| Aug 8, 2014
If you visit the Louvre Museum in Paris, you'll likely see a mob of tourists congregating around a single enigmatic portrait by Leonardo da Vinci while ignoring all the masterpieces nearby. With eyes that seem to follow you around the gallery, and lips...
| Sep 30, 2013
| 6:30 AM
For many travelers, a visit to one of the great treasure-chest museums -- Paris' Louvre, London's British Museum, Rome's Vatican -- is the highlight of a European trip. But sometimes a march through endless galleries dense with other tourists can be a...
| Apr 8, 2012
Thomas Kinkade, the self-styled "Painter of Light" who died Friday at 54, once said he worked to "create images that project a serene simplicity." But despite his astonishing commercial success with luminous seascapes and paintings of cottages and...
| Aug 3, 2011
The Loire River glides gently east to west, officially separating northern from southern France, and has come to define one of France's most popular tourist regions.
The region is home to more than 1,000 castles and palaces in all shapes and sizes....
| Mar 6, 2011
| 1:38 PM
Rome wasn't built in a day, so Washington has given Italy five months. La Dolce D.C. is a celebration of all things Italian with arts, architecture, culture and food, running March through July. Honoring the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy,...
| Dec 9, 2011
| 10:08 AM
When architect and design firm owner Steve Kadlec was asked recently whether bookshelves were becoming obsolete in the iPad age, he wisecracked: "Who reads books? We buy them for pretty!"
He was only half-joking. With digital competition, hardcover books...
| Feb 3, 2011
| 3:55 PM
(KTLA) -- There's a new debate brewing about Leonardo da Vinci's famous muse. Was the Mona Lisa really a man?
Researcher Silvano Vicenti, the head of Italy's National Historic Commission, says he thinks so!
It's long been thought the Mona Lisa was a...
| Sep 12, 2010
Selected Poems and Commentaries
Harvard University Press: 530 pp., $35
I'm just a regular reader, you say. I read for pleasure. Why should I read the commentaries of critic Helen Vendler on the "epigrammatic, terse, abrupt,...
| Dec 4, 2011
Awkward Family Pet Photos
Mike Bender and Doug Chernack
Three Rivers Press, $15, paper
The guys who brought us "Awkward Family Photos" are back with an edition devoted to cruel and unusual punishment to animals. Sort of. It's not that we don't love our...
| Mar 4, 2012
"The past is never dead," Faulkner famously wrote in "Requiem for a Nun." "It's not even past" — and nothing demonstrates that maxim better than the discovery of a "new" painting by a revered, long-dead artist.
Suddenly, it is as if that person...
| Nov 16, 2011
| 4:33 PM
The Old Globe's 2012 summer season will feature the West coast debut of "Divine Rivalry," Michael Kramer's new historical drama about Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as the San Diego premiere of "God of Carnage" by Yasmina Reza. In addition,...