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Essay/
Art
Is it really a Leonardo?

Forensics can’t be sure. Provenance can be fudged. This is why the expert eye still rules the game of art authentication

Noah Charney

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Mood & Emotion
The myth of ‘mad’ genius

The Romantic stereotype that creativity is enhanced by a mood disorder is dangerous, and dissolves under careful scrutiny

Christa L Taylor

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Beauty & Aesthetics
The puzzle of beauty

Rather than a golden ratio or a moral judgment, beauty is more like a radical jolt that awakens us to the world

Shahidha Bari

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Beauty & Aesthetics
The copy is the original

In China and Japan, temples may be rebuilt and ancient warriors cast again. There is nothing sacred about the ‘original’

Byung-Chul Han

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History of Science
Monster mash

Beastly births, ass-popes and satanic hybrids: nothing distils the weirdness of the early moderns like their woodcuts

Jon Crabb

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War & Conflict
Don’t look away

Photography came of age amid the wars and atrocities, as well as the humanitarian aspirations, of the modern world

Jeremy Adelman

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Human Evolution
Imagination is ancient

Our imaginative life today has access to the pre-linguistic, ancestral mind: rich in imagery, emotions and associations

Stephen T Asma

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Art
Has art ended again?

Ever since Hegel, artists and critics alike have been claiming that art is finished. But what could that actually mean?

Owen Hulatt

Essay/
Art
Show me the Monet

How wealthy Americans grew to appreciate the French Impressionist painter – as an artist but also as a financial asset

Ross King