" I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in. "
Virginia Woolf

Back in the day


Ceiling of Sistine Chapel Completed

In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The work was completed in 1512 and features over 300 biblical figures and nine episodes from the Book of Genesis. Below these scenes are the statuesque figures of prophets and sibyls, with episodes from the Old Testament in the spandrels. The last great work Michelangelo executed in the chapel was The Last Judgment. Where in the chapel did he paint it?



Book of Kells

Among the most intricately illuminated manuscripts to survive from the Middle Ages, the Book of Kells, created by Celtic monks around 800 CE, is an ornate masterpiece of the Hiberno-Saxon style. Described as the peak of Western calligraphy and illumination, the book features the four Gospels in Latin. However, there are a number of errors in the text, including the use of the Latin word “gaudium” instead of the correct term, “gladium.” How does that mistake change the meaning of Matthew 10:34?

Born on a day like today


Alexander Alekhine

Alekhine, a Russian chess grandmaster, was one of the world's great chess champions. By the age of 16 he was a master player, and in 1927, he defeated José Raúl Capablanca to become world champion. Alekhine dominated the chess world between 1927 and 1935, losing only seven of 238 tournament games. When WWI broke out, he was in Germany competing in an international tournament and was taken as a prisoner of war. What scheme did Alekhine devise to secure his release?

Last updated on Saturday, 1st November 2008

More sponsors