New high res images of the Linder Gallery now live

michaeljohn Uncategorized Leave a Comment

We are delighted to announce the publication of new ultra-high resolution images of the Linder Gallery, which have been shot by art photographer Tim Nighswander of and allow the painting to be seen in even more minute detail. Here’s Tim’s description of how he created the new images, which I hope you’ll agree, are spectacular: The camera used to …

Rubens and the Linder Gallery, excerpt from A Mysterious Masterpiece

michaeljohn Artist, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Who are the  three conversing figures shown in the Windsor Drawing, almost certainly a preparatory drawing for the Linder Gallery? The excerpt below from  A Mysterious Masterpiece: The World of the Linder Gallery proposes a hypothesis:

Others See it Yet Otherwise: The Cosmic Systems

michaeljohn Allegory, Astronomy, Mathematics 2 Comments

At the front of the green octagonal table in the Linder Gallery, very prominently positioned in the painting, is a scrap of paper bearing three competing systems of the universe: the Ptolemaic earth-centred system at the top left, the sun-centred Copernican system (prohibited by the Inquisition since 1616) and the compromise system of the Danish astronomer, Kepler’s mentor Tycho Brahe, …

When art becomes art – Excerpt from A Mysterious Masterpiece

michaeljohn Allegory, Art-Science, Paintings Leave a Comment

WESCHLER: Taking it one step further, I would also argue that this is the moment when art starts being art as opposed to being science. For all of your claims that the old man and the woman should be read principally iconographically — that they represent this or they represent that and so forth — there are times when a …

The Caravaggio Letter: Eyewitness account of the Linder Gallery?

michaeljohn Artist, Astronomy, Mathematics, Provenance Leave a Comment

There is an intriguing letter in the university library of Urbino recently uncovered by Alexander Marr that provides a direct eyewitness account of the Linder Gallery from shortly after its creation. It was sent in March 1629 by an engineer, Giovanni Battista Caravaggio to his mathematical  tutor, Mutio Oddi, describing a visit to the house of the German merchant Peter …

The Windsor Drawing: A Sketch for the Linder Gallery?

michaeljohn Artist, Paintings, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The Royal Collection in Windsor Castle contains a drawing (RL 12983) showing the interior of a picture gallery that bears a striking resemblance to the Linder Gallery, showing a similar architectural space. There are some key differences though. For example, the ceiling of the space in the Windsor drawing is flat, and there is a door on the left hand …