The Swedish beauty Ingrid Bergman was one of the top stars of the 1940s (Casablanca, Gaslight, Notorious), but her career in the U.S. derailed in 1949 when she left her husband and daughter for the Italian director Roberto Rossellini. Bergman could not work in an American film for seven years, though upon her return, in 1956, she won an Oscar for Anastasia. LIFE’s Gordon Parks was a close friend, and Bergman trusted him to the extent that she invited him to the 1949 shoot for Stromboli— directed by Rossellini, at the time perceived as the villain — where Parks made this haunting portrait.


#ThyCaptionBe: Just a flesh wound!

You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

IRL chess game? Vampire Horses? It’s actually a scene of medieval romance!

Here’s the full story:

This image from a medieval romance depicts a knight battling a foe for the hand of the beautiful maiden seen kneeling in the background. A look of agony is evident on the defeated knight’s face as he realizes that he has lost the duel (not to mention his leg!). To the right, two horses engage in a battle of their own that echoes that of their masters.

#ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.

Welcome back to #ThyCaptionBe, a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. Every Tuesday, this will go down on Tumblr and Twitter:

  1. We’ll post a detail.
  2. You guess what in the world is going on and write a caption (questionable accuracy welcome).
  3. Then we’ll share the full illumination and myth-bust if we must.

Caption away! Can’t wait to see what #ThyCaptionBe.

This larger-than-life sculpture was Rodin’s first attempt at capturing the spontaneous movement of a model. As this well-timed photograph shows, Rodin’s flat-footed subject conveys the movement, beginning to end, of a person stepping.

Saint John the Baptist Preaching,” modeled in clay 1878–80 by Auguste Rodin; cast in bronze 1925 by Alexis Rudier

Photo by @jeffwool

Artist Dan Flavin conflated the visual language of art and religion with his ethereal “diagonals” series, works made from fluorescent tubes that range in scale from single lamps to larger site-specific installations. Don’t miss your opportunity to view one of his earliest “diagonals,” entitled “the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Robert Rosenblum)” (1963) on view now in Embracing the Contemporary.

the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Robert Rosenblum),” 1963, Dan Flavin © Stephan Flavin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London


BBC Documentary, ‘What Makes Art Valuable?

The question “What is The Value of Art?” is a valid one and many people ask it. In this BBC documentary, journalist Alastair Sooke wants to find out more about this infamously secret art world and the multi millionaires who populate it.

“Nebamun’s cat looks so much at home in the scene of the hunt in the marshes that it looks as though cats have always been part of it. ‘At home’ is a clue to its inclusion here and elsewhere. The cat was now regarded as an integral element of ‘family at home’ scenes and its presence was felt necessary even in the imaginary marsh scenes. The tomb owner was accompanied by his family and the occasion would not have been the same without the family pet.” — Jaromir Malek, The Cat in Ancient Egypt

Nick Cave, “Soundsuit”, 2010, frame of doilies squared on the back, doilies arranged in a spiral on the front, knit fabrics, sequins, pot holders, vintage doilies and knit leggings. Parma, Collezione privata Emanuela Barilla.

‘Across Art and Fashion’, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, all rights reserved.