Is Polveglia Haunted?

A quarantine station, a dumping ground for plague victims, more recently a mental hospital — the tiny island of Poveglia in the Venice Lagoon has served many unpleasant purposes over the years, but today it stands empty, a crumbling collection of abandoned buildings and weeds run riot just two miles from the glittering palaces of […]

Goussainville-Vieux Pays.

All images by TiBo. Just 12 miles north of central Paris lies one of the world’s most fascinating and tragic ghost towns. Wandering into the picturesque farming village of Goussainville-Vieux Pays is like stepping back in time. Virtually abandoned for over 40 years, the end effectively came for the pretty Parisian suburb when the cutting-edge […]

The Forgotten Chateau in the Ardennes.

All images by Tom Blackwell – Lucid Dreams This isn’t the first time Urban Ghosts has featured the forgotten Chateau de Noisy, venturing beyond the foreboding Gothic facade to scenes of dereliction and decay within. But this haunting series of photographs by urban explorer Tom Blackwell beautifully captures the atmosphere of the abandoned building in […]

The Dark Side of Romulus and Remus.

The childhood of Romulus and Remus. Gregorio Lazzarini (1655—1730). Oil on canvas. Early 1700s. Saint-Petersburg, The State Hermitage Museum. Romulus and Remus were born to the vestal virgin Rhea Silva after she’d been seduced, some say raped, by Mars. At their birth they were immediately sentenced to death by their great-uncle Amulius, who had previously […]

Picasso’s House Paint masterpieces.

Pablo Picasso, famous for pushing the boundaries of art with cubism, also broke with convention when it came to paint, new research shows. X-ray analysis of some of the painter’s masterworks solves a long-standing mystery about the type of paint the artist used on his canvases, revealing it to be basic house paint. Art scholars […]

Dreamy and Romantic Autochromes.

Belgian painter Alfonse Van Besten (1865-1926) (pictured above) embraced technology, utilizing innovative color processes to transfer black and white photographs into vivid, at times lurid Autochromes. The tableaux of his Autochromes (a technology patented by the Lumière brothers in 1903 and the first color photographic process developed on an industrial scale) are often bucolic and […]

Albert Racinet’s L’Ornement Polychrome,1869–73.

Albert-Charles-Auguste Racinet (1825–1893), himself an accomplished artist, is best known today for publishing two major pictorial works on the history of design — Le costume historique and L’Ornement polychrome — while engraver and artistic director at the Parisian publisher Firmin Didot et Cie. Published in ten instalments between 1869 and 1873, the first iteration of […]

The Portraits of Giovanni Moroni circa 1570.

Gian Girolamo Albani, c1570 by Giovanni Battista Moroni. Photograph: Private collection Sixteenth-century Italian portraitist Giovanni Battista Moroni spent most of his 30-year career painting the people around him in Bergamo. His paintings, are alive with human presence. Young Lady, c1560-65. Photograph: Private collection The Tailor, 1565-70. Photograph: © The National Gallery, London See more Images […]

The First Children’s Picture Book, 1668.

John Comenius’ Orbis Sensualium Pictus (or The World of Things Obvious to the Senses drawn in Pictures) is, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “the first children’s picture book.” Originally published in 1658 in Latin and German, the Orbis — with its 150 pictures showing everyday activities like brewing beer, tending gardens, and slaughtering animals — […]

‘Dissected Heads’ by Gautier, 1748.

Credit: Wellcome Library, London Two dissected heads seated on sacking. Dissections by P.Tarin. Coloured Mezzotint 1748 by Jacques-Fabien Gautier d’Agoty From: Anatomie de la tete Published: Gautier etc. Paris 1748