Jonathan Beckman

Jonathan Beckman is deputy editor of the Economist's 1843 magazine.

Just Look at Them: Ears and Fingers

Jonathan Beckman, 27 January 2022

In​ 1880 the Russian art critic Ivan Lermolieff published Die Werke italienischer Meister (translated into English as Italian Painters), a study of the Italian artworks held in German collections. He disputed dozens of attributions to Renaissance artists in the state galleries of Munich, Dresden, Berlin and elsewhere. ‘It has been a very common mistake,’ he wrote, ‘to...

A Laugh a Year: The Smile

Jonathan Beckman, 18 June 2015

In​ 1685, Louis XIV’s few surviving teeth were in such a parlous state that they required extraction, but the dentist operated so ineptly that he also removed a large section of one of the king’s maxillae. Louis endured the pain and inconvenience well enough even though, according to his chief physician, ‘every time the king drank or gargled, the liquid came up through his...

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