Joan of Arc depicted on horseback in an illustration from a 1505 manuscript.
Forget Wonder Woman and Batman. The Maid of Orléans - an uneducated, teenage girl who led armies to victory - is a hero for our times.
A wonderful evocation of the horrors of last year’s long election campaign by David Rowe in the Australian Financial Review. Amid industry turmoil, newspaper cartooning is increasingly becoming a niche activity.
One of the great satirical achievements of the mass media era, the editorial cartoon, is losing its centrality in the digital age. Yet the 'visual terrorism' of cartoons can cut through the verbiage of political commentary.
An aerial shot of discarded life jackets on the Greek island of Lesvos.
In late 2015, 200,000 refugees a month were arriving on the Greek island of Lesvos. Tasos Markou went there to photograph their plight - and ended up joining the locals to help the new arrivals.
Detail from Percy Leason, Thomas Foster, 1934, oil on canvas, 76.0 x 60.8 cm, State Library Victoria, Melbourne.
Gift of Mrs Isabelle Leason, 1969 (H32094) © Max Leason
Anthropologist Percy Leason thought he was painting the extinction of Victoria's Indigenous people in the 1930s. He was wrong, but his portraits, part of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, are surprisingly sympathetic.
Madonna and fashion designer Jeremy Scott arrive at this year’s Met Gala in New York.
Why is Cher, 71, celebrated when she wears a near-nude costume while Madonna, 58, receives revulsion? 19th century women's magazines reveal how the double standards of beauty for older women came about.
A close up from Michael Jensen’s Pintupi and Anmatyerr artists in Men’s Painting Room (circa August 1972).
The Men's Painting Room - a Nissen hut in the government settlement of Papunya - is Australian art's most important atelier. A new form of creative expression happened here.
Ishtar (on right) comes to Sargon, who would later become one of the great kings of Mesopotamia.
Edwin J. Prittie, The story of the greatest nations, 1913
Love, it is said, is a battlefield, and it was no more so than for the first goddess of love and war, Ishtar. Her legend has influenced cultural archetypes from Aphrodite to Wonder Woman.
A parade in St Petersburg last year celebrating Bloomsday, the day on which Ulysses is set.
Around the world today, fans of James Joyce's Ulysses will celebrate Bloomsday. This experimental novel can be bewildering to read, but for those who persist, it is a 'feast' of a book.
90s sister Sophie Lee in Patricia Piccinini’s
Psychogeography 1996, printed 1998.
from the Psycho series 1996.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of Optus Communications Pty Limited, Member, 1998 (1998.252) © Patricia Piccinini
The 1990s was once the forgotten decade of the 20th century but no longer.
For thousands of years, women’s tattoos have been permanent records of female power over adversity.
For thousands of years, tattoos have been indicative of the passage from girlhood to womanhood, of female power and female beauty.
Sarah and Olive Kanake read one of the new breed of girl-power picture books.
Miriam Ackroyd from Life is Beautiful Photography
The lack of strong female characters in children's picture books is oft-lamented. But a new crop of books invites girls to write themselves into history.
The Qantas uniform from 1964-1969, designed by Leon Paule.
Being an air hostess in the 1960s was a sought after job. But bodies were carefully policed: at Qantas, if a hostess put on too much weight she could be rostered off until she'd lost it.
Julia (with the orange hair) and her friends from Sesame Street.
The introduction of a new Muppet on Sesame Street represents an encouraging cultural shift in the portrayal of characters with autism. But there is still a way to go.
Queen Elizabeth II meets with Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans at the Australian War Memorial in 2011.
As Australians once found spiritual communion through allegiance to the British monarch, they find similar virtues in Anzac today. Can the republican movement connect with a large enough number of people in a similar way?
Passion, Lament, Glory at Melbourne’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in 2017.
Each year at Easter, Christians recreate the spectacularly violent end of Jesus's life, raising some tough questions about the depiction of suffering on stage.
Yidaki, maker unknown. Collected from Milingimbi by Charles Mountford.
courtesy of South Australian Museum.
The yidaki, a musical instrument owned by the Yolngu people of North East Arnhem Land, is created by both termites and instrument makers, who tap trees to find hollow logs. A new exhibition tells its fascinating story.
Augustin Burdet (engraver) French active (19th century) Victor Marie Picot (after) Cupid and Psyche (c. 1817) engraving.
39.9 x 49.2 cm (image), 49.4 x 57.5 cm (sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1927 (3506-3)
In early modern times, wooing happened at balls and markets and in churches; while sex was obtained in bathhouses, inns, brothels and alleyways. Art tells the story.
Penny Gulliver wrote to Germaine Greer several times over two decades.
University of Melbourne Archives, Germaine Greer Archive, 2014.0042.00350, Correspondence with Penny Gulliver
Fifty years of correspondence is stored at the Germaine Greer archive. It ranges across topics as diverse as US politics, grassroots feminism, gardening and Queen Victoria's underpants.
Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (2012): the archtypal fictional spinster.
Grotesques, prattlers, hysterical women ... historically, spinsters have had a raw deal in fiction. But astonishingly, the situation for older single ladies in contemporary novels has scarcely improved.
Jazmina Cininas, Christina sleeps on both sides of Grandma’s bed, 2010. Reduction linocut 52.8 x 71.8cm.
From witch-hunts to the suffragettes, belief in womanly werewolfs has flourished at times when the female gender was under threat. But in contemporary fiction, film and art, werewolf lore is evolving in surprising ways.