Yves Montand, star of French cinema

Although Yves Montand is considered one of the stars of French cinema, he was born in Monsummano Terme, Italy, on 13 October 1921. That same year his family had to flee to France to escape from the fascist regime in …


French philosopher and writer Denis Diderot

A prominent figure of the Enlightenment, philosopher and writer Denis Diderot was born in Langres, France, on 5 October 1713. After receiving his degree in philosophy and briefly studying law, he decided to become a writer. Because of his refusal …


Robert Schumann and his love

On 12 September 1840, after six long years of waiting, one of the greatest composers Robert Schumann could finally marry the love of his life, pianist Clara Wieck. Clara was a daughter of Schumann’s music teacher, Friedrich Wieck. Schumann fell …


Weddings in Eastern Europe Virtual Exhibition

Next week we’re launching our latest virtual exhibition; Weddings in Eastern Europe.  This exhibition has a wonderful selection of images, audio and video. Want a sneak preview? Here’s what you can expect from the exhibition…. In traditional cultures, the wedding …


Steam Engines: From Trains to Toffee

James Watt’s (1736-1819) voice echoes every time someone mentions steam engines. Watt, however, was preceded by a bunch of inventors whose names are less often mentioned: Heron (c. 10–70 AD), Giovanni Branca (1571-1645), Denis Papin (1647-1712), Thomas Savery (1650–1715) and Thomas …


Maestà in all its beauty

The latest collection from the Kunsthistorische Institut in Florenz includes the renowned work of the Italian painter Simone di Martino – Maestà. Simone di Martino (c. 1284–1344) was the key figure in the development of early Italian painting and the International …