Abraham Lincoln Ending Slavery


Abraham Lincoln very much wanted to end slavery in the United State of America but he was rational enough to assume that doing so would require more than simply becoming president and signing its abolishment into law. The American Civil War was not fought to end slavery. It was fought to stop the rebellion and secession of slave states from the United States of America. The Southern states wanted to secede from the Northern states because they understood that Lincoln was going to work to end slavery with or without their support, during his presidency. However, even after ending the long and arduous American Civil War, slavery still thrived in the Southern states. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, ultimately ended the practice of slavery and slave trading. As the American Civil War was waning and it became apparent that the Confederacy would indefinitely lose to the Northern states, Lincoln fought hard to have Congress pass the 13th Amendment, so that it would be added to the United States of America Constitution. He signed it into law after the American Civil War ended, and doing so effectively ended slavery in the United States of America on December 6, 1865. Incidentally, the 13th Amendment passed the Senate on April 8, 1864 but was not signed into official law being that it is now part of the United States of America Constitution until 1865 

Medieval Mercenaries


Being a mercenary which is essentially a soldier for hire, was amongst the most respectable of career choices during the Middle Ages. Mercenary work was seen simply as a job and a means to make a comfortable income, nothing more. There was no love-loss, hate, or animosity between the mercenary and the opponents they were hired to battle to the death with as it was simply viewed an any other paid vocation, quite similar to the way military soldiers and police officers are seen during the modern day 

Mark Twain


The name “Mark Twain” is actually a pen name. Mark Twain’s real name was “Samuel Clemens”. The name “Mark Twain” is actually a term and was originally used for nautical riverboats as it meant “12 feet”. The specific depth of 12′ is considered a safe depth in which to sail without the risk of sinking or capsizing a boat or ship

The Renaissance


The person who is accredited with creating The Renaissance is Giorgio Vasari as he published a book entitled “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori” which means “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” in Italian. The book is often shortened in its title and called “The Lives of Artists”. This book ended up becoming the most influential art book of all time. Within the preface of the book, Vasari uses the term “rinascita” which means “rebirth” in Italian, to describe what was going on around him. Vasari stated that under the ancient Greeks and ancient Roman’s, art and civilization reached it’s highest levels of perfection, and that when the barbarians, or as they’re called today, the Germans, came into the picture, the arts fell to ruins. The Renaissance is measured to have occurred between 1400 – 1600, with the dates being slightly vague on each end

Winston Churchill


Winston Churchill took up painting in his middle age, and painted over 500 canvases during the last 50 years of his life. Churchill preferred to paint bright landscapes and dark portraits. Churchill worked as a government minister during World War I, and played a crucial role in spearheading the Dardanelles campaign which unfortunately failed miserably causing over 200,000 allied soldiers to lose their lives. Churchill soon after resigned from his position within the government and enlisted in the British military to go and fight on the Western Front. It was in the brief interlude between enlisting and visiting the Hell of Flanders, that Churchill began to paint. Churchill struck and maintained friendships with many painters who he spent time learning techniques from. Churchill hated being disturbed whilst painting and was one to bellow out at whoever was barging in, including his beloved grandchildren. Churchill was born to the aristocracy but never had much income of his own, yet he dreamed of becoming a millionaire. Churchill wrote many short stories and journals amongst other publications but only 1 fictitious romantic novel called “Savrola”, which was written in his early 20’s. The book garnered terrible reviews which forced Churchill to recede back into writing non-fiction. Churchill only painted on a single occasion during World War II, which he did in Marrakech, Morocco. Churchill brought Franklin Roosevelt and gave him the painting he created as a gift

Leonardo da Vinci’s Sfumato Technique

Leonardo-da-Vinci-sfumato-techniqueLeonardo da Vinci worked for the Parisian court as the head artist, and much of his work can be seen hanging in the Louvre. The technique da Vinci invented to create the illusion of distance is called “sfumato” derived from the Italian term “fumo” which means “smoke”. The technique involves blurring and softening a background or foreground to make it more vague and therefore provide an illusion of depth, with an excellent example of this technique being used within the background of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting. Da Vinci is quoted as saying that sfumato is “without lines or borders”