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Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age, Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum (AGNSW, Sydney)

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Exhibitions, Reviews, Visual Arts |

While Western Europe’s 17th century was disfigured by both religious wars and wars of territorial ambition, Holland a land reclaimed from the sea, nonetheless prospered. When she extricated itself from Spanish control to become Europe’s first republic, the stage was set for a breathtaking trajectory. As Holland became fabulously wealthy from trade, shipping, insurance and banking,

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The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis book review

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Books, Fiction, Reviews |

For the comfortable middle class of the western world, politics is usually conscripted for a verbal tournament. It’s rarely a matter of life or death, more a jousting tool over dinner parties or a dance of metaphorical sabre thrusts around the garden barbecue. For 24-year-old Édouard Louis, the most compelling novelist to emerge from the

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The Greats review (Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney)

Sir webHenry Raeburn, Reverend Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch, c. 1795, oil on canvas. copy
Exhibitions, Visual Arts |

A fizzing time-capsule has landed on our shores courtesy of our northern hemisphere cousins, the Scots. Director Michael Brand’s negotiations with the directors of the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art have presented the Art Gallery of NSW with the most dazzling exhibition since the

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Aboriginal history written in stone and wood (Macleay Museum, Sydney)

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News & Commentary, Visual Arts |

The groundswell of interest world-wide in artefacts from our prehistoric past, reveals our shared humanity at a time when no written records exist to bear testimony to it. Indeed, 99% of our history is prehistoric, which leaves a lot of mankind’s developing apprehension of the world and the skills acquired to negotiate it, completely unmapped

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Death becomes them (Death Magic review Nicholson Museum, Sydney)

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Visual Arts |

The gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt were busier than our modern lot — less bloodthirsty too. History has shown us that gods mutate according to human desires. For the Egyptians, ensuring the fertility of crops was a necessity which the Nile River assisted by the gods, attended to. But making it through to the next world — the afterlife — was an even more pressing matter. Ensuring a safe passage to

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Diamonds are forever, and so is misery

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News & Commentary, Visual Arts |

On April 21 Sotheby’s New York auctioned an internally flawless, D colour, 100.20 carat emerald-cut diamond (pictured above). It sold for $US22 million. The seller was anonymous, so was the buyer. Welcome to the exclusive, highly secretive, and occasionally murky world of the diamond whose mystique has been endlessly explored. The miseries it can inflict have

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