Russia (lived 1729-1796, ruled 1762-1796).


"Never do today what you can do tomorrow. Something may occur to make you regret your premature action."

Aaron Burr (1756 – 1836) American politician and vice president who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel and was, for a separate reason, charged with treason but found not guilty.

Whiro, Lord of Darkness

In Maori mythology, Whiro is the embodiment of darkness and evil. He is the son of the sky father and earth mother, and brother and enemy of Tāne, god of the forests and birds. After a long and bitter war between the brothers, Tāne was victorious. Whiro and his followers were forced to go to the underworld where he reigns.

But Whiro is not quietly retired. He is viewed as a relentlessly active god, always trying to harm humans as they are the descendants of Tāne, especially through his Maike brethren, the personified forms of sickness and disease. Many offerings were made to Whiro, unsurprisingly.


"To me there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or distinction than that connected with advances in science."

Isaac Newton

A Quickly-Changing Word

The word "nice" originally mention "foolish". In the 1400s, the word came to mean "coy," then in the 1500s, "fastidious." By the 1700s, nice had assumed its modern meaning.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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