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Richard Barnett

Richard Barnett is the author of The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration.

Nikola Tesla

Richard Barnett, 5 February 2015

Over six feet tall​ and thin as wire, with Slavic cheekbones and a ‘Wild West moustache’, Nikola Tesla combined confidence and charisma with a gift for big tech, electro-prophecy and bullshit. He was a near perfect Thomas Pynchon character, and his cameo appearance in Pynchon’s Against the Day in 2006 confirmed his status as a counter-cultural hero. Pynchon’s Tesla...

Faraday’s Letters

Richard Barnett, 21 March 2013

In the summer of 1831, James Woods, master of St John’s College, Cambridge, and Wordsworth’s former tutor, decided that his college should have a portrait of its most celebrated living alumnus. He commissioned Henry William Pickersgill – an apprentice Spitalfields silk-weaver turned Royal Academician – to produce a full-length oil painting of Wordsworth in an...

The Art of Dentistry

Will Self, 28 June 2017

‘Many​ dentists,’ my mother once portentously remarked, ‘are thwarted sculptors.’ No doubt she herself had experienced their creative frustration – and painfully...

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