David Gelber is treasurer for the Society of Court Studies.

Holidaying with the Habsburgs

Every summer, the emperor Franz Josef celebrated his birthday in the ‘earthly paradise’ of Bad Ischl, now a European Capital of Culture

2 Feb 2024

The Jewish footballers who left everything out on the field

An exhibition in Vienna tackles the involvement of Jewish players in some of Europe’s oldest clubs – and how those clubs acknowledge this history

25 Aug 2023

How Spanish is the collection of the Hispanic Society?

Archer Milton Huntington’s collection forms the backbone of the Hispanic Society in New York, but is his vision a hopelessly romantic view from the past?

27 Feb 2023
Dom Pedro I heart

Why nostalgia is at the heart of Brazil’s bicentenary celebrations

The bicentennial of Brazil’s independence falls at a troubling time, so it’s no wonder the commemorations focus on an idealised past

3 Sep 2022
Gregório Lopes The Virgin and Child with Angels

How Renaissance artists captured Portugal’s golden age

Portugal’s period of ascendancy can be charted through the paintings of the times

30 Aug 2022

Cosmopolitan oil dealer Calouste Gulbenkian’s rich pickings

The Armenian businessman had a taste for portable items of beauty and cherished his collection as though it were an extension of himself

27 May 2022

Is Tottenham Hotspur still clinging to the past?

Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium has just celebrated its third birthday but despite its shiny facade, the club still projects a message of continuity and tradition

27 Apr 2022
Epigram of a globe showing the Americas, with vignettes of Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci, from America, vol. IV.

Theodore de Bry’s sensational approach to the New World

The engraver’s visions of a continent he never saw were designed to appeal to the European imagination

13 Nov 2019
The triumphal car of the Emperor with his family (detail), from Triumphal Procession of Emperor Maximilian I (c. 1512–15), Albrecht Altdorfer. Albertina Museum, Vienna

Knight vision – how Maximilian I used the arts to bolster his brand

The emperor was no connoisseur – but he understood the power of art to paper over the cracks in his troubled reign

7 Oct 2019
The National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, photographed on 3 September 2018, a day after a fire devastated the building.

In losing its national museum, Brazil has been robbed of a chapter of its history

The museum housed in the former royal palace in Rio de Janeiro was once a symbol of national pride and progress

4 Sep 2018
Landscape (1943), Roberto Burle Marx, Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries

The Brazilian paintings that made a splash in wartime Britain

The recreation of an exhibition of Brazilian modernism during the Second World War is a remarkable feat

13 Apr 2018

At home with the Ceaușescus

The dictator and his wife lived in luxury at their Spring Palace – with a golden bathroom and the only colour TV in Romania

22 Dec 2017
The Battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746, (1797), published by Laurie & Whittle, National Museums Scotland

The men who pretended to be kings – and the art they inspired

Paintings, jewellery, clothes, and weapons could all be used to show support for the Jacobite pretenders’ claims to the throne

9 Sep 2017
The Blairs Memorial Portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots (early 17th century), Flemish, unknown artist. Blairs Museum, Aberdeen

The turbulent life of Mary, Queen of Scots

She’s an icon of Scottish nationhood and martyrdom, but Mary’s life at court was a complicated one of competing cultural, social and political influences

8 Feb 2017
Charles III (detail; 1786–87), Francisco de Goya y Lucientes.

The light and shade of Charles III of Spain

Three shows in Madrid bring out the contradictions of Charles III, an enlightened ruler who could not resist the trappings of monarchy

18 Jan 2017

How photography came of age in Brazil

Pedro II, Brazil’s ‘citizen-emperor’ was a devoted patron of the new technology and a keen photographer himself

28 Nov 2016
Jaguar (n.d.), Frans Post. Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem. Apollo magazine

‘Tastes like chicken.’ Brazilian animals in an Amsterdam art museum

The Rijksmuseum is exhibiting a newly discovered group of animal studies by Frans Post

7 Nov 2016

Make Rio great again!

Brasília is a failed, sterile city. It’s time that Rio became the capital of Brazil again

5 Aug 2016

Don Quixote of the drawing board: the visionary schemes of the Earl of Mar

The Earl of Mar has long been seen as a failed rebel and harmless utopian architect, but it’s time to take him seriously as an Enlightenment thinker

24 May 2016

Lisbon Looks East

The Museu do Oriente in Lisbon looks at Portugal’s recent links with the East as well as its longer history in the region

29 Oct 2013