Looking at the paintings of the early Italian Renaissance painter Pisanello just now, I was struck by how wonderfully delicate and accurate his paintings of animals are. If he had lived in a different time or created these images in a different context (one of scientific learning rather than courtly patronage) I’m convinced that Pisanello would have been a famous naturalist. Here are a few cropped images I’ve made, deriving primarily from his lovely paintings The Vision of Saint Eustace (c. 1438) and Portrait of a Princess of the House of Este (c. 1440s?).
And finally, Pisanello’s only surviving sculpted piece, a medal depicting “Innocence and a Unicorn in a Moonlit Landscape.”
Everything about this site is riveting….except the header which has the opposite effect. It's not (merely) the chilly northern renaissance imagery, or the clunky typography. The problem is the circular crop. While the rest of the site conducts expansiveness and pure joy, the circular header and it's book end at the bottom of the page are visual traps. The circle crop works well in the visual index however.
Dear Flora, thanks for this. No one ever comments on the design! I actually agree with you on the circle breaking things up too much — its been something I've been thinking of changing for a long time. (Likewise, the font). I do, however, really like the image itself.
If you have any suggestions for a changed masthead, I'd be really interested to see them
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