Oh My, Omai!

One of my favorite portraits is Sir Joshua Reynolds’s portrait of Omai, a Tahitian man in his early twenties. Omai had already led an adventurous life before he met Captain James Cook in 1769 and joined his third voyage, which took him to London in October 1774. Although presented as what John Dryden in his… Continue reading Oh My, Omai!

The Wise Bird

In  1893, Norwegian artist Gerhard Munthe made a watercolor design for a tapestry, one of many. His subject, The Wise Bird, illustrated a Norwegian legend about a king who sought advice from a Wise Bird living in the chestnut forest beside his castle instead of from his courtiers. Munthe pictured the king engaged in conversation with… Continue reading The Wise Bird