Arts + Culture – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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Songwriters such as Nick Cave (pictured) and the late Yolngu star Gurrumul have often drawn on the scriptures in their work. Paul Bergen/EPA

Why our declining biblical literacy matters

In less than two generations, the proportion of Australians who never pick up a Bible has leapt to seven out of ten. But a robust biblical literacy can help us decode creative works and understand the past.
Beethoven monument on the Beethovenplatz square in Vienna, Austria. The monument was unveiled in 1880. Shutterstock

How Beethoven’s ‘mistake’ became one of our most famous tunes

The last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony gave us 'Ode to Joy', one of the most famous tunes of all time. But the composer initially thought he'd made a grave mistake with it.
Claude Monet, France, 1840-1926, La pie (The magpie), 1868-1869, oil on canvas, 121.4 x 164.1 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France, ©photo Musée d'Orsay / rmn

In The Magpie, Monet found all the colour in a snowy day

Claude Monet painted The Magpie in winter 1868, turning his interest in colour on the blank canvass of snow.
JCF Johnson’s, Euchre in the bush, circa 1867, depicts a card game in a hut on the Victorian goldfields in the 1860s. Oil on canvas mounted on board, 42.0 x 60.2 cm. Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ballarat

How gold rushes helped make the modern world

The discovery of gold in California 170 years ago was a turning point in global history. The gold rushes are not mere historic footnotes – they continue to influence the world in which we live today.