9. A Cloudburst of Material Possessions: A Message for Our Times? #Write52

9. A Cloudburst of Material Possessions: A Message for Our Times? #Write52

Leonardo da Vinci’s achievements as a painter often overshadow his skill in other fields. The breadth of his curiosity was simply astonishing. He was the quintessential Renaissance man: inventor, engineer, anatomist and architect. As Freud once noted, Leonardo was “like a man who awoke too early in the darkness, while the others were all still asleep.”

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6. Van Gogh: The Red Vineyard at Arles #Write52

6. Van Gogh: The Red Vineyard at Arles #Write52

Vincent Van Gogh’s art has often been viewed through the prism of his turbulent personal life. He experienced recurrent bouts of mental illness and may have been suffering from bipolar disorder. He committed suicide at the age of 37. But this interpretation demeans him as an individual by reducing him to his illness. It also misrepresents the power of his work. Van Gogh was an outstanding painter, who changed the direction of modern art.  

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5. Remembering the Moon Landing #Write52

5. Remembering the Moon Landing #Write52

The first moon landing took place on 20 July 1969. The 50th anniversary of this incredible achievement has rightly been an opportunity to celebrate the skill and heroism of the two astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who planted the first human footprints on the Moon’s surface. We can also marvel at the massive technical effort required by the NASA team to get them there, and back, safely.

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4. Attica Blues: The Power of Music #Write52

4. Attica Blues: The Power of Music #Write52

In September 1971, the bloodiest prison riot that the United States has ever experienced took place at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York. Archie Shepp, one of the great American jazz saxophonists, was outraged by its brutal suppression. He quickly went on to record Attica Blues, one of his finest albums, in January 1972.

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